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Truthout's Sarah Olson Subpoenaed in Watada Case (New Development)

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Hissyspit Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 10:58 AM
Original message
Truthout's Sarah Olson Subpoenaed in Watada Case (New Development)
Edited on Fri Dec-15-06 11:47 AM by Hissyspit
http://www.truthout.org/docs_2006/121506J.shtml

Truthout's Sarah Olson Subpoenaed in Watada Case
By Jason Leopold
t r u t h o u t | Report

Friday 15 December 2006

A US Army prosecutor subpoenaed Truthout contributing reporter Sarah Olson Thursday morning, seeking her sworn testimony at the court-martial of First Lieutenant Ehren Watada. The 28-year-old Army officer refused deployment to Iraq earlier this year. His trial is expected to begin in February.

Olson wrote a news story about Watada in June that was published June 7 on the Truthout web site. In that article, Watada publicly challenged the legality of the war - statements the Army claims are illegal. It is believed that the Army wants Olson to authenticate the substance of her article and to confirm the statements Watada made to her. "As I read about the level of deception the Bush administration used to initiate and process this war, I was shocked. I became ashamed of wearing the uniform," Watada said in Olson's interview.

- snip -

Olson, who is one of few reporters covering the anti-war movement and the voices of dissent, said in an interview that she was served with a two-page subpoena at 8:45 a.m. Thursday morning at her home in Oakland, demanding that she appear at Watada's court-martial in Fort Lewis, Washington February 5 through 9.

Olson, 31, could not divulge what her next move will be - whether she'll go to jail if all appeals fail - but it's apparent that she's leaning toward fighting the US Army from forcing her to testify against a soldier whose actions she has said she respects and supports.

"To testify in this case is wrongheaded and ominous," Olson said. "It's a reporter's job to report the news. It's not a reporter's job to participate in the prosecution of their sources. Once you involve a reporter in prosecution, you turn that reporter into the investigative arm of the government."

MORE
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Tom Joad Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 11:08 AM
Response to Original message
1. Another rec for Sarah and for justice. Keep fighting Sarah. Keep fighting Ehren.
We stand behind both of you.
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brentspeak Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 11:14 AM
Response to Original message
2. Is there any way you could find another article on this that is NOT written by Jason Leopold?
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Hissyspit Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 11:26 AM
Response to Reply #2
3. I think that is really beside the point.
Edited on Fri Dec-15-06 11:33 AM by Hissyspit
It is my understanding that the subpoenas from yesterday have been verified by other sources and there is no particular reason to believe that the quotes from Olson are inaccurate.

There will be other articles, I hope, it is probably too early right now to find them. Feel free to google yourself.

I am really getting tired of the truthout trashing. In the years from 2001 to 2004, before I discovered DU and other alternate media sources, truthout was my ONLY alternate and progressive source. They helped keep me informed and from going insane thinking I was the only one who thought the way I did here in a red state. They also introduced me to Will Pitt's excellent essays.

I don't know what happened with the Rove indictment shit. I never argued one way or another during that incident. I wish they had not hired Jason, and I would prefer he wasn't writing these particular articles, but, again, I believe that is beside the point. This is apparently the only source of this information at this time, and this is about Watada and freedom of speech issues. This is a developing story and I am passing on a development.

Here are some other related links:
http://mlmliberal.blogspot.com/2006/07/should-mlm-liber...
http://www.madison.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=18787

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lala_rawraw Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 04:27 PM
Response to Reply #3
17. you need to see my thread on this
which got completely pooped on. :(
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nashville_brook Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 11:46 AM
Response to Reply #2
6. give it a rest
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Hissyspit Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 12:26 PM
Response to Reply #2
12. IPS:
Reporter Summoned to Testify Against War Resister

Aaron Glantz, Electronic Iraq, 15 December 2006

SAN FRANCISCO (IPS) - The U.S. military subpoenaed an independent journalist Thursday, demanding she testify as a witness for the prosecution of First Lt. Ehren Watada, the first commissioned officer to be court-marshaled for refusing to serve in Iraq.

"This morning at 8:45 someone came to my house and delivered a subpoena," Sarah Olson, an Oakland, California-based journalist, told IPS. "It's absolutely outrageous. It's a journalist's job to report the news. It is not a journalist's job to testify against their own sources."

Olson interviewed Watada in late May 2006, a few weeks before he formally refused to deploy to Iraq. In the interview, the first lieutenant explained his decision.

"I started asking, why are we dying?" he said. "Why are we losing limbs? For what? I listened to the president and his deputies say we were fighting for democracy; we were fighting for a better Iraq. I just started to think about those things. Are those things the real reasons why we are there, the real reasons we were dying? But I felt there was nothing to be done, and this administration was just continually violating the law to serve their purpose, and there was nothing to stop them."
I started asking, why are we dying? Why are we losing limbs? For what?


As a result of his public comments, Watada was charged not only for refusing to deploy, but also for "contempt toward officials" and "conduct unbecoming of an officer".

http://electroniciraq.net/news/2741.shtml


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kiteinthewind Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-16-06 10:40 AM
Response to Reply #2
25. Good God, can we find something else to bitch about?
:eyes:
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elehhhhna Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 11:37 AM
Response to Original message
4. REC THIS THREAD, please. It's morre Stalinist Horseshit from the Injustice Department
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laylah Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 11:38 AM
Response to Reply #4
5. K&R!
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KamaAina Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 06:15 PM
Response to Reply #4
21. Actually, it's Stalinist horseshit from the military
DO(I)J doesn't get involved in courts-martial.

Smells pretty much the same, though.
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garybeck Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 11:58 AM
Response to Original message
7. I don't get it...
If they only want her to authenticate the quotations, I don't think that is "testifying against" him. Unless he's now claiming that he never said those things?

I don't think a reporter should have any problem just confirming that the story is real. She's not being asked to reveal any secret sources or anything.
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nashville_brook Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 12:18 PM
Response to Reply #7
11. unethical for journos to witness for the prosecution
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demobabe Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 04:42 PM
Response to Reply #11
18. Unethical? No, not unethical...
Gary Beck is right on in what he said.

The Truthout journalist is not asked to be "on" the side of the prosecution, but is subpeonaed to give sworn testimony under oath - both sides can ask her questions. She isn't being asked to reveal information that would be protected as a journalist. It's not like they don't know who was being interviewed, and they have a published article - that's not a secret, either.

There is nothing "unethical" about this. This is the way courts work in the U.S. and I'm guessing this is similar in the military court martial...
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nashville_brook Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 12:05 PM
Response to Original message
8. who is there to defend indie media journalists?
this raises an interesting question -- how vulnerable is the independent media to being silenced thru legal harassment?



i'm sure Truthout is no slouch when it comes to legal representation, BUT it's got to be less than what a good-sized daily can bring to bear.

http://www.cpj.org /

check this out:

Internet fuels rise in number of jailed journalists

CPJ census also finds more held without charge or due process

New York, December 7, 2006The number of journalists jailed worldwide for their work increased for the second consecutive year, and one in three is now an Internet blogger, online editor, or Web-based reporter, according to an analysis by the Committee to Protect Journalists. CPJs annual worldwide census found 134 journalists imprisoned on December 1, an increase of nine from the 2005 tally. China, Cuba, Eritrea, and Ethiopia were the top four jailers among the 24 nations who imprisoned journalists. Read detailed accounts of each imprisoned journalist. Print reporters, editors, and photographers continue to make up the largest professional category, with 67 cases in 2006, but Internet journalists are a growing segment of the census and now constitute the second largest category, with 49 cases. The number of imprisoned journalists whose work appeared primarily on the Web, via e-mail, or in another electronic form has increased each year since CPJ recorded the first jailed Internet writer in its 1997 census. >>
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demobabe Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 05:07 PM
Response to Reply #8
20. Good question
As an independent journalist I got sued in a SLAAP suit for $500K when Talk Radio Network wanted to silence Take Back the Media... and that's NOTHING like a simple subpeona as in this case.
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Garbo 2004 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 12:11 PM
Response to Original message
9. Article from Inter Press Service:
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Shakespeare Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 12:18 PM
Response to Original message
10. Gee. Maybe some of the posters in this thread would be interested in this development
http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...

IOW, don't be so quick to call bullshit on something.
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Garbo 2004 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 12:40 PM
Response to Reply #10
13. ? This thread is the update. Olson says she's been subpoenaed. The previous Dec 13 article/thread
was that the journos were going to be subpoenaed. This thread has the latest development.
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Shakespeare Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 12:42 PM
Response to Reply #13
14. Yes, I know. That's my point.
"This thread" that I referred to is the one I pasted into my message.
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BR_Parkway Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 02:18 PM
Response to Original message
15. Courts Martial are for members under UCMJ - can they even enforce
this subpoena against a civilian?
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Disturbed Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 04:49 PM
Response to Reply #15
19. The US Military will attempt to avoid
the main issue of the Illegality of the Iraq Invasion.
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lala_rawraw Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 04:24 PM
Response to Original message
16. kick for freedom of the press!!
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Hissyspit Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 09:17 PM
Response to Original message
22. .
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leveymg Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-16-06 07:49 AM
Response to Original message
23. Is there a legal defense fund?
Afraid it's in the hands of the lawyers, now.
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Hissyspit Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-16-06 09:10 AM
Response to Original message
24. .
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