WikiLeaks has exposed official wrongdoing and countless war crimes in Iraq and Afghanistan, serving as a vital conduit of information the U.S. government has tried to keep hidden from its own citizens -- and which deserves to be free. Yet Amazon.com recently kicked WikiLeaks off its servers all because one politician, Connecticut Senator Joe Lieberman, asked. That's not right.
It should come as no surprise that pro-war American politicians dislike WikiLeaks: it has told the truth about their wars. What is surprising and disappointing is that Amazon would cave to pressure from such politicians and shut down a website on its servers without notice -- and without any apparent concern about the role it was playing as a tool of state censorship.
As a private company, Amazon is of course free to make bad decisions. But the public is also free to shop elsewhere, perhaps with companies a little less willing to stifle speech at the behest of the government. Until Amazon agrees to again host WikiLeaks on its servers -- for free -- no one should do business with a company working hand in hand with the state to silence the truth.
Photo Credit: Leticia Gaidon Bradford
Like many, I was outraged to hear that Amazon had kicked WikiLeaks off its servers, without prior notice, all because a U.S. politician asked. That sets a terribly bad precedent for free speech. By revealing the truth about U.S. actions abroad, WikiLeaks is providing a vital public service, and the fact that some in the government dislike the site is no reason to silence it.
I will not shop at Amazon unless the company apologizes for its mistreatment of WikiLeaks and hosts it on its servers. At no charge.