News Release

“Big Victory” — Government Ends Threat to Jail James Risen

NORMAN SOLOMON, solomonprogressive at gmail.com
Solomon is co-founder of RootsAction.org, which coordinated the petition campaign “We Support James Risen Because We Support a Free Press.” Addressed to Attorney General Eric Holder and President Obama, the petition — which gained more than 100,000 signers this year — told Holder and Obama: “We urge you in the strongest terms to halt all legal action against Mr. Risen and to safeguard the freedom of journalists to maintain the confidentiality of their sources.”

Solomon said tonight: “This is a big victory for defying illegitimate authority. The Bush and Obama administrations have tried to coerce and intimidate James Risen with a series of subpoenas beginning in early 2008. Nearly seven years later, a crucial lesson from his refusal to back down is that journalists — and the rest of us — must not give an inch to government officials who are trying to undermine the First, Fourth and Fifth Amendments.”

He added: “Freedom of the press, confidential communications and due process remain under fierce attack. The only solution is to fight back.”

Solomon is executive director of the Institute for Public Accuracy.