Documentary filmmaker Michael Moore has offered to bail out WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange from a UK jail where the whistleblower is being held.
Filmmaker Michael Moore, known for his investigative and politicized documentaries, has offered to post $20,000 in bail for the release of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange. In a "witness statement" posted on his website, Mr. Moore writes in a 12-point government witness form style, detailing his concerns on the detainment of Julian Assange.
"I am aware of the various allegations Julian Assange faces in Sweden. I am willing to act as security for Julian in the sum of USD$20,000," Moore wrote.
Assange is being held in a British jail on Swedish rape charges. But there are bigger issues hovering over his arrest - and chief among them is whether or not Mr. Assange's document releases constitute the actions of a cyber war, as USA Today reports.
The British detention does not appear to have deterred Assange from continuing to release data. According to Reuters, Assange's mother said that her son remains committed to publishing the otherwise secret documents.
But Michael Moore wants to see Assange freed - and he cites his interests in preserving free speech as his motivation in the Assange matter.
"I am the director and producer of Bowling for Columbine, Fahrenheit 9/11, Sicko, and Capitalism: A Love Story, four of the top nine highest-grossing documentaries of all time. In September 2008, I released my first free movie on the Internet, Slacker Uprising, documenting my personal crusade to encourage more Americans to vote in presidential elections," Moore wrote. "These experiences underpinned my conviction that it is the duty of a free press to probe, and hold government and the powerful to account – and that citizens must be properly informed and have access to information in order to exercise their democratic rights."
According to Mr. Moore, Julian Assange should be honored for his work in exposing both follies and crimes.
"I support Julian, whom I see as a pioneer of free speech, transparent government and the digital revolution in journalism. His commitment to exposing the follies of government and business offers the greater society a chance to protect itself from these follies. Some aren't just follies. Some are crimes. What do we do with someone who informs the authorities -- and in this case it is the free people in a democracy who are the "authorities" -- that a crime has been committed? Do we arrest HIM? Do we try to shut his mouth? Do we hound him, threaten him, track him down and hunt him as if HE is the criminal? He bravely informed the citizenry of what was being done in their name and with their tax monies. That is no crime. That is an act of patriotism. He should be thanked and honored, not abused and jailed. It dishonours this court to be used in this way, holding this man without bail. Julian has made the world, and my country in particular, a safer place. His actions with WikiLeaks have put on notice those who would take us to war based on lies that any future attempts to do so will be met by the fierce bright light provided by WikiLeaks and intended to expose those who commit their war crimes. His actions will make them think twice next time -- and for that we all owe him a debt of gratitude," Moore wrote.
Filmmaker Ken Loach and socialite Jemima Khan have also offered bail money of $20,000 each.