Media group is opposing subpoenas of journalists
The National Press Club is objecting to the Army's subpoenas of Honolulu Star-Bulletin reporter Gregg Kakesako and California freelance journalist Sarah Olson in the court-martial of Lt. Ehren Watada.
The reporters have been subpoenaed to testify about their reports on Watada after he announced that he was refusing to deploy to Iraq because he believed the war was illegal.
"The National Press Club vehemently opposes any effort to subpoena reporters over their work," Jerry Zremski, the club's president and Washington bureau chief for the Buffalo News, said yesterday.
"Subpoenaing reporters in an effort to make the prosecution's case -- particularly when the charge involves free-speech issues -- is abhorrent and grossly perverts the foundation of press freedom this nation is built on."
The court-martial of Watada, who grew up on Oahu, is scheduled to begin Feb. 5 at Fort Lewis, Wash.
The Star-Bulletin is consulting with its attorneys about Kakesako's subpoena, said Editor Frank Bridgewater.
Olson has started a petition asking for her subpoena to be dismissed. The petition is posted online at www.defendthepress.org.