Fri Dec 14, 2012, 11:08 PM
midnight (26,622 posts)
“Brad’s treatment at Quantico will forever be etched into our nation’s history as a disgraceful
moment in time.”
Coombs warned that the most serious charge facing his client, “aiding the enemy,” is a “scary proposition” designed to “silence a lot of critics of our government.”
"If the public had a right to know the information that Manning allegedly revealed, as the Times demonstrated by publishing important stories featuring it, then the source should be honored rather than scorned. As Sullivan wrote: “To its credit, The Times published article after article based on the very information that Private Manning provided to WikiLeaks, just as it had published the Pentagon Papers that Mr. Ellsberg leaked during the Vietnam War.”
Manning is in the same position as was Ellsberg, who four decades ago leaked to The New York Times details of government lies and crimes in Vietnam. Both men had access to material classified as secret, but both believed they had an obligation to puncture the veil of government secrecy when it was employed to deceive the public.
What is protected in the First Amendment is not the right of commercial enterprises to exploit the news for profit, but rather of citizens to become informed. That requires the courage of heroic sources, including Bradley Manning."
5 replies, 1370 views
“Brad’s treatment at Quantico will forever be etched into our nation’s history as a disgraceful (Original post)
Response to midnight (Original post)
Sat Dec 15, 2012, 12:01 AM
JDPriestly (57,936 posts)
1. Bradley Manning may have violated the letter of the law, but I cannot imagine that, if he did,
his motive was to "aid the enemy." I don't know whether intent is an element in that law, but Manning's intent appears to have been to inform the public of moral or legal crimes, not to "aid the enemy."
Response to JDPriestly (Reply #1)
Sat Dec 15, 2012, 11:24 AM
struggle4progress (89,879 posts)
3. IIRC the elements of the crime require merely that Manning engaged
in activities that he knew, or should have known, could provide intelligence to an enemy, either directly or indirectly, whether or not the enemy actually benefited
A spokesman for the Taliban told Britain’s Channel 4 News on Thursday that the insurgent group is scouring classified American military documents posted online by the group WikiLeaks for information to help them find and “punish” Afghan informers ...
July 30, 2010, 11:58 am
Updated | 12:36 p.m.
Taliban Study WikiLeaks to Hunt Informants
By ROBERT MACKEY
A torrent of leaked U.S. diplomatic cables obtained by the anti-secrecy group WikiLeaks has been published in the last few days, with at least 170 of them naming sources whose identity was meant to be protected, according to an analysis of the documents by CNN ...
Flood of WikiLeaks cables includes identities of dozens of informants
By Tim Lister and Emily Smith
August 31, 2011 8:33 a.m. EDT
... A reporter worried that Assange would risk killing Afghans who had co-operated with American forces if he put US secrets online without taking the basic precaution of removing their names. "Well, they're informants," Assange replied. "So, if they get killed, they've got it coming to them. They deserve it." ...
The treachery of Julian Assange
The WikiLeaks founder, far from being a champion of freedom, is an active danger to the real seekers of truth
The Observer, Saturday 17 September 2011
... I talked to Assange by phone a few times and heard out his complaints. He was angry that we declined to link our online coverage of the War Logs to the WikiLeaks Web site, a decision we made because we feared — rightly, as it turned out — that its trove would contain the names of low-level informants and make them Taliban targets ...
Dealing With Assange and the WikiLeaks Secrets
By BILL KELLER
Published: January 26, 2011
Response to struggle4progress (Reply #3)
Mon Dec 17, 2012, 12:13 AM
JDPriestly (57,936 posts)
4. My view of the Assange case is influenced strongly by my familiarity with the events in Germany
in WWII. I lived there (not during the war) and in Austria. It is so important that people who are privy to wrongful, cruel behavior that is condoned, authorized or sponsored by a government, any government, take the responsibility to disclose what they know about the wrongs being done.
Whistleblowers are what keep our leaders, our government, our military, our courts, our legal profession, our teachers, all who are responsible in our society, honest and just.
That is why I respond to posts that are critical of Manning in the way that I do. I understand why we have secrecy restrictions on members of the military. Again, my familiarity with the history of WWII causes me to value secrecy. (I'm not an expert to that extent, but I have read enough on our intelligence advantage during WWII to appreciate the importance of secrecy.) But, the regulations that insure secrecy that is necessary should not be abused to protect wrongful, sadistic or even very careless behavior from the scrutiny of the voters.
I have mixed feelings about Manning's disclosures. But overall, I do not feel he should be treated as harshly as he is being treated. He violated the law. He went beyond mere whistleblowing in my opinion, but he is also to be praised for having had the courage to expose things that really needed to be exposed.
And for me, Assange was a conduit, a journalist. Judith Miller at the Times was publishing information that was secret. No one called for her head. No one forced her to take refuge in an embassy. No one charged her with unprovable crimes.