By Michael J.W. Stickings
Following up on my post from earlier, (courageous whistleblower) Bradley Manning was indeed found guilty today, just not on the most significant, and most ridiculous, charge:
A military judge on Tuesday found Pfc. Bradley Manning not guilty of "aiding the enemy" for his release of hundreds of thousands of military and diplomatic documents to WikiLeaks for publication on the Internet, rejecting the government’s unprecedented effort to bring such a charge in a leak case.
But the judge in the court-martial, Col. Denise R. Lind, convicted Private Manning of six counts of violating the Espionage Act of 1917 and most of the other crimes he was charged with. He faces a theoretical maximum sentence of 136 years in prison, although legal experts said the actual term was likely to be much shorter.
While advocates of open government celebrated his acquittal on the most serious charge, the case still appears destined to stand as a fierce warning to any government employee who is tempted to make public vast numbers of secret documents. Private Manning's actions lifted a veil on American military and diplomatic activities around the world, and engendered a broad debate over what information should become public, how the government treats leakers, and what happens to those who see themselves as whistle-blowers.
Okay, well, let's look at the elements of that debate:
First, according to the U.S. federal government -- which, let us not forget, is currently led by Democrat Barack Obama -- no information should become public that is in any way sensitive regarding national security (or pretty much any other area), and certainly no information that might in any way expose what the government is really up to, not least its criminal or even questionably ethical activities.
Second, the U.S. federal government treats leakers like traitors.
Third, the U.S. federal government, including the military, tortures whistleblowers and persecutes them relentlessly.
A fierce warning? Yes, I'd say so. Cross the government, expose its criminal activities, and you're done for.
Read more »
Labels: Barack Obama, Bradley Manning, Edward Snowden, Obama White House, U.S. federal government, U.S. military