He’s a member of the military who gave a bunch of national security related documents to WikiLeaks and is being court-martialed for “aiding the enemy” among other charges. When in actuality, Mr. Manning (and Mr. Snowden for that matter) should be having statues erected for them for their bravery and outstanding acts of patriotism in revealing huge criminal acts by our Government.
Instead, Mr. Manning is facing the death penalty while Mr. Snowden is stuck at the Moscow Airport.
Last week, in one of the more disturbing decisions made by the judge in the case, Colonel Denise Lind, the prosecution was asked if it would make a difference if Manning had leaked the documents say to the KC Star as opposed to Wikileaks. Whereupon the prosecution stoically answered: “No it would not. It would not potentially make a difference.” And then the Judge refused to dismiss the “aiding the enemy” charge, which at the very least- carries the sentence of life imprisonment, without the possibility of parole.
The judge can still choose to dismiss the charge later after the trial is over, but think about what a conviction of this charge means. It would basically mean the end of “national security” journalism as we know it.
Couple this with the recent decision by a federal judge that a New York Times reporter must reveal his CIA source in another case. And – ABRACABABRA – you’ve now ended investigative journalism. The First Amendment be damned. As long as the Government claims the leak is related to ‘National Security” they can now criminally prosecute the leaker for contempt of court and throw any reporter in jail who doesn’t reveal their source for who knows how long.
Follow me here.
Since the leaker has a “sophisticated intelligence background” and knows that the enemy, let’s say Al Qaeda– trolls the internet for intel and that the leaker would know this info would be disseminated on the internet by the reporters in question – now leap with me -the leaker has now aided the enemy!
If these decisions are allowed to stand, one of our most cherished checks and balances-that of a “free press” – will disappear.
Face it people, our beloved country, The United States of America is rapidly becoming a rogue state where the military and “national security” apparatus is nullifying the Constitution.
I feel safer from terrorists already!