Update 7/24/12: Implications of Manning’s trial, rally at Ft. Leavenworth, government’s illogical secrecy
Injustice for Manning is injustice for the rest of us. Dan Lefcourt, in praising Bradley Manning as a whistle-blower, sees the unfair trial at Ft. Meade as a microcosm for the greater secrecy problems with the United States at large:
If wrongdoing was being committed and he was witness to it, it was his moral duty to reveal it. The crime would have been if he had seen it and not reported it he would have been complicit in covering it up.
Like Daniel Ellsberg, the government whistleblower of the “Pentagon Papers”, who revealed the government’s lies on the Viet Nam war and was thoroughly exonerated from any wrongdoing, the same justice should occur for Bradley Manning.
Though some rabid right wing nuts would prefer to see Manning executed as a traitor for “aiding the enemy” with his alleged leaking of documents to WikiLeaks, Manning’s conviction would be a supreme injustice showing the U.S. moral decay and decline into an all powerful national security state, a global hegemon interested in hiding the truth, exercising military dominance and secrecy at any cost.
Clearly, Bradley’s trial holds great implications for whistle-blowers and transparency to come. (Read more…)
Activists rally for Bradley Manning at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. PressTV interviews CodePink’s Lisa Savage, who was among supporters demonstrating for Bradley Manning where he’s being detained in Ft. Leavenworth.
Judge rules government is allowed to continue pretending publicly available documents are still secret. The ruling comes in response to a FOIA request by the ACLU, who explained why the ruling is so logically flawed:
The cables we requested reveal the diplomatic harms of widely criticized U.S. government policies, including torture, detention and rendition of detainees, detention at Guantanamo, and the use of drones to carry out targeted killings. The State Department claims that the withheld cables are classified, and thus so secret that they cannot be released—despite the fact that they are already accessible to anyone in the world with an internet connection and a passing interest in current events.
The ACLU’s Nathan Freed Wessler continues, on why the ruling is so pernicious:
…under the logic of the court’s ruling today, every time you uncover the government’s “secret” text, you are somehow causing harm to national security. This argument just doesn’t hold up, as detailed in this New York Times article from last December. Whatever damage to the reputation of the United States may have occurred when the cables were first disclosed, no more harm can come from releasing identical text of the cables again now. In fact, it is the court’s ruling that causes harm, by frustrating the Freedom of Information Act’s promise of transparency and making a mockery of the concept of legitimate secrecy.
The fact that FOIA requests are met with this type of illogical secrecy makes another ruling even harder to swallow: the government’s claim that it need not provide public transcripts or documents from Bradley Manning’s trial because the public and press can access them with FOIA requests. (Read more…)