Manning, Snowden and Swarz: America’s Police State Marches On, Media in Tow
By Dave Lindorff
The New York Times, in an editorial published the day after a military judge found Pvt. Bradley Manning “not guilty” of “aiding the enemy” -- a charge that would have locked him up for life without possibility of parole and could have carried the death penalty -- but also found him guilty on multiple counts of “espionage,” called the verdict “Mixed.” Not guilty of aiding the enemy, guilty of espionage.
The Times editorial writers were as mixed up as the judge, though.
The lead article got it right with the headline: “Manning Found Not Guilty of Aiding the Enemy,” and with the subhead: “Leaker Convicted of Most Other Charges.” Clearly, Manning was not the traitor that many charlatans in Congress and the media called him, but was rather a leaker who was trying to inform the public about crimes, misdeed and wrongdoing in the US military’s conduct of the war in Iraq, US diplomacy and US handling of prisoners in Guantanamo and elsewhere.
But an accompanying sidebar article didn’t fare so well at the editors’ hands. On the front page, the headline read: “Loner Sought a Refuge, and Chose the Army,” with the subhead reading: “After an Anguished Youth, Accused of Being a Traitor.” Bad enough to focus on the “traitor” angle, which has been clearly shown to have been the over-wrought fantasy of cowardly politicians and pundits who wrap themselves in the flag. But totally off base was the headline over the jump for that story, on page 13, which read: “Loner Who Sought a Refuge, Chose the Army, and Betrayed His Country.”
Manning, who admits he broke the law in downloading secret military and diplomatic documents like the notorious gunsight video of an Apache helicopter mowing down civilians in Iraq, including children and laughing as they slaughtered the people below them with machine-gun fire, or the embarrassing embassy cables mocking foreign leaders. But he made clear in testimony at the trial that he was never intending to hurt his country -- only to let the public know about the vile and often criminal activities being perpetrated by the government in their name.
As much as the political and military leaders in Washington want us to believe it, the government is not the country. And when Manning provided those documents and videos to Wikileaks, which then turned them over to news organizations like the New York Times and the BritishGuardian newspaper -- which then ran articles about many of them, recognizing their importance as news -- he was acting in the honored tradition of a truth-teller. He was a leaker, yes, but that’s a good thing. He was not a traitor, and he was not betraying his country. Rather he was honoring his high oath as a soldier: to uphold and defend the Constitution of the United States...
For the rest of this article by DAVE LINDORFF in ThisCantBeHappening!, the new independent three-time Project Censored Award-winning online alternative newspaper, please go to: www.thiscantbehappening.net/