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Tortured Logic: It's Clear Where the Secrecy-Obsessed Obama Administration is Headed in Its Pursuit of WikiLeaks


By dlindorff - Posted on 20 December 2010

By Dave Lindorff

With word that Pvt. Bradley Manning, the soldier suspected of being the source of most of the WikiLeaks documents on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and the State Department cables, has been held in intensive solitary confinement at the Marine Base brig in Quantico, VA for five months, under conditions that most of the world considers torture, it seems increasingly clear what the Obama administration's strategy is in going after WikiLeaks and its founder Julian Assange.

Assange's lawyers have said they have learned that the Obama Justice (sic) Department has impaneled a secret federal Grand Jury in Virginia to develop charges against Assange, most likely under the hoary and antiquated 1917 Espionage Act.

Because that act has never been used against a journalist or news organization, and because it would be fairly easy to make the case that Assange and WikiLeaks are performing a journalistic function protected by the First Amendment, legal experts say the government, to make any kind of a case, would have to prove that Assange had induced Manning to illegally turn over government documents to WikiLeaks.

Both Assange, in public statements, and Manning, in transcripts published by the magazine Wired, have stated clearly that there was no such relationship. Manning has said that he volunteered the documents out of a heartfelt whistleblower's desire to make public evidence of what he felt were war crimes by US forces, in the case of the Iraq and Afghanistan materials. There is no reason to think that his motive and methods would have been any different with respect to the State Department cables. There was no mention of his having been sought out or encouraged in his alleged activity by WikiLeaks, which only provided the vehicle for making any leaks public.

But with Manning having been held in solitary confinement now for more than seven months--first in a brig in Kuwait and now at Quantico--under conditions that are reminiscent of those that were used against alleged "dirty bomb" wannabe Jose Padilla, which drove him certifiably insane--it seems obvious what the government is up to.

Convicting Pvt. Manning on a charge of disclosing government secrets, stealing government documents, or even of treason, would be child's play in a court martial setting, where the jury would be composed of uniformed officers. Furthermore, it would not be much of a big deal, convicting a private of stealing and revealing government documents. But taking down WikiLeaks, and convicting Assange, who has been embarrassing the US and other secretive governments by doing what a real news media should have been doing? Ah, that would be a very big deal--one which would make a compliant US media even more compliant...

For the rest of this article by DAVE LINDORFF in ThisCantBeHappening!, the new independent online alternative newspaper, please go to: ThisCantBeHappening!

The powers that be do not want us to know about the death and destruction we have caused, or the depleted uranium we have contaminated the earth with. They don't even want us to know about the dead, and wounded Americans who served in our military. It is not just a case of the media avoiding subjects, coloring the truth, or telling little white lies. Absolutely everything that is presented in news papers and on television is pure propaganda.

One of our most courageous soldiers, that we all should be proud of, is Bradley Manning. He has selflessly put his life a risk to deliver to us the truth. He and Internet information providers have reaffirmed freedom of the press, and the peoples right to know. He is presently in ill health from conditions that he is being held under.

It is amazing that some of the TV watching sheeple are calling for Bradly's execution, for being a trader. First he has not been found guilty of breaking the law, and second he has not even been accused of a crime yet. If they can overlook constitutionally guaranteed rights, and abuse and torture Bradly Manning they can do it to you.

They came first for the Communists,
and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Communist.

Then they came for the trade unionists,
and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a trade unionist.

Then they came for the Jews,
and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Jew.

Then they came for me
and by that time no one was left to speak up.

We are in sad shape when our leaders can violate domestic law, international law, and commit gross crimes against humanity, and all details of these crimes are considered top secret, and accountability and justice are not in our national interest. The Executive, Judicial, and Legislative Branches of our Government are all a bunch of thieves, and murderous thugs,and our Military is the worlds new Gestapo. Power to the people. They will destroy themselves, and we will take back our country. Germany and Japan were able to become peace loving countries again, and so can we.

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