Sentencing Of A Whistleblower
Bradley Manning was sentenced today to 35 years in military prison by the military judge for downloading and sending to WikiLeaks classified US government documents that embarrassed the government. That’s a longer sentence than some former spies received for transferring data to the former Soviet Union which was considered an enemy, and longer than what some first degree murderers get for multiple premeditated murders, including US soldiers who massacred a couple dozen unarmed and innocent Iraqi or Afghan men, women and children, and longer by the whole 35 years than any banker received for defrauding borrowers, investors, local governments and municipalities and tanking the economy (they were not even tried).
Meanwhile, news keep coming out everyday revealing that the breadth, scope and scale of NSA’s spy program on US citizens is much greater and much more clearly illegal than admitted by the Administration, including Obama himself. All This come after they originally denied that such program even existed, not only to reporters, but also to US Congress, under oath, which is a crime – a crime no one was even questioned for, let alone tried and sentenced.
Warrant less and illegal wiretapping and spying on all US citizens by the government, including reading their emails and listening in on their chat or phone conversations without any cause or suspicion is not a prosecutable offense in the US which has a special claim on “rule of law” and “due process” and other such nice sounding claims. The violation of the law is not prosecutable, its revelation is – by a 35 year prison sentence.
And you know what else is becoming a prosecutable offense, or at least an offense deserving intimidation by the judicial powers of the government? Reporting such government wrongdoing and abuse. This Administration has prosecuted and persecuted more whistle blowers and leakers and has tried to intimidate more journalists who report such government abuse, than any other administration.
Some American journalists writing on such stories are afraid to work on US soil out of fear their computers and equipment will be confiscated. Just yesterday, the British authorities detained and interrogated, for 9 hours, Glen Greenwald’s partner at London airport and confiscated his computer, phone, thumb drives and video game console, on behalf of US government. And what was the legal basis for such egregious abuse of someone who did nothing but being a journalist’s partner who reported things they didn’t like published? An anti-terrorist law. In other words, journalism is now being equated with terrorism and subjected to the same kind of detention, confiscation and interrogation, and soon maybe even prosecution. Greenwald is the Guardian reporter who interviewed Edward Snowden and wrote the story about the NSA spy program.
Not only do they go after whistle blowers and reporters to intimidate them and discourage others who might dare report on news other than tomorrow’s weather and traffic, they keep the focus on the messengers and away from their illegal and unconstitutional acts. In the end, the so-called spy scandal or the “scandal” of massacring innocent Iraqis from an Apache helicopter which Bradley Manning courageously exposed to the world does end with someone going to jail – just not the right people. Those killings were supposed to stay as US government secret, as was the act of spying on hundreds of millions of people. So those who reveal these secrets must go to jail. Yes, in the end he who reveals the killing goes to prison for 35 years, while the perpetrators of the massacres he exposed remain free.
Why? Why are they doing all this? If you think “terrorism”, you’ve watched too much corporate TV. Actually, in a way you’re right. It does have to do with terrorism: the terrorism unleashed upon the poor peoples of the world on behalf of giant multinational corporations which make more profit in a single quarter than a billion people get to feed their families in an entire year. Such plunder of the world and absurd concentration of wealth requires terrorism: the terror of wars, occupations, coups, drone attacks and assassinations. And with the package also come spying on citizens, intimidating journalists, persecuting whistle blowers, secrecy, National Defense Authorization Act, and the making of a police state to eliminate voices of dissent. And, what an irony that this state of terror – domestic and foreign – is justified by nothing but “war on terror”!