Today a military judge will decide the fate of whistle-blower Bradley Manning. He’s been locked up and tortured for the past 3 years..The ruling is predicted to have far-reaching impact on all sectors of society from journalists on down to folks who publish and post up information on-line.. All that needs to happen is some government official declaring what ever information you have as a threat to national security.
Now on the surface that may seem like common sense and in the age of us, the US being engaged in a long-lasting War on Terror, keeping things secret may be a price we all have to pay. The problem is that so much of our military and other institutions fighting these wars are privately owned companies who have a financial stake in the actions they take and not necessarily our collective freedom. This unprecedented partnership has led to severe abuses of power.
This shooting of Reuters news reporter Namir Noor-Elden and her driver Saeed Chmagh being shot at by the Apache a helicopter and a family with their kids is the type of info Manning brought to light..This is the type of atrocities being done in our name.. Not to mention we were in Iraq where this took place because of deliberate lies and misleading information, designed to make companies like Halliburton lots of money..
The information that Bradley gave to the public has been a catalyst for pro-democracy movements in the Arab world, exposed the unjust detainment of innocent people at Guantanamo Bay, shown us the true human cost of our wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and changed journalism forever.
There is no evidence that anyone died as a result of the leaked information, yet Bradley faces life in prison or possibly death. The greatest charge against him is that of “aiding the enemy,” a capital offense. As the public who benefited from this information, does that make us the enemy? What price will future whistleblowers pay?