It's heartening to know that something can awaken our sleeping Congress. It's just too bad they couldn't see their way to look for the moral issues Wikileaks' publication of diplomatic cables revealed about the workings of their own and other branches of our government instead of just shouting, "Death to the messenger".
Senator Lindsay Graham led the charge on Fox News by saying, "The people at Wikileaks could have blood on their hands" and calling for their prosecution. Others called Wikileaks a "Foreign Terrorist Organisation",(CLG News,com November 30, 2010) but they could just as well have pointed to our own government and called it a "Domestic Terrorist Organization" with blood on its hands.
I don't disagree with Senator Graham that acts that endanger lives should be prosecutable. But where was Senator Graham when the Vice President of the United States' outed Valerie Plame in retaliation for her husband's opposition to the Iraq war?
Certainly that kind of prosecution should include politicians who are willing to violate the Constitution they swore to uphold by imprisoning and/or torturing people without proof of criminal action should be open to prosecution - not to mention those who manufacture evidence in order to take the nation into war.
Although George W. Bush and Dick Cheney, are undoubtedly the first people who came to mind when you read that sentence, it should also include our current president's continued holding of untried prisoners. It's too late to prosecute Teddy Roosevelt for his ouster of King Kamehameha to give an American corporation control of Hawaiian fruit production, or other administrations for insurgencies in South and Central American nations right up to last year in Honduras, or LBJ's Gulf of Tonkin incident, but all of them were also criminal. (For a complete discussion see: "Overthrow: America's Century of Regime Change from Hawaii to Iraq" by Stephen Kinzer. Henry Holt and Company, New York. 2006.)
But anyone with even a minimal level of awareness knows that our country has used boogey-man enemies to stir up support for war after war. Julian Assange's WikiLeaks recent publication of classified documents is a pretty minor offense in comparison and clearly demonstrates that this kind of hypocrisy is active at all levels of our government.
Apparently Pfc Bradley Manning actually downloaded the Iraq info and gave it to WikiLeaks. Maybe he even conceived the idea himself, but his fate will still be little more than an echo of another of our favorite diversions - prosecuting someone at the bottom of the ladder so those at the top can go on pulling their two-faced and often deadly shenanigans. In truth, he and Wikileaks are much more whistleblowers than spies.
The fact is that the number, if any, of lives endangered by these leaks doesn't come close to the number wasted by our invasions and manipulations in other countries. By that measure this young man's transgression is a drop in a sea of official sins that our courts, Congress and press will continue to support by ignoring them.