London. 1000 days in prison without trial. Free Bradley Manning.
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What do Manning and Snowden have in common?
I asked that question and came up nothing at first. Manning gave specific information on the content of U.S. intelligence. Edward Snowden exposed the structure and targets of a massive spying operation without exposing specific content. However, there is a common element to both cases - aiding the enemy. And, who are the enemies? The enemies are we the people, the citizens of the United States.
Even though some foreign enemies paid close attention to the Manning releases, no doubt. Much of the information released was already available. On Tuesday, the military court trying Manning ruled that there wasn't a case made to convict Manning "aiding the enemy."
first attempt to go public was the New York Times, "the most popular
newspaper," in his words. Manning said that he "called the public
editor number on the New York Times website," left a message, and "never
received a reply." Bradley Manning, Salon, March 1, 2013
The Times had no idea who Manning was. Maybe there were just too many calls to return. It doesn't matter. Manning started with "the most popular newspaper." That speaks to his intent.
He ended up sending the material to the Wikileaks anonymous portal and the rest is history. I attended and reported on the Wikileaks press conference at the National Press Club in Washington DC where the video tape Manning provided was previewed. It was a major event and showed just how ugly the war was.
Snowden's whistle blowing was also aimed at the public. He released the information to the Guardian, one of Great Britain's leading newspapers. The release focused on the PRISM program structure and participants. There was no actual content released. Snowden did release the targets of National Security Agency (NSA) spying - every citizen in the United States. He also let loose information that showed the U.S. was engaged in spying on its allies.
Since our allies are partners in the NSA spying programs, the fact we spied on them should have been no big surprise. The citizens of the United States, however, were not aware of the vast array of information collected concerning their communication patterns.
Snowden, like Manning, had a main target for their whistleblowing -- the citizens of the United States.
We are the enemy Manning and Snowden aided.
We are the people with the absolute right to know what our government is doing in our name and what it is doing to us.
We are the people the leaders who caused and supported the Iraq invasion and Afghanistan quagmire have to fear.
The Iraq invasion was the most disastrous foreign policy decision in our history. The deaths, destruction and cost are devastating. Over $3.0 trillion of our national debt is directly due to the Iraq invasion. Every domestic policy short of funds is short because of this invasion.
We are the people the leaders who authorized PRISM should fear. These programs were never announced, debated, or approved. They were created in secret for God knows what reason. The leaders and politicians who let this happen created the enabling acts for a national security state that can intrude in any life for any reason in secret and without accountability.
Bradley Manning and Edward Snowden released information that forms the foundation for a realistic, fact based critique of the ruling class.