First there was Shamai Leibowitz receiving the longest jail sentence in U.S. history for a whistleblower earlier this year, and now there is the case of Australian-born investigative journalist Julian Assange actively being sought by the U.S. Government -- and the arrested, but not yet charged, 22 year-old Pfc. Bradley Manning.
Manning should be a hero for exposing war crimes. However, he is being treated as a dangerous criminal and held indefinitely in Iraq. According to an Internet chat with a convicted felon who subsequently betrayed him, Manning explained why he allegedly gave whistleblower site WikiLeaks two massacre videos (the first released, the second coming very soon) and reportedly 260,000 diplomatic cables:
"I want people to see the truth… regardless of who they are, because without information, you cannot make informed decisions as a public."
This is evolving into a fascinating case of freedom of the press, and the right of the people to information in a democracy. Sadly, the Obama administration wants to criminalize this activity and WikiLeaks' editor-in-chief is now in hiding.
Amy Goodman and Juan Gonzales of Democracy Now reported on this matter:
Journalist and attorney, Glenn Greenwald also wrote an expose on this whole matter, digging into it a bit deeper. He also questions the motivations and tactics of the criminal hacker Adrian Lamo (who also reportedly has some mental issues) who turned Bradley over to Federal authorities and Wired magazine, which did not publish the entire Internet chat logs, only portions of them. Here's Greenwald's article: The strange and consequential case of Bradley Manning, Adrian Lamo and WikiLeaks
My now unused degree in journalism is coming in handy as I follow this case, and observe the various ethical issues involved. I believe the WikiLeaks/Assange/Manning case has a lot of legal and societal implications, and will be remembered in a similar vein to the way Daniel Ellsberg and the Pentagon Papers are today.
Personally, I believe the people of the U.S. and the entire world need to know of these war crimes. The second video, to be released very soon, is of a massacre in Afghanistan is believed to show the brutal slaughtering of approximately 140 humans, many of whom are children. So, keep watching WikiLeaks...