Democracy rests on citizens getting real facts and applying rational analysis. The ability of governments, including the U.S. government, to suppress facts and thus manage perceptions represents the opposite, a power over the people that WikiLeaks’ Julian Assange threatened, says Norman Solomon.
In an era when powerful institutions demonize decent people – and the mainstream media joins in, piling on the abuse – legal proceedings have become another Kafka-esque weapon of coercion. Few cases are more troubling than the persecution of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, as John Pilger describes.
From the Archive: President Obama’s diplomatic breakthrough with Iran on its nuclear program still faces strong resistance, but the historic opening might have been disrupted if not for the leaks of Pvt. Bradley (Chelsea) Manning, who got a 35-year prison sentence as “thanks,” as Robert Parry reported last summer.
Exclusive: President Obama says he welcomes the debate on post-9/11 surveillance of Americans and the world, but that debate was only made meaningful by the disclosures of NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden, who was then indicted and sought asylum in Russia, where he just met with some ex-U.S. intelligence officials, including Ray McGovern.
From the Archive: A vengeful U.S. military has sentenced Pvt. Bradley Manning to 35 years in prison for disclosing unpleasant truths about the Afghan and Iraq wars and other government deceits. Manning’s bravery inspired ex-CIA analyst Ray McGovern in 2010 to reflect on an earlier dilemma between secrecy and truth.
Facing decades in prison, Pvt. Bradley Manning explained that patriotism drove his decision to reveal crimes hidden in classified documents. Now, it’s up to President Obama to decide if he will pardon Manning or continue a strategy of making his punishment an example to others, as Norman Solomon notes in this open letter.
The emergence of Bradley Manning, Julian Assange and now Edward Snowden represents just the tip of the iceberg of a popular resistance that is challenging the U.S. government’s excesses in secrecy and surveillance, a movement that Iceland MP Birgitta Jonsdottir discusses with Dennis J Bernstein.
Exclusive: The trial of Pvt. Bradley Manning for leaking classified documents is a test of values in the American Republic. The case pits a democracy’s need for knowledge against the government’s insistence on secrecy, a moral balancing act assessed by religious ethicist Daniel C. Maguire.