[News] Charging Wikileaks Source: The Nail in the Coffin of Whistblowers

Anti-Imperialist News news at freedomarchives.org
Wed Jul 7 10:44:29 EDT 2010

Original Content at 

July 7, 2010

Charging Wikileaks Source: The Nail in the Coffin of Whistblowers

By Jesselyn Radack

Even the 
Post gets it. In its article on the criminal charges brought against 
Army intelligence analyst Pfc. Bradley Manning, the sub-headline to 
the article reads:


The opening paragraph states that the military charging Bradley Manning

is likely to further deter would-be whistleblowers.

I don't care if it's Bush or Obama at the helm. The biggest crimes of 
our generation--torture, warrantless wiretapping, and extraordinary 
rendition--would not have come to light but for the unauthorized 
disclosure of classified information. For the hand-wringing "but we 
can't willy-nilly reveal classified information" crowd, do you think 
Abu Ghraib wasn't classified?
We are told (though there has been not a shred of evidence other than 
the government saying this, and even the charges do not reflect this 
number) that Manning gave some 250,000 classified State Department 
cables to Wikileaks.org. All we really KNOW is that the website 
published a horrific video of an American helicopter massacring 
unarmed Iraqi civilians, including children, and the shooters 
cheering on each other as if it were a video game.

And the former senior National Security Agency (NSA) official Thomas 
Drake? The party line is that he "leaked" classified material to a 
newspaper. If you read the indictment, he has really been indicted 
under the Espionage Act, a 93-year-old law meant to catch spies, for 
allegedly "retaining" classified information. What the government is 
really mad about is that an article appeared in the Baltimore Sun 
describing how and why the NSA opted for an billion-dollar, failed 
invasive surveillance program called "Trailblazer" over one that 
could more adequately collect intelligence information without 
violating people's privacy.

Short of killing someone (think Karen Silkwood, and more recently, of 
the "worldwide manhunt" for Wikileaks founder Julian Assange launched 
by the Pentagon), this is the worst, and increasingly popular, form 
of retaliation that can be taken against a whistleblower: criminal 
prosecution for revealing the truth--which in both the Manning and 
Drake cases did no harm to national security, but instead committed 
the far worse "crime" of embarrassing the government. In fact, both 
these men were trying to expose conduct they thought, and that was, illegal.

I urge you to "like" the 
Tom Drake page on Facebook and to check out the 
<http://www.bradleymanning.org/>Help Bradley Manning website.

The essence of Government is power; and power, lodged as it must be 
in human hands, will ever be liable to abuse.
--James Madison

reprinted from <http://jesselyn-radack.dailykos.com/>Dailykos.com 
with author <http://jesselyn-radack.dailykos.com/>permission

Author's Website: http://www.patriotictruthteller.net

Author's Bio: My name is 
<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jesselyn_Radack>Jesselyn Radack and I 
am the former Justice Department ethics attorney and whistleblower in 
the case of "American Taliban" John Walker Lindh. In today's issue of 
The National Law Journal (Feb. 19, 2007), I have an Op-Ed entitled 
"Targeting Lawyers" on what it really looks like when the government 
tries to control attorneys acting on behalf of terrorism suspects 
and, if it cannot control them, punish them. I speak from personal 
experience in being blacklisted by this Administration.

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