As I wrote in a post yesterday, Army whistleblower Chelsea Manning, formerly known as Bradley Manning, has been jailed for refusing to testify in a secret grand jury hearing on Wikileaks.
In 2010 while still in the Army, Manning downloaded thousands of documents, some “classified,” as well as videos, to WikiLeaks in order to inform the American people of the war crimes being committed by the U.S. military against foreigners, as well as corruption by U.S. and other Western diplomats. Manning was thrown into solitary confinement for 3 years pre-trial (pre-kangaroo trial, that is.) The military over-classifies documents to protect themselves from embarrassing mistakes being made public. The Manning WikiLeaks leaks caused no harm to any Americans or U.S. soldiers, and at worst the disclosures embarrassed the U.S. government. Here are the Iraq War logs, the Afghanistan War logs, the diplomatic cable leaks. And of course, the video Collateral Murder, the video of U.S. military shooting at innocents.
But the same conservatives and talk radio ditto-heads who love WikiLeaks for its exposing the Hillary Clinton campaign corruption, the corrupt media, the Clinton Foundation, and the corrupt FBI and DOJ in its illegally spying on the Trump campaign, those same conservatives call Bradley Manning, now known as Chelsea Manning, a “traitor” for leaking the unjustifiably classified material to WikiLeaks. Why do the conservatives think that way? Because they are gullible and brainwashed sheeple who believe everything the national security state and the military tell them, without question. Those who expose the national security state and the military’s crimes are “traitors” (unless the people being exposed are Democrats).
I wanted to repost two posts from 2013 to give more insight on those issues, regarding the differences between Bradley Chelsea Manning’s leaks and Edward Snowden’s leaks. So here are those two posts:
October 15, 2013
Arthur Silber has a new post, this time regarding Glenn Greenwald’s alleged hypocrisy in his publishing some of the Edward Snowden-leaked documents but withholding others. Silber talks about the power that Greenwald has in his picking and choosing which documents to publish. While Greenwald criticizes the State for its secrecy, Greenwald then goes on to scoff at those who criticize him for not releasing all the documents. We should trust Greenwald’s judgment here, in the same way we should trust the State’s telling us what it wants us to know and not telling us what it doesn’t want us to know.
Silber has previously addressed this Greenwald-Snowden issue in June, in which Silber compared these newer leaks to the WikiLeaks leaks. Then, Silber wrote,
…WikiLeaks provided masses of “raw data”: the original documents themselves, whether they be battle reports, inter- or intra-agency communications, or documents of many other kinds, sometimes with redactions, often complete. And WikiLeaks offered them with no filters whatsoever: no one was going to hold our hand as we read the documents, telling us what was “important” and what wasn’t, and what its significance was, or whether it was significant at all. If we wished to understand the documents and what they revealed, all of us had to do the work ourselves.
What we discovered was that many people didn’t want to do the work. More than that, they resented the fact that such responsibility was demanded of them.
But with the Snowden-leaked documents, journalists specially appointed by Edward Snowden have the privilege of sifting through all the material and picking and choosing what the public should be told and what they shouldn’t be told, what may “harm” some people and what may not, in addition to the many Guardian attorneys who had access to the material. And, as Silber wrote in another essay last June, that is in addition to the many people — government employed and private contractors — who have been given clearances to access so-called classified or “top secret” info. All the more reason to agree with Silber that this “secrecy” stuff is a bunch of BS.
As Silber wrote,
And what “harms” specifically? And to whom — specifically? Harm to those who work for the Death State, perhaps in the intelligence and national security community? Are we concerned about harming them? I surely hope not. Since the Death State claims the right to murder any one of us it chooses, whenever it wants, for any reason it invents, it seems to me that “the public” are the ones who ought to be concerned about being “harmed.” Is it the great unwashed public that these journalists are worried about? Then let them say so. But how would that work? We might be endangered because some of the U.S.’s national security “secrets” might be exposed? The United States is the most powerful nation that has ever existed in the entire history of the human race, with a military capability that could obliterate all of life on the planet many times over. No nation would dream of mounting a serious attack on the U.S. for precisely that reason (and when I say “no nation,” I absolutely include Iran, for all the hysterics who might see this). Moreover, isolated terrorist attacks, no matter how horrifying they may be in themselves, fall far short of an “existential threat” to the U.S., no matter the vast amount of propaganda designed to convince us otherwise. No nation would dare mount a serious attack on the U.S. precisely because they know how powerful the U.S. is — because it is not secret.
The entire edifice of “secrecy,” especially with regard to national security, is a vicious lie from start to finish. Put it all out there. If full disclosure endangers those who work for the Death State, the problem — and the responsibility — is with those who choose to directly advance the Death State’s goals. It is decidedly not with the leaker, or with the journalists.
Whether it’s for “national security” purposes or not, or to protect certain employees of the national security state, it really doesn’t matter. The bottom line, for me, as far as who is “harmed” by revealing the State’s “secrets,” is this: If you are employed by the national security state and you fear for your life because of Snowden’s or others’ leaks, then don’t work for the national security state. You are at your own risk. Working for the national security state is “risky business.”
Given that the State and its entire national security apparatus is illegitimate (contrary to what many of the indoctrinated and propagandized believe), especially since the end of the Cold War, then all its material, public domain, “classified,” “top secret,” etc., should be a matter of public record. And by the way, the reason the military intentionally over-classifies material is to discourage whistleblowers like Snowden and Manning from revealing the war crimes and other acts of criminality by this so-called “national security” bureaucracy.
What the State wants to be secret is basically its own reckless behavior and its own criminality. That is what it wants to continue to be hidden from the people over whom they rule, the people who employ them and whose coercively-extracted wealth funds the goons’ extravagant paychecks, benefits and pension plans.
So the U.S. government’s national security enterprise and empire overseas has done nothing but provoke foreigners with its wars of aggression and its occupations and destruction. Thus nothing that Snowden or Manning have released and publicized could possibly have compromised Americans’ security nearly as much as the blowback of those criminal actions of the U.S. government, in addition to the thoroughly unconstitutional, immoral and disgusting surveillance state which criminally pries into people’s private lives and gets away with it with impunity.
So, getting back to the first linked post by Arthur Silber from yesterday, Silber wrote regarding Greenwald:
One of the lessons we can draw is the uniformity of the intellectual corruptions that occur when anyone is placed in a position of power — and when he seeks to protect that power, and when he enjoys its exercise. We should note that these kinds of responses to serious questioning are those of someone who can be described as an authoritarian bully (among other terms). As I said, the ironies are numerous, and awful.
And there can be no doubt that Greenwald is enjoying his power over the dissemination of the Snowden documents, and that he keenly appreciates the many values that power confers on him. Not least of those values are the marketing advantages that he seeks to exploit.
And, the 2nd post:
October 24, 2013
Arthur Silber has another post regarding Glenn Greenwald’s control and timing of which Snowden-released documents to reveal and when to reveal them. Silber has stated that if there are documents which reveal the State’s various crimes, they should all be disclosed to us, and immediately. Check out my recent post on Silber’s several posts on Snowden and Greenwald.
And no, there are no “national security” interests to protect by continuing to withhold, censor or redact documents, despite what the State and its flunky pundits try to assert. If you honestly want to protect our national security, then tell our stupid bureaucrats to stop initiating wars of aggression and occupations and provoking foreigners. Duh. These national security bureaucrats are like the dog chasing its tail, and they’re doing it intentionally to continue to “create monsters to destroy” to justify their parasitic bureaucracies.
In Silber’s latest post, he points out how Establishment news writer Richard Cohen of the Washington Post now praises Edward Snowden as “careful” by releasing the NSA information to “responsible” news organizations such as the Guardian and the New York Times, as opposed to “tossing it up in the air” as WikiLeaks had supposedly done. (See Arthur Silber’s post comparing Snowden-Greenwald to WikiLeaks.)
Greenwald’s slowly and “carefully” releasing the redacted documents is being approved by the Ruling class, which also consists of the Rulers’ gatekeepers including Richard Cohen. And now we know whom the “Guardian” is guarding.
As Silber noted, and as I have seen on various blogs now, such as the comments on this post on EPJ, some people seem to have a problem with criticizing Greenwald for his “control” over document releases. “At least he’s informing us as to what the NSA has been up to,” etc., so we shouldn’t criticize him. Well. I happen to believe in calling out those who on the surface are on our side, but who nevertheless give clear signs that, ultimately, the State and the Rulers (and their surveillance agenda) matter most.
In contrast to the “careful” and “responsible” Edward Snowden and Greenwald who do not seem to believe that the information in question belongs to the people but rather to the Rulers, Bradley Chelsea Manning had stated, correctly, that the information is in the “public domain.” And Manning also noted, “… Washington Post sat on the video… David Finkel acquired a copy while embedded out here. . . . – i want people to see the truth . . . regardless of who they are . . . because without information, you cannot make informed decisions as a public.”
The people don’t need the State’s gatekeepers to sift through material to decide for us what we can or cannot (or may or may not) see. Let it all out now and let the people sift through it all. We own it.
However, in this column just today by Judge Andrew Napolitano, the Judge also brings up the revelations of NSA criminality. The Judge asks, “Where is the outrage?”
Arthur Silber answers that:
The conclusion should be painfully obvious. The manner in which the Snowden leaks are being delivered to us represents no serious threat to the ruling class and the Establishment whatsoever. The ruling class is entirely comfortable with the leak stories. In fact, the ruling class affirmatively benefits from leaks of this kind: Americans are becoming accustomed to a startlingly comprehensive level of surveillance, and they are granting it their approval. That we are surveilled much if not most of the time is barely even “news” any longer. It’s just the way things are. Perhaps we need to make a few adjustments at the outer margins, but basically everything is hunky-dory. Add a little “transparency,” “oversight” and “accountability” and Americans will let the State surveil them 24/7. Don’t you want to be safe? Of course you do.