Archives for posts with tag: Wiki leaks

First off: this writer considers both men (if tried and convicted, of course) to be stinking scum buckets who violated the terms of their employment and many other laws as well. Having said that, Manning seems a more genuine, if misguided, character than Snowden. Here’s why:

Number A: Bradley Manning stole a load of sensitive and secret documents and handed them off to others to publish. After committing said theft, he stayed on the job until the cops came to arrest him. He has since followed the legal process and from all reports considers himself to be a whistleblower who acted with patriotic intent. And if he has to go to prison, he’ll go to prison, because he believes in what he did and why he did it.

Letter 2: Edward Snowden stole a load of sensitive and secret documents and ran away after working with a publicist to make this as big a deal as possible. He went to a territory controlled by a nation with a much more intrusive domestic security apparat than America’s to tell us all how bad America is. He then fled to another nation with a hideously intrusive domestic security apparat on his way to another such country. While doing so, he has carefully leaked selected material at such times as to cause damage to his birth country. He has been inconsistent in his story and is going to great lengths to avoid stating under oath what he did and why. Much about the man is shady, to say the least.

Your friendly neighborhood blogger doesn’t find either of them to be particurlarly admirable, but Manning at least acts like a man who believes in his cause.

Snowden just acts like a crook.

Mr. Blunt and Cranky

Much has been said about Bradley Manning, the “soldier” who downloaded and passed along many thousands of U.S. government documents a while back. Some view him as a heroic fighter for the free information movement, some view him as a treasonous little whelp. This blogger views him as someone who aided and abetted multiple human rights crimes and violations. Yes, the earnest-looking young man has blood on his hands, because of the damage caused by the indiscriminate revelations he uncaringly unleashed.

One example: journalists and their sources who either were imprisoned or had to flee due to their being outed by Manning’s activities. Another: Chinese government crackdowns on those named in the unredacted cables. And one more: the Taliban used information from the Manning files to harass and kill their opponents.

Had Manning released only information on actual US war crimes, he’d be a heroic whistleblower. Had he at least redacted information that could have protected people, he’d have some moral basis for his actions. But he chose to dump a load of data onto the Web without regard to who might be injured or killed as a result of his actions.

You know who else did the same thing? Dick Cheney, Karl Rove and Scooter Libby, when they outed a CIA agent and destroyed the lives of anyone in Iran who was working with her. Funny how so many of Manning’s admirers were also detractors of this troika.

Revealing the identities or identifying information of people who might suffer as a result of your revelations makes you at least partially culpable for what happens to them. Rot in jail, Mr. Manning, and may your days and nights be filled with the anguish of those you harmed.

Mr. Blunt and Cranky