The Moving Finger Writes; and, Having Writ, Moves On . . .

Bradley Manning

First I see this:

So I follow the link to this:

Commentary: Media throw Bradley Manning to the wolves


And looming above those breathtaking role reversals is the media’s disgraceful abandonment of the boldest news source of his generation, Pvt. Bradley Manning, a soldier who in 2010 defied secrecy restrictions to feed the most influential media in the world with leaks they gratefully published, which exposed corruption and duplicity, identified torturers, energized the Arab spring, and embarrassed officialdom worldwide.

The ferocity of the Obama administration’s attack on Manning and on WikiLeaks, the online anti-secrecy organization that brokered his leaks to the media, has been withering. Manning spent the better part of a year in solitary confinement, undergoing maltreatment plainly intended to get him to finger WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange as not just a conduit, but a co-conspirator.

Manning, now 25, is before a court martial in Maryland. After 1,000 days behind bars, he recently pleaded guilty to charges that could leave him there for another 20 years.

So the trial could end now, with Manning facing two decades in prison. Instead, the government is pushing ahead with a charge of “aiding the enemy,” technically punishable by death, likely to bring him life without parole.

According to Yochai Benkler, a Harvard law professor who’s assisting his defense, this is the first time in 150 years that anybody has been charged with aiding the enemy for leaking information to the press for general publication. Benkler says that makes secrecy breaches — an indispensable routine of journalism in the national security realm — a capital offense, if they annoy the wrong people.

The government hasn’t said what harm, if any, Manning’s leaks did to this country. The military court has indicated it doesn’t care.

Manning’s own explanation of what motivated him to leak the thousands of dispatches and cables is what you’d expect from an idealistic, thinly educated young man, at the time barely into his 20s:

“The more I read, the more I was fascinated with the way that we dealt with other nations and organizations. I also began to think the documented backdoor deals and seemingly criminal activity that didn’t seem characteristic of the de facto leader of the free world . . . The more I read the cables, the more I came to the conclusion that this was the type of information that should become public.”

The world’s most powerful news media agreed, and turned Manning’s leaks into riveting stories. (Just this month The Guardian and the BBC broke a sensational 15-month story about sectarian death squads in Iraq; it was prompted by reports he provided in which shocked U.S. soldiers described seeing Iraqi detainees who’d been tortured by their countrymen.)

But still, the media leave Manning to face his accusers in a tribunal that is barely public, and by and large the media that were his beneficiaries can’t be bothered to staff the trial that will determine his fate.

He was a great source. His information was solid. The world’s best news organizations believed it was of immense public value. So now he goes to jail, perhaps for life, and the media stand in silence?

The columnist who looks back from 40 years hence will have to squint hard to find reason to be inspired by the courage of today’s media the way we still are by the media of that long-ago classical age.

Most of you should remember Paul Harvey, the famous radio newsman of the post WWII era. His show was called “The Rest of the Story”. In this case “the rest of the story” was not kind to Bradley Manning.

When the Manning-Assange-Wikileaks story first became big news it was like a Hollywood script. Manning was a brave and noble whistle-blower who was motivated purely by patriotism and high moral principles. Julian Assange was a heroic but subversive man of mystery. Together they and Wikileaks were waging war against the corrupt establishment. Manning was allegedly both innocent and a martyr who was being tortured into falsely implicating Assange.

Since then the allegations of torture have failed to pan out and Manning has been moved to a new confinement facility with less restrictive conditions. He has confessed to most of the allegations against him so his guilt in that regard is beyond doubt.

Julian Assange is now hiding in the Ecuadorian embassy in London as he desperately seeks to avoid facing allegations of rape in Sweden. Meanwhile Wikileaks has been reduced to a fundraising operation for Assange, as if it were ever much more than that.

Just as with Trayvon Martin, when the cold hard facts emerged they did not fit the original narrative and the media lost interest.

But bless their hearts for trying.

About Myiq2xu - BA, JD, FJB

I was born and raised in a different country - America. I don't know what this place is.
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57 Responses to The Moving Finger Writes; and, Having Writ, Moves On . . .

  1. myiq2xu says:

    I caught a lot of crap for my lack of sympathy for Manning.

    I have been vindicated. The Klown is always right.

  2. votermom says:

    OT Obama Compares Israeli-Palestinian Conflict to Arguments Between U.S & Canada 🙄

  3. votermom says:

    Melissa is an astute blogger, so this is worth reading

  4. HELENK says:

    since when do cabinet members have the right to refuse to answer questions from congress.

    backtrack and his cabinet seem to have nothing but contempt for congress.

  5. DeniseVB says:

    Speak about being thrown to the wolves: Fallon in, Leno out ?

    Remember what happened to Conan ? Leno still gets the highest late night television ratings for ratings challenged NBC, I can only assume King Obama is not pleased with this jester’s humor?

    If I’m up at that hour, I watch Frasier re-reruns, no big whoop.

  6. HELENK says:

    rich Saudi family being looked at in shooting of Colorado prison official

  7. HELENK says:

    I love Iowa Hawk

    David Burge ‏@iowahawkblog 19h

    Idea: sneak a budget into the Oval Office and tell him he need to sign “this NCAA bracket.”

  8. HELENK says:

    does anyone here watch the amazing race? i have never watched the show. apparently they went to North Korea and used an anti-American monument and a communist rallying song in the show. You know when Bob Bechel goes off on something it must be pretty bad.. He is not my favorite person because of his constant defense of backtrack, but I do not doubt that he is pro America

    • myiq2xu says:

      But this will still come as a shock to long-term Beyoncé fans. It seems that overnight we’ve been transformed from Beyoncé’s beloved single ladies, independent women and survivors, into her bitches. From Beyoncé singing, “all the women, independent, throw your hands up at me” to “bow down bitches” a change is underway, and it leaves a bitter taste in the mouth.

      I still say Taylor Swift won fair and square. Kanye is a dumbass.

      • Wait, didn’t Mr. Carter issue a statement upon the birth of their blue baby–excuse me, baby Blue–that “bitches” was now verboten since he “got it” with having a daughter?

      • Constance says:

        I so prefer Taylor Swift. Beyonce’s “dancing” always looked so awkward, like someone trying to navigate a series of sexualized poses or something. I just can’t watch. As far as the “single ladies” dance goes, I have seen it performed by a bunch of queens at the pride parade and by a bunch of male life guards. It is really creepy how men love it. But creepy in a hypnotic sort of way. For me women who prance around in their underwear to be empowerfulated are jokes. I like Taylor Swift who refuses to partake in the underwear empowerment schlock. Bow down bitches is just not appealing. But beyonce has never been seeking female fans.

  9. myiq2xu says:

    Stolen from AofS:

    It’s 2 years old but still true.

  10. myiq2xu says:


    I don’t know how I lived without DVR – It’s the greatestest thing since powered car windows.

    I can search for my favorite programs and record them ALL! Then, when I am wide awake in the wee small hours of the night I can watch them! WITHOUT COMMERCIALS!!!!!

  11. DeniseVB says:

    Oh the stupid ! It burns…..Obama’s gift tree violated Israel’s agricultural plant quarantine requirements. They were going to pull it up, guess they’re not now ? Still, it’s just another symptom of our sloppy administration…..when you travel, don’t you usually check these things out? I know when we moved to California we had to give our pet gerbils away because they were banned in the 70’s ! Also had to give away our houseplants (movers will pack them for a door-to-door move and a bottle of scotch 😀 )

  12. foxyladi14 says:

    This just the pits.Americans can no longer tour OUR house in DC
    But Barack took five hundred million dollars to Palestine 👿

    • myiq2xu says:

      I don’t object to us giving aid to other countries and groups. It can be cheaper than a war.

      But that money should have some serious strings attached.

  13. HELENK says:

    Bill submitted to Cypriot parliament giving finance minister or central bank governor right to impose capital controls on banks – @Reuters

    do not think too many people will be depositing their money in a Cypriot bank

  14. HELENK says:

    got this from ace of spades

    • myiq2xu says:

      “Adam Lanza commits a crime, and I’m here to gr0vel and plead for my rights and explain to you that my firearms are kept safely?” he asked rhetorically. “I keep hearing the word “solution”… you’re not going to find a solution, it doesn’t exist. You can’t find a broad brush solution to evil.”

      “You’ll get a better handle on it maybe in a dictatorship where they just go in and take all your guns and lock-down, and they’ve got big brother watching all over you everywhere, they’ve got cameras on every corner, cameras in every neighborhood,” the Democrat continued.

      “Well, we have some of that going on right now,” Steed interrupted.

      Mikutel explained that Connecticut doesn’t want to go down that route and so it makes lawmakers’ job more “difficult.”

      “The reason that your jobs are becoming so difficult is because you’re coloring outside the lines of constitutional parameters,” Steed shot back. “That’s the bottom line. You are trying to marriage up public safety with constitutional rights. The Constitution did not guarantee public safety, it guaranteed liberty. And sometimes what comes with liberty is tragedy, unfortunately.”

      Freedom is messy and unpleasant sometimes.

      • Erin says:

        Just to bring in the other point of view, in the immortal words of Justice Robert H. Jackson – the consitution is not a suicide pact.

        There are limits to everything.

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