One of the things that almost has never come out of the generally appalling media coverage of Julian and Wikileaks, is the REASON for Wikileaks.
It had a moral base. It was about Justice. He wrote it on the home page of the first Wikileaks. It wasn’t necessarily finally defined, but to use that expression… he nailed his colours and the colours of Wikileaks to the mast.
This was going to be about Justice. It was about seeking Justice through letting people KNOW what is going on.
Governments and corporations are never happy with whistleblowers. This is due to the fact that whistleblowers tend to expose corruption to the public in which they are harming. This is why they are so eager to use programs, such as Raytheon’s SureView, to detect and catch a whistleblower before they can inform the public.
“SureView is designed to capture the next Bradley Manning,” Szedelo said of the Army private who uploaded hundreds of thousands of classified documents from the military’s secret Internet protocol router network (SIPRnet) onto a remote server affiliated with WikiLeaks.
With his secret clearance, Manning had access not only to the raw intelligence reports in Iraq, but also to aircraft videos, analysis from the field in Afghanistan, and candid diplomatic cables from U.S. embassies all over the world.
“Had SureView been on Bradley Manning’s machine, no one would know who Bradley Manning is today,” Szedelo said in an interview.
Yes, if SureView had been in place, we’d have never known of the numerous atrocities that have been committed. That’s what everyone is really worried about.
SureView is a type of auditing software that specializes in “behavior-based internal monitoring.” It is designed to identify and catch what is known in the counterintelligence trade as the “insider threat,” a trusted user who is willing to steal the secrets he or she is obliged to protect.
Trevor Timm, an activist for the Electronic Frontier Foundation who closely watches the legal issues raised by WikiLeaks, said: “The government has every right to secure their own networks, but if they want to really stop leaks, they need to stop classifying so much information that is not really secret.” Timm added: “The government classified a staggering 77 million documents last year, a 40 percent increase on the year before. And a recent report to Congress showed 4.2 million people have classified security clearances. That’s more than the city of Los Angeles. As long as the government won’t address this underlying problem, people will always find ways to leak, no matter the security.”
The problem is there are several ways around SureView. A person could memorize what they’ve seen and then tell someone else or write it down later. A person could take a camera and take pictures of the computer screen. A person could take a tape recorder or their cell phone and talk into it as they are reading what they see on the screen. There are always ways around these technologies, but we’re allowed to know about them so that it appears the government is doing something rather than nothing.
According to Merriam-Webster, a hero is one who shows great courage. Courage is related to heroism because courage is the mental or moral strength to venture, persevere, and withstand danger, fear, or difficulty. Courage is having the will to act upon a wrong, knowing that there could be grave consequences to your person and you could walk away at any time, yet you do it anyway.
As Americans, we are too quick to give people the label of hero when they really aren’t. It’s a form of idol worship and a way to feel better about ourselves. Yet, when we have a genuine hero come along, we tend to vilify them instead of praise them for the courage and fortitude it took to do the right thing. Bradley Manning is, in my opinion, a true hero. He, for sure, is a flawed hero, but what he did, he did at great cost to his own liberty and, as we are now witnessing, his own sanity.
What is happening to Bradley Manning is a reflection of what we, as Americans, have become. There is no doubt that, if guilty of the charges against him, Manning broke the law and there should be consequences, but the fact that politicians, the military, and ordinary Americans are okay with his detention and torture proves that far too many of us enjoy the government being a monster to someone who may have done something wrong rather than investigating the truth.
Although it appears that Manning could be labeled a traitor for releasing state secrets, I would argue that he is a courageous hero because, in releasing the state’s secrets, he has exposed the grave dangers and harm that our leaders have been placing the United States in for many years. How could any human who has access to such information not reveal it to the world?
Right now, it does not matter if Manning is guilty or not. His treatment was, is, and continues to be inhumane. Manning is no traitor. He is a patriot. Look it up. He is far more a patriot than the GOP and teabaggers.
The true facts are that the Wikileaks cables are an embarrassment for the United States government and someone has to be made an example of. It doesn’t matter that their civil rights and human rights are being violated as long as the government portrays him as a dangerous monster. There is no absolute proof of Manning’s guilt yet. There is no proof anyone has been harmed by the release of the cables. What has happened is that the cables show the US government is guilty of many atrocities and has been very good at covering it up, until now.
Others are starting to speak out and condemn the treatment of Bradley Manning. Manning’s father has stepped forward with an interview on PBS, who have also done some great coverage of the events that are unfolding.
His clothing is being taken away from him, and he’s being humiliated by having to stand at attention in front of people, male or female, who are fully clothed. This is someone who has not gone to trial or been convicted of anything. It’s shocking enough that I would come out of our silence as a family and say, now then, you have crossed the line. This is wrong.
If you are angry about the treatment of Bradley Manning, don’t just get irate, raise your fists, and make a comment online. Write your senators and congressmen/women. Let your voice be heard. Let America see a true hero and help save Bradley Manning from more torture before he finally loses his sanity.
Julian Assange argues that while there are rules for soldiers and members of the State Department on disclosing classified information, his actions are protected by the First Amendment.
Extra: Assange’s Defense & Daniel Ellsberg
Will the newspapers that published documents obtained by WikiLeaks now help cover Julian Assange’s legal fees? Based on the experience of Daniel Ellsberg, who leaked secret Pentagon papers to the press in 1971, Assange doesn’t think so.
Extra: Julian Assange Stays on the Move
Before being placed under house arrest in Great Britain, Julian Assange lived what could be described a nomadic lifestyle. He explains to Steve Kroft why he was always on the move.