Over the course of my visits to see Bradley in Quantico, it’s become increasingly clear that the severe, inhumane conditions of his detention are wearing on Manning. The extraordinary restrictions of Manning’s basic rights to sleep, exercise, and communicate under the Prevention of Injury order are unnecessary and should be lifted immediately.
In a letter dated Monday, Psychologists for Social Responsibility (PsySR) argued that PFC Bradley Manning, who has been held in solitary confinement at the Marine Corps brig in Quantico for the past five months, may be the victim of political retribution. The group also suggested that the psychological damage Manning may be suffering from spending 23 hours a day alone may ruin his bid for a fair trial.
What WikiLeaks does, is inhabit the cracks in our democracy and their revelations hold up a mirror to those in authority and shows us all their true selves, speaking truth to power. For those, such as Rennie’s dining companion, who inhabit the world of the elite, courtesy of the taxpayer, we can see just how arrogant and out of date they are. Apart from the obvious, that if these guys were so good, we wouldn’t be in the mess we are in.
—SADDAM WISHED TO CONVEY AN IMPORTANT MESSAGE TO
PRESIDENT BUSH: IRAQ WANTS FRIENDSHIP, BUT DOES
THE USG? IRAQ SUFFERED 100,000’S OF CASUALTIES
AND IS NOW SO POOR THAT WAR ORPHAN PENSIONS WILL
SOON BE CUT; YET RICH KUWAIT WILL NOT EVEN ACCEPT
OPEC DISCIPLINE. IRAQ IS SICK OF WAR, BUT KUWAIT
HAS IGNORED DIPLOMACY. USG MANEUVERS WITH THE UAE
WILL ENCOURAGE THE UAE AND KUWAIT TO IGNORE
CONVENTIONAL DIPLOMACY. IF IRAQ IS PUBLICLY
HUMILIATED BY THE USG, IT WILL HAVE NO CHOICE
BUT TO “RESPOND,” HOWEVER ILLOGICAL AND SELF
DESTRUCTIVE THAT WOULD PROVE.
The U.S. is betraying one of its founding myths: freedom of information. And they are doing so now, because for the first time since the end of the cold war, they are threatened with losing worldwide control of information.
Americans like to believe in American exceptionalism, that the United States is a force for good around the world, not just another country pursuing its interests via geopolitical horse-trading. This is part of why there is such a visceral public backlash against WikiLeaks — because it lays bare U.S. diplomacy in all its blunt, unromantic reality.
The 1917 Act has a notorious history. It originally served to squelch opposition to World War I. It criminalized criticism of the war effort, and sent hundreds of dissenters to jail just for voicing their opinions. It transformed dissent into treason.
And while it is clearly not run by journalists — and to a great extent relies on journalists at the New York Times, The Guardian and other news outlets to do the heavy lifting in terms of analysis of the documents it holds and distributes — I think an argument can be made that WikiLeaks is at least an instrument of journalism. In other words, it is a part of the larger ecosystem of news media that has been developing with the advent of blogs, wikis, Twitter and all the other publishing tools we have now, which Twitter founder Ev Williams I think correctly argued are important ways of getting us closer to the truth.
WikiLeaks should be treated by our government as a terrorist organization, their goal from the start has been to damage the U.S standing in the world as the super power. For average Americans, lives are not yet directly impacted by the leaks, but the goal of the sites founder Julian Assange is to strip us of our credibility, and put us on the road to becoming a less powerful nation. Releasing classified documents is infuriating enough, but to have it masterminded by someone in another country screams espionage, and Assange should be captured, punished, and made an example of. Lives have been put in danger, and American diplomats, as well as our allies, have been compromised.
Like many of the cables made public in recent weeks, those describing the drug war do not offer large disclosures. Rather, it is the details that add up to a clearer picture of the corrupting influence of big traffickers, the tricky game of figuring out which foreign officials are actually controlled by drug lords, and the story of how an entrepreneurial agency operating in the shadows of the F.B.I. has become something more than a drug agency. The D.E.A. now has 87 offices in 63 countries and close partnerships with governments that keep the Central Intelligence Agency at arm’s length.