Bradley Manning, whistleblowers, Obama and the NSA
By Dark Politricks
With the news today that Bradley Manning has been convicted of 19 out of 21 offenses, the only good information is that he had not been convicted with the more serious charge of “aiding the enemy”. Also he wasn’t found guilty of espionage for showing the war crimes revealed in the infamous “Collateral Murder” video.
However even without the most serious charges, unless the Judge is very lenient with his sentencing, Bradley Manning is looking at a very long stretch for daring to speak to truth to the most powerful military force on the planet.
For that he must be admired. Anyone willing to give up their life, which is what Manning has basically done by pleading guilty to crimes that could see him spend the best years of his life in prison, should be praised for that sacrifice. Would you dare to do the same if you were in his position?
Yes we all knew that the US forces in Iraq were slaughtering innocent civilians.
That Xe/Blackwater employees had engaged in massacres on multiple occasions that were covered up.
Also we knew that British forces were prepared to raid Iraqi prisons to release soldiers suspected of staging false flag terror attacks, and that torture was a daily occurrence by all allied forces from UK bases to the Abu Ghraib prison.
However when WikiLeaks released the Collateral Murder video it revealed the extent of the callousness that US soldiers showed towards the Iraqi population. The pleading by a pilot for a severly injured reporter to just pick up what he thought was a weapon so that he could finish him off was sick enough. However the blood lust shown when they attack the ambulance with a child in the back that comes to the injured mans aid is even worse.
The US neo-con talking heads, COINTELPRO and Agent Mockingbird placed government mouths shouted “treason” and demanded WikiLeaks be shut down. They even managed to get Amazon, PayPal and hosting companies to block services that WikiLeaks were legally entitled to. The US State department saw this act of whistleblowing not for what it was, an attempt to reveal US war crimes, instead they believed it was high treason.
Remember that President Obama had promised on the campaign trail, before being elected, to provide more protection for people willing to blow the whistle on government crimes. He promised the following:
Protect Whistleblowers: Often the best source of information about waste, fraud, and abuse in government is an existing government employee committed to public integrity and willing to speak out. Such acts of courage and patriotism, which can sometimes save lives and often save taxpayer dollars, should be encouraged rather than stifled as they have been during the Bush administration. We need to empower federal employees as watchdogs of wrongdoing and partners in performance. Barack Obama will strengthen whistleblower laws to protect federal workers who expose waste, fraud, and abuse of authority in government. Obama will ensure that federal agencies expedite the process for reviewing whistleblower claims and whistleblowers have full access to courts and due process.
However, as expected, he did a full 360 and instead has gone down in history as the POTUS who has gone after more whistleblowers than any other President in history.
In fact the Obama administration has prosecuted twice as many cases under the Espionage Act as all other administrations combined. Under this administration, the Justice Department has prosecuted six cases regarding national security leaks. Before Obama took office, federal prosecutors had used the Espionage Act in only three cases.
Remember this is a President who promised the world, hope and change.
The world was so drunk on his promises and so willing to believe that he would be so much different from the neo-con, pro-war, Bush administration that they even gave him a Nobel Peace prize days into his administration. They obviously thought this present would entice Obama to live up to his poetic words.
I wonder how foolish those people feel now?
I wonder whether the Nobel award committee has considered writing to President Obama and asking for the prize to be given back due to his failure not to use his Presidency to act like a blood thirsty, war mongering, police state building, whistleblower attacking, fascist?
It would be the least they could do to try and restore some level of dignity to the prize. Without a return to sender request Obama’s name stands out on the prize list along with potential nominees’s like Adolf Hitler and Stalin.
I wonder if President Obama can even stomach to look at the prize? Or in his head does he actually believe that he deserves it?
Does he really think that he delivered any of the hope and change people who voted for him expectedhim to?
In reality the only change was the colour of the President’s skin. Obama has taken the worst Bush policies and rammed them full of steroids.
He has kept the Constitution killing PATRIOT ACT and added another Bill of Rights destroying piece of legislation to it, the NDAA. A bill that authorises him to lock up and even kill American citizens on his say so alone. If that isn’t the sign of a dictatorship I don’t know what is.
The sad thing is that so many people still voted for him for a second term.
Did they really believe he would change his spots because he didn’t have to run for office again?
Maybe he is scared of ending up like MLK or JFK. Some people believe this is the case.
Or maybe he is being bribed by more powerful string pullers who know the truth about his sex and drugs past.
Or maybe he is just too weak to stand up to the real power brokers. Too happy with the comfy life to be bothered to live up to his promises.
Maybe he was just a bare-faced liar who didn’t realise that people would actually expect him to do as he promised once elected.
I don’t know the reason. However nothing shows how illiberal the Democratic President of the United States is than his treatment of the US public over recent privacy invasions by the NSA and Prism.
And nothing shows how much he want’s the USA’s state crimes to remain secret than his lust for punishment to those who dare reveal the nature of the Governments lurch towards a police state. People such as Snowden and Assange, Sibel Edmonds and Thomas Drake to name but a few.
The ACLU has accused the US government of “seeking to intimidate” anyone who might consider becoming a whistleblower in the future by prosecuting Bradley Manning under the Espionage Act.
Here’s the ACLU’s full statement commenting on the Bradley Manning verdict:
While we’re relieved that Mr. Manning was acquitted of the most dangerous charge, the ACLU has long-held the view that leaks to the press in the public interest should not be prosecuted under the Espionage Act,” said Ben Wizner, director of the ACLU’s Speech, Privacy and Technology Project. “Since he already pleaded guilty to charges of leaking information – which carry significant punishment – it seems clear that the government was seeking to intimidate anyone who might consider revealing valuable information in the future.
It is clear from the President‘s words, the head of the NSA‘s words and all the talking heads that parrot the National Security point of view that they believe that they are doing nothing wrong by illegally wiretapping millions of people without warrants.
They apparently don’t see anything wrong with the mass searching and storing of emails, instant messages, photos, videos, phone calls and other telecommunications for later analysis.
Not only does this breach the supposed law of the land, the US constitution, but it is immoral and devious behaviour that treats every US and NON US citizen as a potential terrorist to be monitored and watched.
Then again I have been saying for years that the war on terror was not designed to catch terrorists.
How could it be when our supposed enemy al-Qaeda was created by the CIA to fight the Soviets and has been used by both the CIA and MI6 to destabilise countries and fight proxy wars in Kosovo, Libya and now Syria. Even the most gagged woman in history, Sibel Edmonds, revealed that bin-Laden and al-Qaeda has close links with the CIA right up to 9.11!
With such close ties to our supposed enemy it was always clear that the real role of the war on terror was to roll back civil liberties and increase the possibility of implementing a high-tech surveillance state by using the threat of terrorism as an excuse.
People are more likely to be killed by lightning or in a plane crash than to be killed by a terrorist attack. Therefore we are fooling ourselves if we think this massive billion dollar spy industry is for own benefit. We have allowed ourselves to walk into a surveillance society by just doing nothing.
Just by allowing Facebook, Google, Microsoft and other Internet companies to store, sell and milk our private information for fun it makes it so much harder to draw the line when those companies then link up with the Government and do it “for our security”.
However if the recent Manning, Snowden, Assange and NSA stories are anything they are warning signs that our Government cares little for our thoughts and wishes.
As we say farewell to Bradley Manning, a brave whistleblower who is going to prison for a long time, it is far too late to blow the whistle on this new surveillance state. The train left the platform years ago and we all stood and waved goodbye as it rolled out the station.