Tuesday, June 4, 2013
This week the trial of Private First Class Bradley Manning begins for leaking information to the website Wikileaks. I have seldom spoken of Wikileaks or it's founder Julian Assange on this blog because other topics have motivated me and because Assange being ensconced at the Ecuadorian embassy to hide from being extradited to Sweden for questioning on a rape allegation which may or may not be trumped up is not something on which I can comment. I don't think Wikileaks is about Assange anymore than Democracy Now! is about Amy Goodman or this blog is about me. I have no way of knowing if the allegation about Assange is true but I believe it is a distraction from the purpose that the site he founded serves.
Manning on the other hand has made the meaningful sacrifice for what he believes in just as Daniel Ellsberg (featured in the video above) did in the early 1970's when he leaked the Pentagon Papers to the press. Ellsberg faced trial and dirty tricks by the Nixon Administration and was lucky to be acquitted. Manning may not be so lucky. He has already plead guilty to one of the charges where he could face 20 years in prison. This suggests a greater sacrifice that Assange is willing to make. It may be better in the long run for Assange to face the music.
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