Private First Class Bradley E. Manning faces life in prison for releasing government information to media outlets from 2008-2010. Manning prepared a statement which was read in court, and reveled a horrifying reality, our government is becoming dangerously authoritarian, tyrannical, and acting without regard to moral consequence.
Some argue Private Manning is a criminal, guilty of treason, and responsible for putting American lives at harm. Although the documents released by Manning have never led to any Americans coming under attack, the documents did reveal a government devoid of proper checks and balances, devoid of morals, devoid of democratic sensibilities, and devoid of due process of law.
Not one major news outlet is covering the Manning trial, I had to read the court transcripts of Private Manning's statement from Alexa O'Brien
, an independent journalist, herself targeted by our authoritarian government because she supports whistle-blowers. If you read Private Manning's statement you realize he was doing the human thing, most would consider the right thing to do, but yet the public's picture of Private Manning is not very coherent, due in large part to the corporate media's non-coverage of his trial.
This in itself reveals the deep cronyism between government and corporate media, proving their inability to keep a watchful objective eye on our government, one of the required pillars of a democratic society. Instead we have learned that Private Manning tried to give the leaks eventually published on Wikileaks to the New York Times and Washington Post first, leaks that showed the killings of innocent people, including children, in a cowardly and brash way, no American would want to be associated with.
The corporate media refused them, and also turned their backs on Manning when they learned, through his leaks, that independent Iraqi journalists were being imprisoned, some to disappear for good, for writing about the financial cronyism inside the U.S. backed al-Maliki administration. U.S. soldiers were even used to round-up these independent journalists labelled as "terrorists".
If that does not frighten you, you may want to do a little weekend reading on the Gestapo, and realize your ignorance will not serve as any protection from fascist authoritarians.
Even more troubling is our government's over-kill in its prosecution of Private Manning, to show an example to all other whistle-blowers, and even to the journalists who support whistle-blowers, that if you expose a light on government secrets you will be imprisoned.
If we actually had functioning checks and balances in our government, whistle-blowers would not be needed, since we have no such system in place any longer, whistle-blowers are the only hope we have to expose illegalities and immoral behavior by our government, done in our names, financed with our tax dollars. And the brave people like Private Bradley Manning, who have put human interests before that of an imaginary state, are heroes who deserve our attention and thanks, and are the true fighters for democracy and civil liberties.