In hours the world will know if this possibly naive 'whisterblower's life has become 'but a joke', fittingly quoting the Dylan song, the lyrics of which are almost prescient concerning the State and its 'businessmen' securing it
Early in the grand jury style proceedings under the Uniform Code of Military Justice, the sitting judge in this matter was asked to recuse himself.
"Almanza seemed taken aback. An Army reservist, Almanza is a prosecutor for the Department of Justice, which has an open investigation into WikiLeaks, the freedom-of-information group to which Manning allegedly leaked hundreds of thousands of government cables." ' Did Bradley Manning Actually Harm National Security?' | The Nation
Quite the opposite of the famous--and brilliant--observation by Justice Robert Jackson in a First Amendment case otherwise not relevant: "The Constitution is not a suicide pact..", has the digital paranoia become now so great and pervasive that the standing order in the halls of secrecy 'when in doubt, classify'?
The phrase 'distinction without difference' comes to mind--are 'we', as a nation, not committing a form of self-slaughter when, in order to technically survive as a nation 'we, the people' must not know the particulars of that which threatens us? Or is it, as a another civilian federal judge pointedly wrote in dissent in a somewhat precedential case: 'National security is public security, not government security from informed criticism.'
But, in a larger sense, all of this is but charade as prelude to an almost certain sentence of life, the reason being that Manning was a soldier, and the law and rules governing his many military-driven charges all but dictate the outcome. The singularly great irony of this is, of course, that our very presence in the Iraq & Afghanistan theaters of 'war' is rooting in far greater crimes, those being the unlawful, deceit-driven actions of a Commander-in-Chief and his Vice... President.
And, so, as Manning sits in his cell at Leavenworth he, like us, may ruefully contemplate that, but for Bush/Cheney/Wolfowitz/Rumsfeld's collective criminality under international law and the so-called law of war, he would likely have honorably served out his peacetime tour of duty, and the rest of us--especially those now deceased as a result of the unlawful actions of that coterie--would be untroubled by this national/international tragedy, preparing for football season, that other distraction from our slow, suicidal 'securing' of our nation and its precious 'free' way of life.