US War Criminals Threaten WikiLeaks and Private Manning

KW: I daresay I would not agree with all the articles on the WSWS website. Though, I love how this author framed the WikiLeaks story and put it in perspective…

(excerpt from) World Socialist Web Site
US war criminals threaten WikiLeaks, Private Manning

Opinion by Patrick Martin / 5 August 2010

The drumbeat of calls for repression and violence against WikiLeaks and Private Bradley Manning is a major threat to democratic rights. All sections of the US political establishment, Democratic and Republican, liberal and conservative, are seeking to retaliate against those who are exposing atrocities by the US military in Afghanistan and Iraq, and intimidate all critics of these wars of aggression by American imperialism.

The most strident rhetoric has come from the ultra-right. Republican Congressman Mike Rogers of Michigan, a former FBI agent who sits on the House Intelligence Committee, told a local radio station Monday that he thought the death penalty would be appropriate punishment for Manning if he is convicted on charges of leaking classified military documents to WikiLeaks.

Pfc. Manning, who worked at an Army intelligence facility in Iraq, is now imprisoned at the Quantico, Virginia Marine Corps base…

Right-wing media pundits have called for a direct assault by the US government on WikiLeaks. On Fox News Sunday, commentator Liz Cheney, daughter of the former vice-president, called on the Obama administration to shut down the Internet-based organization, presumably through the use of the Pentagon’s cyber warfare capability.

On Tuesday, in a column in the Washington Post, former Bush White House aide Marc A. Thiessen, now a weekly contributor to the newspaper, said the government should kidnap and imprison Julian Assange, co-founder of WikiLeaks…

Liberal Democrats have chimed in with their own proposals to target Wikileaks. According to a report Wednesday in the New York Times, two Senate Democrats, Charles Schumer of New York and Diane Feinstein of California, are drafting an amendment to the “media shield” legislation now being considered in Congress “to make clear that the bill’s protections extend only to traditional news-gathering activities and not to web sites that serve as a conduit for the mass dissemination of secret documents.”

The bill was originally drafted in response to a series of cases in which reporters were jailed for refusing to disclose their sources to judges, prosecutors or plaintiffs in lawsuits. In order to avoid WikiLeaks taking advantage of such a shield law, Schumer and Feinstein want to specifically exclude whistleblower sites…

The language being employed in media and official circles is dangerous and chilling. It makes clear that nine years of uninterrupted military aggression have provided the basis for major attacks on democratic rights in the United States and the preparation of more openly dictatorial forms of rule.

Launched on the basis of systematic lying, both about the 9/11 terrorist attacks and the supposed danger of “weapons of mass destruction,” these wars are criminal in every sense of the word. Millions have been killed, maimed or driven from their homes, and more than five thousand Americans have died to advance the interests of US imperialism in the oil rich Persian Gulf and Central Asia.

Officials of the Bush and Obama administrations are manifestly guilty of war crimes, ranging from launching aggressive war—the core charge against the Nazis in Nuremberg—to the systematic assassination of opponents in both Iraq and Afghanistan…

WikiLeaks and Private Manning are being targeted because they have done what a cowardly and spineless media has refused to do—tell the truth about the crimes of American imperialism. Working people in the United States and around the world must demand the dropping of all threats and charges against WikiLeaks, an end to the government harassment and targeting of whistleblowers, and the immediate release of Private Bradley Manning.

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