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This Juneteenth

By Lydia Holt 

You can’t talk about Juneteenth without first talking about the Emancipation Proclamation. Abraham Lincoln was primarily looking to “stick it” to the South by signing this document. It proclaimed all slaves in the rebelling states free. Read more...

Bradley Manning, WikiLeaks, and the Government's Response

By Sheryl Wright

Bradley Manning, the army private accused of releasing government documents to WikiLeaks, is facing 22 additional charges, including "aiding the enemy...through indirect means.” I agree with those quoted in the article who believe that this particular charge is setting up a dangerous precedent.

Read more...

Roundtable: America—Sweden’s Sweatshop

Sheryl: In a bit of irony, the U.S. is developing an unexpected reputation within the corporate world. Recent stories about an Ikea plant in Virginia indicate the United States—much like Bangladesh, Vietnam, China, and Honduras—is now seen as a preferred destination for corporations in search of lower production costs. Read more...

« On Speech: Hateful, Leftist, and Otherwise | Main
Monday
Mar142011

Bradley Manning, WikiLeaks, and the Government's Response

Bradley Manning, the army private accused of releasing government documents to WikiLeaks, is facing 22 additional charges, including "aiding the enemy...through indirect means.” I agree with those quoted in the article who believe that this particular charge is setting up a dangerous precedent. Rather than a specific individual, organization or government, “the enemy” is an amorphous characterization which can be applied indiscriminately. In Bradley Manning’s case,” the enemy” is most likely the insurgents fighting American troops in Iraq and Afghanistan. In the future, unions or anti-war protestors could be classified as “the enemy”. 

Prior to the announcement of these new charges, I have been ambivalent about this story and although my ambivalence about the value of organizations such as WikiLeaks remains, I am no longer uncertain about the path our government has chosen to take in response to these leaks. I think this new charge against Bradley Manning is a step too far.

What role should organizatons such as WikiLeaks play in society? What role, if any, does the scattered nature of our media or our global interconnectedness play in the emergence of these types of organizations? We want transparency and accountability from our government. Is there a line that can be drawn such that we have transparency and accountability while the government maintains its ability to protect the nation's security interests? Is the release of information for information's sake a value we should adhere to across the board or should consideration be given to the possible consequences of releasing information to the general public that would clearly endanger the nation's security?

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