I don’t have anything to add to what other people have written about Bradley Manning and Edward Snowden. They both leaked important information that our government desperately wanted to keep secret. Both of these young men put their own freedom at risk in order to help preserve ours. Neither one deserves the long prison sentence that Manning will receive and Snowden will apparently avoid (thanks to Vladimir Putin, of all people). Listening to Democrats, who should know better, defending our government’s bad behavior in these two cases has been sickening.
Meanwhile, an Irish woman who won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1976 is nominating Private Manning for the same honor. She explains her thinking here:
Likewise, a Swedish professor is nominating Edward Snowden:
I learned about these efforts in this article by columnist Andrew O’Hehir. He thinks both whistleblowers deserve the prize, but doubts that the Nobel Prize committee has the courage to give it to them:
Let’s hope they do.
The Guardian reports on whether there were reprisals against anyone in Iraq or Afghanistan after Private Manning’s leaks:
The US counter-intelligence official who led the Pentagon’s review into the fallout from the WikiLeaks disclosures of state secrets told the Bradley Manning sentencing hearing on Wednesday that no instances were ever found of any individual killed by enemy forces as a result of having been named in the releases.
Brigadier general Robert Carr, a senior counter-intelligence officer who headed the Information Review Task Force that investigated the impact of WikiLeaks disclosures on behalf of the Defense Department, told a court at Fort Meade, Maryland, that they had uncovered no specific examples of anyone who had lost his or her life in reprisals that followed the publication of the disclosures on the internet. “I don’t have a specific example,” he said.
It has been one of the main criticisms of the WikiLeaks publications that they put lives at risk, particularly in Iran and Afghanistan. The admission by the Pentagon’s chief investigator into the fallout from WikiLeaks that no such casualties were identified marks a significant undermining of such arguments.
And they summarize what was learned from those leaks:
I don’t condone lawlessness, but there has to be some kind of grace given to those who expose government excess like this. I say right on. It might actually give back some of the respect the prize lost when it was given to AlGore, Obama and Krugman.
I don’t generally condone lawlessness either, but the punishment should fit the crime. Embarrassing your government by revealing its secrets doesn’t count as espionage and shouldn’t be treated as such, especially when those secrets involve so many other people. (And spies often get traded for other spies, instead of spending decades in prison.)
Regarding the history of Nobel prizes, I’d forgotten that Gore got one, although I think it was appropriate. Obama got the prize too quickly, simply because he was different from Bush. Krugman probably won the prize for technical economics, not for political reasons. At any rate, I read Krugman’s column and many of his blog posts at the NY Times and think he is the most important political columnist we’ve got. He often challenges the elite consensus. If we’d listened to him regarding Iraq and the economy, instead of the Washington and financial elite, we’d have been better off.
Although it appears we disagree about some things, thanks for reading and commenting.