Sunday, June 9, 2013
Snowden and Manning
The new one, Edward Snowden, leaked details about the CIA's National Security Agency's listening in on private conversations. NSA Defenders claim that this is justified because it can prevent terrorist attacks, but that is a sickening logic. I fully stand behind Snowden's opposition to secret domestic spying and oppose punishing him in any way.
The well-established one, Bradley Manning, is different. Manning did something courageous and just when he leaked footage of American troops killing civilians by mistake, an incident that had been covered up. If that was all he did I would stand behind him.
But that's not all he did. He revealed gigabytes of data, including the names of our informants in Afghanistan, who were then targeted for death by the Taliban. His lawyer is saying there is no evidence any of them were killed, but that is irrelevant. He still put them at risk, the same way a drunk driver who doesn't kill anyone put people at risk.
Snowden deserves to be listed alongside great whistleblowers like Daniel Ellsberg and A. Ernest Fitzgerald while Manning belongs in prison.