Sunday, June 9, 2013

Snowden and Manning

Now that there are two current whistleblowers in the news comparisons will be made between them, but I believe one deserves punishment and the other does not.

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.


  1. there certainly seems to be a scale of appropriateness. the ny times blogger in support of snowden suggested as much.
    certainly what manning did was somewhere in between snowden and julian assange. snowden barely did anything wrong. he didn't even really tell us anything we didn't already know. assange, on the other hand, seems to be targeted by everyone such that he is already in a de-facto prison. i don't know if i can support any of these guys, but would choose snowden if i had to.

  2. Damn you. I need to check back here more often before I write my posts.