Journal: Traitor to Some, Hero to Others

10 Security, 11 Society, InfoOps (IO), Journalism/Free-Press/Censorship, Officers Call, Open Government, Secrecy & Politics of Secrecy
Marcus Aurelius Recommends

(COMMENT:  Really too bad that individuals like this are entitled to Constitutional protections…  If he in fact compromised assets, as I have read in open press, they will be lucky if all the Taliban does is shoot them.)

Washington Post
August 14, 2010
Pg. 2

Army Analyst Celebrated As Antiwar Hero

Many rally to soldier’s defense after disclosure of classified documents

By Michael W. Savage

For antiwar campaigners from Seattle to Iceland, a new name has become a byword for anti-establishment heroism: Army Pfc. Bradley E. Manning.

Manning, a 22-year-old intelligence analyst, is suspected of leaking thousands of classified documents about the Afghanistan war to the Web site WikiLeaks.

FULL STORY ONLINE

Phi Beta Iota: This needs to be evaluated at multiple levels.

First, federal abuse of secrecy to conceal high crimes and misdemeanors as well as more general incompletence, incoherence, and sometimes complete idiocy, has gotten to the point that virtually any push-back is validated by the good of the group.

Second, Wikipedia has been–as our esteemed colleague Steve Aftergood of Secrecy News has pointed out–very irresponsible in its activities and not taken normal prudent measures to leverage the good while offering the government an opportunity to fence out the bed.

Third, the US Government has no clue anymore about how to protect sources and methods.  Putting any sources name in a message other than a Prescribed and Limited (P&L) IDEN message (e.g. IDEN A = Joe Blow) is outright malpractice. Any “sources” blown in these messages were blown by the individuals putting their names in normal traffic, not by the Army enlisted person leaking the messages.

Fourth, there comes a point when individuals, whatever their motivations, are driven to violate administrative restrictions for the greater good.  Generally a break-down in discipline comes from a break-down in leadership which in turn comes from the collapse of a morally-sustainable strategy.  It used to be legal to abuse women and people of color.  Improper Behavior is how the public immunizes itself against virulent federal diseases.

See Also:

Review: Why Societies Need Dissent (Oliver Wendell Holmes Lectures)