Charging any individual with the extremely grave offense of ‘aiding the enemy’ on the basis of nothing beyond the fact that the individual posted leaked information on the web and thereby ‘knowingly gave intelligence information’ to whoever could gain access to it there, does indeed seem to break dangerous new ground.
Laurence Tribe, professor, Harvard Law School, to The Guardian. Bradley Manning trial ‘dangerous’ for civil liberties – experts.
The News: The trial of Bradley Manning begins today. The US soldier leaked hundreds of thousands of battlefield reports and diplomatic cables to Wikileaks in 2009 and 2010, and has plead guilty to ten of the 22 charges brought against him.
The most serious charge though is that Manning knowingly aided the enemy. If found guilty, he faces life in military prison.
The 10th anniversary this month of the invasion of Iraq will remind most people of a divisive and dubious war that toppled Saddam Hussein but claimed the lives of nearly 4,500 Americans and more than 100,000 Iraqi civilians.
What it conjures up for me is the media’s greatest failure in modern times.
Major news organizations aided and abetted the Bush administration’s march to war on what turned out to be faulty premises. All too often, skepticism was checked at the door, and the shaky claims of top officials and unnamed sources were trumpeted as fact.
Robert Capa once said, “If your pictures aren’t good enough, you’re not close enough,” and generations of journalists have followed his maxim. But the opposite can also be true: the farther away you are, the better you can see.