High v. low-level leaking July 21, 2012Posted by rogerhollander in Civil Liberties, Criminal Justice.
Tags: bradlel manning, Bush torture, court martial, Criminal Justice, glenn greenwald, john kiriakou, kevin gosztola, national security, roger hollander, torture, whistle-blowers, whistleblowers, wikileaks
Friday, Jul 20, 2012 07:18 AM EST, www.salon.com
Today brings more high-level classified disclosures from an administration fixated on punishing whistleblowers
Army Pfc. Bradley Manning is escorted out of a courthouse in Fort Meade, Md., Wednesday, Dec. 21, 2011, after a military hearing that will determine if he should face court-martial for his alleged role in the WikiLeaks classified leaks case went on recess for the day. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)(Credit: AP)
The Obama administration’s war on whistlebowers continues unabated this week on two fronts. First, several hearings were held in the court-martial prosecution of Bradley Manning, during which military prosecutors argued that evidence that Manning’s alleged leaks did no harm to national security, as well as evidence of his inhumane pre-trial detention conditions, should both be completely suppressed (in contrast to most American media outlets, which have ignored the proceedings entirely, Firedoglake’s superb young writer, Kevin Gosztola, is providing typically comprehensive coverage). Meanwhile, in a federal court in Virginia this morning, former CIA official John Kiriakou is seeking dismissal of most of the criminal charges brought against him by the DOJ for allegedly leaking details of the Bush era torture program; Kiriakou is claiming he is the victim of vindictive prosecution (as former NSA official Thomas Drake, who himself was prosecuted (unsuccessfully) by the Obama DOJ for whistleblowing, put it this morning: “Commit torture: receive exec branch/DoJ protection. Whistleblow on torture w/lawful disclosures: become criminal defendant like John Kiriakou” [Twitter typos corrected]).
But the worst part of this whistleblower war, beyond the obvious threats it poses to transparency and a free press, is how purely selective it is. Just as Lynndie England went to prison for her detainee abuse while Don Rumsfeld, Dick Cheney and John Yoo went on lucrative book tours for theirs, it is only low- to mid-level leakers who are punished by the Obama DOJ, and then only for the crime of embarrassing the U.S. Government rather than glorifying it. High-level Obama administration leakers disclose classified information at will, without the slightest fear of punishment. One can pick up a newspaper or listen to a television news broadcast almost every day and find examples of leaks from Obama’s high-level officials far more serious than those allegedly committed by the Bradley Mannings and Thomas Drakes of the world. From today’s New York Times article on Syria:
In Washington, a senior American official who is tracking Syria closely said Thursday that American intelligence reports had concluded that Syrian forces were moving some parts of their chemical weapons arsenal to safeguard it from falling into rebel hands, not to use it. “They’re moving it to defend it in some of the most contested areas,” said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because of the classified intelligence reports.
Quoting classified American intelligence reports on Syria to The New York Times is a more serious leak than any of those serving as the basis for the multiple espionage prosecutions brought by the Obama DOJ. The difference is that this is a “senior official” rather than a low-level one, and it’s not done with the intent to expose high-level corruption, deceit or illegality. Therefore, like all the other high-level crimes shielded from accountability by the Obama administration, it will be protected. Therein lies the clear lesson about the real purpose of the Obama war on whistleblowers.
* * * * *
New York Times columnist David Brooks carefully cultivates a centrist demeanor on domestic political questions, but on foreign policy, the former Weekly Standard writer and full-fledged Iraq War advocate is as neoconservative as it gets. Today, following in the footsteps of the progressive Center for American Progress, Brooks devotes his column to hailing the grand success of President Obama’s foreign policy. Entitled “Where Obama Shines,” the column argues: “it should be noted that Barack Obama has been a good foreign policy president.” Deeming this record “impressive,” he gushes: “Obama has moved more aggressively both to defeat enemies and to champion democracy. He has demonstrated that talk of American decline is hooey. The U.S. is still responsible for maintaining global order, for keeping people, goods and ideas moving freely.” Brooks concludes:
And, partly as a result of his efforts, the world of foreign affairs is relatively uncontentious right now. Foreign policy is not a hot campaign issue. Mitt Romney is having a great deal of trouble identifying profound disagreements. If that’s not a sign of success, I don’t know what is.
Again we see a prime legacy of the Obama presidency: the transformation of what had been contentious disputes into harmonious bipartisan consensus. And we also see again that one of the biggest myths of American political discourse is that bipartisanship is so terribly and tragically rare.
Glenn Greenwald (email: GGreenwald@salon.com) is a former Constitutional and civil rights litigator and is the author of three New York Times Bestselling books: two on the Bush administration’s executive power and foreign policy abuses, and his latest book, With Liberty and Justice for Some, an indictment of America’s two-tiered system of justice. Greenwald was named by The Atlantic as one of the 25 most influential political commentators in the nation. He is the recipient of the first annual I.F. Stone Award for Independent Journalism, and is the winner of the 2010 Online Journalism Association Award for his investigative work on the arrest and oppressive detention of Bradley Manning.
Tags: bradley manning, court martial, david coombs, justice, roger hollander, torture, wikileaks
Published on Thursday, July 19, 2012 by Common Dreams
The mistreatment Bradley Manning experienced at the US Marine Corps Brig in Quantico, Virginia “should shock the conscience of this court,” Manning’s lawyer said Thursday at a pre-trial hearing.
(photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images) 24-year-old Manning, who faces 22 charges, was held in solitary confinement from July 2010 to April 2011.
David Coombs, Manning’s lawyer, said Manning’s treatment was “unlawful,” and that the blanket he had there was basically “a large piece of sand paper.”
On Thursday the judge also denied a request from the defense to have United Nations torture investigator Juan Mendez testify, saying it was irrelevant as Mendez had not visited Manning at Quantico. Mendez had, in fact, attempted to but was refused an unmonitored visit. In a 14-month investigation into the Manning, Mendez accused the U.S. government of harsh treatment of Bradley Manning that may amount to torture
Showing 36 comments
Lawyer: Treatment of #BradleyManning ‘Should Shock the Conscience’ of the Court | Common Dreams: http://t.co/SpDbdipqToday 05:05 PM@WhistlingBullet
RT @d_starman: Lawyer: Treatment of Bradley #Manning ‘Should Shock the Conscience’ of the Court | Common Dreams: http://t.co/ZZeDt4Jl #LiborToday 03:47 PM@RamsesJT
Lawyer: Treatment of Bradley #Manning ‘Should Shock the Conscience’ of the Court | Common Dreams: http://t.co/ZZeDt4Jl #LiborToday 03:34 PM@d_starman
Lawyer: Treatment of #BradleyManning ‘Should Shock the Conscience’ of the Court | Common Dreams: http://t.co/YE94H4hSToday 02:24 PM@micco4ever
Canada Orders US War Resister (and New Mother) Deported January 16, 2009Posted by rogerhollander in Canada, Iraq and Afghanistan, War.
Tags: Ann Wright, bush government, Canada, canada refugee, canadian government, canadian parliament, corey glass, court martial, Iraq, Iraq war, jeremy hinzman, Kimberly Rivera, refugee, robin long, roger hollander, Stephen Harper, war resister, war resister deported, war resisters support
add a comment
16 January 2009, www.truthout.org
The Canadian government has ordered the deportation of Kimberly Rivera, the first US woman Iraq war veteran resister to go to Canada, and four other US war resisters. Rivera, her husband and three children, including a newborn daughter, must depart Canada by January 27 or be deported. Rivera now lives in Toronto with her husband Mario, son Christian (six years), daughter Rebecca (four years), and newborn Canadian daughter Katie (six weeks).
Rivera served in the US Army in Iraq in 2006, but refused a second tour in Iraq in 2007 and instead took her family to Canada. Her first tour in Iraq convinced Rivera that the war was immoral and that she could not participate in it.
Rivera’s Pre-Removal Risk assessment application and request to stay in Canada on humanitarian and compassionate grounds were denied by the conservative Stephen Harper government, although the Canadian government refused to join the Bush coalition of the willing and join in on the war in Iraq. The Canadian military’s participation in the war in Afghanistan has been controversial as Canadian casualties rise.
The War Resisters Support Campaign in Canada believes the Canadian Immigration Minister’s decision to deport Rivera and four other US war resisters is based on the need to have the deportations completed before the Canadian Parliament returns in late January. The Parliament adopted a resolution in June 2008 that recommended to the Harper government that “conscientious objectors” to wars that are not authorized by the United Nations be allowed to apply for permanent residence status in Canada.
Immigration Minister Jason Kenney has said that the refugee claims of war resisters are “bogus” and that he “has no sympathy for them.” Kenney has made it clear that his government intends to go against the will of Parliament and the will of Canadians.
If Rivera and the other US war resisters are deported to the United States or return voluntarily, they will face a military court-martial. Robin Long, the only other US soldier to be deported from Canada, was court-martialed in 2008 at Fort Carson, Colorado, and received a 15-month prison sentence and a dishonorable discharge, the longest sentence given to a war resister during the Iraq war.
Other US war resisters in Canada face deportation even earlier than Rivera. Chris Teske has a deportation date of January 20, Patrick Hart, his wife Jill and their son on January 29 and Dean Walcott on January 30.
Several other war resisters in Canada are appealing negative decisions in Canadian Federal Court. The court has stayed the removal orders of war resisters Corey Glass, Jeremy Hinzman and Matt Lowell. The Hart family faces deportation January 29 and will ask the court for a similar stay.
Corey Glass has since been granted a new application to stay on Humanitarian & Compassionate grounds. Jeremy Hinzman’s appeal date for his negative decision has been set for February 10 and Matt Lowell is waiting to hear whether his appeal will be heard.
There are several Canadian groups actively opposing the government’s actions. For further information on those efforts, contact the War Resisters Support Campaign.
by: Ann Wright, t r u t h o u t | Perspective