President Obama has made plain his hostility to the heroic leaker so the odds are 5,000-to-1 against a pardon. Nor are the Peace Prize deciders in Oslo likely to honor Manning with such a prestigious award.
But you never know about them. The “wizards” gave a peace prize to Obama in 2009 for his noble rhetoric — not his deeds. (The Obama award was an Orwellian judgment worthy of “war is peace.”)
As Truthout reminds us, Manning’s honesty is being punished. Presidents and Congress, dragging the nation into unnecessary wars and ordering torture and imprisonment without trial, go unpunished.
Manning’s WikiLeaks included a video taken during an American helicopter attack in Baghdad in which civilians were slaughtered. That is hardly treasonous. He released diplomatic cables, dossiers of detainees at Guantánamo never tried and told of U.S. crimes in Iraq and Afghanistan. That is hardly treasonous. His whistleblowing revealed drone strikes in Yemen and U.S. use of cluster bombs. That is hardly treasonous.
The ACLU has it right: “When a soldier who shared information with the press and public is punished something is seriously wrong with the military justice system. A system that doesn’t distinguish between leaks in the public interest and treason will produce unjust results.”
Hillary beat outrageous — Here in the wilds of Nevada the daily doorstep delivery of the New York Times is absolutely essential. This columnist needs facts to back up his opinions. He gets them in the Times, the best newspaper in the world.
But the Times sometimes manifests poor editorial judgment. Such a case was the recent establishment of a Hillary Clinton beat three years before the presidential election.
It is not just unfair, giving Ms. Clinton a platform that other potential candidates do not have. It compels a Hillary beat reporter to be tedious long before few care about the race or the candidates. Above all, it forces the paper to manufacture news.
It is absurdity multiplied.
Besides, the Times already has columnist Maureen Dowd, who tells the truth about Hillary and the Clinton clan. Her recent column was devastating. Its headline: “Money, money, money, money, MONEY.”
•“The Clinton Foundation is more interested in raising billions for her presidential bid in 2016 than doing charitable works.” (It takes billions to mount a serious presidential bid, money that no other candidate is likely to have.)
•“Bill Clinton earned $17 million last year giving speeches, including one to a Lagos company for $700,000. He demanded $500,000 to speak in Israel but the Israelis, rejecting the request, rightly thought the fee ridiculous. Hillary gets $200,000 a speech.”
In contrast, Dowd writes, former President Carter “quietly goes around the world eradicating Guinea worm disease” and another ex-president, Harry Truman, “struggled on his Army pension of $112.56 a month.” Truman, a man with incredible integrity, said: “I could never lend myself to any transaction, however respectable, that would commercialize the prestige and dignity of the presidency.”
Columnist Dowd concludes by skewering the clan: “The Clintons want to do big, worthy things but they also want to squeeze money from rich people all over the world, insatiably gobbling up cash for politics, charity and themselves.”
Jake Highton is an emeritus journalism professor at the University of Nevada, Reno.