Sunday, January 16, 2011

WikiLeaks scandal grows, U.S. Congressman wants WikiLeaks whistleblower dead

It’s no longer a secret that our government doesn’t like whistleblowers. Since the days of the Nixon administration, they have been persecuted, maliciously prosecuted, fired, transferred and severely harassed. These weren’t the random acts of retaliation – to the contrary, they followed the protocol outlined in the infamous Malek Manual.

Office of Special Counsel (OSC) - the dark legacy

The very agencies entrusted with protecting the rights of whistleblowers have been oppressing those who sought their protection. Like the proverbial wolves in sheep’s clothing, the OSC, the MSPB, the Federal Circuit and federal courts have long been used as the far-reaching tentacles of the government.

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange discovered for himself just how far the U.S. government is willing to go in order to silence whistleblowers and anyone who gives them a voice. An arrest warrant was issued for Assange, then abruptly withdrawn once it received media attention. On August 22, 2010 Assange told a Swedish newspaper of his belief that the Pentagon could be behind a rape allegation brought forth by Swedish prosecutors.

Julian told the Aftonbladet Daily "I don't know who's behind this but we have been warned that, for example, the Pentagon plans to use dirty tricks to spoil things for us." “I have also been warned about sex traps," continued Assange. Even though the warrant has been withdrawn, Julian Assange believes it has already damaged his reputation. "There have been headlines all over the world saying I'm suspected of rape," he told Aftonbladet. "They will not disappear. And I know from experience that WikiLeaks enemies will continue to trumpet these allegations even after they've been denied."

The Pentagon remained silent about its alleged involvement in the case. Since its launch in 2006, WikiLeaks has published thousands of whistleblowing disclosures about the activities of American and allied forces in Afghanistan and Iraq. The website is currently preparing to put 15,000 more classified military documents online in coming weeks. U.S. administration is opposing future disclosures, claiming they could place the lives of Afghan civilians and U.S. soldiers at risk.

During the week prior to the issuance of a warrant, Assange has been in Sweden, working to boost legal protection for WikiLeaks and other whistleblower websites.

Whistleblowers in the U.S. can count on vehement opposition and tireless persecution by the very people elected to represent their interests. U.S. Congressman Mike Rogers went so far as to advocate the execution of WikiLeaks whistleblower, Private Bradley Manning. Rogers thinks Manning should die for his whistleblowing disclosures.

Congressman Rogers sits on the House Intelligence Committee. He said that Private Bradley Manning appears to be guilty of treason in time of war, which is a capital crime. If Manning isn’t charged with treason, Rogers believes he ought to be charged with murder. In either case scenario, Congressman wants the whistleblower to be put to death. "I would support it 100 percent," Rogers said.

US congressman says Bradley Manning should be executed

Rogers told his local radio station that Mannings' actions have condemned to death many Afghans who assisted the U.S. It is hard to see how the video in question, dubbed the “Collateral Murder”, could have done that, since none of such collaborators were mentioned. So far only the U.S. government made the claim that lives have been placed at risk by Manning’s alleged disclosure. They don’t seem as concerned with the numbers of people that were accidentally killed by US assassination squad cock-ups, reportedly exposed by Manning. He also allegedly revealed that Pakistan "allies" had built safe havens for the terrorists who are killing Americans.

The U.S. government labeled WikiLeaks a “potential force protection, counterintelligence, operational security (OPSEC), and information security (INFOSEC) threat to the US Army.”

Congressman Rogers criticized what he called a “culture of disclosure” for encouraging whistleblowers to think that the release of sensitive information is a good thing. Our elected officials are much more used to the “culture of corruption”, where government wrongdoing is covered up and perpetrators are usually transferred and promoted. The clash of these two cultures is brought to the forefront of public attention by the WikiLeaks scandal.

As Mark Twain wisely put it, “In the beginning of a change, the patriot is a brave and scarce man, hated and scorned. When the cause succeeds, however, the timid join him, for then it costs nothing to be a patriot.”

Manning is being held in solitary confinement in Virginia. He may face a court martial or federal prosecution as the investigation continues.

Early Struggles of Soldier Charged in Leak Case

It should be noted that none of our elected officials have called for the execution of law enforcement officers or public officials convicted of serious crimes against our country. For example, high-ranking border officials are never charged with treason for allowing illegal aliens, narcotics and uninspected vehicles into the U.S. To the contrary, such offenses that undermine the sovereignty of our country are usually accompanied by slap-on-the-wrist sentences (often, only probation).

Badge for sale - the tales of MICE and men

Like prominent whistleblowers who endured the “Enemy of the State” existence, Assange leads a nomadic lifestyle and rarely sleeps in the same place two nights in a row. It’s a wise decision, since the trouble for Assange may not be over anytime soon.

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