Barack Obama: the secrecy president

June 17, 2010 | By | 4 Replies More

At Democracy Now, Amy Goodman converses with Daniel Elsberg about the Obama Administration’s crackdown on those who seek to distribute information (accurately) putting the military action in Afghanistan in a bad light.

Pentagon investigators are reportedly still searching for Wikileaks co-founder Julian Assange, who helped release a classified US military video showing a US helicopter gunship indiscriminately firing on Iraqi civilians. The US military recently arrested Army Specialist Bradley Manning, who may have passed on the video to Wikileaks. Manning’s arrest and the hunt for Assange have put the spotlight on the Obama administration’s campaign against whistleblowers and leakers of classified information.

Manning has made his motives clear. Sunshine is the best disinfectant:

Manning has claimed he sent Wikileaks the video along with 260,000 classified US government records. Manning, who was based in Iraq, reportedly had special access to cables prepared by diplomats and State Department officials throughout the Middle East. During an internet conversation prior to his arrest, Manning explained his actions by writing, quote, “I want people to see the truth, regardless of who they are. Because without information, you cannot make informed decisions as a public.”

It’s too bad that Barack Obama, Oslo’s “Peace President” doesn’t listen to his own campaign speeches and act on them. In this same Democracy Now video, Daniel Elsberg calls the leakers “patriots,” and I concur. Someone needs to stand up and stop the indiscriminate series of Afghanistan murders that officially go by the name of “war.” By the way, if the U.S. military is doing so damned much good over in Afghanistan at a cost of several billion U.S. dollars per week, where are the photos of all of those good things?

It is more clear than ever that the U.S. is knowingly doing despicable acts in our names in Afghanistan and working feverishly to keep them secret.

What kind of danger are the leakers facing? Daniel Elsberg comments:

[Bradley Manning is] in danger of more than arrest. Arrest is probably the major thing, even though it’s not clear what he would be arrested on. But he—I have to say that as of now, under this president, he’s under danger of kidnapping, rendition, enhanced interrogation, even death. The fact is that this president is the first in our history, in any Western country that I know of, who has claimed the right to send military forces not just to apprehend, but to kill suspected, even American citizens. Bradley Manning is probably more safe now being in custody than he would have been if he himself were eluding arrest. Assange, I would say, is in some danger. And even if it’s very small, it should be zero. It’s outrageous and humiliating to me as an American citizen to have to acknowledge that someone like that is in danger from our own government right now . . .


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Category: Censorship, Military, Propaganda

About the Author ()

Erich Vieth is an attorney focusing on consumer law litigation and appellate practice. He is also a working musician and a writer, having founded Dangerous Intersection in 2006. Erich lives in the Shaw Neighborhood of St. Louis, Missouri, where he lives half-time with his two extraordinary daughters.

Comments (4)

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  1. Erich Vieth says:

    President Obama is secret about his own administration's actions, but wants to invade YOUR privacy. Consider this, from the Washington Post:

    "The Obama administration is seeking to make it easier for the FBI to compel companies to turn over records of an individual's Internet activity without a court order if agents deem the information relevant to a terrorism or intelligence investigation."

    What does this mean? An attorney with Electronic Frontier Foundation argues that this new power could be used "used to obtain Internet search queries and Web histories detailing every Web site visited and every file downloaded."

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