Daniel Ellsberg: The Person of the Year is sitting in prison

December 19, 2011 | By | Reply More

At Democracy Now, Daniel Ellsberg states that war crimes can be viewed in the Iraq helicopter video that was leaked to Wikileaks.

No question in my mind, as I looked at that, that the specific leaked pictures in there of helicopter gunners hunting down and shooting an unarmed man in civilian clothes, clearly wounded, in an area where a squad of American soldiers was about to appear, as the helicopter gunners knew, to take custody of anyone remaining living, that shooting was murder. It was a war crime. Not all killing in war is murder, but a lot of it is. And this was.

According to Ellsberg, who many have credited with helping to bring an end to the Vietnam war, the alleged leaker of that video should not be sitting in prison:

The Time magazine cover gives protester, an anonymous protester, as “Person of the Year,” but it is possible to put a face and a name to that picture of “Person of the Year.” And the American face I would put on that is Private Bradley Manning. The fact is that he is credited by President Obama and the Justice Department, or the Army, actually, with having given WikiLeaks that helicopter picture and other evidence of atrocities and war crimes—and torture, specifically—in Iraq, including in the Obama administration. That, in other words, led to the Tunisian uprising, the occupation in Tunis Square, which has been renamed by—for another face that could go on that picture, Mohamed Bouazizi, who, after the WikiLeaks exposures of corruption, in Tunis, himself, Bouazizi, burned himself alive just one year ago tomorrow, Saturday, December 17th, in protest. And the combination of the WikiLeaks and Bradley Manning exposures in Tunis and the exemplification of that by Mohamed Bouazizi led to the protests, the nonviolent protests, that drove Ben Ali out of power, our ally there who we supported up ’til that moment, and in turn sparked the uprising in Egypt, in Tahrir Square occupation, which immediately stimulated the Occupy Wall Street and the other occupations in the Middle East and elsewhere. So, “Person of the Year,” one of those persons of the year is now sitting in a courthouse in Leavenworth. He deserves the recognition that he’s just gotten in Time. Julian Assange, who published that, another person of the year, I would say, who’s gotten a number of journalistic awards, very much deserve our gratitude. And I hope they will have the effect in liberating us from the lawlessness that we have seen and the corruption—the corruption—that we have seen in this country in the last 10 years and more, which has been no less than that of Tunis and Egypt.

This segment also contains some pathetic spinning of the truth by Adrian Lamo, who turned in Bradley Manning. See, for example, this exchange:

AMY GOODMAN: When the Wired chat transcripts were finally all released in Wired magazine, the transcripts that you said were transcripts of your chat with Bradley Manning, you repeatedly swore that Manning was telling you these things in confidence, as a journalist and a minister. At one point, you said again, “this is not for print.” Why did you then break that assurance that you gave to Bradley Manning?

ADRIAN LAMO: I believe that that is a fallacious interpretation of my words. I offered him the protection of both journalistic shield and clergical protection. And he did not affirmatively accept either. In fact, at one point he said to me, “I am not your source.” So, he did not bring those factors into play.

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Category: Censorship, Propaganda, Secrecy, Whistle-blowers

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.

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