Politics Magazine

Freedom Fighters And War Criminals

Posted on the 14 June 2013 by Jobsanger
Freedom Fighters And War Criminals I will probably make some of you angry with what I am about to say, but it is something I deeply feel and believe -- and I think it needs to be said (over and over again by as many people as possible), because it concerns just what kind of country we want to live in.
The three people pictured above are Julian Assange, Edward Snowden, and Bradley Manning. They are all in legal trouble now, and some of our elected officials (of both parties) have even called them "traitors". What was their horrible crime? They exposed to you, the citizens of the U.S. (and the world), what our government was doing -- and they did it by releasing documents for publication that our government wanted to keep secret.
Some have said they put lives in danger. That is not true. Others have said they put the security and defense of our nation in jeopardy. That is not true either. What they did is expose the devious, underhanded, and unethical way our government does business. And that is considered a crime by government because they are embarrassed by the exposure of their lies and corrupt behavior.
Should the government be allowed to keep secrets? My general answer is NO, but I recognize that there is an extremely small number of instances when secrecy is desirable (when the lives of real people are in danger -- such as not exposing the names of undercover agents, or exposing the plans of an imminent military attack). But that was not the kind of secrets exposed by the men shown above. The "secrets" they exposed was information that should never have been secret in the first place.
Some of you may be saying at this point that a government cannot operate without secrecy. That's nonsense. Any government acting in a moral and humane manner has no need for secrecy -- especially the vast secrecy engaged in by our government. Secrecy is the currency of authoritarian governments (who engage in illegal, inhumane, and unethical behavior to stay in power). Knowledge and openness is the currency of democracy (because a democracy cannot exist unless the people know what the government is doing and why it is being done -- so they can decide at the ballot box if that is what they want done).
Julian Assange, Edward Snowden, and Bradley Manning are not criminals -- they are freedom fighters, and heroes of democracy. But they will all probably be severely punished -- because government officials consider the exposure of their misdeeds, malfeasance, and unethical behavior to be a crime greater than any other.
Meanwhile, real criminals (like George Bush and Dick Cheney) go unpunished. These war criminals LIED to the American people so they could start an unnecessary war in Iraq -- which had nothing to do with self-defense or the "war" on terrorism. And that unnecessary invasion and occupation of another country cost the lives of thousands of Americans, and many more Iraqis (thousands of them innocent women and children). These men (Bush and Cheney) have engaged in the murder of innocents (for either political or financial gain) -- and that is truly a crime. They should be convicted and imprisoned for an extended period of time.
Until we are willing to convict real criminals like Bush and Cheney, it is an egregious injustice to seek criminal penalties against Assange, Snowden, and Manning (who harmed no one, but furthered the cause of democracy).
Freedom Fighters And War Criminals

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