Manning pays the price for revealing the truth

Bradley Manning
Bradley Manning

REGARDLESS of your personal view on whether or not Bradley (or should I say Chelsea?) Manning was right to give US Military information to Wikileaks, you can't argue with the content of what he/she exposed.

Manning, who this week was sentenced to 35 years jail for espionage and hopes to undergo a sex change, is paying a high price for trying to provide us with the naked truth of how America conducts itself in war.

The video of two US Apache attack helicopters shooting and killing 12 people in Baghdad in 2007 was the most notable, but still only one of 700,000 classified documents, videos and diplomatic cables that Manning distributed while working as an intelligence analyst in Baghdad. Whether or not it was worth jeopardising his own freedom, while arguably endangering the lives of his fellow Americans in the process, is a subject of some debate.

Interestingly, nobody - as far as we know - has been held accountable for the alleged criminality exposed in the leaked documents. With that in mind, two of the 12 men shot dead by the Apache helicopters were Reuters news staff, while two children were also injured.

The US, of course, has always put a huge value on its secrets - perhaps even higher than the value it puts on a human life.

It might take a few decades to look back and truly realise the significance of what Wikileaks has done, but for now, the US Government has made an example of Manning, while Julian Assange dare not step outside the Ecuadorian embassy in London.

The message from that is pretty clear, I think.


Fact checks cut through claims of politicians

IN A TIME when it's hard to put an election-based story online without attracting a barrage of responses from political hacks, it has been refreshing to see the "fact checking" stories on the popular news websites.

The ABC and Fairfax have been running their own versions of a fine-toothed comb through several contentious claims made by Kevin Rudd, Tony Abbott and others during the campaign.

They have already exposed truths, half truths, exaggerations and all-out porky pies, helping the average Joe get a better understanding of some of the important issues and policies.

Even better, I have noticed that the majority of the relatively few comments that are submitted below the fact checking stories are much more insightful. It seems that by simply providing an explanation of the issue the fact checkers have bypassed any hysterical argument that could erupt out of a perceived misrepresentation of the story.


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