Son of executed spies defends Bradley Manning

  • Article by: Robert Meeropol
  • Updated: August 14, 2013 - 8:51 PM

A few weeks from now, a military judge will probably sentence Bradley Manning to serve several decades in prison for violating the Espionage Act of 1917. I feel a kinship with him. My parents, Ethel and Julius Rosenberg, were convicted of violating the same act in 1951. They were executed two years later, when I was 6.

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omakristyAug. 15, 13 1:09 PM

Fascinating. I was always curious about the Julius and Ethel Rosenberg trial and outcome. The courage displayed by the Rosenberg sons as they sought the suppressed information is stirring. While I understand that the American public doesn't need to know everything, in reality, we shouldn't be completely naive and trust that secrecy assures ethical decisions and behaviors. Well done. Thank you.

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moron100Aug. 15, 13 1:14 PM

Your mother was guilty as well. Proved by KGB records that she was working for them. So she was a traitor whether she passed the exact document on the atom bomb or anything else. she betrayed her country and you!

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guessagainAug. 15, 13 1:48 PM

Giving government secrets to the enemy is treason, whether you have children or not. I don't understand how anyone can take a position of trust and turn it against the United States. I am a liberal, but committing treason is not a political offense. It is an offense against all Americans.

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stpaulisbestAug. 15, 13 2:54 PM

Well, if all the world's armies were populated with Bradley Mannings we wouldn't have to worry, now would we? But if our privates are giving away all our military secrets and no other county's privates are then we have a problem, don't we? And as a former Marine, the type of person who could have lost his life from such 'transparency', I have precious little sympathy for the argument that the world will be a better place if we just tell everyone everything. That utopia assumes a level of morality that transcends any venal desire to use information for personal advantage. And I'm just not at all sure that the human race has evolved quite that far, yet.

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hermajestyAug. 15, 13 7:20 PM

Bradley Manning wasn't giving away military secrets. He was revealing instances in which the U.S. forces acted against our own declared ideals.

You all need to read a book from the 1970s called "The CIA and the Cult of Intelligence" by Victor Marchetti. Like all books by ex-agents, it was subjected to CIA censorship, and the author was so mad about this that he insisted that the publisher show exactly where the cuts had taken place (as in "three pages redacted").

Anyway, the main thesis of the book is that the "national security" excuse for secrecy is nonsense, that everyone has infiltrated everyone else's intelligence services and that so-called "covert" actions by the U.S. are well known to everyone in the world but the American people.

The purpose of secrecy, Marchetti declared, is to prevent the American people from finding out the immoral and/or embarrassing things their government is doing internationally.

Bradley Manning began leaking information not because he hated the U.S. or loved Islamic militants but because he was horrified at what the U.S. forces were doing in the Middle East.

We should be thanking him and using his information to pressure our leaders to stop these senseless, incredibly expensive wars and not let any more young Americans die in a war with constantly moving goalposts.

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