Government secrecy gone wild

  • Article by: DANA MILBANK , Washington Post
  • Updated: August 22, 2013 - 1:42 PM

Pfc. Bradley Manning got a dishonorable discharge at his sentencing, but he received it with an honorable disposition.

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twspt7Aug. 22, 13 2:44 PM

"You don't need to agree with what Manning did to agree with Coombs that government secrecy has gone too far" Amen. I think Manning deserves the hard time he will be doing. But he and Snowden have publicly exposed something that we all know but bury our heads in the sand about - the fact that very little is private or sacred in our intelligence community. I realize we must protect ourselves from those who mean this country harm. At the same time, I wonder who will protect us from ourselves. The immortal words of Colonel Jessup - "You can't handle the truth!" - were BS then and are BS now.

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davehougAug. 22, 13 3:47 PM

He did not want to help his country. He hurt the US by dumping vast amounts, way more than he knew was safe and let the enemy comb thru it. Whatever his goals, they do not need 700,000 pages to accomplish.

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jcinmnAug. 22, 13 3:57 PM

Manning was too young to realize the serious nature of his offense. I doubt that he is mature enough yet. His job was not to moralize on the information he came across but to honor his contract with his employer. Even if he is released soon enough to seek employment the question remains. "Can he be trusted?"

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pumiceAug. 22, 13 4:23 PM

From the article: "The administration has suggested that reporters can be prosecuted for receiving classified information [in an environment of government secrecy on steroids], and it has prosecuted more leaks than all previous administrations." The administration has also suggested a robust public debate on the issue of security v privacy. Without Manning and Snowden, there'd be no call for debate. Without Manning and Snowden, we'd have no information with which to inform our opinion on the issue. There's no better example of over-charging than the cases of Bradley Manning and Edward Snowden.

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jd55604Aug. 22, 13 4:49 PM

Our government is supposed to work for and serve its citizens. Not the other way around. As an employer; what would you say to one of your employees who was collecting secret files on you and told you he would have you arrested if you dared try to read any of them? Police states thrive on secrecy whereas a free republic thrives on transparency.

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hobie2Aug. 22, 13 5:12 PM

"the National Security Agency leaker now hiding from American justice"... as my law professor said before he introduced himself - "Never confuse the law with justice"... Snowden is hiding from the law - it is most assuredly not clear and the subject of much debate if he is hiding from justice... And as you get ready to click thumbs down - remember that every person of Jewish descent who was gassed by the Nazis was killed following the laws of that government...as was the Cambodians killed by Pol Pot's laws... so were those action also justice, or were they just the law?

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patwellsAug. 22, 13 6:27 PM

There is a high probability that the NSA spying by thousands of private contractors with high security clearances could have resulted in any number of criminal activities such as corporate espionage, blackmail, misuse of insider information, etc. There could be some good stories here, but any whistle blower will probably be jailed and the identities of the criminals will be a national secret. This could be a perfect way to be a criminal.

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hawkeye56379Aug. 22, 13 6:42 PM

hobie2: Your point that not all laws are just laws is valid, but every government has secrets and laws protecting them. This is not remotely like laws in totalitarian states. If we feel that the FISA laws go too far we can change them, unlike many other places.

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mandansmomAug. 22, 13 7:16 PM

Today's turn of events, namely, from now on Manning wants to be known as Chelsea and receive treatment for gender transition --at the expense of the US gov't while she is incarcerated-- sheds an entirely different light on her motives.

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badcopperAug. 22, 13 7:16 PM

There's no better example of over-charging than the cases of Bradley Manning and Edward Snowde----- these clowns knew full well what they were doing. Their Napoleonic personalities condemned them to lives of misery. Couldn't be happier or them

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