Thursday, August 22, 2013


For a long time I have harboured a question: Is America (as in: the United States of America) really a "free country"?

Of course it's not. Neither is my country of Canada. The issue of what constitutes freedom is more complicated and detailed than the lone word "freedom", of course, but the question is a good and vital one; especially considering that we stick the grand proclamation to our respective flags, often with nary a doubt.

Yesterday, Pfc. Bradley Manning, now former soldier of the U.S. Army, was handed his sentence by the court judge: For giving classified information to WikiLeaks, the young man will serve 35 years, with eligibility for parole in seven. I agree with those who feel that Manning broke the law. He recklessly freed what could be potentially damaging information to an organization which prides itself on public-domaining any and all data -- some of which probably should stay "secret". (Note: Overall, I like WikiLeaks. Their existence keeps certain people, the 'right' people, nervous. Excellent.)

But, and it's a big one (I love saying that), Manning's sentencing raises some good questions; the big one is: Has government secrecy gone too far? The fear is that anything can be considered "secret" by the powers in charge. Yeah, generally to protect 'stupid old white men' in charge. The top dogs are allowed to get away with murder; literally. Thousands; tens of thousands; hundreds of thousands; millions have died due to 'executive' orders.

So... is there retribution? Of course there is; ask Bradley Manning....

Washington Post columnist Dana Milbank nails some good points to the wall...
Bradley Manning’s sentence and the zealous national-security state

And Bradley Manning's attorney, Lt. Col. David Coombs, said this yesterday at a press conference, after the sentencing...

“The cancer of over-classification is threatening the very fabric of our free society... Over-classification hinders debate. It hinders what we know about our government. It hinders finding solutions to common problems [such as] how do we keep our way of life in a post-9/11 world.”


DonaldAR said...

He may have "broken the law," but it's a stupid law. I'm losing respect for Obama by the minute, as the U.S. thunders towards a police state that is a mirror image of the fascist theocracies they war against. I suspect George Orwell was the Nostradamus of the 20th century.

Barry Smight said...

Your comment's accuracy brought a smile to my face. You are right.

Re "fascist theocracies": That's the ironic thing... ain't it?!

I suspect that Orwell saw what was happening around him. He, too, lived in an interesting time.