Monday, August 05, 2013

Welcome to post-Constitutional America

Over at Tom Dispatch, an article by Peter van Buren (author of We Meant Well: How I Helped Lose the Battle for the Hearts and Minds of the Iraqi People), himself a federal whistle-blower who was forced out of the State Department after he published his book, writes about what the Bradley Manning trial means for us:
On July 30, 1778, the Continental Congress created the first whistleblower protection law, stating “that it is the duty of all persons in the service of the United States to give the earliest information to Congress or other proper authority of any misconduct, frauds, or misdemeanors committed by any officers or persons in the service of these states.”

Two hundred thirty-five years later, on July 30, 2013, Bradley Manning was found guilty on 20 of the 22 charges for which he was prosecuted, specifically for “espionage” and for videos of war atrocities he released, but not for “aiding the enemy.”

Days after the verdict, with sentencing hearings in which Manning could receive 136 years of prison time ongoing, the pundits have had their say. The problem is that they missed the most chilling aspect of the Manning case: the way it ushered us, almost unnoticed, into post-Constitutional America.
Read it all. You won't enjoy it, but it'll be good for you.

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