For him facing 136 years in jail for telling the American people what our government should have been telling us — about torture centers in Iraq, 20,000 extra civilians killed in Iraq — I find outrageous. He shouldn’t be put on trial. He is a whistleblower. The people that should be put on trial are the people who actually did those human rights violations.
The Obama administration has proven particularly awful in its vindictive pursuit of leakers, whistleblowers, and this is just not the problem that we have. I think these people are being scapegoated for the past decade of foreign policy failure.
It’s altogether telling that none of the architects of the Iraq war has been prosecuted, none of the CIA torturers, not even the lawyers who wrote the rationales for the CIA torture. They’re all fine. They have it made in the shade.
But Bradley Manning, a young private who did get the truth out is the one facing over a hundred years in prison right now. I think that’s a very clear sign that Washington has its priorities backwards when it comes to both national security and civil liberties.
— Chase Madar, author of The Passion of Bradley Manning
Contrary to campaign promises of whistleblower protection, the Obama administration has prosecuted more whistleblowers than all previous presidents combined, while ignoring violations of US and international laws on torture, not to mention white collar crime on Wall Street.
It’s hard not to draw the conclusion that Manning’s trial was about sending a message: the US government will come after you, no holds barred, if you’re thinking of revealing evidence of its unlawful behaviour.
— Widney Brown, Senior Director of International Law and Policy at Amnesty International