Originally published at Yahoo News
COMMENTARY | The primary function of the state — any state — is the preservation and protection of its own power and interests. Therefore, it is only logical that those who expose the state’s crimes will be dealt with severely, while the perpetrators of those crimes remain all but untouchable.
I am actually a bit surprised that Manning was acquitted of “aiding the enemy,” even though there was no evidence that he did so. There was no evidence that Saddam Hussein possessed weapons of mass destruction, after all, yet the state still saw fit to invade and occupy Iraq, with disastrous results — many of them revealed thanks to Manning and Wikileaks. The “aiding the enemy” verdict was correct; exposing war crimes shouldn’t be a crime, especially when the war criminals get off scot-free.
You’d be forgiven for not knowing exactly what crimes Manning brought to light, given the way the so-called “liberal” media hardly ever covers U.S. atrocities. In case you didn’t know, the hundreds of thousands of classified military and diplomatic documents released by Manning detailed U.S. and allied war crimes in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere, including: child rape, torture, the killing of innocent civilians, the killing of journalists, state spying on allies and the United Nations and the intentional imprisonment of 150 innocent men and boys at Guantánamo Bay. The U.S. military and government attempted to cover up most, if not all, of these crimes and may have succeeded in doing so were it not for the courageous actions of Manning and Wikileaks.
Bradley Manning has already been punished enough. His treatment while in military custody, which has been described by the United Nations as “cruel, inhuman and degrading,” is another shameful chapter in a growing volume of U.S. state crimes.
If anyone should be on trial, it should be the state officials in both the Bush and Obama administrations who planned, authorized, conducted and concealed all those crimes exposed by Manning. It can even be argued that the heinous actions of our leaders and other state officials “aided the enemy” — by providing an endless stream of anti-American propaganda and recruitment material — much more than anything Manning ever did.