Irony: Congress May Declare Today 'National Whistleblower Day' As Court Announces Manning Verdict

from the how-we-treat-our-whistleblowers dept

In a few hours, the court hearing the Bradley Manning trial will be announcing the verdict. I’m sure we’ll have plenty of commentary on the eventual decision, but it’s worth noting this bit of ridiculousness. Senator Chuck Grassley is trying to get today declared National Whistleblower Day by Congress, in honor of the Constitutional Congress’ very first whitleblower protection law, enacted on July 30, 1778. As the article notes, Grassley has worked hard over the years to protect whistleblowers, but we recently wrote about his hypocrisy on the subject, passing a special law for a Swiss bank security guard who did more or less the same thing as Ed Snowden, while bashing Snowden for not facing a trial in the US. Congress just really has a knack for doing the exact wrong thing, don’t they? If they want to actually support whistleblowers, they should support whistleblowers, not name a pointless day after them on the very same day that a high profile whistleblower likely finds out that he’s going to spend much, if not all, of the rest of his life in jail.

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Comments on “Irony: Congress May Declare Today 'National Whistleblower Day' As Court Announces Manning Verdict”

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anonymouse says:

Re: Re:

They do this so that they can say they support whistleblowers but that Snowden and Manning are not whistleblowers, it is a sad sad day when the government knows exactly how to manipulate the population into supporting everything they do, well the uninformed masses that is, there are many that understand that Manning and Snowden are real whistleblowers and not the whistleblowers that only release info that the government wants them to. What is the bet that they award someone special notice so as to say that whistle blowing is alive and well in the US. As i said it is a sad sad day.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:

Can somebody say conceited? You are the informed and know exactly the way it should be. Yet, you are not the one in charge and making the rules. Why is that? Could it be that you truly don’t know wtf you are talking about and are just living in your own little dream world?

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

They are not that technically advanced. Electrically enhanced is more likely.

On the other hand: Keeping someone in isolation for more than 3 years amounts to a far more effective technique if you want to break a human being down. The only downside of the technique is the time-requirement and that is why other techniques are preferred.

RD says:

Re: Welcome to Amerika

“In America you blow whistle. In Obama’s Amerika whistle blows you (not in a good way).”

Will you people PLEASE knock it off with this partisan bullshit already. It’s not Obama’s anything, its the entire American political system. Both Dems and Repubs are responsible for the mess we are in, both groups are culpable and guilty. Trying to pin everything on one man is ridiculous. Even Bush Jr. had Cheny and Rumsfeld and many others helping him ruin what was once the greatest democracy in the world. To lay the entirety of this mess on just Obama shows a stunning lack of understanding of history and the current political climate.

PRMan (profile) says:

To me there is a big difference

Snowden has been narrowly tailoring his leaks to only what is necessary to alert the American public, while Manning indiscriminately dumped 250,000 cables, which, while embarrassing, is completely unnecessary just to prove his point. If he had stuck to Collateral Murder and hand-picking stories such as delivering little boys to Afghan warlords, I would have more respect.

But hey, since they are going to ruin your life anyway regardless of what you release, might as well ruin theirs I guess.

Liz (profile) says:

Re: To me there is a big difference

It wasn’t just a big intel dump to the internet for anyone to access.

You forgot a step in Manning’s release plan: He gave it to Wikileaks for them to filter out names of people who might be harmed and then disseminate the information to the media. Just as they had been doing for other whistleblowers prior to this incident. That is how the story broke out in the mainstream media after all. Larger news organizations like the New York Times picked up the story and told about the release of diplomatic cables. Then it was Manning that was betrayed by Adrian Lamo who brought everything to the Federal agencies and outed the whistleblower.

Anonymous Howard (profile) says:

Re: To me there is a big difference

Don’t be too hard on the man, he had hot stuff burning his hands. Probably wanted to get rid of it before someone notices it.

Besides, what (real) harm came to “teh american nation” because of the release of info from 2 wars long ended?

Snowden did it more smartly, with the dead man’s switch and all that, but Manning was just as brave.

Wally (profile) says:

Re: Not Irony

As much as I want to disagree with you, you’re correct. Manning was in the US Army and there’s a few rules about leaking information that you have to follow. While it may not be espionage, the US Army’s rank and clearance rules apply. Manning leaked information that probably put the lives if others in danger. While he did not commit treason or espionage, he did make reports to wiki leaks based on his own opinions rather than what’s actually going on. His job was to take and execute his orders and let his superiors figure out why they had to give them.

Also, if there were issues within his platoon or group, he failed to follow chain rules concerning chain of command in telling his concerns by not reporting it to his immediate superior. You just don’t flat out leak information like he did when youre a part of the US Military.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Not Irony

And he plead guilty to those. And spare us the “just following orders” speech again. That doesn’t fly and you know it. Soldiers are not supposed to follow orders when those orders mean breaking the law and assisting in covering up evidence of wrong doing so that it does not come out would be an obstruction of justice. That may be a little bit of a stretch, but it’s way less of a stretch than the logic releasing embarrassing evidence of abuses of power for publication is somehow “aiding the enemy”.

Furthermore, if the information “put the lives of others in danger,” citation please? Name one specific instance where this occurred. Just as the Courts through out the first ACLU case because the ACLU had to show that there was actually harm caused to them, same with this sort of claim. Seriously, name one.

Wally (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Not Irony

But he is a whistle blower…his only wrongdoing was skipping the chain of command straight to wikileaks. The only thing they can do to him is court marshal him back down to private.

I’m merely referring to the fact that he leaked information in stead of reporting it to his superiors through chain of command. Whistle blower or not, there’s a certain way to blow the proverbial whistle and certain JAG procedures Manning failed to comply with.

The key difference between Bradley Manning and Edward Snowden is that Snowden is continuing to preserve the information that really needs to be classified. Manning leaked EVERYTHING he could find which includes …troop movements…That information from Manning was not being preserved which is why news agencies outside of Wikileaks rarely reported anything Manning gave them.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Not Irony

It is not required to report to chain of command when whistle blowing.

In fact when obvious illegalities are taking place in such an extreme nature, the simple act of “reporting to superiors” can get you in deep, deep trouble.

After all, these are acts being perpetuated by your superiors. What would his superiors do with the information? ALSO report to their superiors?

This is why you have whistleblower protection acts. This isn’t the same as reporting an infraction of the rules.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Not Irony

Secondly I think it’s already been stated that no actual harm came from Mannings leaked documents…

Of which the government refused to work with Wikileaks in telling them which documents should NOT be released, or what information should be redacted.

Remember, Wikileaks tried to reach out before releasing everything en masse.

Mike Masnick (profile) says:

Re: Re: Not Irony

As much as I want to disagree with you, you’re correct. Manning was in the US Army and there’s a few rules about leaking information that you have to follow

He did go up the chain of command and was ignored and told to shut up.

Manning leaked information that probably put the lives if others in danger.

That’s been claimed, but there is ZERO support for it.

His job was to take and execute his orders and let his superiors figure out why they had to give them.

“Just doing my job” is not an excuse if you come across wrongdoing.

he failed to follow chain rules concerning chain of command

He did not. He first ran those issues up the chain of command and was ignored.

Wally, once again, you say things that are factually untrue.

Wally (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Not Irony

I have a firm grasp as to this situation concerning chain of command. And you’ll note it wasn’t just behavior he leaked, but troop movements. Leaking that type of intel puts those in the Army Intelligence services and divisions on harm’s way. Army Intel goes in and figures out the local customs and various,if any, dangers to avoid. They also gather the local Insectivora population to see what diseases the local mosquitoes carry. The movement of those people is kept classified. That info on the whereabouts of those people were leaked, not just there behavior.

As far as the change of command issue, his superiors fear losing their positions. While the behaviors need to be reported, the base commander is the one who carries out these problems. The Department of Defense is working up change that pronto…why? I suggested it out of concern for the sexual assault that goes on in the military and nothing been done to those responsible to my Aunt who is now on the DOD’s Military Intelligence community after just finishing a tour in Djibouti.

Anonymous Coward says:

how thoughtless and uncaring can people be? the guy exposed the USA army’s behaviour and the most important body of politicians in the land announce something that is as false as any statement that has or ever could be made by a government! callous isn’t the word, taking the piss is nearer the mark! i hope they live to regret this!

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