June 15, 2010

Wikileak Case Echoes Pentagon Papers

by Coleen Rowley and Robert Parry

Almost four decades after Defense Department insider Daniel Ellsberg leaked the Pentagon Papers - thus exposing the lies that led the United States into the Vietnam War - another courageous "national security leaker" has stepped forward and now is facing retaliation similar to what the U.S. government tried to inflict on Ellsberg.

Army Intelligence Specialist Bradley Manning is alleged to have turned over a large volume of classified material about the Iraq and Afghanistan wars to, including the recently posted U.S. military video showing American helicopters gunning down two Reuters journalists and about 10 other Iraqi men in 2007. Two children were also injured.

The 22-year-old Manning was turned in by a convicted computer hacker named Adrian Lamo, who befriended Manning over the Internet and then betrayed him, supposedly out of concern that disclosure of the classified material might put U.S. military personnel in danger. Manning is now in U.S. military custody in Kuwait awaiting charges.

Though there are historic parallels between the actions of Manning today and those of Ellsberg in 1971, a major difference is the attitude of the mainstream U.S. news media, which then fought to publish Ellsberg's secret history but now is behaving more like what former CIA analyst Ray McGovern calls the "fawning corporate media" or FCM.

In the Ellsberg case, the first Pentagon Papers article was published by the New York Times - and when President Richard Nixon blocked the Times from printing other stories - the Washington Post and 17 other newspapers picked up the torch and kept publishing articles based on Ellsberg's material until Nixon's obstruction was made meaningless, and ultimately was repudiated by the U.S. Supreme Court.

Today, the major response of the Times, Post and other tribunes of the FCM has been to write articles disparaging Manning, while treating Lamo as something of a patriotic hero. . . .

The FCM also has shown little interest in the U.S. government's apparent attempts to hunt down Julian Assange, the Australian-born founder of which decrypted the video of the Iraq helicopter attack and posted it on the Internet under the title, "Collateral Murder." . . .

The Obama Administration has even instituted criminal prosecution of government employees who blew the whistle on prior unlawful actions of the Bush regime by daring to reveal, for instance, that Bush's NSA was warrantlessly monitoring American citizens.

The final step in the U.S. government's continuing foray to the "dark side" has been Obama's signing off on the proposed targeted assassination of an American citizen - who had been linked to support for Islamic terrorism - without any judicial due process. . . .


Robert Parry broke many of the Iran-Contra stories in the 1980s for the Associated Press and Newsweek. His latest book, Neck Deep: The Disastrous Presidency of George W. Bush, was written with two of his sons, Sam and Nat, and can be ordered at His two previous books, Secrecy & Privilege: The Rise of the Bush Dynasty from Watergate to Iraq and Lost History: Contras, Cocaine, the Press & 'Project Truth' are also available there. Or go to

[The unfolding secret story of the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Centre and the Pentagon is being told today when more than 500,000 intercepted pager messages, many from US officials, are published online in the order in which they were sent.--"9/11 re-enacted: Wikileaks publishes September 11 pager messages," Guardian, November 25, 2009]

Muriel Kane, "Daniel Ellsberg fears a US hit on Wikileaks founder Julian Assange,", June 11, 2010

[The Garani massacre, which we are still working on, killed over 100 people, mostly children.

Mr. Manning allegedly also sent us 260,000 classified US Department cables, reporting on the actions of US Embassy's engaging in abusive actions all over the world. We have denied the allegation, but the US government is acting as if the allegation is true--David Heath, "WikiLeaks is asking for urgent help,", June 15, 2010]

"With Rumored Manhunt for Wikileaks Founder and Arrest of Alleged Leaker of Video Showing Iraq Killings, Obama Admin Escalates Crackdown on Whistleblowers of Classified Information,", June 17, 2010

[As usual, government concern over leaks is about avoiding embarrassment and other accountability; national security harm is but the fear-mongering excuse.--Glenn Greenwald, "The motive behind whistle-blower prosecutions,", July 14, 2010]

Chris Floyd, "Leaky Vessels: Wikileaks 'Revelations' Will Comfort Warmongers, Confirm Conventional Wisdom,", July 26, 2010

[When you read Mr. Assange's output, you are looking at one of the Mossad games, nothing more. They send some stories to Fox News, some to CNN, some to the Washington Post or London Times. They have their pick as their friends and co-workers own those outlets and so many more. The game today is using Wikileaks, given its 15 minutes of fame for trashing the US in Iraq with the helicopter video, to spread imaginary stories about Pakistan, the only nuclear power in the Middle East capable of standing up to Israel and the enemy of India.--Gordon Duff, "Wiki-Leaks is Israel, Like We All Didn't Know,", July 29, 2010]

[The evidence suggests however that far from an honest leak, it is a calculated disinformation to the gain of the US and perhaps Israeli and Indian intelligence and a cover-up of the US and Western role in drug trafficking out of Afghanistan.

. . . a closer examination of the public position of Assange on one of the most controversial issues of recent decades, the forces behind the September 11, 2001, attacks on the Pentagon and World Trade Center shows him to be curiously establishment.--F. William Engdahl, "Something stinks about Wikileaks,", August 11, 2010]

[Nobel Prize committee officials say they have received a petition claiming some 100,000 signatures that endorses awarding the peace prize to U.S. soldier Bradley Manning--"Petition backs Manning for Nobel Peace Prize:," Associated Press, August 12, 2013]

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