The daily newspaper owned by Rupert Murdoch, the Wall Street Journal, chose to take a hot-blooded authoritarian swipe at Pfc. Bradley Manning on Sunday.
In an editorial, the newspaper notes he pled guilty and made a statement in military court. It proceeds to assert:
Alienated by what he saw in Iraq, Private Manning told a military court that he leaked to “make the world a better place” and to “spark a domestic debate on the role of the military and our foreign policy.” He had an “insatiable curiosity and interest in geopolitics,” and reading the diplomatic cables had stirred his outrage over “backdoor deals and seemingly criminal activity that didn’t seem characteristic of the de facto leader of the free world.” So he felt obliged to break the law.
Idealists in a hurry are an old story and the source of much human misery. If he really wanted to change the world, the young private could have run for Congress or started a blog. [emphasis added by kg]
As is clear in the above paragraphs, it is brimming with despicable elitism that shows contempt for the American tradition of people taking action against injustice.
The Journal‘s editorial board promotes ignorance by claiming, ”Most of the documents revealed little we didn’t already know or suspect about the conduct of the Iraq and Afghan wars, Pakistan’s double dealing with the Taliban, Russia’s thieving rulers or the Arab world’s doddering dictators (most since toppled).” Then, in a more subtle version of the unenlightened “WikiLeaks-has-blood-on-its-hands” meme, the editorial board added, “Yet some also revealed much about U.S. military tactics, capabilities and the names of Afghans and Iraqis who worked with us.”
The editorial board concludes, “He is not a hero, despite the attempts by the anti-antiterror left to make him one. He will learn that the hard way in prison.” The contempt is so fierce the editors apply an incoherent label to supporters. It is a reflection of the board’s ardor for permanent war and empire-building and the zeal the editors have for seeing the government punish or demean those who challenge policies of war or empire.
Multiple readers reacted by posting comments wishing for Manning to be killed (and, in at least one example, by a firing squad). One even made a veiled comment that essentially suggested in prison he is likely to get raped and, as a gay person, he would enjoy it. [continue]