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Breaking secrets or leaking crimes?

Sometimes the truth has to be fought for!      (Foto: Kyozai)

THE CORE ISSUE
Let's start with the central point: the question is not «Did Julian Assange have contact or even initiate contact with Bradley Manning?», «Did Julian Assange convince or even push Bradley Manning to leak data?» or «Did Julian Assange provide infrastructure to Manning in order to leak data?», no, the central question is: «Did Bradley Manning expose any crimes?». If alleged whistle-blower Manning exposed any crimes, especially those of public interest, all surrounding actions become legal by definition of whistle-blowing which in the US and Great Britain for example are well protected under the Whistleblower Protection Act or the False Claims Act and others…


TWO DEFINITIONS OF «CRIME» 
There are two definitions of the word «crime» (actually there are three but for an easier understanding we leave out the religious definition). One is a legal definition. The other is a cultural definition.

Let’s examine those two definitions for a moment: a legal definition is a definition inscribed in the written law of a country, an institution or any legal entity. A cultural definition is what the cultural consent and common sense in a certain culture at a certain point of time dictates. In our days it's usually the cultural definition that takes precedence over the legal definition.



«There is a big difference between leaking state secrets and leaking state crimes.»
                        (Anoncro, Anonymous Hrvatska v/Twitter)




In world war two for example the gassing of millions of jews and minorities might have been a permissible, legal act by german law. The cultural consent and common sense of the world population at that time dictated however that it was a horrible crime however «legal» it might have been in the german jurisdiction. Hence those crimes were illegal and later prosecuted in the infamous Nuremberg Trials. Our example shows clearly that not all written legal law is always correct and ethical. Most often it is but not always.


WHISTLE-BLOWING: NOT NORM, NOT EGOISTIC, NOT TRIVIAL, NOT RISK-FREE 
Valid whistle-blowing usually fulfills following four criteria: it has to be a controversial disclosure, the whistle-blowers motive should be altruistic, the exposure needs to have the character of an alarm call, the whistle-blower takes a considerably high risk of an economic (e.g. loss of job), private (e.g. loss of friends and or social life) or even safety (e.g. risk of detainment, prosecution or even bodily harm) nature.

It is also important to consider each leak separately. Each leaking instance should be individually judged and acted upon.


BREAKING SECRETS VERSUS LEAKING CRIMES
In the case of purported leaker Bradley Manning we see that not only all of the whistle-blowing criteria are more than fulfilled but that this fact holds true for the whole number of his alleged leaks: the Collateral Murder Video, the Afghan War Logs, the Iraq War Logs as well as the 250’000 US Embassy Diplomatic Cables.


Supporters of Bradley Manning protest for better prison conditions.    (Foto: AP/BDAPD)


Much more irritating is that all four leaks reportedly coming from Private Bradley Manning show highly irresponsible handling of security information by the government as well as an incredible number of already committed crimes and human casualties vastly exceeding the possible crimes and casualties that could have ever been caused by the leaks themselves. Not one casualty, being the direct result of the alleged leaks, has been reported until the present day.

So… what about stopping to pretend and starting to honor the truth? This is the least we, the world and the United States of America in particular, owe to Bradley Manning but also to all the soldiers having risked and still risking their lives for the «right cause». We owe it especially to the thousands of people that have been wrongfully killed or harmed in any way on «the battlefield», we owe it to all people whose tax money is being spent on a very questionable part of the «war on terror» and we owe it to all people wanting to responsibly vote and take part in politics for their picture of the world would be far too partial without that leaked knowledge. And last but not least we owe it to ourselves to be able to choose wisely who should politically represent us, the people. Good information is critical to be able to take informed decisions and actions so that we can see our children grow up in the world we wish for them, a world that maybe – maybe – could be a little paradise.




If you like this essay, you might also like the following ones: 

The death of our mainstream media The mentioned quotes in the beginning of this essay sadly illustrate the catastrophic shape of much of our old mainstream media. They prove what we suspected for a long time already: our old mainstream media are dead

More restrictive weapon laws? (in german with good english video material) Bullshit! Roosevelt hit it with his – by now infamous – saying: We have nothing to fear but fear itself. (Franklin D. Roosevelt)…

The danger of censoring child pornography! Child pornography is not always bad…

Prison Rape The story of prison rape is one of power, silence and underreporting…




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