By Christopher B. Daly
Army Pfc. Bradley Manning — who has admitted that he was the source for the Wikileaks disclosures of classified information — now faces a court martial on charges that he violated the Espionage Act, and he found out yesterday that the judge in his case will not drop the charge that he “aided the enemy.”
I do not know if he had the intent to do so, and I take no position on that.
But I do fault the news media for covering that decision and accepting the charge at face value. News reporters are supposed to pursue the 5W’s (who, what, when, where, and why — along with their pal “how”)
In the Manning case, there are some unasked questions:
WHO? In 2009, when Manning made his leak, who was “the enemy” of the United States? We had not declared war on any nation. We were conducting hostile actions against two entities: Al Qaeda, a criminal gang of religious fanatics who can barely mount an operation, and the Taliban, which is a political movement in certain parts of South Asia that sometimes uses terror tactics against the U.S. military (only because it is occupying parts of South Asia) and others. So, what “enemy” did Manning supposedly give aid to?
HOW? How did those disclosures help any state that is an enemy?
It could well be that military prosecutors have evidence of answers to those questions, but I have not seen any, and I am disappointed that the news media have not demanded answers.