Newman said he believes the Obama administration is spooked by the WikiLeaks case and is using the Espionage Act to send a message to other employees to “button it up” — though some of these cases pre-date the Manning case.
He acknowledged that the six defendants are not “apples to apples,” clarifying that the Project on Government Oversight “doesn’t necessarily condone” what Manning did. But for others, he questioned whether the information they leaked was being overlooked in the rush to punish.
This is from an organization that relies upon and, from time-to-time, supports whistleblowers (though some argue, not without merit, that POGO exploits whistleblowers in its efforts to cozy up to the powers that be).
For a different take on the Manning case, see this:
A generation before Bradley Manning, Daniel Ellsberg understood that some laws were worth breaking to expose and bring accountability to far greater crimes. Ellsberg tried to voice his grievances within his chain of command, as Manning did, before being ignored.
I have heard many people justify the government’s treatment of Manning simply because of the risks he allegedly took. “He should have known better,” they say, missing the point. Asked in 1971 if he was prepared to go to prison for releasing the Pentagon Papers, Ellsberg’s reply was simple: “Wouldn’t you go to jail to end this war?”
Future posts will explore POGO’s financial ties and its role in the veal pen that is the whistleblower community.
P.S. This isn’t the first time that POGO throws its values out the window to please the power structure.