"It profits me but little that a vigilant authority always protects the tranquillity of my pleasures and constantly averts all dangers from my path, without my care or concern, if this same authority is the absolute master of my liberty and my life."

--Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Smile of the Day - Creep Version

Bradley Manning, pictured above, was the twenty-two year-old Army private who pirated all of the Classified information that has made its way to Wikileaks and, now, onto the Internet.   There are a lot of questions to be raised for the future:  (1) Why are our diplomats so, well, undiplomatic?  (2) Why are there so many classified documents, including information that plainly isn't secret?  (3) Why are so many people -- I read one source that said up to 3 million -- given clearance to look at secret materials?  (4) How does a goof like Manning get to be one of those people?  

That's all fine.  But I think the question is:  what do we do now?  Repairing the damage to our diplomacy is the least of our worries; from what I've read, nothing released seems to be anything that couldn't have been deduced by a reasonable poli-sci graduate student.   China selling missiles to Iran?  Alert the media.   Relatively moderate Arab states afraid of a nuclear Iran?  Who would have guessed Arabs wouldn't like to be dominated by Persians?  Russia is a mobocracy?  What else is new?  When was it something else?

Keeping more significant espionage from occurring in the future would be my main focus.   How do we do that?  I think the first step is to say two things:  (1) Bradley Manning is a traitor, and the U.S. government will seek the death penalty.  (2) Recipients of classified information like Wikileaks are abettors of treason, and their leaders, like Julian Assange (pictured below), will be extradited and prosecuted.   America will demand that any country harboring Assange extradite him to American justice or else face sanctions.  

There is too much classified information and too many people with clearance to think that internal controls will handle everything.   You need swift and sure justice to deter treason.  

It starts with the doofus shown above, and this jerk:


National Review Online has a good post on Manning's liability under the Espionage Act.   

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