Ben Wizner of the ACLU sums up why he thinks decent people everywhere should be disgusted by the 35-year prison sentence imposed on Bradley Manning this week:
When a soldier who shared information with the press and public is punished far more harshly than others who tortured prisoners and killed civilians, something is seriously wrong with our justice system.
Actually, Wizner missed the mark. It’s not about the degree of punishment. Manning should be hailed, not punished, for bringing to light crimes of a military apparatus that is supposed to adhere to a code of conduct that prohibits torture and attacks on civilians. The fact that Manning’s defense team was barred from using evidence of those crimes and the cover-up of those crimes — i.e., the documents leaked by Manning to Wikileaks — is proof that the government never intended to allow him anything more than the sort of show trial Joe Stalin would have ordered in Communist Russia.
But this obvious point was ignored by the corporate media, which would much rather direct our attention to the big questions of our time. Who will play Batman next. How many times did Paula Deen use the n-word. Will the Pats be strong enough at tight end now that Aaron Hernandez is in jail. Stay tuned.
Footnote: James Wolcott points to another sick irony in his take on this travesty of justice:
As has been noted on Twitter, Hitler’s favorite architect and convicted Nazi war criminal Albert Speer was sentenced to 20 years in prison, 15 shy of the 35 year sentence meted out to Bradley Manning this week for leaking classified documents to Wikileaks.