Cultural Revolutions

What Consequences?

A consistent trait of ideologues is the failure to see the consequences of their ideologies.  Thus it is with antiwar movement’s defense of Army Pfc. Bradley Manning, the alleged author of the notorious 90,000-page dump of classified military documents on WikiLeaks.

Libertarians love WikiLeaks because it discloses government secrets—in this case, about the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.  Manning, the Army alleges, leaked the infamous recording of Army helicopter pilots vaporizing Iraqis on the ground and more than 150,000 classified diplomatic cables.

After WikiLeaks published the classified military documents, Swedish authorities suddenly—and suspiciously, some say—targeted WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange.  Criminal prosecutors arrested him for rape and molestation.  Almost as quickly, they dropped the rape charges.  He stands accused of molestation.

To the antiwar ideologues, Manning is a courageous whistleblower whose conscience could no longer abide an illegal and unjust war.  So what he did is right and just.  But is it?

Manning’s disclosure, the government claims, endangers the lives not only of American GIs but of confidential Afghan and Iraqi sources.  WikiLeaks protested that it withheld names to protect them, but according to the New York Times, the Taliban is “scouring classified American military documents posted online...

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