The stakes may be getting higher for accused WikiLeaks leaker Pfc. Bradley Manning. Rep. Mike Rogers (R-MI) said that if Manning is charged and convicted in the leak of 90,000 secret Afghan war documents, he should be executed. The leaker "clearly aided the enemy" and that "may result in the death of U.S. soldiers or those cooperating," Rogers told a radio station in his home state. "If that is not a capital offense, I don't know what is." Is Rogers just grandstanding, or was this leak bad enough to warrant the ultimate punishment? (Watch Rep. Mike Rogers make his case)
Rogers is interested in headlines, not justice: Mike Rogers is just "playing to the cheap seats," says Butler Shaffer at LewRockwell.com. Bradley Manning did a public service by leaking the evidence of "American corruption and criminality in Afghanistan." Rogers just wants to silence those who would speak the truth.
"Ignorance is bliss to politicians"
Sorry, but the WikiLeaks leak really could qualify as treason: Right now all Manning's charged with is giving WikiLeaks a video of a U.S. helicopter strike that killed a Reuters reporter in Iraq, says Ed Morrissey in Hot Air. But the Wall Street Journal says there are "concrete" links between Manning and the leaked Afghanistan documents. If Manning conspired to "steal classified material," that's a felony. And if the release of the information can be connected to the killing of U.S. soldiers or informants, prosecutors might be able to file treason charges — and make them stick.
"Investigators link Manning to Wikileaks documents"
Punishing leakers is one thing; executing them is another: Mike Rogers is applying a double standard, says Cenk Uygur at OpEdNews. Scooter Libby, Robert Novak, and Karl Rove could have gotten people killed by disclosing the identity of CIA operative Valerie Plame, but nobody demanded capital punishment for them. "I understand why the military has to arrest and punish leakers," but there has to be a fair compromise between giving whistleblowers a free pass and killing them.
"Rep. Rogers: We should have considered executing Daniel Ellsberg"
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- 7 things the world's happiest people do every day
- Israel has only two choices: Eliminate the Palestinians or make peace
- 9 things you probably didn't know about the moon
- 7 grammar rules you really should pay attention to
- What would a U.S.-Russia war look like?
- Why are so many parents being arrested?
- Why I choose not to be rich
- 29 adorable slang terms for sex (from the last 600 years)
- What if The Purge was real?
- Here's the last time Russia shot down a passenger plane
Subscribe to the Week