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
- The U.S. Marines are developing laser weapons. Here's why.
- 43 TV shows to watch in 2014
- Why the Supreme Court is allowing Texas to hold an unconstitutional election
- How 1,000-year lifespans could remake the economy
- 6 things the happiest families all have in common
- How to be the most productive person in your office — and still get home by 5:30 p.m.
- 3 horrific inaccuracies in Homeland's depiction of Islamabad
- Ban PowerPoint!
- It's time to kill school picture day
- Why you should absolutely watch this confounding, wonderful World Series
Subscribe to the Week