If you are at all interested in what was going on in the Wikileaks saga, go watch this. It comes out on 12th July in the UK. But Wikileaks founder, Julian Assange, however well intentioned intially, doesn’t come out of it well.
But what the film reveals is that Bradley Manning is the unlikely hero and his moral outrage and courage in revealing what he was seeing has been overshadowed by Wikileaks and the Assange sex scandal.
“Manning has plead guilty to leaking materials to Wikileaks, but the government or the US military is just determined to try him for this charge of ‘aiding the enemy’, it’s a precursor to criminalising journalism.” says this fine documentary.
If Manning was “aiding the enemy”, what about the newspapers which actually published it far more widely than Wikileaks. The Guardian, New York Times, El Pais, Der Spiegel and Le Monde – They all worked with WikiLeaks publishing the secrets. But of course, they are powerful organisations and the US prefers to go after the little men; with Manning facing a possible 154-year jail sentence (with a derisory 112-day reduction of any eventual jail sentence for unduly harsh solitary detention methods) and Edward Snowden stuck in the “hell hole” of the transit zone of Moscow’s Sheremetyevo airport. (I’ve been there ..believe me it’s a fate worse than death! )
Ironically “We steal secrets” is actually a quote made during the film by the US Government. Little would Oscar winning director Alex Gibney have realised how soon it would have been demonstrated by Edward Snowden’s leakage of the massive US Prism “Big Brother” internet surveillance system.
..and then the US Army attempting to block the Guardian wesitsite ..to preserve “network hygiene.”
We live in scary times. This film may illuminate the extent of it.