Cameron: Is Bradley Manning a whistle-blower or a traitor?

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2 August, 2013
By: Maxwell Cameron
Professor, Centre for the Study of Democratic Institutions, University of British Columbia

Treason is clearly defined in the U.S. Constitution: “Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying War against them, or in adhering to their Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort.” Manning has not been found guilty of this charge. That he is a whistle-blower is beyond doubt, perhaps the most spectacular since Daniel Ellsberg. It is important to watch the collateral murder video before judging Manning. The case that this video is in the public interest is compelling. Of course, one must weigh the public interest against the potential consequences of leaking classified information. With all the resources at its disposal, the U.S. government has not, however, demonstrated that the leaks resulted in a single life lost. Much embarrassment to the U.S. government, yes – but it is not yet treason to embarrass a government.

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