Tom Hayden: Why is the United States pursuing Assange as the conspiratorial mastermind of WikiLeaks, when his reputation, credibility and organization have been so damaged?
Anthony Samad: Government agencies (particularly the FBI and CIA) use leaks to discredit those they don’t like or who they see as threats to the public disclosures of government betrayal. Why should the press not be able to do the same when it becomes obvious that government has not been forthcoming in its dealing and has violated the public trust? That’s what the WikiLeaks debate is really about.
Joseph Palermo: The State Department documents that WikiLeaks is making public expose the desire of many mainstream journalists and commentators to stand up and be counted as the dutiful water-carriers for the prerogatives of United States foreign policy.
Tom Hayden: Informed sources say that the current deluge of WikiLeaks documents will continue for another week and grow in significance. Why is this drama important? Not because of “life-threatening” leaks as claimed by the establishment, but because the closed doors of power need to be open to public review.
Ann Wright: Just as Daniel Ellsberg blew the whistle on the lies of the US leaders of the Vietnam War, Manning is accused of blowing the whistle on the illegality of today’s wars. What will our response to the information Manning is charged with releasing be? Can we make today’s Pentagon Papers lead to an end to illegal and wasteful wars abroad and the return of our troops home?
Ivan Eland: The U.S. Justice Department is apparently considering prosecuting Julian Assange, the founder of WikiLeaks, which is a Web site that publishes classified documents from governments, under the rarely used Espionage Act of 1917. Such a prosecution would have adverse effects on the American people’s right to know what their government is doing in a republic that is supposed to be run by them.
Tom Hall: Excuse me if don’t start drooling with enthusiasm at the recent disclosure that the Pentagon and Wikileaks have been talking to each other about proper handling of further disclosures on our occupation of Afghanistan.