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Chelsea Manning and the Government's Draconian Approach to Whistleblowers

Ben Wizner,
ACLU Speech, Privacy, and Technology Project
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August 23, 2013

Many Americans have been perplexed about how to view the prosecution of Chelsea Manning, who was sentenced this week under the name Bradley Manning.

On the one hand, they’re not comfortable with the notion that any Army private should be able to decide for herself, without consequences, which government records should be made public. On the other, they’ve witnessed, time and again, government officials abusing their classification authority to protect themselves from embarrassment and accountability, not to protect the nation from harm, and they wonder why much of the information that Manning disclosed had been hidden from the public in the first place.

How should the American legal system accommodate both the government’s legitimate (though narrow) interest in protecting some secrets and the public’s vital need to know enough about government conduct to ensure democratic accountability and adherence to the nation’s values?

Read the rest of this piece at POLITICO:

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