Freedom of speech should be celebrated by governments
The emergence of new pluralist groups seeking to influence the general public and seeking to educate the public are heavily criticized by the government. I just can’t fathom why the government is afraid that people are finding out new things and opening there third eye. Is democracy just a way to get the conformist and weak to think there is order in society, but is there really order? Are we going back to 1984 by George Orwell (An interesting read i’d recommend)
Who is Chelsea Manning?
Chelsea Manning, was found guilty of leaking US army documents. The US soldier then known as Pte First Class Bradley Manning lip-synced to Lady Gaga while downloading thousands of classified documents from military servers, according to a computer hacker she befriended. She was acquitted of the most serious charge, aiding the enemy. If the government is doing nothing wrong it has nothing to fear.
Hero or traitor?
Hero: Manning is being called a hero most because he is ato committed by the U.S. Military. I suppose this is one of most important criteria to hero/villain status. What are the supposed war crimes that he made public? The point I try to make to people about this is that whistleblowers actually are bringing to light actual grievous crimes that were intentionally covered up.
Traitor: We all know that this information was classified because the information in it could be beneficial to enemies of the state, either in keeping them alive or in killing Americans. Manning, as an intelligence analyst, knew this very well. His job was to read through the Secret Internet Protocol Router Network (SIPRNet) of logs and other data to piece together bits of information to report to higher-ups.
Classified information isn’t kept secret because the US government cares that the people of America know about their missions, but the truth is that the more people who know the more likely it is that something really important to the security of at least the soldiers in the war zone is jeopardized. Maybe you don’t see it that way, but imagine if your home address and the schedule of where to find you at any given moment of the day were in those documents. For thousands of Marines and soldiers, it was. That is why the information is so valuable, because the lives who are tied up in the information stored within it are more important to the United States than the obscure idea of transparency. Information security is one of the most crucial elements in modern warfare.
Who is Julian Assange?
To his supporters, Julian Assange is a valiant campaigner for truth. To his critics, he is a publicity-seeker who has endangered lives by putting a mass of sensitive information into the public domain. Mr Assange is described by those who have worked with him as intense, driven and highly intelligent – with an exceptional ability to crack computer codes. He set up Wikileaks, which publishes confidential documents and images, in 2006 – making headlines around the world in April 2010 when it released footage showing US soldiers shooting dead 18 civilians from a helicopter in Iraq.
Hero or traitor?
Hero: Revealing truth is always good. Honestly, Assange is just a very good editor of probably the best journalism website today. If secrets need to be exposed so be it. Wikileaks have exposed so much corruption that it brings fear to the establishment elites. He will go down as a modern day hero that is for sure.
Absolutely a hero: Assange has put out informantion and stood up to goverments exposing war crimes and corruption. He is fighting corruption with information at great personal cost. Only freedom of press and free information will hold people accountable for their decisions. Whistle blowers need a place to whistle blow and in a world where our mainstream media largely ignores issues that don’t suit their political agenda… Assange is definitely a hero for providing the world a place for those who recognise wrong in this world to expose the dirt and inspire change.
Traitor: Calling Assange a Hero is a Bit Extreme. Julian Assange is a wonderful activist for freedom of the press and freedom of speech, but he is not risking his life for others as an individual. He is an opinionated and strong-willed individual and has broken barriers that previous journalists have constructed. He could be considered a hero in the investigative journalism world, but not a hero in the general sense of the word.
Who is Edward Snowden?
Edward Snowden, a former US National Security Agency (NSA) contractor, now lives in Russia after fleeing the United States via Hong Kong in May, having revealed extensive internet and phone surveillance by US intelligence. Journalists who interviewed him at his secret location in Hong Kong described him as “quiet, smart, easy-going and self-effacing. A master on computers”. Explaining why he decided to leave the US, he told the Guardian: “I don’t want to live in a society that does these sort of things… I do not want to live in a world where everything I do and say is recorded.” The US has charged Mr Snowden with theft of government property, unauthorised communication of national defence information and wilful communication of classified communications intelligence.
Hero or traitor?
Hero: For many around the world, and a growing number of Americans, Snowden is a hero and whistleblower who put his own freedom at stake to reveal shocking abuses by the US intelligence agencies. Much of what Snowden has done certainly looks like a whistleblower. First, he does not appear to have sought money for his disclosures. Indeed, he appears to have thought more about what he was taking than where he was taking it. Secondly, and most importantly, is the breathtaking disclosures that he made.
What is most striking is that in the wake of these disclosures, the Obama Administration first denied the allegations. National Intelligence Director James R Clapper Jr not only denied the existence of the programme before the Senate but he later explained that his testimony was “the least untrue” statement that he could make. Of course, that would still make it untrue, but he has never been investigated, let alone prosecuted. While President Barack Obama would later insist that Snowden did not influence the various reforms implemented after his disclosure, few people believe that claim. There is no question that Snowden succeeded in forcing multiple task force investigations and a series of changes, including the claimed cessation of some aspects of these programmes.
Traitor: What so many people around the world admire about Snowden is precisely what makes him such a hated figure within government. He broke the rules and worse yet, embarrassed some of the most powerful leaders in Washington. He obviously broke the law in removing and disclosing classified information – material potentially harmful to the security of the United States.
The anger over Snowden clearly goes beyond the act itself however. For many of Washington’s elite, Snowden is as baffling as some alien from another planet. These are people who spent their lives playing by the rules in a system controlled by a duopoly of power. With two parties controlling the system, there is little that happens in Washington that is not predictable and often controlled. The reactions of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and current Secretary of State John Kerry are particularly illustrative.
Conclusion: I think that democracy is an evolutionary process and as technology continues to evolve freedom of speech is a weakness of the government. Is opening your third eye really a bad thing? Maybe the world isn’t in colour anymore but its turning more black and white. Not technicolour, because those days are long over. Welcome to the digital age, it is our own weakness evoked by curiosity that we created.