Dave Lindorff: America's Police State Marches On,
While Russia Grants Snowden Political Asylum. Breaking! It could well be that the harsh treatment of Manning and the harsh verdict handed down against him may have been what convinced Russian authorities of the validity of National Security whistle-blower Edward Snowden's appeal for asylum, which his Russian attorney and his father have both announced has been granted this morning. Snowden in his application asserted that he cannot hope to receive a fair trial in the US,where Washington leaders have been publicly calling him a traitor and have been clamoring for harsh punishment, and where even the president has condemned him as a "hacker," instead of a whistle-blower who exposed the nation's ubiquitous spying on all electronic communications of all Americans in wholesale violation of the Fourth Amendment of the Fourth Amendment of the US Constitution. The New York Times, in an editorial published the day after a military judge found Pvt. Bradley Manning "not guilty" of "aiding the enemy" a charge that would have locked him up for life without possibility of parole and could have carried the death penalty, but also found him guilty on multiple counts of "espionage," called the verdict not guilty of aiding the enemy, guilty of "espionage," called the verdict not guilty of aiding the enemy, guilty of "espionage," called the verdict not guilty of aiding the enemy, guilty of espionage, "Mixed." The Times editorial writers were as mixed up as the judge, though. The lead article got it right with the headline: "Manning Found Not Guilty of Aiding the Enemy," and with the subhead: "Leaker Convicted of Most Other Charges." Clearly, Manning was not a traitor that many charlatans in Congress and the media called him, but was rather a leaker who was trying to inform the public about crimes, misdeed and wrongdoing in the US military's conduct of the war in Iraq, US diplomacy and US handling of prisoners in Guantanamo and elsewhere. But an accompanying sidebar article didn't fare so well at the editors' hands. On the front page, the headline read: "Loner Sought a Refuge, and Chose the Army," with the subhead reading: "After an Anguished Youth, Accused of Being a Traitor." Bad enough to focus on the "traitor" angle, which has been clearly shown to have been the over-wrought fantasy of cowardly politicians and pundits who wrap themselves in the flag. But totally off base was the headline over the jump for that story, on page 13, which read: "Loner Who Sought a Refuge, Chose the Army, and Betrayed His Country." Excuse me? Manning, who admits he broke the law in downloading secret military and diplomatic documents like the notorious gun-sight video of an Apache helicopter mowing down civilians in Iraq, including children and laughing as they slaughtered the people below them with machine-gun fire, or the embarrassing embassy cables mocking foreign leaders.