Bradley Manning was sentenced to 35 years by a US military court judge today.
My previous blog "American Heroes, Edward Snowden, and Glenn Greenwald" predicted the situations with Bradley Manning and Edward Snowden. For Edward Snowden the prediction became meaningless when he flied to Russia soon after. But for Manning it is now proven off. Sure, he was clear of the most serious, aiding the enemy charge, but still convicted of most other charges. The judge even considering that charge was indeed a sign. And 35 years, despite a potential, earlier release, is hardly light.
What these events truly show is that the US society, and perhaps the West in general, is no longer what it professes to be, or the public thinks it should be. Or, did it even ever exist?
Most glaringly, justice is always selective. Never indicted are the war criminals in the highest offices, torture enablers, leakers who sprout government's spins in media outlets (this is in fact encouraged), and liars from the administrations to the Congress, which is consisted of liars as well, but still. Torturers, murderers, and rapists from the US military in Iraq and Afghanistan get off so easily that it feels like nothing happened. As on the Wall Street, all the CEOs are safe, even if under their watch we have this Great Recession. Now someone exposed the dirty secrets, and he got 35 years?
The lesson inescapably is that if you have big boys behind you, you will be fine doing XYZ. But if you don't and do XYZ, you are in trouble. If you ever dare to go against the big boys, well, you are doomed. Even people close or remotely related to you. For example, David Miranda, the partner of Glenn Greenwald, was interrogated at the London airport for the maximum of 9 hours on 8/18. Even the Bolivian President Evo Morales had his plane stopped in Europe in July because big boys thought Snowden was on that plane.
So every time I hear some high officials talking about democracy, freedom, human right, justice, etc, I can't help but thinking: these are good words, how come they leave such a bad taste when coming out of those people's straight face?