Hugh Pickens DOT Com writes: Investigative journalist Mark Bowden writes in the Atlantic that what is troubling about Bradley Manning and Edward Snowden is not that they broke the oaths they swore when they took their classified government jobs, but the indiscriminate nature of their leaks proceeding from a Julian Assange-influenced, comic-book vision of the world where all governments are a part of an evil plot against humanity. Bowden, the author of "Black Hawk Down" and "The Finish: The Killing of Osama Bin Laden", says there are many legitimate reasons for governments to keep secrets among them the need to preserve the element of surprise in military operations or criminal investigations, to permit leaders and diplomats to bargain candidly, and to protect the identities of those we ask to perform dangerous and difficult missions and the most famous leakers in American history were motivated not by a general opposition to secrecy but by a desire to expose specific wrongdoing. "Mark Felt, the “Deep Throat” who helped steer Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein’s Watergate reporting, understood that the Nixon Administration was energetically abusing the powers of the presidency. Daniel Ellsberg copied and leaked the Pentagon Papers because they showed that the White House and Pentagon had never really believed the lies they were telling about the Vietnam War." There have been a few things in the Manning and Snowden leaks that might have warranted taking a principled stand says Bowden, but the great bulk of what they delivered shows our nation’s military, intelligence agencies, and foreign service working hard at their jobs — doing the things we the people, through our elected representatives, have ordered them to do. "Both Manning and Snowden strike me not as heroes, but as naifs. Neither appears to have understood what they were getting themselves into, and, more importantly, what they were doing."
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