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March 29 2013

13:30

March 25 2013

15:51

We are Manning

I have just one problem with David Carr’s good column decrying government opacity in the prosecution and trial of Bradley Manning: He lets us in the press (as well as in the chattering blog class) off easy.

Carr doesn’t mention the wrist-slap given The Times by its own public editor, Margaret Sullivan, for not sending a reporter to the Manning hearings.

He also gives newspapers as a group a too-easy excuse for not covering Manning: “Yet coverage has been limited, partly by the court’s restrictions and partly because an increasingly stretched news media business often does not have the time, or the resources, to cover lengthy trials.”

We aren’t going to use that excuse all the time now, are we? “Oh, we couldn’t cover that story vital to the nation and the fate of a free press because not enough of you are paying or because retail advertisers are dying or because Google took our customers.” Yes, our resources are scarce — always have been — and getting scarcer. But this is still a matter of news judgment. What was covered while Manning wasn’t? I’ll bet we can find stories to have sacrificed.

If we’re going to argue that the public still needs editors and their news judgment, then it’s a tad disingenuous to say that this is a story of vital national interest that the government has been trying to hide from us but we don’t have the time to cover it. Isn’t that precisely the story we should be covering? Isn’t coverage just what is needed to keep a watch on government and its efforts at secrecy?

The Guardian’s Ed Pilkington, whom Carr quotes, has maintained coverage of the Manning story long after the splash of the Wikileaks revelations that both papers carried — thus he helps to secure the Guardian’s role as a truly international news organization. Greg Mitchell has also been diligent in pursuing the story. Beyond that, there has been too little coverage from The Times and other U.S. news organizations.

And there has been too little discussion from bloggers like me, I’ll confess. I care about openness, about journalism, and about over-aggressive prosecutions and legislation that demonize technology. So I should have been talking about Manning more and also about the case of Aaron Swartz. These are stories central to the fate of free speech. In both cases, I fear the attention came too little, too late, which makes it all the more vital that we concentrate on them now, for every reason Carr gives.

June 08 2010

08:35

Wired: Army intelligence analyst arrested over leaked video of Iraq helicopter attack

A US Army intelligence analyst has been arrested in connection with a leaked video of a US Apache helicopter attack in Iraq in 2007, which killed more than 12 people, including two Reuters news staff, reports Wired.

According to Wired, Bradley Manning, was arrested nearly two weeks ago at an army base in Baghdad where he was stationed. Manning was reportedly turned in by a former computer hacker to whom he had spoken about leaking the Iraq video and several others to the website Wikileaks.

The attack took place on the morning of 12 July 2007 in the Iraqi suburb of New Baghdad killing two Saeed Chmagh, a 40-year-old Reuters driver and assistant, and Namir Noor-Eldeen, a 22-year-old war photographer.

Reuters, which had previously requested the release of the video from the US military, has pressed the army to conduct a full and objective investigation into the killing of its two staff.

Full story at this link…

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