US system of information control is beginning to crack because of the Manning case
The US government has fish to fry bigger than Manning, the one they want to catch is Julian Assange, Mason added.
RT:What's your reaction to the ruling?
Mark Mason: This is a landmark court decision. The judge essentially sided that journalism is not treason. This is really all about, not only of course Bradley Manning, but the attack on journalism and WikiLeaks and Julian Assange. The US Government and Obama administration, they really have bigger fish to fry, they are after Julian Assange that is the one they want to catch. They are in a state of like catatonic terror about WikiLeaks, that is really their goal.
RT:What impact do you think this case will have on investigative journalism?
MM: I will not diminish the importance of the judges’ decision. And yet on Friday we had a Federal Appellate Court order James Reason a New York Times reporter to reveal his sources in court so on Friday we had an attack from the Appeals Court and we can expect that the Obama administration will follow up with the current attack. We have a massive attack on free speech and on freedom of the press, and they are going to go after Julian Assange.
RT:Manning's fate has been decided by a judge alone - that was his choice. Why do you think he didn't want a military jury to do that?
MM: That had been on discussion, I would like to be privy to the discussion between Bradley Manning and his attorneys. My suspicion is that with the military court system, the juries if he had chosen to using the jury trial system, the juries would have been appointed to by the commanding officer of the post, still they are not selected randomly as they are in civil trial. Also I think that may have had a major factor in this.
RT:So has Manning become something of a martyr for free speech?
MM: Bradley Manning is a civil liberties hero. He will go down in history. People will be reading about him two hundred years from now about sacrifices of Bradley Manning, Edward Snowden and other whistleblowers of this period, Daniel Ellsberg and others. He has sacrificed his future for defending the right of Americans to know about US war crimes, this comes back to the larger context here, that we have the wrong person in the court. George Bush should be sitting in a court room facing charges for war crimes. And this is a story that will be told hundreds of years from now about the courageous acts of Bradley Manning.
RT:Manning's supporters say he made 'a personal sacrifice' - what do you think he achieved by this sacrifice?
MM: The Obama administration is really on the run due to the courageous acts of Edward Snowden, Bradley Manning and other whistleblowers. Information is actually getting out through the cracks out to the people about the illegal activities and illegal NSA spy programs, the illegal wars. So I think that we have a desperate administration that is trying to hold together the 'American Empire' and that is Obama’s job, he is just another guy, he is a temporary assistant holding down the job of maintaining the 'Empire' for four years. That’s what Presidents are. And so we really have a constitutional crisis, the United States is in a constitutional crisis right now.
Again a list of all the violations of the Constitution, the 1st Amendment the 4th Amendment, the 5th Amendment certainly are all being violated by all three branches of the government. A recent public opinion poll which released just days ago showed that 70% of the American public believe that the American government is collecting information about Americans and using it for purposes that have nothing whatsoever to do with spying. Americans are not supposed to know that, they are supposed to be controlled through the mass media, through 5 mega corporations that control and manage public opinion here in the United States. So the control over public opinion is a linchpin of elite control on the United States and the government represents the interests of bankers, the military contractors, big oil and big farmer and such. And this system of information control is beginning to crack and this comes back again to Bradley Manning and WikiLeaks and the importance of Obama targeting both Bradley Manning and Julian Assange.
RT:US Army Private Bradley Manning has been convicted of all but two charges in the Wikileaks case - how badly do you think this is going to go for him?
MM: That is my understanding Bradley Manning has already pre-trial pled guilty to certain charges and those are already on the book so to speak. He has found guilty to 19 of 20 charges. My understanding is that Bradley Manning will be subjected to a minimum of 20 years in prison. Even though as you mentioned and noted carefully that the judge has discarded the argument that he was committing treason.