NSA headquarters in Fort Meade, Maryland (usnews.nbcnews.com).
by Jeff Wilfahrt
Jun 11, 2013, 11:00 AM

Is the Fourth Estate actually a Kangaroo Court?

What these three names, Ellsberg, Manning and Snowden, have in common is that they were, are, or will be tried in the press well before they were, are, or will be tried in a court of law.

In each case it is about secrets.

Reflecting back across the years the trial that never occurred, but should have, was the trial of Ollie North of Iran-Contra fame. At the risk of giving that fiasco short shrift, in the end the trial never took place because it involved “state secrets”, most likely leading back deep into the Reagan administration.

And the North case is of interest because as G. H. Bush was in deep water over Iran-Contra, he threw the press the Quayle as VP bone. Off the press ran to cover Potato Dan. Iran-Contra fell off the front page. This left easy room for the defense of the national secret argument to hold sway. The final judgement was never rendered by a seated jury and the press never finished the job either.

So in all four cases we have as the core issue “secrets”.

So just exactly who are the un-named keepers of the secrets and exactly why should we trust their judgement over names like Ellsberg, Manning or Snowden?

If a jury were seated in any of these cases would you trust those 12 peers with national security information while never knowing just who does have knowledge of these secrets? Why are those twelve other citizens such a danger to national security when there already exist millions with access to these programs and documents.

Ellsberg’s situation ultimately revealed that the Nam protestors’ ally was actually the Pentagon. This came out in the Westmoreland statements.

Manning has already been largely deemed a traitor in the press and given the treatment he received at the hands of his military confinement he’ll not be treated to an acquittal in the tribunal currently underway.

Snowden’s story is new, already the judgement is forming in the media. He told us all what we already knew or at the very least expected; the NSA is in your life whether you want it there or not. It is so endemic that the work was outsourced. Yes, a profit motive now fouls the keeping of the secrets.

Ellsberg, Manning and Snowden each were among many (like millions) of people with the same access. They just happened to ask openly and out loud if the content they “leaked” represented the policies we want to live with in this country.

Sardonically it seems these three did what the press should have been doing, keeping things out in the open where sunlight can disinfect. Instead the press seems to have taken the role of Kangaroo Court.

Millions of Americans have access to this stuff, not just these three, the so called secrets tend to be anything but hush-hush. That the rest of us should find out about it is the job of the press and not simply by passing judgement on the only three sources to have brought it out in the open.

I’m not worried about the Ellsbergs, the Mannings or the Snowdens. I’m worried about why the press isn’t exposing this stuff and moreover why the press is acting like a Kangaroo Court.

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