The Big Leaks

Tuesday, June 04, 2013

U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder (Mark Wilson/Getty)

Fred Kaplan, War Stories columnist for Slate and author of The Insurgents: David Petraeus and the Plot to Change the American Way of War, and Steve Coll, contributor to the New Yorker, incoming dean of the Columbia Journalism School, and author most recently of Private Empire: ExxonMobil and American Power, discuss the Espionage Act and its application in the AP/Fox News Justice Department investigations and in the case of Bradley Manning, who is currently on trial. 


Steve Coll and Fred Kaplan

Comments [24]

Nick from UWS

If we had more soldiers of truth as brave as Manning and Assange who have attempted to lance and drain the pus out of the disgusting festering flesh-eating sore that is the US government, we as a country would maybe start to move back towards some kind of health and humanity. Let us hope their work has had some positive long-term effect.

Jul. 31 2013 09:56 AM
sue knechtel

i am not a regular listener and unlike the above folks I am not posting my comment contemporaneous to the show. But maybe that is why I am not so hot under the collar. The issue is full of passion on both sides and I have been following it for a long time. I thought the discussion was a good one, with lots of good ideas presented and an opportunity for callers to offer even more views. If Brian does have a POV (as Martin suggest, we are intelligent listeners and can filter the information presented through that prism. Besides which, I thought the segment fleshed through both sides in a balanced way asking the fundamental question: Was this treason?

Jun. 04 2013 07:37 PM
Martin Chuzzlewit from Manhattan

JT and RUCB .....flattery will get you nowhere.

Jun. 04 2013 12:19 PM
Bob from Westchester, NY

Re the caller who likes analogies -- in your scenario, the newspaper would be the fence or chop shop that received the stolen car and profited from it, not the gas station.

Jun. 04 2013 10:47 AM
mike from LIC

Americans need to recognize that this invasion of Iraq is utterly illegal and immoral. Three thousand people died on 9/11, how many innocent american soldiers afgans and iraqi people have been murdered for no reason since then? In relation to the fact that the invasion was wrong and immoral we need to do what ever we can to support the minority voices that are trying to stop the madness that Rumsfled Rice Bush and Cheny unleashed in the name of oil. America, wake up, our leaders are international war criminals and we are committing brutal injustices every day, we are the bad guys and Manning is trying to right our twisted moral compass. We all need to get past 9/11 and realize the real tragedy of 9/11 are the innocents who were killed by us afterwards for no reason. Our hands are bloody.

Jun. 04 2013 10:42 AM
blacksocialist from BKbaby

seth - so did bush, cheney, powell, rumsfeld, abrahms, rice, blah blah blah..... and they will not be viewed as martyrs, nor will they be going to jail.

Jun. 04 2013 10:36 AM

Manning did break the law, but he'll go down as a martyr for it.

Jun. 04 2013 10:30 AM
blacksocialist from BKbaby

the guests are as much of hack journalists as lehrer.... obama has designated documents as classified 4 times as much as bush's last year... in other words, the classification of documents is a tactic to restrict the information passing to the public... obama is a hack as well

Jun. 04 2013 10:30 AM

Jean...we should hide under the bed

Jun. 04 2013 10:28 AM
JT from NJ

RUCB, Just ignore MC Chuckletwit: he is obviously a sad, frustrated little man with deep-seated Brian-envy and not much else going on in his life. One must instead pity him.

Keep up the great work, Brian and WNYC.

Dude filling up the Merc, you lost me when you got to the gas station.

Jun. 04 2013 10:27 AM


These documents only showed us the real reasons why we even put our soldiers in these DANGEROUS situations in the first place.

Jun. 04 2013 10:26 AM

And do you think the chain of command would have actually provided this material freely to the American public? Probably not. I think Manning felt he had a moral obligation to provide this freely to the American public, knowing it would never make it if he had gone any other route.

Thank you to the woman who just called in and said, "what happened to transparency?"

Jun. 04 2013 10:23 AM
RUCB_Alum from Central New Jersey


There you go again, Martin. Snarkily casting your spew about the presumed bias of the segment two hours BEFORE IT EVEN AIRS!

Do you know the definition of the words 'irony' or 'hypocrite'?

Jun. 04 2013 10:19 AM
Jay F.

If indeed Pvt. Manning is a whistler blower then he should have gone through the chain of command and NOT Julian Assange.

Jun. 04 2013 10:19 AM

Its remarkable?!!!! That we totally deterred people from calling out military abuse and immoral behavior? Absolutely disgusting that the guest called this remarkable! We are stifling people from calling out human rights abuses...Would you call this remarkable if this worked in the same way in relation to rape and sexual abuse in the military?! Which might i also add is a huge problem within the military.

Jun. 04 2013 10:18 AM

In regards to harm coming from the leaked documents; some of these have been cited as one of the collective causes of the Arab Spring as it discussed the lavish spending of the Tunisian and Egyptian leadership

Jun. 04 2013 10:15 AM

How is it hard to see that Bradley Manning's leak had a direct connection to the war in Iraq and Afghanistan?

I don't understand where the guests are coming all. These leaks were totally relevant to the war and EXPOSED the INDISCRIMINATE killings by the US Military. To call these leaks INDISCRIMINATE is far fetched and ignorant. We should not be punishing a soldier for calling out immoral misbehavior in his own branch. He is a whistle-blower...period. Not a co-conspirator or enemy of the state. When we treat whistle-blowers like enemies of the state we have a serious problem.

Jun. 04 2013 10:14 AM
jgarbuz from Queens

The struggle between a genuine need for military secrecy and the right of a democratic people to know what its military is up to, is hardly a new issue. It's always a struggle to resolve.

Jun. 04 2013 10:12 AM


Jun. 04 2013 10:11 AM

The guest is a piece of garbage

Jun. 04 2013 10:10 AM
Michael from NYC

And actually, as a member of the US military, it was his duty to call attention to misbehavior conducted by the US government. It's not treason.

Jun. 04 2013 08:09 AM
Martin Chuzzlewit from Manhattan

Brian Lehrer (because he is such a stickler for full disclosure and objective journalism, LOL) wants the listening audience to know that the guests he has chosen for the discussion of the DOJ investigation of FOX News reporter James Rosen are:

(A)Fred Kaplan - who wrote the anti-FOX piece “Why James Rosen Is Not Blameless” widely cited by Obama defenders


(B)Steve Coll – from 2007-2013 the President of the left wing think tank, “New America Foundation” which has funder George Soros on its Board of Directors. Coll is also author of many anti-business hit pieces at the New Yorker.

Brian wants to assure you that the discussion of this “kerfuffle”, as he likes to call Obama's travails, will be thorough and absolutely non-partisan.

Jun. 04 2013 08:00 AM

@office guy

Treason? Oran's Dictionary of the Law (1983) defines treason as "...[a]...citizen's actions to help a foreign government overthrow, make war against, or seriously injure the [parent nation]."

Has that standard been established? Even if so, I do not believe that this was his intent. You might say that intent is irrelevant, and I might agree. But if you go that route, you would have to hang a lot more people - and that list would include a lot of politicians both past and present.

Jun. 04 2013 07:54 AM
John from office

Private manning is a member of the United States military, not a private citizen. His actions were treason and he should be dealt with as harshly as possible. I would sentence him to death.

To use the defense that he was a gentle soul or delicate is to imply that a homosexual can not be a soldier or loyal. The gay community has struggled for years to be open in the military, as they should. To have the defese for Mr. Manning use his sexuality as an excuse for his treason is distructive.

Mr. Manning should hang for treason.

Jun. 04 2013 07:20 AM

Leave a Comment

Email addresses are required but never displayed.

Get the WNYC Morning Brief in your inbox.
We'll send you our top 5 stories every day, plus breaking news and weather.