Obama Threatens Death for Leakers
September 29, 2012 • 10:47AM

Glenn Greenwald revealed Thursday in his column in the London Guardian that the U.S. military is investigating people suspected of cooperation with the leaking of official U.S. documents through Wikileaks, under Article 104 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ), "Communicating With the Enemy"—which carries the punishment of death.

An Air Force systems analyst who expressed support for WikiLeaks accused leaker Bradley Manning, triggered a formal military investigation last year to determine whether she herself had leaked any documents to the group. Air Force investigative documents, obtained through a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request, show that the analyst was investigated for her "anti-U.S. or anti-military group" activities, under the "Communicating with the Enemy" code. (The investigation ultimately cleared her.)

This Article comes into play for "unauthorized communication, correspondence, or intercourse with the enemy." The military investigation form also requires investigators to identify the "victim" of the crime they are investigating, and here, they designated "society" as the victim!

Greenwald notes that this likely means that either a leaker is now classified by Obama as an "enemy," as in al-Qaeda (and thus a possible target of Obama's drone assassinations), or that any leaks of classified information can constitute the crime of "aiding the enemy" or "communicating with the enemy" by virtue of the fact that "the enemy" reads the newspapers.

Bradley Manning is in fact being tried for "aiding the enemy," also under Article 104 of the UCMJ—also a capital offense, though prosecutors are requesting "only" life imprisonment. Military prosecutors say that their theory is that Manning "indirectly aided al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula by giving information to WikiLeaks."

Although the UCMJ applies only to military personnel, Obama should find no difficulty in applying it to everyone. As Greenwald notes, this is "the same Administration that has prosecuted whistleblowers under espionage charges that threatened to send them to prison for life without any evidence of harm to national security, and has brought double the number of such prosecutions as all prior administrations combined. Converting all leaks into capital offenses would be perfectly consistent with the unprecedented secrecy fixation on the part of the 'Most Transparent Administration Ever.'"

In keeping with these police-state measures, documents released through FOIA by the American Civil Liberties Union have now shown that the U.S. Justice Department has wiretapped the phones of more Americans in the last two years under Obama than were tapped during the entire eight years of the Bush/Cheney Administration.