Privacy SOS

The politics of leaks and manufacturing public opinion

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Clips like those in the video above are all over YouTube; they depict US drones, fighter jets and Navy ships firing weapons at real live human beings and blowing them up.

How did these videos get online? Who leaked them? And why hasn't anyone been imprisoned and charged with aiding the enemy, as has Bradley Manning, who is accused of leaking similar videos to Julian Assange's Wikileaks?

Did the US military publish the YouTube drone bombing videos? In some cases, yes. Why would it do that? 

The clips look like video games, don't they?

As Truthout's Gareth Porter shows today and others have demonstrated time and again, the government regularly leaks material chosen to bolster its credibility or manipulate the public. Walter Lippman would be proud.

But if someone leaks material that the government doesn't like, it can slam them with prosecution under hysterical, anti-democratic laws like the Espionage Act, or accuse them of "aiding the enemy". 

Sorry, Brad. You would have been better off uploading those videos to YouTube and calling the collection "Hell is coming for breakfast."

© 2021 ACLU of Massachusetts.