PERSPECTIVES: Of Spooks and Whistleblowers

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By Jayantha DhanapalaPhoto: The Writer | Credit: Wikimedia Commona

KANDY, Sri Lanka - Suddenly, a cascade of leaks has been affecting the sole superpower in the world. First there was Pfc. Bradley Manning, the American who leaked 700,000 government files to WikiLeaks, and Julian Assange, an Australian and the founder of WikiLeaks. Then in May, Edward Snowden, at the time a United States intelligence analyst, fled with his cache of surveillance program secrets first to Hong Kong and on to Moscow.

Manning has been exonerated of the most serious charge of “aiding the enemy” but has been convicted on other charges and was recently sentenced to 35 years in prison. Assange languishes in the Ecuadorean Embassy in London while being a candidate in Australian Senate elections. The cumulative damage that all three have caused the security of the United States is incalculable, quite apart from exposing to American friends and allies that they have been the subject of cybersnooping or, to put it bluntly, espionage.

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THE LAST PAGE: No Easy ‘Sell’ For Punitive Attack On Syria

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Ernest CoreaBy Ernest Corea*

WASHINGTON DC – President Barack Obama faced opposition or demands for caution both abroad and at home as he sought support for an attack on the Syrian regime’s forces in retaliation for its alleged use of chemical weapons against the Syrian people. Much of the external opposition was concentrated at the G20 summit which he attended in St. Petersburg, Russia on Sept. 5-6.

Even a letter from Pope Francis emphasized the dangers of military action that has not received prior endorsement from the UN Security Council (UNSC). In the best of all possible worlds, referring the crisis to the UNSC would make great sense, and be strictly in keeping with the principles of the UN Charter. The process is fraught with powerful obstacles, however, in a world where the ideals of the UN are so often subverted by global politicking.

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