GOPolitico: President Obama was interrupted at a California fundraiser on Thursday by a group of singing protesters who demanded the release of Bradley Manning, the private charged with giving information to WikiLeaks.
Obama “could not ignore” the singers because the setting was small — about 200 people, according to the pool. The protesters in the back of the room sang: “Each of us brought you $5,000. … I paid my dues, where’s our change? We’ll vote for you in 2012, yes that’s true. Look at the Republicans; what else can we do?”
White House aides tried to get them to stop, then escorted out the woman who had led the group, the pool said.
For his part, Obama tried to make light of it, but he didn’t address Manning’s detention or treatment. “That was a nice song, much better voiced than I,” he said, the pool reported.
“Where was I?” Obama said. “That didn’t break my flow.”
More at the Washington Post
“He thought it was kind of funny,” said White House press secretary Jay Carney. On Air Force One heading to Nevada, Carney said Obama came out of the fundraiser and remarked, “You don’t get that every day.”
It’s funny, these people are always happy to quote PJ Crowley on Manning … except they always leave this bit out (from the Guardian): To be clear, Private Manning is rightly facing prosecution and, if convicted, should spend a long, long time in prison. Having been deeply engaged in the WikiLeaks issue for many months, I know that the 251,000 diplomatic cables included properly classified information directly connected to our national interest. The release placed the lives of activists around the world at risk.
Yep, Manning and WikiLeaks sure are heroes:
The Guardian (January 2011): …with the recent release of sensitive diplomatic cables, WikiLeaks may have committed its own collateral murder, upending the precarious balance of power in a fragile African state and signing the death warrant of its pro-western premier…
…in the wake of the WikiLeaks’ release, one of the men targeted by US and EU travel and asset freezes, Mugabe’s appointed attorney general, has launched a probe to investigate Tsvangirai’s involvement in sustained western sanctions. If found guilty, Tsvangirai will face the death penalty.
And so, where Mugabe’s strong-arming, torture and assassination attempts have failed to eliminate the leading figure of Zimbabwe’s democratic opposition, WikiLeaks may yet succeed. Twenty years of sacrifice and suffering by Tsvangirai all for naught, as WikiLeaks risks “collateral murder” in the name of transparency.
Before more political carnage is wrought and more blood spilled – in Africa and elsewhere, with special concern for those US-sympathising Afghans fingered in its last war document dump – WikiLeaks ought to leave international relations to those who understand it – at least to those who understand the value of a life.
The Australian (July 2010): The founder of WikiLeaks was forced last night to defend his decision to publish tens of thousands of uncensored intelligence documents.
The Times revealed that the names, villages, relatives’ names and even precise GPS locations of Afghans co-operating with Nato forces could be accessed easily from files released by WikiLeaks.
Human rights groups criticised the internet site and one US politician said that the security breaches amounted to a ready-made Taliban hitlist.
Julian Assange, the founder of the whistleblowing website, told The Times that he would “deeply regret” any harm caused by the disclosures.
But in an extensive interview he defended his actions …. “No one has been harmed, but should anyone come to harm of course that would be a matter of deep regret…..”