Who’s Really Putting the Troops at Risk?

One of the most common attacks against whistleblowers in this country is that their leaks put American troops at risk. The position is: sure, whistleblowers like Edward Snowden and Chelsea Manning are exposing governmental wrongdoing, but isn’t it ultimately more wrong to endanger members of the U.S. military? Won’t somebody please think of the troops?!

Forget whistleblowers, though: let’s level that charge against the United States government first. After all, it’s not the whistleblowers who are choosing to place troops in perilous situations on a daily basis. If this nation’s leaders were so concerned about the wellbeing of its armed forces, it could demonstrate that by stop inventing reasons to send our troops to war in the first place.

It’s not hard to figure why the government trots out this rhetoric each time it gets caught with its pants down: it misdirects the conversation. By associating whistleblower support with the death of Americans, people who might otherwise be critical about the information leaked are put in the impossible position of having to defend why the news is worth jeopardizing American lives — even when there’s no substantial reason to believe that troops have been endangered.

Following murmurs of a potential pardoning of Snowden in recent weeks, these troop-harming criticisms have remerged. Some members of Congress are now claiming that most of the intelligence Snowden nabbed concerns military operations, not the NSA. They’re alleging that American troops are likely to be endangered as a result. Considering that not one piece of military intelligence has leaked from Snowden in six months, these accusations amount to alarmist distortion.

As far as Manning is concerned, many of the documents he turned over to Wikileaks proved far more damaging to the military’s reputation rather than its security. Manning’s most prominent revelations exposed widespread torture, the astonishing number of civilian deaths abroad, and the cruel joke that is the Guantanamo detention center. What this information really put at risk was business as usual for casual war crimes, which ultimately takes a shot at the military industrial complex as a whole, not the troops themselves. Although it was barely publicized, experts testified at Manning’s trial that no Americans died as a result of these leaks.

Suppose that a whistleblower were to have shared information that exposed the claims of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq as a fabrication back in 2003. Would this military intelligence leak have risked the lives of American troops? On the contrary, assuming the truth was sufficient to stop Congress from supporting the war, it could have saved the lives of the 4,400 American soldiers who perished in the war in Iraq – not to mention a half-million Iraqi lives, as well.

Whistleblowing goes a long way toward revealing not only wide-scale corruption, but also the true atrocities of war. If their campaign to convince American citizens to oppose war is successful, ultimately whistleblowers could protect more lives – both American soldiers and otherwise – than a military with well-kept secrets ever could.

Again, forget the whistleblowers. If you’re legitimately concerned about the wellbeing of troops, question the U.S. political elite — they’re the ones hell-bent on perpetually having troops engage in warfare.


Jim Ven
Jim Ven1 years ago

thanks for the article.

Nils Anders Lunde
PlsNoMessage se4 years ago

Who’s Really Putting the Troops at Risk?

EASY: It is those in the beginning of a dispute that later send out the troops!

MY SOLUTION: Fightmatch between Presidents, fightmatch between Primeministers, fightmatch between Defense Ministers and so forth. Man on man. Every warmongoring person meets their opposite instead of to involve all innocent as they tend to do.................

Jelena Radovanovic
Past Member 4 years ago

Thanks for the article.

Debbie Tate
Debra Tate4 years ago

Our government is the biggest threat, Especially those in Obama's gang! Want to know what happens to whistle-blowers who do it the right way, within the laws. Watch this article sponsored here on Care2


Marija Mohoric
Marija M4 years ago


Eleonora Oldani
Eleonora Oldani4 years ago


Where's the outcry of all those righteous people who always rush in to dehumanize and delegitimize the oppressed (Arab Christians and Muslims and others) if somewhere some disgruntled people from the war zones attack an installation or civilians of the enemy simply because they have been robbed off of all their hopes and means to have a simple life?

Not only that - the future generations of Iraq and Afghanistan as well as of the Balkans (to a lesser extent) have been robbed off their lifes by DU - and for what??? Because they happen to live in a place where there are plenty of resources which the US and the West in general thinks they need to sustain their way of life!?

Where are those "righteous" bigots?!?!?!?!?

Hypocrites all of them!

Eleonora Oldani
Eleonora Oldani4 years ago

To Brian F - while we will never know the true figures of the ongoing Iraq war you forgot to mention the victims of the Depleted Uranium - the Iraqi civilians and to a much lesser extent the American soldiers. If no one cares about the Iraqi civilians who have done nothing (!!) one could expect that the American public would at least care about their own folks ... that the US Admin doesn't care much about their own soldiers ... well this fact we know by now, don't we?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3iGsSYEB0bA "Beyond Treason", full length

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RNi_1pbSqGY - in this video I recommend to stop at 2:32 - 2:50 and 3:12 and take in the picture(s) shown; every American who supported (and still supports) this invasion should be condemned to look at it every single day for the rest of his/her life. But especially when they hold their healthy babies in their arms. They should be forced to reflect on what they condone and welcome with their silence and hurray patrotism.

This IS a crime against humanity and the US as well as the UK MUST be held accountable.

But who is there to have the guts (because he/she would be playing with his/her life) and more so the money to file a law suit and take them to Den Haag?

Where's the outcry of all those righteous people who always rush in to dehumanize and delegitimize the oppressed (Arab Christians and Muslims and others) if somewhere some disgruntled people from the war zones attack an installation or civi

Brian Foster
Brian F4 years ago

Stephen B

Manning was not a traitor, but a hero. Manning exposed the lies and cover ups the USA used to justify the Iraq war. The real traitors who belong in prison are George Bush, and Dick Chaney. Bush lied about Iraq having WMD, ties to Al Qaeda, and connections to 9/11. These lies cost the lives of 4,400 US soldiers, and 120,000 Iraqi's, and wounded 30,000 American solders with traumatic brain injury, and missing limbs. In addition , George Bush never paid for the war, and spent 2 billion dollars a week for 8 years, on the Iraq war. Money we didn't have. Bush left Obama with a 10.7 trillion dollar deficit. We never should have been in Afghanistan either. We are not the world's policeman. Afghanistan, and Iraq could not attack us if we didn't invade them. All we had to do was fund the Northern Alliance, and let them fight the Taliban. We didn't need to get involved. George Bush and Dick Chaney are war criminals. They should be tried, and thrown in prison for life. They are despicable. Their are no words to describe how bad these traitors have hurt this country. The Iraq war was the biggest foreign policy blunder in our nation's history. George Bush is the worst president in our nation's history, and a disgrace to America.

Michael T.
Michael T4 years ago

Stephen, with all due respect, we should have not have been in Afghanistan or Iraq. There isn’t any proof, in spite of your assertion, that bin Laden had anything to do with 9/11. The fact is there is more Saudi money involved in that attack than from anywhere else.

Secondly, the attack of a plane crashing into the Pentagon, is hogwash. The FBI still won’t reveal the film footage from the video tapes they commandeered the day it happened. We have a story of a plane crash into a field in PA that has no airplane parts or bodies. Same is lacking at the Pentagon.

Speaking of flags, it is much more likely that 9/11 is a false flag.

Both the families of those that died and architects and engineers, including airline pilots, have challenged the weightless claims NIST made about what happened that day.

The conclusions are largely in doubt. For years I didn’t want to believe it, when conspiracy folks would bring this up, I ignored them.

Because I was a patriot and believed my country wouldn’t lie to me.

Vivianne Mosca-Clark

The ruling people always have troops to do their work.
So a trooper is just fodder for the rich. They have been used for this purpose for thousands of years. We need a balance of power...more horizontal. Not a pyramid build that we have now.