Bradley Manning's court martial begins today, and if President Obama really were concerned about journalistic freedom, as he said in his speech at the National Defense University, he wouldn't let the Pentagon push for a life sentence against the young private.
Manning has already confessed to leaking mountains of documents to Wikileaks, a confession that could carry a 20-year prison sentence.
But the Obama Administration isn't content with that. No, they keep pursuing Manning on grounds that he was aiding the enemy, a charge that could put him behind bars for life.
This is obscene.
Bradley Manning is no traitor. In fact, he's a hero.
He wanted, in his words, to "spark a debate" in the U.S. about the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. He tried to go to the Washington Post and the New York Times first, and when they showed no interest, he went to Wikileaks.
It's not like he went to Ahmedinejad or bin Laden or Kim Jong-un.
Manning just wanted us, here at home, to grapple with the immorality that he'd seen.
Like the video of the helicopter crew in Baghdad mowing innocent people down in what Manning called a "bloodlust." They seemed, he put it, "similar to a child torturing ants with a magnifying glass."
He was doing all of us a service by blowing the whistle.
Bradley Manning's now been behind bars for more than three years, and he was confined for much of that time in solitary.
He's served long enough already. The Pentagon and Obama should drop all charges and let Bradley Manning go.
If you liked this story by Matthew Rothschild, the editor of The Progressive magazine, check out his story Obama Gets Slippery on Killing U.S. Citizens.
Follow Matthew Rothschild @mattrothschild on Twitter.