American Library Association Supports Wikileaks Suspect Manning

It must be what's known in the military as "mission creep." Why else would an organization of professional librarians come out in support of the soldier alleged to be responsible for the largest security breach in U.S. military history?

When it meets for its annual conference in New Orleans June 23, the American Library Association will vote on a resolution calling on the Secretary of the Army and the Army Chief of Staff to "release Pfc. Bradley Manning from pre-trial confinement and drop the charges against him." (Documents are available here.)

Manning is the soldier accused of leaking thousands of classified documents to WikiLeaks, the anti-American website dedicated to exposing government and military wrongdoing. (ALA will also consider a resolution in support of WikiLeaks and its founder, Julian Assange, who is accused of rape in Sweden.) Manning's alleged actions may have jeopardized U.S. troops and Iraqis and Afghans who cooperate with them, as well as possibly revealing numerous confidential U.S. documents impacting national security.

Since his arrest in June 2010, Manning's imprisonment at the Marine base at Quantico, Va., has become a rallying cause for the far left, who regard him as a heroic whistle-blower and charge the military with torturing him.

The ALA apparently agrees. Its resolution states that "the materials Bradley Manning is charged with releasing contained important revelations concerning the misconduct of American military forces and diplomatic corps, including the killing of civilians in Iraq and Afghanistan." The resolution compares the WikiLeaks breach to "Daniel Ellsberg's courageous action in supplying the Pentagon Papers to the press."

So why would the ALA care about the Manning case? The organization is usually concerned with making sure teens have access to gay propaganda, and publicizing its phony "Banned Books Week." The resolution provides one answer: ALA "has strongly supported the principle of government accountability and the protection of whistleblowers."

Or maybe it's that the ALA is a politicized organization with a left-wing agenda. The list of "parties to whom the resolution should be sent" includes something called the Bradley Manning Support Network. The Network lists among its supporters a Who's Who of the anti-American left, including Noam Chomsky, Michael Moore and Code Pink, along with numerous pacifist, 'social justice' and gay groups (Manning is gay, something the networks have been reluctant to report).

Back in 2001, when a Florida librarian realized she had seen one of the 9/11 terrorists in her library just days before the attacks, Judith Krug of the ALA's office of intellectual freedom told the New York Times "she wished the librarian had followed library patron confidentiality laws and not reported the incident."

The ALA recently came out in opposition to Rep. Peter King, R-N.Y., hearings into Islamic radicalization in the United States and, as documented by SafeLibraries.org, the Association has a record of appeasing Islamic pressure groups and hypocrisy on the intellectual freedoms it claims to protect, and has taken a donation of $350,000 from left-wing billionaire George Soros.

That hard-left view point would explain some of the wording in the resolution, which is scrupulous in applying the word "alleged" to the actions Manning is accused of. Not so much when it comes to the government. The ALA seems awfully sure about those 'revelations' of U.S. military atrocities. It takes at face value Amnesty International's charge that Manning's detention has been "unnecessarily severe" and "inhumane."

Matthew Philbin
Matthew Philbin
Matt Philbin is Managing Editor of MRC Culture