There he goes again. In recently proclaiming Hillary Clinton free of any national security breach — even as the FBI was continuing its investigation of her use of a potentially risky private email server for official business while she was Secretary of State — President Barack Obama continued his disturbing pattern of rendering his personal verdict ahead of legal proceedings in high-profile cases involving classified government information.
From Private Chelsea Manning to General David Petraeus to Edward Snowden and now to Hillary Clinton, the President has sounded off with his opinions on guilt or innocence — and on any alleged damage to national security — in advance of either a trial, or an indictment, or completion of an investigation.
Short version: whistleblowers Manning and Snowden clearly guilty; former high government officials Petraeus and Clinton — no problem.
In April 2011 — two years before court martial proceedings began and almost two years before Manning acknowledged being a source for hundreds of thousands of classified documents released by Wikileaks — Obama proclaimed Manning guilty. The materials Manning provided to Wikileaks exposed diplomatic secrets and U.S. military abuses in Iraq and Afghanistan, including showing greater numbers of civilian casualties than admitted publicly by U.S. officials.
Among the most shocking was the classified “collateral murder video” that showed U.S. military personnel in an Apache helicopter in a Baghdad suburb indiscriminately firing on and killing more than a dozen people — including rescuers and two Reuters employees — and wounding others, including two children.
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