Are Our First Amendment Rights in Danger?

Friday, 2 August 2013 | A Public Affair


On Friday August 2nd, war veteran and Veterans for Peace activist Will Williams and Jason Huberty joined our host Esty Dinur early on in the show to talk about being arrested at the capital yesterday during the solidarity sing-a-long. Williams was not only arrested yesterday at the solidarity sing-a-long, but he was also injured from being pushed down the stairs at the Capital. Huberty was also arrested at the Capital yesterday for participating in the sing-a-long and for criminal trespassing. On the second part of the show, Adam Klasfeld of Courthouse News joined us from inside the the Bradley Manning trial to discuss what he has seen during the trial. James Goodale, who represented the New York Times when President Nixon attempted to stop the publication of the Pentagon Papers also joined the conversation how whistle blowers, like Bradley Manning, will affect the future of investigative journalism .

Klasfeld opened the second half of the show by discussing the politics of the Bradley Manning trial. He informed listeners that, for the most part, the trial is a closed trial. Due to the lack of information coming out of open court, Klasfeld has began to call foreign diplomats to hear their views on this controversial situation. Klasfeld also mentioned that, in general, Bradley Manning has maintained the appearance of being very stoic and very methodical throughout the trial. When asked what kind of outcome we can expect to see from the Bradley Manning trial, Klasfeld said at this point, it’s hard to tell and that we will just have to wait for a verdict to be reached.

To close the show, Goodale analyzed what the Manning verdict could mean for investigative journalism in the future. Goodale also discussed the issues concerning closed or secret trials and what that could mean for the outcome of the trial of Bradley Manning. Goodale then compared the Ellsberg’s case to Manning’s and shared with us that the punitive attitude of Manning’s case is similar to Ellsberg’s case. In addition, Goodale informed listeners that the Espionage Act is not being used the proper way. Especially in the Manning trial and that the courts are molding it to fit the current situation and not using it in the way that it originally intended. Goodale also added that the current usage of the Espionage Act is cutting through the use of our first amendment rights. Despite the Obama administration trying to stop whistle blowers, Goodale told listeners that as citizens, we must be respectful, but we must speak up.


A Public Affair
A Public Affair
Weekdays @ Noon
John Quinlan, Carousel Bayrd, Tim Hansel, Karma Chavez, Allen Ruff, & Esty Dinur
A Public Affair is WORT's daily hour-long talk program. It aims to engage listeners in a conversation on social, cultural, and political issues of importance. The guests range from local activists and scholars to notable national and international figures.

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