Online opinion outpost: Aug. 6

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The Online Opinion Outpost features opinions and commentary on the latest hot topics from national news sources. As much as you love hearing from The Universe, we thought you might like to hear from journalists around the nation.

Visit the links below to read the op-eds in full.

The Bradley Manning decision

USA Today

The question is not whether people like Snowden and Manning are heroes or criminals. Leakers can be both at the same time. They should expect justice, and they should receive it. What they should not expect is a free pass. Lawbreaking in the pursuit of greater justice is sometimes necessary in a democracy. But as those who committed civil disobedience in pursuit of racial justice and other causes would tell you, it always comes at a price.

New York Times

When he entered his guilty plea, Private Manning said he was trying to shed light on the “day-to-day reality” of American war efforts. He hoped the information “could spark a debate about foreign policy in relation to Iraq and Afghanistan.” These are not the words of a man intent on bringing down the government.

Big fat Greek bailout

New York Times

Few policy makers have been willing to acknowledge that reality in public because doing so would be an admission of failure and require them to change  their approach, which they have already done once before. But on Wednesday, a member of the I.M.F.’s board who represents Brazil and 10 other countries broke that silence by issuing an unusual and refreshingly candid statement. … It’s common for members of the I.M.F.’s board, which has 24 directors, to disagree with each other and the staff of the organization. But these differences are rarely aired in public, which is what makes Mr. Batista’s statement so important

Wall Street Journal

The IMF also says Greece’s longer-term debt targets can’t be met without further writedowns on some of that debt, which these columns have long endorsed as the only moral way out of the country’s bailout hell.

Yet in pushing the European Union and the European Central Bank to forgive some of what Greece’s government owes them, the IMF is making a very different kind of case. The IMF wants Athens to stiff Brussels and Frankfurt so that Athens can fully pay back . . . the IMF.

Snowden secrecy

Los Angeles Times

Those who regard Snowden as a heroic whistle-blower hope that the administration will now abandon its attempt to prosecute him, but that is neither likely nor desirable. We believe the administration is right to try to bring Snowden to justice, even as we acknowledge that the service he performed in exposing the breathtaking scope of U.S. electronic surveillance may entitle him to leniency.

USA Today

As Edward Snowden inches towardasylum in Russia, one fact is becoming clear: He is a modern dayBenedict Arnold. Born and raised in America, both men held positions meant to bolster U.S. national security. However, disillusioned with the political system, they came to seeAmerica’s adversaries as their salvation. Seeking out positions of trust, they collected sensitive intelligence, which they then divulged. Bothfled to hostile nations as the U.S. government hunted them.

New York Times

Although fairness and loyalty are both basic moral values, some people prioritize one over the other. Studies show that American liberals tend to focus more on fairness, while American conservatives tend to focus more on loyalty, which may help explain differing responses to Mr. Snowden. To some he was defending the rights of all Americans; to others he was a traitor to his country.

Whale of a story

Los Angeles Times

The public’s ability to view these creatures in SeaWorld-type attractions has probably contributed to our collective awe and appreciation, but that doesn’t make it right. Marine parks are not aquariums that exist to rescue and study animals in humane environments and to educate the public. They are high-profit water circuses, Cirque du Soleils in which the highly trained performers are intelligent ocean predators that have been forced into unnatural lives.

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