Alex Wong/Getty Images North America
Rep. Mike Rogers (R-MI). Alex Wong/Getty Images North America
Rep. Mike Rogers (R-MI), a member of the House Intelligence Committee, told WHMI, a Michigan radio station, that Pfc. Bradley Manning should be executed if he did, in fact, leak classified documents and video to WikiLeaks.
"If they won't charge him with treason, they ought to charge him with murder," Rogers said yesterday.
The host of the program asked the congressman if treason during wartime is a capital offense, punishable by the death penalty.
"Yes," Rogers said. "And I would support it 100 percent."
According to The New York Times, "Manning with disclosing a classified video of an American helicopter attack to WikiLeaks, as well as more than 150,000 classified diplomatic cables."
Military officials said Friday that the private was also the main suspect in the disclosure to WikiLeaks of more than 90,000 classified documents about the Afghan war, some of which were published this week by The New York Times, the German magazine Der Spiegel and the British newspaper The Guardian.
In the interview, which WHMI has posted in its entirety, he said that there is "a culture of disclosure," which encourages leaks, is "a growing and serious problem." According to Rogers, "it's hard to make a decision based on one piece of the puzzle, but they do it often."
He said that Julian Assange, the founder of WikiLeaks, could not have known how damaging and dangerous the information in the leaked reports could be, calling into question Assange's "harm minimization procedures."
"We know for a fact that people will likely be killed because of this information being disclosed," he said. "That's pretty serious."