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Cole writes: "Whatever one thinks of Manning's actions, that we deserved to know some of what he revealed and that his revelations changed the world are undeniable."

Juan Cole. (photo: file)
Juan Cole. (photo: file)


Top 10 Ways Bradley Manning Changed the World

By Juan Cole, Informed Comment

02 August 13

 

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radley Manning will be sentenced today, having been found guilty of 20 counts on Tuesday, including espionage (despite the lack of evidence for intent to spy and the lack of evidence that his leaking ever did any real harm). Whatever one thinks of Manning's actions, that we deserved to know some of what he revealed and that his revelations changed the world are undeniable.

  1. Manning revealed the Collateral Murder video of a helicopter attack in Iraq on mostly unarmed non-combatants (though some of those struck may have been armed), including two Reuters journalists, whose cameras were taken for weapons, and children. The army maintains that the video does not show wrongdoing, but the killing of unarmed journalists is a war crime, and the callousness of video gives an idea of what was going on in Iraq during the years of the US occupation. When the Bush administration asked the Iraqi parliament for permission to keep a base in the country, the parliamentarians said, absolutely not. The US military was forced to withdraw from Iraq by Dec. 31, 2011.

  2. Manning revealed the full extent of the corruption of Tunisian dictator Zine El Abidin Ben Ali, adding fuel to the youth protest movement of late 2010, which translated the relevant US cables into Arabic. Manning contributed to the outbreak of powerful youth movements demanding more democratic governance in the Arab world.

  3. Manning revealed to the US and Yemeni publics the secret drone war that Washington was waging in that country. That the cables show then dictator Ali Abdallah Saleh acquiescing in the US strikes on his country probably played into the movement to remove him as president, which succeeded in early 2012.

  4. He revealed that then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton ordered US diplomats to spy on their United Nations counterparts. The UN spy requests included cables that "demanded detailed intelligence on the UN leadership including forensic detail about their communications systems, including passwords and personal encryption keys," foreshadowing later revelations of extensive US spying on even allies like Germany via the NSA.

  5. His leaks show that then Senator John Kerry pressed Israel to be open to returning the Golan Heights to Syria as part of a peace negotiation. This item suggests that Kerry might be more of an honest broker in the current negotiations than some observers give him credit for.

  6. Revealed that Afghanistan government corruption is "overwhelming". This degree of corruption, which has shaken the whole banking system and caused US funds to be massively misused, is still a factor in our decision of whether to stay in Afghanistan in some capacity after December 2014. The US public is in a better position to judge the issue with these documents available.

  7. Manning revealed the degree of authoritarianism and corruption of the Egyptian government of Hosni Mubarak, which was subsequently swept away.

  8. Manning revealed that hard-nosed realist, former Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, was against striking Iran's nuclear enrichment facilities because it would only slow their program down slightly, but would inevitably cause Iranians to be angry and mobilized in the aftermath.

  9. Manning revealed that the Israeli authorities had a secret plan to keep the Palestinian population of Gaza on the brink of food insecurity and poor health, in among the creepiest military operations in history: "Israeli officials have confirmed to Embassy officials on multiple occasions that they intend to keep the Gazan economy functioning at the lowest level possible consistent with avoiding a humanitarian crisis."

  10. Manning's act of courage encouraged hackers to leak the emails of Bashar al-Assad and his wife, showing their jewelry buys in Europe and gilded style of life while al-Assad's artillery was pounding Homs and other cities with no regard for the lives of noncombatants. In fact, Manning inspired numerous leakers, including some who blew the whistle on PLO corruption and willingness to give away most of Jerusalem to Israel, and, likely, Edward Snowden, who revealed to us that our government has us all under surveillance.
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+69 # Walter J Smith 2013-08-02 12:43
Superior reality check!

Thank you, Mr. Cole, for this excellent reflection on the intensely, if brief (though prolonged for Bradley Manning) period of this last couple of years.

As a British politician said back in the 'fifties: events are in the saddle.

Our leaders, especially Barack Obama, can only prove the gross extremes of their ineptitude more and more clearly with every passing day.
 
 
+48 # Activista 2013-08-02 13:08
Yes - agree - Manning contributed to open communication - freedom of information - this column should be republished in all major media -
Comment: hard-nosed realist, former Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, was against striking Iran's nuclear enrichment facilities ... and what happened to Gates? Is gone - who rules USA? Check latest from congress on sanctions/war against Iran ..
 
 
+10 # Nebulastardust 2013-08-02 16:33
If you will note, Gates was against that for very specific reasons, none of which was directed at the problem of the whole hatred of the USA for Iran because they were finally kicked out of Iran in 1979!

Then we're subjected to that damn fol Argo movie that has, again, re-written history in favour of the USA.
 
 
+15 # tm7devils 2013-08-02 18:44
If this article appears in ANY MSM newscast or newspaper I will be suprised to no end!!
Here's your chance NYT (remember your motto - "all the news that is fit to print"?)(read - gutless republican rag)...I still remember how you did your best to sell the Iraqi war to the American public.
 
 
+96 # Charles3000 2013-08-02 14:00
That list of very significant accomplishments makes Pvt. Manning a worthy candidate for the Nobel peace prize.
 
 
+31 # dickbd 2013-08-02 14:33
I absolutely agree with that! I hope they are not too cowed to give it to him. Can you believe how the politicians and the media have responded to the Russians' giving Snowden temporary asylum? And the suggested boycott of the Olympics?
 
 
+3 # amos365 2013-08-03 08:41
Peace Prize Petition:
http://act.rootsaction.org/p/dia/action/public/?action_KEY=7612
 
 
+43 # grandma lynn 2013-08-02 14:32
Manning is nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize. Various online petitions exist to sign onto, in support.

Could Manning become our Nelson Mandela? In the right and in prison for decades, but finally released, elderly, powerful, good enough following to be elected president of a USA very different from the one we have now? I have a dream (only valid if he gets the terribly unjust jail term he may get, Manning.)
 
 
+13 # roger paul 2013-08-02 14:50
I agree with Charles 3000....there is already a petition being circulated with this in mind. Go on line, find it, and sign it.

You can find one of the petition sites at Roots Action Connecet.Act.Gr ow. they have already 99793 signatures.
 
 
+23 # giraffee2012 2013-08-02 14:53
Manning's lawyers should file suits of corruption and wrong doing of THOSE in our government who have willingly broken the law instead of punishing the messenger (Pvt. Manning.)

When the messengers are unwilling or unable to deliver in the future, Pvt Manning will be the "poster child" for those who don't deliver and we, the "old" USA, will suffer as we fall further into a banana republic nation with 3rd world laws (as is obvious we are almost there now)

Will Germany (and the rest of Europe) explode over our misdeeds to their trust? No, they will follow suit.. and hence the rise of the fourth Reich is unfolding.

G-d "bless" or "dam" America?
 
 
+20 # Nebulastardust 2013-08-02 16:29
Manning should sue for all the torture he was subjected to. At least a sum of $50 million.
 
 
+29 # noitall 2013-08-02 16:03
If only the corrupt American media would print this REAL news, then maybe otherwise intelligent Americans, currently supporting the railroading that Manning is getting from the Land of the Free, wouldn't be seeing Manning as he is portrayed but accurately, as the thing that true American heros are made.
 
 
+15 # Nebulastardust 2013-08-02 16:23
As far as Kerry goes, or anyone from the USA, there is absolutely no reason to expect anything except more of the same.

I don't know what his play is by suggesting the giving back of the Golan Heights to Syria which is under invasion by mercenaries put there by the USA and Saudi Arabia; undoubtedly.

This has no logic to it whatsoever!

As far as I can determine, over the years, is that the USA is extremely pro-Israel and remains so today and there is no change in sight.

The USA has done nothing except to allow the continued harassment of Palestinians in Gaza and the West Bank by Israelis and Kerry has gone so far as to tell the Palestinians to ignore the continued invasion of settlements by Israel.

The settlements remain illegal by International Law and are never stopped by pressure (non-existent) from the USA.

It's all lies. And the Palestinians suffer.
 
 
-28 # Nebulastardust 2013-08-02 16:26
I'm pro-Manning but this is a most ignorant bit of nonsense.
 
 
-8 # ishmael 2013-08-03 19:53
Most people posting here probably know that but it isn't in good political vogue to actually admit it.
 
 
+13 # Nebulastardust 2013-08-02 16:44
Okay. Let's look at #10.

Why is it important to know about the opulent lifestyle of the Assads? Maybe it would be better to know the opulent lifestyles of those kissing up to the USA such as the Saudi Monarchy or the Bahrain dictators. As if the lifestyle of the Assad regime has any import here at all.

How about the lifestyles of the rich and famous of the USA in regard to their criminality!

Sad. Really sad.
 
 
+7 # reiverpacific 2013-08-02 19:58
How about the lifestyles of the rich and famous of the USA in regard to their criminality!

Sad. Really sad.
[quote name="Nebulasta rdust"]Okay. Let's look at #10.

Why is it important to know about the opulent lifestyle of the Assads? Maybe it would be better to know the opulent lifestyles of those kissing up to the USA such as the Saudi Monarchy or the Bahrain dictators. As if the lifestyle of the Assad regime has any import here at all.
Agreed for the most part but I think you might have a smidgeon of it the other way around (hope I'm not bein' nit-picky). The US kisses up to the Saudis (remember that revolting photo of Dimwits holding hands with Prince Saud, or the all-clear after 9-11 for the Saudis who were at the horse sales in Lexington, Ky, to fly out of Bluegrass field when US airspace was shut down?!) and the first Iraq war on behalf of that British-invente d pluke at the bottom end of Iraq, Kuwait, in all, an area of medievalism and suppression.
But you are right: sad -if not pathetic!
The wrong people are walking free and prospering indeed -the list is huge!
 
 
0 # treadlightly 2013-08-02 22:21
It just occurred to me that holding the entire bin Ladin. Family responsible for 9-11 is wrong.
The idea that Bush was protecting them by having them flown out of the country asap after the attack also does not hold water.
If they were involved in any way, or had the slightest suspicion that their crazy son or brother or whatever was planning an attack against America, they certainly would not be attending a horse show in Kentucky.
I have nothing but contempt for George Bush but this act was innocuous.
 
 
0 # reiverpacific 2013-08-03 10:32
Quoting treadlightly:
It just occurred to me that holding the entire bin Ladin. Family responsible for 9-11 is wrong.
The idea that Bush was protecting them by having them flown out of the country asap after the attack also does not hold water.
If they were involved in any way, or had the slightest suspicion that their crazy son or brother or whatever was planning an attack against America, they certainly would not be attending a horse show in Kentucky.
I have nothing but contempt for George Bush but this act was innocuous.

Wasn't suggesting that the Bin-Laden family were aware of their looney relative was planning 9-11. I'm fully aware that Osama B-L was an outcast.
In fact, it reinforces my contention that the US and particularly failed oil-man and everything else attempted Dimwits, are the ones kissing-up to the Saudis.
I rest my case.
 
 
-19 # Nebulastardust 2013-08-02 16:52
9. is interesting.

8. is nonsense.

7. that was known.

6. We knew that.

5. Is odd.

4. What's new.

3. New that.

2. Questionable.

1. When? I've known about that video for a long time.
 
 
-8 # ishmael 2013-08-02 18:31
Ha thanks Nebulastardust. A lot of people in the US seem to confuse "changing the thinking of some US citizens" with "changing the world". "The world"??

And you do have to wonder where they have been for so long to not already know about these horrible things.
 
 
+8 # luvdoc 2013-08-02 19:27
Where are the congresional (wannabe statesmen) that have a fraction of Mannings' balls?
May each suffer in proportion to the evil they have condoned/caused .
I don't believe there is a god that will punish them, but I do believe they will suffer for betraying their own souls. luvdoc
 
 
+5 # Phlippinout 2013-08-02 19:41
Remember to always say no to a US military base, once they are there, they never leave! Look at Cuba. We have never said one nice thing about Cuba but continue to have a naval base there whether they want us or not!
 
 
+13 # reiverpacific 2013-08-02 19:46
I just wish Manning and many others had been around to reveal where the "Missing Iraqi Billions" had gone -I have a pretty good idea and as the KBR/Haliburton contracts for the biggest embassy in the world were uncontested, as well as the graft with the former wardlords kept in check by Hussein -all by the Dimwits' string-pullers; -all on our taxes.
Man, we need MORE whistle blowers, or an honest government!
Or quit paying taxes -now there's a thought!
 
 
-24 # JackB 2013-08-02 20:40
One thing he certainly accomplished was he made treason socially acceptable among liberals. Actually, among them, he made praiseworthy.
 
 
+9 # Activista 2013-08-02 22:29
Quoting JackB:
One thing he certainly accomplished was he made treason socially acceptable among liberals. Actually, among them, he made praiseworthy.

Can you be more specific and define this "treason" - is informing on criminal activity a treason?
 
 
+1 # reiverpacific 2013-08-04 11:48
Quoting JackB:
One thing he certainly accomplished was he made treason socially acceptable among liberals. Actually, among them, he made praiseworthy.

So what's your excuse for Dimwits and his entire faux-administra tion + Blair as national and international nation and economy-wreckin g, war mongering on a bunch of hokey, power-abusing and nepotism for profit of a few cowards and chicken-hawks in collusion.
If that's not a combination of treason, human-right wasting, war criminal actions, I don't know what is.
The Nuremberg trials hung some leading Nazis for the same crimes!
C'mon now, give us just ONE wee excuse -perleezze!
 
 
+14 # MidwesTom 2013-08-02 20:59
Manning 'took' power from the Ruling Class, and distributed it to the masses with what he did. He cracked open the door to the ruling class and they do not like exposure.
 
 
+4 # Activista 2013-08-02 22:32
The same Snowden - it is hilarious/pathe tic how politicians and oligarchs are jumping up and down ... blackmailing Russians .. and are so impotent.
You are right - he did cracked US oligarchy.
 
 
+7 # tomo 2013-08-03 00:27
There's a great essay from the time of the First World War by Randolph Bourne with the title "War Is the Health of the State." You can call it up on the Internet. What Bourne argues is that war needs secrecy; left to an unmanipulated democracy, it would not likely happen. For it to thrive, the people must be kept in the dark even as the state informs the people that the people want it. Manning's great "crime" is introducing transparency. The paroxysm of anger and prepubertal hijinks released against Manning reveals the Obama administration as a bunch of war-mongering regressive children.
 
 
+3 # ishmael 2013-08-03 20:08
Is there anyone remaining who isn't aware that the US has had a war-based economy ever since WWII got the country out of the "Great Depression"?
 
 
-4 # slocan 2013-08-03 10:03
I notice that Juan Cole never mentions Obama in any of the 10 items he lists. Obama was involved with many of them. Notice how he puts two senior Democrats in a good light. I suggest reading an account of Kerry's real behaviour in Vietnam.
This is classic neoliberal writing. Sort of an account of something Manning has paid for dearly which is not mentioned and yet contains kind of feel good verbiage which untlimately ends up indirectly supporting those involved with continuing the problem.
Slick work Juan. He would have done well writing for Goebbels.
 
 
+2 # ishmael 2013-08-03 21:03
Ah, one of the remaining "Swift-Boaters" weighing in with more slander.
 
 
+5 # hondacivic21218 2013-08-03 11:30
Legal issues aside, Edw. Snowden deserves a Good Citizenship medal from Obama for shining the light of day on the biggest fiscal boondoggle in U.S. history...the NSA!
 
 
+2 # ishmael 2013-08-03 20:09
All part of war-based economics.

Nothing new here. Nothing to see.
 
 
0 # Sweet Pea 2013-08-12 11:15
My Old gramau always told us grandkids˝The Bible says. "Be sure your sins will find you out." It looks like she wasn't as old and senile as we thought. Maybe our government should take heed!
 

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