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Greenwald writes: "Manning is absolutely right when he said today that the documents he leaked 'are some of the most significant documents of our time.'"

Bradley Manning. (photo: Getty Images)
Bradley Manning. (photo: Getty Images)

Bradley Manning: The Face of Heroism

By Glenn Greenwald, Guardian UK

01 March 13


The 25-year-old Army Private, this generation's Daniel Ellsberg, pleads guilty today to some charges and explains his actions

n December, 2011, I wrote an Op-Ed in the Guardian arguing that if Bradley Manning did what he is accused of doing, then he is a consummate hero, and deserves a medal and our collective gratitude, not decades in prison. At his court-martial proceeding this afternoon in Fort Meade, Manning, as the Guaridan's Ed Pilkington reports, pleaded guilty to having been the source of the most significant leaks to WikiLeaks. He also pleaded not guilty to 12 of the 22 counts, including the most serious - the capital offense of "aiding and abetting the enemy", which could send him to prison for life - on the ground that nothing he did was intended to nor did it result in harm to US national security. The US government will now almost certainly proceed with its attempt to prosecute him on those remaining counts.

Manning's heroism has long been established in my view, for the reasons I set forth in that Op-Ed. But this was bolstered today as he spoke for an hour in court about what he did and why, reading from a prepared 35-page statement. Wired's Spencer Ackerman was there and reported:

"Wearing his Army dress uniform, a composed, intense and articulate Pfc. Bradley Manning took 'full responsibility' Thursday for providing the anti-secrecy organization WikiLeaks with a trove of classified and sensitive military, diplomatic and intelligence cables, videos and documents. . . .

"Manning's motivations in leaking, he said, was to 'spark a domestic debate of the role of the military and foreign policy in general', he said, and 'cause society to reevaluate the need and even desire to engage in counterterrorism and counterinsurgency operations that ignore their effect on people who live in that environment every day.'

"Manning explain[ed] his actions that drove him to disclose what he said he 'believed, and still believe . . . are some of the most significant documents of our time' . . . .

"He came to view much of what the Army told him — and the public — to be false, such as the suggestion the military had destroyed a graphic video of an aerial assault in Iraq that killed civilians, or that WikiLeaks was a nefarious entity. . . .

"Manning said he often found himself frustrated by attempts to get his chain of command to investigate apparent abuses detailed in the documents Manning accessed. . . ."

Manning also said he "first approached three news outlets: the Washington Post, New York Times and Politico" before approaching WikiLeaks. And he repeatedly denied having been encouraged or pushed in any way by WikiLeaks to obtain and leak the documents, thus denying the US government a key part of its attempted prosecution of the whistleblowing group. Instead, "he said he took 'full responsibility' for a decision that will likely land him in prison for the next 20 years — and possibly the rest of his life."

This is all consistent with what Manning is purported to have said in the chat logs with the government snitch who pretended to be a journalist and a pastor in order to assure him of confidentiality but then instead reported him. In those chats, Manning explained that he was leaking because he wanted the world to know what he had learned: "I want people to see the truth … regardless of who they are … because without information, you cannot make informed decisions as a public." When asked by the informant why he did not sell the documents to a foreign government for profit - something he obviously could have done with ease - Manning replied that he wanted the information to be publicly known in order to trigger "worldwide discussion, debates, and reforms". He described how he became deeply disillusioned with the Iraq War he had once thought noble, and this caused him to re-examine all of his prior assumptions about the US government. And he extensively narrated how he had learned of serious abuse and illegality while serving in the war - including detaining Iraqi citizens guilty of nothing other than criticizing the Malaki government - but was ignored when he brought those abuses to his superiors.

Manning is absolutely right when he said today that the documents he leaked "are some of the most significant documents of our time". They revealed a multitude of previously secret crimes and acts of deceit and corruption by the world's most powerful factions. Journalists and even some government officials have repeatedly concluded that any actual national security harm from his leaks is minimal if it exists at all. To this day, the documents Manning just admitted having leaked play a prominent role in the ability of journalists around the world to inform their readers about vital events. The leaks led to all sorts of journalism awards for WikiLeaks. Without question, Manning's leaks produced more significant international news scoops in 2010 than those of every media outlet on the planet combined.

This was all achieved because a then-22-year-old Army Private knowingly risked his liberty in order to inform the world about what he learned. He endured treatment which the top UN torture investigator deemed "cruel and inhuman", and he now faces decades in prison if not life. He knew exactly what he was risking, what he was likely subjecting himself to. But he made the choice to do it anyway because of the good he believed he could achieve, because of the evil that he believed needed urgently to be exposed and combated, and because of his conviction that only leaks enable the public to learn the truth about the bad acts their governments are doing in secret.

Heroism is a slippery and ambiguous concept. But whatever it means, it is embodied by Bradley Manning and the acts which he unflinchingly acknowledged today he chose to undertake. The combination of extreme government secrecy, a supine media (see the prior two columns), and a disgracefully subservient judiciary means that the only way we really learn about what our government does is when the Daniel Ellsbergs - and Bradley Mannings - of the world risk their own personal interest and liberty to alert us. Daniel Ellberg is now widely viewed as heroic and noble, and Bradley Manning (as Ellsberg himself has repeatedly said) merits that praise and gratitude every bit as much.

Updated: Friday

In the New Republic this morning, Harvard Law Professor Yochai Benkler has a superb article warning of the radical theories being used to prosecute Manning, entitled "The Dangerous Logic of the Bradley Manning Case". Among other things, he explains that a conviction on the "aiding and abetting the enemy" charge "would dramatically elevate the threat to whistleblowers" and "the consequences for the ability of the press to perform its critical watchdog function in the national security arena will be dire". That, of course, is precisely why the Obama administration is doing it. That's the feature, not a bug. He concludes: "what a coup for Al Qaeda" that the US has obliterated its core freedoms under the pretense of national security.

Meanwhile, the outstanding independent journalist Alexa O'Brien was present at the court-martial proceeding and has created a transcript of Manning's statement, here. Among other things, he describes his reaction when he first saw the video of the Apache helicopters in Baghdad shooting at journalists and then those who came to rescue them ("The most alarming aspect of the video to me, however, was the seemly delightful bloodlust they appeared to have. They dehumanized the individuals they were engaging and seemed to not value human life by referring to them as quote 'dead bastards' unquote and congratulating each other on the ability to kill in large numbers"). The US government, its media and other assorted apologists have tried to malign Manning as a reckless and emotionally unstable malcontent who could not possibly have read what he leaked or made an informed choice to do so. Just read what he says to understand how thoughtful, rational, and deliberate of an act this was: "The more I read, the more I was fascinated with the way that we dealt with other nations and organizations. I also began to think the documented backdoor deals and seemingly criminal activity that didn't seem characteristic of the de facto leader of the free world. . . .The more I read the cables, the more I came to the conclusion that this was the type of information that should become public." your social media marketing partner


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We too were alarmed at the patterns we were, and still are, seeing. It is clear that the provocateurs are far more savvy, disciplined, and purposeful than anything we have ever experienced before.

It is also clear that we still have elements of the same activity in our article discussion forums at this time.

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Adapt and overcome.

Marc Ash
Founder, Reader Supported News

+91 # Walter J Smith 2013-03-01 15:29
The only way to get the Pentagon/DoD back under adult supervision is through a purge of the ranks above O-3 and the civilian equivalents.

Until we take some measure like this, the DoD will continue to cultivate grotesque irresponsibilit y, monstrous waste, including of peoples lives around the world, and nothing in any way related to our national defense. The DoD/Pentagon is the most offensive organization in the world.

The name given by Afghan vets to the Afghan government, Vertically Integrated Criminal Enterprise (VICE) is a near perfect description of the DoD/Pentagon.

Paying taxes to support it is insane.
+33 # Vern Radul 2013-03-02 04:45
"perfect description of the DoD/Pentagon, the US Administration, and the US Foreign Policy establishment."

The United States Government is and has been for decades the worlds most dangerous and deadly terrorist organization.

Insanity is not doing everything possible to bring it down.
+20 # anarchteacher 2013-03-02 14:33
The Bradley Manning Case is the American Alfred Dreyfus Case.

Glen Greenwald is our Emil Zola of today.

Like Dreyfus, Manning should go free.

It is the top echelons of the Obama administration and the Pentagon who should be indicted as traitors to the republic.

They are the ones responsible for this travesty of injustice.

And by their continued blind support for premptive wars of empire and presidential dictatorship, it is the knee-jerk progressives who voted for Obama and the neocons who give unquestioned support the military-indust ial complex who made (and continue to make) this abomination of justice possible.

Look in a mirror, RSN readers.
+77 # Rita Walpole Ague 2013-03-01 15:58
Yes, Glenn G., you great, truth telling journalist, the very first word that comes to my mind when Brad Manning is mentioned (not nearly enough, in today's 'mess media') is HERO! And, another hero (this time, heroine) of mine, Alexa O'Brien, is yet another real McCoy leader for us, along with all the other oh so brave and determined journalists, whistelblowers, and peace and justice activists in the (also hardly mentioned in the 'mess' media) 'trial of the century': Hedges, et. al. v. Obama, et. al..

Thank God and good, for these, our true heroes, heroines, and leaders. Please, n.b., no politician clowns/puppet whores are included in my TRUE HEROES list.
+84 # drg927 2013-03-01 16:21
So how can we free him welcome him home as a true hero?
+17 # BobbyLip 2013-03-01 23:49
Quoting drg927:
So how can we free him welcome him home as a true hero?

We don't--unfortun ately. Can you imagine a U.S. president with the courage? I can--but only because I have a rich fantasy life.
+19 # jwb110 2013-03-02 12:16
Sure we can. If there can be a John Birch Society then there can be a Bradley Manning Society.
+19 # Artemis 2013-03-02 04:15
Unfortunately that only happens in the movies, or does someone have a good idea? The happy end in the movie as I see it: Obama breaks free of the "Vertically Integrated Criminal Enterprise" that surrounds and advises him and makes his way to the prison without anyone knowing and then requests Manning's release. Then Obama says "No time for a conversation now, but one day. Everything is arranged." Manning exits.
+28 # 666 2013-03-02 06:25
We can remember him as a patriot for the rest of his and beyond while he rots in prison -- and unlike all those American-Israel i "spies" who've done incredible damage by leaking all manner of secrets (e.g. nuclear & technological), but then were packed off to Israel as heroes after serving a trivial sentence here.
+15 # arroyoribera 2013-03-02 13:02
Quoting drg927:
So how can we free him welcome him home as a true hero?

How did the Venezuelan people free Hugo Chavez in April 2002 from a coup attempt in that country? The people showed up in massive numbers in front of the National Palace and didn't must "protest", they expressed their raw emotion, their outrage and rage, and their indignation, all of which indicated that nature of the fate that would befall the ruing elite if Chavez were not released.

Fascist US 2013. Entirely different context. Nevertheless this is what we could and should do. A massive display of outrage and demand. Can it be done? In the age of Facebook? Not likely. But it is still my dream. That someday we will have a culture of rage and a culture of refusal and a culture of action.
+44 # Dumbledorf 2013-03-01 23:08
Bradley Manning makes me proud to be an American for only a REAL American would risk his Life and Liberty for the sake of his Country. True Patriot!
+38 # sdraymond 2013-03-01 23:12
How have we strayed so much from the intent of our founding fathers that we have become that which our forefather railed and fought against for the past two centuries?

Pogo was right: "We have met the enemy and he is us"
+9 # Lowflyin Lolana 2013-03-01 23:26
God, I just love his sweet face.
+32 # Don Thomann 2013-03-01 23:28
I repeat:
Nothing proves the corruption in Washington as much as the illegal detention and incarceration of Bradley Manning.
The Beast covering up its tracks is still the Beast!
+41 # dyannne 2013-03-01 23:41
What an amazingly intelligent and admirable young man. Bradley Manning is a rare being. It's a crazy world that would punish him with decades in prison and let people like George W. Bush and Dick Cheney breathe free.
+24 # Michael Lee Bugg 2013-03-02 10:49
Absolutely! Bradley Manning would not be in this mess if the criminals Bush and Cheney hadn't gotten us into their mess! The words, "with liberty and justice for all" are just an empty slogan. I am so disappointed that President Obama has let us down time after time with his empty rationalization s. Wrong is wrong regardless of the pretty sounding justification!
+42 # Billsy 2013-03-02 00:09
If Gerald Ford pardoned Nixon, then we can demand Obama do the same for Bradley Manning.
+31 # Citizen Mike 2013-03-02 08:22
I agree with Billsy. If Ford could pardon Nixon, then Obama MUST pardon Manning or else we are shamed in the eyes of the "free world" we pretend to "lead" and exposed as a worldwide agency of tyranny and deception.

What can we do? How about starting a petition NOW to the President demanding that Manning be pardoned.

As for the charges he has pleaded guilty to, a fair sentence would be "time served," acknowledging that he has been punished enough already by cruel and unusual means.

It is useful to note that the authorities attempted to "break" Manning by subjecting him torture in the hopes that it would destroy his ability to think and speak coherently. But he was strong enough to resist this attempt to destroy his mind and will, and has emerged intact as a spokesman for truth and justice. I hope he will be freed and go on to become a star on a lecture circuit which ought to include every college campus in the US.
+22 # reo100 2013-03-02 00:28
America should be prosecuting the military men like those who shot the news journalist in cold blood from the Apache helicopter. At least the America that I was born and raised in. Shame on us for not supporting Brad and rattling the doors of our elected (bought) leaders (politicians) who swear to represent us and follow domestic and international law.
-13 # j2hess 2013-03-02 01:34
I'm not so sure I can agree. Yes, there is a heroic dimension to Manning's decision, but was it his decision to make?

The government has to prosecute him, or the classification system is meaningless, and no one can trust that any US communication can be confidential. Yes, we know the system is badly abused; that doesn't mean that we can do without it.

If the leaked documents are not significant enough to threaten national security, neither do they seem to be significant enough to change the conversation, let alone the behavior of governments. Tell me who has testified that they changed their opinions or positions because of the leaks? In another leak, we learned that Bush was committed to invading Iraq in the spring of 2002 and spent a year lying to us about it - did that change anyone's support for the war?
+9 # PGreen 2013-03-02 16:22
Openness is a necessary condition for the operation of democracy. The onus is always on the authorities in charge, the government, to prove that secrecy is desirable for the good of all. It has become apparent that (in our country) much (often meaningless) information is routinely classified secret, a practice which is potentially very dangerous to the democratic process. Some of this information, like reports detailing US soldiers killing Reuters journalists, should be investigated as potential war crimes, and the public certainly deserves to be informed about such investigations.
Our government has clamped down hard on information, apparently to protect the policies of government and the reputations of officials from scrutiny. This is not in the public interest, not even in the national interest, but in the interests of the privileged few who rule us. For we cannot rule ourselves without the open flow of honest information.
+7 # engelbach 2013-03-03 07:13
It's everyone's decision to make: to report criminal activity.

Putting a government label of "top secret" on a document does not protect its content if it is used to cover up crimes.
+21 # Joe6pK 2013-03-02 04:05
The Nuremberg trials, with an American supreme court justice setting in judgement along with French, English, Chinese, Russians of the Nazi of the German Army argued that troops, no matter if they were ordered, who committed crimes, would be punished as guilty. Additionally, in war crimes are something no country can say they alone can change the rules of; we used to demonize our cold war enemies with this pure democratic rule of law for 50 years. Now a new Nazi era has arrived, and Master Sergeant Manning is really brave, as not one other American troop has stood with him, says say volumes about the state of mind of our military. But only he, Master Sergeant Manning is right, the authorities, both military/civili an are criminals, Judas goats in these proceedings! That Master Sergeant Manning was tortured for over 1000 days into admission cannot be doubted. That our government is on the brink of self destruction because it continues this Nazi pattern of behavior is so obvious. This x-military enlisted guy promoted him as he should have something to cherish now that the vultures soon will leave nothing but a carcass behind, to try and scare the rest of us! Can still hear Edward R. Morrow admonishment to the McCarthyites, you forgot senator we Americans come from ancestors not so easily frightened! Joe6pK
+10 # Vern Radul 2013-03-02 04:36
a conviction on the "aiding and abetting the enemy" charge "would dramatically elevate the threat to whistleblowers" and "the consequences for the ability of the press to perform its critical watchdog function in the national security arena will be dire"

Domestic terrorism. This is domestic terrorism. Bradley Manning is being dehumanized and used as a tool by the Obama Administration to terrorize anyone else with access to information embarrassing and/or damaging to the administration and to US foreign policy who might contemplate whistle-blowing.

Since Obama was murdering innocent kids around the world during his first term, the only reasonable assumptions that can be made after the fact are that not only is Obama a terrorist by all definitions of the word, and this was no secret at the time of the election, Barack Obama is a terrorist who deserves to be in prison enjoying fairer and more humane treatment than he doles out to his overseas victims with Hellfire missiles and to his American torture victims like Bradley Manning.

The man belongs in a cell, with Bush and Cheney. He is their getaway driver.

Anyone who voted for Barack Obama in 2012 and is now supporting him is either consciously and intentionally a terrorist sympathizer and supporter, or is just plain stupid.

Obama's response to being outed as a terrorist has been to escalate and expand his foreign terrorism to now include domestic terrorism against US citizens.
+5 # jon 2013-03-02 09:05
"Anyone who voted for Barack Obama in 2012 and is now supporting him is either consciously and intentionally a terrorist sympathizer and supporter, or is just plain stupid."

Like Romney would have been better?

Get real!
+3 # Vern Radul 2013-03-02 10:02
Romney would have been as bad as obama.

The lesser of two evils 'argument' is pathetic. It's not even an argument. It's an excuse.

Lesser of two evils voting for decades is what got America into the pathetic shape it's in now.

If you voted for romney or for obama you chose evil, with eyes wide open.

You won.

Obama supporters won not having to spend 4 years pretending all over again to be opposed to imperial wars, murder of innocent kids around the world with hellfire missiles, global US Govt. state sponsored terrorism, huge handouts being shoveled out the Treasuries door for insurance CEO's and wall street, corporate ownership of a puppet in the oval office, torture of American prisoners in American prisons, etc., etc., and all the other bullsh*t obama has been getting away with so effortlessly that neither Romney nor any other republican would ever have a hope in hell of putting over on people without every democrat screaming for impeachment for 4 years, while the country continues it's ever more rapid slide over the edge.

And he won't have to listen to protests from his supporters while he forges his grand bargain to give Wall Street control of Social Security so they can get rich bankrupting it with fees till it's time for them to organize another "crash' so Obama can bail them out again. With guess whose money...

More people now have more hope for more real change they can believe in than ever before.
+9 # Vern Radul 2013-03-02 10:07
On Friday, across-the-boar d cuts of $85 billion [went] into effect, wreaking havoc on most government operations. Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, CHIP, the Children’s Health Insurance Program and what’s left of welfare are not directly affected, but these so-called “entitlement” programs have, in fact, always been the primary targets of this cascade of manufactured crises... Obama is fully complicit in the corporate-impos ed charade.
It was Obama who swallowed whole the corporate argument, previously championed by Republicans, that the national debt was Crisis Number One and that entitlement programs were the root cause. From the moment in January of 2009 when Obama served notice that Social Security and all other entitlements would be put on the chopping block, he became the chief mover and shaker for so-called entitlement reform. He created the model for austerity, through his Simpson-Bowles deficit reduction commission. It was Simpson-Bowles that provided the basis for the massive cuts offered by President Obama in 2011. When the Republicans balked at even a modest tax increase for the rich, it was the White House National Economic Council Director, the corporate deal-maker Gene Sperling, who came up with the sequestration scheme, which was timed to explode right after the 2012 elections. The idea was to make every popular constituency in the country scream – and accept the inevitability of massive entitlement cuts.
+1 # Phlippinout 2013-03-02 13:52
Obama, chains you can believe in.
+15 # aljoschu 2013-03-02 06:47
Well, that is THE chance for president Obama to set free this young American hero and, thus, to prove to the world that he is a dignified holder of the peace nobel prize, at last.
-3 # engelbach 2013-03-03 07:16
Obama is beyond redemption.

There's too much innocent blood on his hands.

Bush and Obama are the leading war criminals still at large.
+23 # massager2002 2013-03-02 07:08
Absolute power corrupts absolutely. I don't know the source of the quote but this Bradley Manning fiasco is bringing that quote to life and we are in serious trouble as a citizen of the United States. The hooligans that run our country can be turned against us through use of power created for spying and or destruction and our military march lock step with these powers. It is obvious to anyone with a modicum of logical thinking that Manning is a Hero, one who gave his freedom so that maybe the rest of us would wake up from the hypnotic trance we have come to accept as real.
+6 # in deo veritas 2013-03-02 12:20
I believe it was Lord Acton's quote from centuries ago. We have obviously ignored this warning for much longer than we have stupidly ignored Ike's warning about the military-indust rial complex. It is our ignorance and cowardice that has brought us to the eve of destruction-not just the crimes perpetrated by any President or gang of liars and thieves. We and they will all be judged and no plea bargaining will take place. Indeed we have met the enemy and he is us-we are afraid to look in the mirror......
+4 # in deo veritas 2013-03-02 12:27
Indeed giving up his freedom so the rest of us would wake up? What has always been the end result when real heroes do this? The blind obedience to the status quo goes on and on. Otherwise there would be a tidal wave of backlash against what pseudo-christia nity and pseudo-democrac y we are experiencing.
+21 # walt 2013-03-02 09:21
The real question remains:

How can Bradley Manning be jailed while people who lied the USA into an invasion of Iraq walk free????

We lost about 4600 military lives, sustained about 100,000 injuries, tens of thousands of innocent people killed, and were plunged into a debt of from $1 to $3 trillion.

And they want to prosecute Manning??

Here is a link to a petition to investigate. Americans deserve real answers as Congress demands deficit cuts that were, in large part, from this outrageous war.
+21 # fredboy 2013-03-02 09:38
History will know him as the only hero of the two false wars. He was the only one with the courage to speak up and share the truth.
+11 # mgreen 2013-03-02 12:01
Bradley Manning should inspire us all to speak about the terrible issues that confront us all. Depleted uranium poisons the whole world and continues to be a weapon. Unfortunately over 100,000s of military people are poisoned and undiagnosed and lives will be short and painful. Babies are being born with birth defects due to military people being exposed to DU. IT VIOLATES THE GENEVA CONVENTION AND IS A WAR CRIME. See video on YouTube: Beyond Treason. Then speak out! Act up! Bradley Manning is the one who deserves the Peace Prize but we now know that whole process is bogus.
Bradley Manning is an inspiration to those of us who will speak out.
+2 # in deo veritas 2013-03-02 12:08
Sadly it is not only those who voted for Obama that are fools. Neither candidate deserved the office. Those who still trust anyone in Washington are the fools. Those who have lied about everything, especially the illegal wars are the real criminals who deserve punishment for war crimes and crimes against the American people. We the sheeple do not have the guts to give them what they deserve but as surely as there is a God they will be judged and punished by Him. There is no way they will escape justice. Our duty is to survive until their day of judgment comes about. We will not be safe until that happens: then we can rejoice.
+9 # in deo veritas 2013-03-02 12:14
One fine day it might be Obama who will need to be pardoned-but by whom? The way things are going there will be no earthly authority who could or would do it-certainly not in this country that has turned its back on everything that it was founded for.
+9 # Vern Radul 2013-03-02 13:02
"The obscure we see eventually. The completely obvious, it seems, takes longer."

-- Edward R. Murrow, April 25, 1908 – April 27, 1965
+2 # John Escher 2013-03-02 13:24
These articles make President Obama's duty very clear for him: 1)Free Bradley Manning with apology and recompense; 2)Imprison Manning's "superiors" in the military; 3)Imprison The Washington Post; 4)Imprison The New York Times; 5)Imprison Politico also for not listening to the young man.
+1 # anarchteacher 2013-03-02 14:03
That sanctimonious and duplicitous warmonger, the progressive Democrat Woodrow Wilson (who presided over the world's first fascist police state during WWI) imprisoned Socialist Eugene V. Debs and refused to release him.

It took his conservative Republican successor, the much-derided Warren G. Harding, who in a measure of presidential compassion released the old man.

The unctuous Obama is temperamentally like his progressive forbearer Wilson.

Expect no pardon of the caged Bradley Manning from this cold fish with his presidential kill lists and callous disregard for ancient rights and liberties established by Magna Carta nearly 700 years ago.

When it comes to simple justice and decency, Obama is an abomination.

Only one 2012 presidential candidate vowed to release Bradley Manning and that was Ron Paul.

So all you outraged "progressives" who now weep crocodile tears over Manning’s ignominious fate have only yourselves to blame for his continued imprisonment. It was you who voted for his jailer and his regime of state terror.
-2 # John Escher 2013-03-02 16:43
What was the choice?
-1 # engelbach 2013-03-03 07:18
There is always a choice of who to vote for.
-4 # JackB 2013-03-02 15:29
Bradley Manning was 22 years old when he released those documents. Do you people Honest to God believe that a 22 year old with stability issues was the best gatekeeper of America's secrets?

Einstein was right - there are no real limits to stupidity.
-3 # Frankie44 2013-03-02 16:13
JackB asks a good question. Should a 22-year-old, stable or unstable, get to decide which secrets should be kept, and which should not?
+4 # engelbach 2013-03-03 07:21
His judgment proved not only correct, but superior to that of the cowards who knew about what the government was doing but were afraid to speak up.
+6 # John Escher 2013-03-02 16:44
What stability issues? You have stability issues.
+4 # fishermanjohn 2013-03-02 23:34
Evidently Bradley Manning was the best gatekeeper for America's dirty secrets. He was the only one with the courage and moral integrity to open that gate and let us all know what was being hidden behind it. In my mind he takes a place beside Daniel Ellsberg and the helicopter pilot who stood up to William Calley and stopped the My Lai massacre. I am proud that America can still produce young men with this much courage and moral integrity.
+3 # coopea 2013-03-03 02:57
Quoting JackB:
Do you people Honest to God believe that a 22 year old with stability issues was the best gatekeeper of America's secrets? you Honest to God believe a small posse of elder men with stability issues are the best overseers of America's military?
+6 # engelbach 2013-03-03 07:20
He proved his worth as a human being by doing exactly what he did: he exposed lies and crimes of the U.S. government.

No one else had the courage to do so.
-3 # Frankie44 2013-03-02 15:47
Everybody I have noticed who has written about Bradley Manning has been sympathetic to him. The main theme has been that Manning exposed bad people or people dong bad things. Manning was the judge of what should be released to the general public and what should not be released. That is, Manning accepted responsibility for deciding what should be kept secret. If one accepts the idea that a PFC should have that power, then the next PFC should also have that power. If we give each PFC the power to decide what should secret and what can be released, we do not have secrets any more. Do we want a military that does not have secrets? Would any of our allies ever trust us with any secrets? It is one thing to say that the particular secrets that Manning released should have been released and quiet another to say that lower-level enlisted people should have the discretion to release whatever they think should not be kept secret. I don't see how one can favor making Manning a hero without also favoring the end of state secrets and military secrets.
+6 # Doubter 2013-03-02 17:57
Come to think of it; why should the most powerful nation in the world need to act duplicitously? It can stomp around like a bear in your back yard. The less state secrets the better our survival chances.
+6 # engelbach 2013-03-03 07:25
Anyone who finds evidence of wrong doing has the obligation to speak up.

State secrets that hide government crimes must be exposed. A criminal cannot be allowed to hide his crimes just by stamping them "secret."

As long as there is no watchdog to protect the nation from such criminals in the government, it's up to all of us to fulfill that role.

We're all human beings, regardless of military rank.
+6 # Vern Radul 2013-03-02 18:20
It is a crime to NOT expose war crimes.

HUMINT Collectors MUST:

Report Suspected War Crimes Encountered during the Course of Their Duties
+5 # Lone Ranger 2013-03-02 19:05
Disappointing. Do we not have brains with which to think. Must we be protected by secrets that will doom us if revealed?
We love America, and we want to believe in it. Why can't we believe those who lead us--is it necessary that they be so sleazy that they lead us 325 million into war without our being able to say "NO?" Bush and Cheney and all their sycophants should be jailed now for crimes against the United States. Remember Hermann Goering? He said all you have to do is tell the people they are being attacked and then badmouth the pacifists as weaklings. Isn't that what happened to us? Isn't that why we are in a 12-year war? Let's all pray that the people of the world can forgive us for what we have done to them in the name of peace and democracy. God Bless the planet earth and all its inhabitants.
-4 # charsjcca 2013-03-02 22:44
How much money has been appropriated to carry out this charade. NONE! It is from the black budget which is the greatest fraud ever perpetuated on a so-called free people from a so-called administrators of justice. Again, it is the BLACK BUDGET that is the culprit. We must force our Congress to appropriate the fund to carry out this injustice. That means that they will have to debate the efficacy of the expenditures on the record in view of the whole world.

As an aside, we need a real president in 2016-Chelsea Clinton-not hillary rodham.
+3 # DC DAVE 2013-03-03 05:29
It's probably a good thing for Manning that he wasn't a combat soldier. After he went to The Washington Post, The New York Times, and Politico, he might have been dealt with by the Army the way Pat Tillman was apparently dealt with after he went to the "progressive" Noam Chomsky.
+3 # tanis 2013-03-09 09:33
The real sadness of America is that most people cannot recognize the truth. If our judgement as a nation continues to be so far off base the military will win - against all of us. Most get into a military uniform because they don't know the truth and can't recognize it when they hear it- or in current history - read it. That is why military personnel do as they are told, e.g. Colin Powell at the U.N. Manning represents the truth and a different kind of courage, not the blind kind.

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