Bradley Manning is a lightning rod for diverse opinions. I read about him and his situation a lot by reading Glenn Greenwald’s column at the Guardian. A recent column of his and a comment in the comments section led to this post. Bradley Manning was a very young soldier stationed in the middle east who released a ton of diplomatic communiques that were very embarrassing to the US government. Manning is a classic whistle-blower.
In the comments section of the Greenwald essay I read this comment by a libertarian that has posted there for a long time now:
Let’s get down to brass tacks.
Manning at great personal risk to himself, risk that has been in fact realized, in an act of supreme moral conscience exposed the many crimes of his employer.
You can either defend his employer, and therefore side with war criminals, murderers, liars, thieves and tyrants who operate at our expense solely for their own gain, or side with Manning and instead defend accountable government, personal responsibility, morality and heroism.
There are few bright lines between people, but this is among them. That there appear to be many more of the former than the latter explains why we are where we are as a society.
I mean really. The USG is fucking murdering people. Women and children. All over the world. It incinerated babes in arms in Waco just as it does all over the MENA, and is completely unaccountable for any of it. Thus it creates terrorism that it then claims to to combat, to justify continuing to spend us into oblivion for the benefit of the death merchants.
It appears to never occur to the defenders of tyranny that whatever harm Manning might have created with his leak was in fact the fault of the USG for engaging in activities, immoral and unconstitutional, that meddle in the affairs of other nations. This is what put people in jeopardy, not Manning’s exposure of wrongdoing.
The tyrant Obama claims the right to kill any of us, anywhere, at any time, on his own authority. Those of you that support the USG and the fucking tyrant should read the preceding sentence again, and again, and again, until it actually sinks into your brain where the fuck we are at as a country.
The USG is completely and utterly out of control and has utterly slipped all restraints of law and civilization.
Manning is little more than a boy in years, and yet I daresay he’s demonstrated a great deal more courage in his tender years than most of us will muster in a lifetime. For this he will no doubt spend some of the best years of his life in the prison-industrial complex, subject to the petty tyrannies of well-paid costumed goons employed by the corrupt institution he exposed. In the best traditions of authoritarian regimes throughout history.
If we lived in a civilized country, Obama would be on trial and Manning would be celebrated.
May God have mercy on this brave boy and see fit to deliver him from the evil government that we have allowed to afflict and corrupt us.
The main point that I get out of the Manning case is that the Government will break all of its own rules and torture you if you embarrass the State and that hell hath no furry like a State embarrassed. I recall the Pentagon Papers case and that release of information was much more damaging to the military and the government than anything that Bradley Manning released.
Manning said that he “first approached three news outlets: the Washington Post, New York Times and Politico” and those mainstream sites did not want to help him get this information out to the public, so, he then gave the story to WikiLeaks instead. It was his idea to give the story to Wikileaks according to him and it was not WikiLeaks that solicited the information as the US government has claimed in its attempt to prosecute that organization.
The documents that Bradley Manning leaked are some of the most significant and damaging released since the Pentagon Papers during the Vietnam war. The materials that Manning released documented a host of previously secret crimes committed by the US Empire and others. Many experts both inside and outside of government have concluded that no national security harm came from his leaks, and yet he was held without a trial for years while he was tortured. What for? It is simple — the Obama administration has waged war on whistle-blowers and Manning is the chief one of our time; so to hell with due process and law. This is sad beyond words.
From the “about Bradley Manning” page of his support network:
Nobel Peace Prize nominee PFC Bradley Manning, a 24-year-old Army intelligence analyst, is accused of releasing the Collateral Murder video, that shows the killing of unarmed civilians and two Reuters journalists, by a US Apache helicopter crew in Iraq. He is also accused of sharing the Afghan War Diary, the Iraq War Logs, and series of embarrassing US diplomatic cables. These documents were published by the anti-secrecy website WikiLeaks, and they have illuminated such issues as the true number and cause of civilian casualties in Iraq, along with a number of human rights abuses by U.S.-funded contractors and foreign militaries, and the role that spying and bribes play in international diplomacy. Given the war crimes exposed, if PFC Bradley Manning was the source for these documents, he should be given a medal of honor.
Not a single person has been harmed by the release of this information. Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates has called the effect of WikiLeaks’ releases on U.S. foreign relations “fairly modest.” Yet the Obama administration has chosen to persecute the whistle-blower rather than prosecute the war criminals who were exposed. While the prosecution has declared it does not intend to seek the death penalty, they do seek to lock PFC Bradley Manning away for life, with the most ridiculous charge of ‘aiding the enemy,’ even though chat logs attributed to Bradley by the FBI clearly show intent only to inform the public and promote “discussion, debates, and reforms.”
It is obvious to most who have taken even a small interest in this case that the US government has been illegally punishing Bradley Manning for exposing war crimes and other embarrassing information to the American public who need this sort of information if the public is to have any hope of overseeing its government in any meaningful way.
If they can get away with treating Manning this way; they can treat you that way if they so choose. That is a compelling reason to support Bradley Manning.