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A hero or a traitor? I’m leaning towards the former.
He now faces life in prison for sending the info to Wikileaks (with conservatives calling for his execution).
I am suspecting the way his case is treated will be the final nail into the coffin of Obama’s pre-elections’ international image.
He may be cute, and he may be gay. He may be pissed off at the world, but what he did was wrong. Putting other in harms way is never a good thing to do, I’m sure he just wasn’t thinking it would be interesting to hear in his own worlds of why he did what he did. I really hope he get an interview to tell his story. The United States is having a hard enough time with home grown destroyers and heaters, and with the gays trying so hard to get to be open about themselves in the armed forces, I think the main media, and the Christen right, and all the other haters will use this man as an example of why gay are bad . If he really did give up these secrets, I believe with my my sole that he deserves what he has coming to him.
He is definitely not a traitor but a hero. The whole world was fooled by the Bush administration when the USA claimed there would be mass destruction weapons and then attacked Iraq. It was lie and the war was and is unjustified. The public has the right to know what really happened in Iraq especially because the US has the most powerful army in the world and often tells other countries what is right or wrong.
I am sure there are plenty of countries who would grant this guy asylum in case he faces tough punishments in the US.
John McCain thinks we should ask the soldiers their options.
He should have added “the prison” to that list. I hear he’s being being treated pretty badly-
Yeah, I have read it, Marc. That’s pretty outrageous, especially considering he has not been found guilty of anything yet.
Needless to say, I entirely agree with Andy. If we punish whistleblowers like him, this is a quick way to censorship and dictatorship.
@Tom: The way the US government is acting with the whole Wikileaks affair, Julian Assange, Bradley Manning etc. just goes to show that at least some of the “haters” you have around the world are pretty justified in their dislike of the US policies. If you let your government get away with torture, pimping out child prostitutes to warlords and covering up illegal drug tests on children, then (to paraphrase you), you deserve what you have coming to you.
It Gets Better, unless you’re a whistleblower who stands up against bullies in your own government.
Here’s what Manning allegedly said:
Manning: well, it was forwarded to [WikiLeaks] – and god knows what happens now – hopefully worldwide discussion, debates, and reforms – if not, than [sic] we’re doomed – as a species – i will officially give up on the society we have if nothing happens – the reaction to the video gave me immense hope; CNN’s iReport was overwhelmed; Twitter exploded – people who saw, knew there was something wrong . . . Washington Post sat on the video… David Finkel acquired a copy while embedded out here. . . . – i want people to see the truth… regardless of who they are… because without information, you cannot make informed decisions as a public.
President Obama’s pledge to stop torture is a joke when you look at how this young man, who stood up for LBGT rights in this photo, is being drugged and kept in solitary confinement 23 of 24 hours a day.
This is terribly disappointing. If the Obama Administration is serious about stopping torture, they would at the very least give him the ability to exercise, to sleep with a pillow and sheet.
Bradley Manning has suffered much worse, and not for a week, but for seven months, with no end in sight. If you became aware of secret information revealing serious wrongdoing, deceit and/or criminality on the part of the U.S. Government, would you — knowing that you could and likely would be imprisoned under these kinds of repressive, torturous conditions for months on end without so much as a trial: just locked away by yourself 23 hours a day without recourse — be willing to expose it? That’s the climate of fear and intimidation which these inhumane detention conditions are intended to create.
Article Claiming Bradley Manning is gay.
This guy is exactly what we need. Transparency. Also, 3% of the documents have been released so far. We have a lot more to learn. And if things are already interesting NOW, imagine when the really interested shit comes out. There is no way wikileaks would leak all the interesting stuff at first, thats to come! Including some 20k documents on UFO’s and stuff. Before people label him as a traitor we should sit back and wait for the big picture. Im excited to see whats to come. Im really sad they are treating him that way in prison tho.. If they would do that to a fellow american, i can onnnly imagine what they would do to someone who spoke a different language looked different, and was the presumed enemy.
Yeah! I’m totally with you on this.
I believe firmly that exposing corruption, wrong doing, misappropriation of funds and the selling out of the principles that we are supposed to stand for in the world is a patriotic act. Of course conservatives are calling for his head, they care nothing about freedom, human rights and real moral justification for war. The foreign policy of the US has been polluted by nefarious goals, lies, profiteering, privatization, phony justifications and the cloaking of our own corruption under the guise of “National Security: interests. What Bradley Manning and the Wikileaks people are doing is right and justified in my mind.
Just as in the Valerie Plame incident, the US government is attempting to silence and discredit those who expose real corruption. They spread lies, manage/control/manipulate the mainstream media coverage and rile the people up with calls of “traitor”. It’s ginned up to protect the actions of people who have at the very least acted unethically and at the worst have committed grave crimes in our name.
Remember that the release of the Pentagon Papers helped bring an end to the mess that was Vietnam. Perhaps wikileaks can bring an end to the unjustified wars we are currently in.
Amen. We simply don’t know enough details about his situation. We do know that his intentions were to be a whistle blower and blow the lid on government bullying. If he is guilty of anything, bring him to trial.
Part of the reason he’s being tortured is that being a whistle blower isn’t legally considered “treason” and therefore might not hold up in court. They might be trying to get a confession out of him by making him go mad.
Solitary confinement is torture.
President Obama, Hillary and all these politicians who made “It Gets Better” videos need to think hard about the consequences of torturing a U.S. citizen, an openly gay solider for this amount of time.
If you are truly sincere about stopping bullies, stop acting like one.
I’m equally disappointed that much of our gay press and LGBT blogs have remained largely silent on Bradley Manning, ignored this story or dismissed him as bad for the cause of repealing DADT.
Many articles attacking Manning avoid any reasons why this guy might have thought it important to reveal this information– aside from the fact that he is gay and un-American (and, of course, un-Christian).
If there ever was a front page story, this guy is it.
Let’s not forget that he has not been found guilty of any crime. He is a US citizen. And this is being done by Obama’s administration. In short, this should be as “good as it gets”.
If so, I’m becoming convinced the US is a modern day evil empire.
Another aspect is that the U.S. Govt is torturing him to get him to give incriminating testimony in order to give them a case against Julian Assange and WikiLeaks.
Here’s an Interview with Glenn Greenwald, Constitutional law attorney and the political and legal blogger at Salon.com who wrote the in-depth article about how Manning is being tortured.
ok, i know this is an old post, but im going to reply anyway. First off, as ex military, i realize that civilians do not understand that he is subject to a deferent legal system, the uniform military code of justice (UCMJ) The old phrase went that if you were innocent, UCMJ was better, if you were guilty, then go with the regular courts. as a whistleblower, i feel he is protected to a certain degree, if he had kept to leaking the army killing journalists etc. but the thing is. what people forget, is that he did not leave it at that, he leaked confidential diplomatic posts that have affected our security and standing all over the world. Does anyone think that we should open up our private conversations/opinions about world leaders etc? this is not whistleblowing, it is treason.
He took an oath to defend our Constitution and to protect it from enemies foreign and domestic as well as to obey the orders of the president and officers, he made the choice to raise his hand, just as he made the choice to disobey. i do feel sorry for him, i feel he is being used by others with their own agenda, but again, he made the choice to be used, and knew fully what the consequences would be.
I’m glad that this discussion is happening and thank you for your response.
Justified or not, torture is simply wrong. Putting anyone in that level of isolation for any reason is wrong. Not even murderers get this kind of treatment.
If we’re going to hold Bradley Manning to this standard, then certainly the Bush Administration should be equally held accountable for the Plame Affair. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plame_affair
Even by military court standards, the way Manning is being treated is unlawful.
I don’t understand why he’s even being held in a Naval facility when he was in the Army. Why don’t they let him exercise?
I agree that Bradley Manning was impulsive and approached this in a totally wrong way. We just don’t know enough details here. But maybe consider that maybe the information was so vast, and so overwhelming he couldn’t see any other alternative but to put it out wholesale.
We are right now struggling economically in this country while engaging in military actions all around the world.
What would you have done if you were in his situation? How do you protect the country from domestic enemies when leaders in your own government behaves as a domestic enemy? It’s not an easy decision, nor a clear decision to make.
Also, consider because some of these government wires were flat out lies, news organizations need to do better journalism and not treat the leaks as the truth either.
Good questions, worth thought and some type of answer. first off, the reason one could assume as to why he is held in a naval brig instead of an army one. the military is treating him as a VIP detainee due to the press and unusual circumstances of his crime. keeping him near most of their, not his resources makes sense from a military standpoint. as far as solitary, i do believe some type of special seclusion would be proper, one cannot underestimate the level of betrayal not just to his oath, but to his fellow soldiers. he broke his vow to not just his country but to his fellow battles, a betrayal which by some is far worse than what he is accused and admitted doing. one cannot fully understand the level of assimilation military service provides, it is a mindset that supersedes many typical civilian responses. according to the new Salon report http://www.salon.com/news/opinion/glenn_greenwald/2010/12/23/manning/index.html
there does seem to be some manner of retribution in the form of limited exercise and interrupted sleep. those things could and should be limited, but most likely will not be.
the argument that this was an impulsive act done in the wrong manner does not lessen the responsibility. the best example of a civilian equivalent is involuntary manslaughter, the lack of intent does not mean there is no punishment.
as far as the belief that if others in power (bush etc) are not ethical in their actions and decisions does not hold water either. i went to basic when i was 40, i shipped out to basic the day after the 5th anniversary pf 9/11, i have not ever been a fan or supporter of Bush or his war policies, but i took that oath knowing fully well i would have to listen and respect the leaders of govt ands military. Manning is now 23, he was adult when he signed up, and knew what the p; process and policies were, if he was not willing to follow though on his vow, then he should not have taken it.
your question about how do you protect from domestic enemies when your leaders are domestic enemies, well we are Americans, we vote, we join groups of like minded people and work with others toward correcting the injustice we perceive. we let our voice be heard. again, i reiterate, had he kept to unlawful and/or illegal activities in his leaks, i would have some type of respect for him and his personal sense of integrity. But he did not, he released private, sensitive personal emails and papers of members of our diplomatic core engaging in lawful activity. he made the world a less safe place for Americans and ensured that we would have a much harder time being able to draw an international coalition to end this war. he did put lives at risk, he did seriously hard our interests by illegally accessing and releasing state secrets (the diplomatic correspondence was intended to be kept private, hence the secret label) that regardless of intent is treason.
i do feel sorry for him, in what you called one impulsive act, threw his life away, he will never be released and will be lucky if escapes execution. i do share some of his core ideals and opinions concerning bush and the war, where i separate is the means of change. we do not believe in taking the law into our own hands and that is what he did, so no matter what his reasoning he will pat for this with the loss of any future hope of freedom
Thanks for your response, let me add to this discussion here.
We don’t really know the complete details regarding Bradley Manning, what exactly he did or didn’t do, and what the intentions of him or the government’s response. We do not know.
What we do know at this point is that the U.S. has been put in many wars under false information, information concocted by the Bush administration. Thanks to documents released earlier on WikiLeaks before Bradley Manning was involved.
We also know that the Bush Administration put the life of CIA officer Valerie Plame Wilson in danger by leaking her identification, as political retribution against her husband, Ambassador Joseph C. Wilson, for his criticism against the Bush Administration.
In the Plame Affair, it’s widely accepted that the Bush Administration leaked information to hurt at least two citizens because they disagreed with their policy.
I hope everyone holds Manning whose actions may have been to save his country, fight corruption, be held under the same scrutiny that President Bush’s actions are held.
I don’t know what really has happened, because our government wont tell us, and the well funded news organizations don’t always do their job to find out the truth and hold officials accountable.
I’m guessing the odd, bipolar reaction the Obama Administration has reacted to WikiLeaks, Manning and Assange have a lot to do with incriminating evidence that hasn’t been released yet.
If they manage to execute all these individuals and shut down WikiLEaks permanently, there already are many websites and other individuals all over the world to continue exposing this information. Even a newspaper in Sweden has all the same documents that WikiLeaks has.
What’s Obama going to do next? Declare war on Sweden?
This is a very complex issue that requires us as a people to think deeply about how we respond to it, because it will define us as a country for years to come. We must treat all possible criminals the same. We need to stop these wars because they are ruining our country morally and financially. This is the defining moment of our generation.
I thank you for your respectful, calm and informed discussion on the matter, and for the research you have done. This isn’t an easy topic to talk about, because the implications are so upsetting- that both the Obama and the Bush Administration may be guilty of war crimes.
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