While Bradley Manning Didn’t “Aid the Enemy,” He Most Certainly Betrayed His Country

manningI’m writing this fully expecting a huge “liberal backlash”—and that’s fine.  As I’ve said many times before, I write to express my opinions on certain topics, not to pander just so people will agree with what they’re reading.

Almost 2 months ago, I wrote a piece where I did a little background on Bradley Manning and expressed my belief that he’s much closer to being a traitor than a hero.

Now let me be clear, I don’t feel that Bradley Manning was “aiding the enemy” (the more serious charge he faced and was found “not guilty” of).

I don’t believe for a moment Mr. Manning leaked this information out with the intention of helping terrorists or anyone that we consider an enemy.

But the bottom line is, Bradley Manning willingly leaked classified information that could have resulted in the loss of American lives and violated the code of military conduct.  A code which he swore to uphold.

Now, his supporters only look at “what” was leaked, while ignoring the much larger picture.  At the time he recklessly leaked over 700,000 pieces of classified information, he had no way of knowing what horrific consequences could have resulted due to his actions.

It’s a question I’ve posed to almost every one of his supporters that I’ve come across:

If the information Bradley Manning leaked had resulted in the death of one of your loved ones, would your opinion about his actions be the same?

When I ask the “I am Bradley Manning” people this question, I rarely get an answer.  Usually I get some kind of deflection or hyperbole which never directly addresses the question.

See, it’s easy in retrospect to say that the information Manning leaked didn’t directly result in any American loss of life.  But Manning had no way to know this.  There’s no possible way he knew everything that was contained within the hundreds of thousands of documents he released.

And laws suddenly don’t become nullified simply because someone doesn’t get hurt.  Drunk driving doesn’t suddenly become legal because the driver made it home safe and vigilantes don’t become justified simply because some might agree with their actions.

“Batman” might make for a great superhero in a comic book or movie, but could you imagine if some billionaire actually decided to go around taking the law into their own hands as some masked vigilante?  I’m sure that would go over really well.

But as I said before, this wasn’t a long time veteran in the intelligence community who carefully organized information to leak out to expose atrocities (and yes, some of what Manning leaked was horrific).  This was an individual who did an information dump, grabbing as much as he could, as quickly as he could—simply because he had the access.

During an appearance last month on HuffPost Live, we discussed Mr. Manning and whether or not his actions were justified.  During that segment one of his defenders compared him to Martin Luther King Jr. and called for him to win the Nobel Peace Prize.

Both statements I found completely ridiculous.  First, the Nobel Peace Prize statement simply made no sense.  Second, comparing him to Martin Luther King Jr. put on full display how many of Manning’s supporters simply don’t “get it.”

Manning wasn’t a civilian like Dr. King was.  If Manning remained a civilian and spoke out strongly against the war and what he felt were disgusting acts by our government, then by all means—he has that right.

But that wasn’t the case.  Bradley Manning volunteered to join the United States Military while we were at war—even though records indicate he strongly opposed both wars prior to enlisting.

Then if he witnessed events which he felt were illegal, unethical or should be exposed, there were better ways to do that then leaking them to some foreign “activist” who was already wanted by the United States.  You can’t tell me if he somehow got information about what was going on to someone like (for the sake of argument) Congressman Dennis Kucinich or Congressman Ron Paul—that this information wouldn’t have been made public somehow.

There are enough activists within the United States he could have made contact with where he could have found a more responsible way to expose some of the horrible things he had been witness to, without handing over hundreds of thousands of classified documents to some foreigner.

Now I’ve seen other whistle-blowers in the private sector try and compare their stories with that of Mr. Manning.

But again, they completely miss the basic and undeniable truth—he isn’t a civilian.  When you’re in the military you’re subjected to a whole different set of rules.  Every individual who joins the military does so voluntarily (we haven’t had a draft in decades) so when they swear their oath and sign the papers—they’re agreeing to abide by a completely different set of rules.

This wasn’t some executive at Bank of America exposing fraud.  This was a United States soldier, deployed to war, dumping hundreds of thousands of classified documents without having any possible way to know if that information could put our troops at greater risk.

You can’t argue that point, nor can you negate those rules simply because you “disagree with them.”  Bradley Manning knew what he was signing up for, and when he volunteered to do so, he gave up his rights to be a political activist.  He gave up his rights to speak out whenever he wanted to.

But he just didn’t get that.  By accounts of his behavior while in the military, before the leaks, he had behavioral problems dating back to basic training where he was almost kicked out before completing his training.  While deployed at war he also suffered from discipline problems, and anyone who’s read about these stories will quickly realize this guy had no business being a member of our military.

Which I still maintain is an issue that should be investigated.  How does a guy who barely made it through basic training, and had continued problems with discipline while deployed to war, end up being granted access to so much classified information?

And while I’m sympathetic to what Manning might have seen as horrific acts being committed during a time of war (and I agree some were) when you become a member of our military you lose the right to be a political activist.

From the moment Bradley Manning swore an oath to our military, then violated that oath by illegally leaking hundreds of thousands of classified documents, he betrayed his country and became a traitor—period.

But like I’ve asked his supporters before, “If his leaking of this information had led to the loss of someone you deeply loved and cared for who was serving overseas, would you still support his actions?”

Because imagine this headline:

Over 3,000 American Troops Killed After Army Private Bradley Manning Leaked Over 700,000 Classified Documents Which Exposed Troop Locations to Our Enemies

I highly doubt many would be calling him a “hero” then.

And just because that didn’t happen this time, doesn’t mean it can’t happen when the next “Bradley Manning” thinks about leaking classified information that could potentially put American lives at risk.

Allen Clifton

Allen Clifton is a native Texan who now lives in the Austin area. He has a degree in Political Science from Sam Houston State University. Allen is a co-founder of Forward Progressives and creator of the popular Right Off A Cliff column and Facebook page. Be sure to follow Allen on Twitter and Facebook, and subscribe to his channel on YouTube as well.

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  • Greg

    Yes sir, the Uniform Code of Military Justice is most definitely NOT the U.S. Constitution. Your article is spot on Allen. For the record, I am a left leaning progressive who opposed the war in Iraq and opposes our continuing military occupation in Afghanistan.

  • cybrestrike

    Bradley Manning’s actions gave the general public excellent insights into what our government was doing around the world–propping up dictators, supporting coups of democratically elected foreign governments that didn’t toe the neoliberal/globalist line, and massive corruption in the chain of command of our military. George W Bush, Richard Bruce Cheney, John Yoo, Donald Rumsfeld, Colin Powell, et al should have been tried in court before Manning ever was. But that’s not how it works anymore. Another example of our two tiered justice system. Manning, if anything, betrayed corruption–and the Establishment protects corruption at all costs. Manning is also an example to anyone who is brave enough to expose corruption–they will come after you and destroy you. “Know your place”, say the Authoritarians.

    • ozlanthos

      The only reason we are even talking about Manning in a poor light is that so many of those we have in our military lack the integrity and moral fortitude to wear the uniform. Lying so your buddy can get out of extra PT for not being in formation on time is one thing, allowing a level of criminality to go on that is costing the lives of soldiers, and innocent civilians to continue without doing what you can to stop it is another….

      -Oz

  • jason

    the man let the truth out about war. everyone loves a good war, but no one loves the reality of war. the documents he released were only made possible by GEORGE W. BUSH LEADING US INTO A WAR BASED ON LIES! he merely showed the war from the view of the people on the ground in their own words.

    • Brian

      If he had only leaked information about crimes like the helicopter incident I might agree, but he didn’t. He just dumped a pile of classified information without vetting it.

      • You are just parrotting conservative talking points. Name one piece of information that could have and should have been vetted and then not released after proper vetting. He knew the category of information he was leaking and so far there is no allegation that there was any specific item that was not properly categorized and therefore should have had a higher secrecy rating than the information that was released.

      • Brian

        I think you are being a bit naive Gregory. I haven’t read the hundreds of thousands of documents. Have you? And more importantly, did Manning? There is no justification for a document dump if your point is to be a whistle blower for a particular instance of wrongdoing.

      • Shari Peterson

        What were your thoughts about when the Clinton’s shared secret military technology with communist China? I was disgusted. Now China owns us. Oh the irony. And Hillary will run in 2016 and China will have their new president.

      • Brian

        China owns us? Hyperbole much?

    • -From Afghanistan with no Love

      As a liberal, and a soldier in the MI community, who is currently IN AFGHANISTAN I can honestly and sincerely say that Bradley Manning does NOT show the view from troops on the ground, the MAJORITY of soldiers do not respect him, he is without doubt or question a traitor and he deserves to be treated as such

      • He’s no traiter and any US soldier who is in Afghanistan and who is unquestioningly killing Afghans under the orders of the American Empire is no patriot. The majority of Roman soldiers who crucified Jesus were in agreement that he deserved to be treated as such.

      • Brian

        Ummm, not sure what the Romans have to do with this and I’m not sure you can speak for what the Roman soldiers of antiquity agreed upon.

      • Jay Smith

        Wow..you.

      • meatwad_SSuppet

        Were you the one that killed Pat Tillman?

  • Steph

    I can’t understand how anyone who is upset about the horrific things that go on behind the scenes of a war (as I am) can turn around and say it’s ok to risk an untold number of lives UNNECESSARILY, to potentially cause many more horrific things.

  • Just a guy

    Your comment on Batman was unnecessary. A vigilante seeks revenge for some perceived slight. Batman used an actual slight (the murder of his parents in a city rife with corruption both political and in law enforcement, and used it as a mechanism to rebuild himself into a force for justice. Not so that he could take shallow revenge on a wrong doer, but so he could ensure by operating outside the constraints of law enforcement that no other child would ever endure the pain of seeing their life ripped from them at gun point. And Batman’s foes most certainly have it coming to them. The analogy doesn’t fit and you’re kind of stupid for using it.

  • Des Aboagye

    It is just simply wrong to leak this much secret information to the world. Who else can the Government and the top military brass trust? I would have sent in to jail for a long long time…even forever. Tomorrow, another military guy will leak even more pages. Just wait and see.

    • Chris Allen Thomas

      Bradley Manning is not Edward Snowden. Very different people with significant differences in what they did…and why.

    • Let’s go to the other extreme. A soldier in the Thrid Reich leaks information about the exterminatino camps. Should he be court martialed like Manning and not allowed to present the defense of necessity? Wouly you just say “he broke the military code” so he deserves to be locked up forever?

      • Brian

        didn’t take long to invoke the Nazi’s huh?

      • Shari Peterson

        Why not Brian? The US has killed over a million Muslims. It’s pretty far along the heinous highway.

      • :)

        There is no such thing as a false Godwin here. Nazi-Germany had its war crimes, but America is committing its own war crimes right now. This is about international laws, how America is breaking these laws and that many of its soldiers are disobeying the same international laws by not speaking out about these acts of crime and terror.

        Trying to make it look as if it is a false comparison to the Nazis is dishonoring all that the Allied Forces fought for, it is the utter disrespect of the Geneva Conventions and laws in general. Watch out with falconry 🙂

      • Brian

        until we round up and gas 8 million noncombatants, yes I do think it is a false Godwin. Your intent on comparing the two is what is dishonoring not only the Allied Forces but also the victims of the Holocaust.

      • :)

        Nonsense, you are simply trying to kill any discussion you don’t like. You are trying to make us forget about to past so that we blindly enter the future and even disregard the present. Every breach of international laws, every torture, every civilian murder Americans – or for that matter anyone else – commit should be prosecuted!

        I am pretty sure victims of the Holocaust would like you not to abuse them and the Holocaust, by sticking up for murderers.

      • Brian

        no immediately going to the Hitler comparison is how you kill discussion. Or did you reference Godwin’s law without actually understanding it? You make it impossible to have an actual discussion on proper policy.

      • :)

        I understand Godwin’s Law. I also understand it’s being used to kill legit arguments whenever anyone mentions the Nazis in an appropriate context, like you were doing (in my eyes that comment served no other purpose).

        Of course the connection with the Nazis is made when we are discussing war crimes, how can it not? It would be foolish to disregard the Nazi war crimes as if they did not exist, that could potentially even lead to a Holocaust 2.0, which we can agree is in nobody’s interest. Which is why every year, here in our little country, we commemorate the victims of war who have died since the start of WW2 and the next day it’s our Liberation Day. We shouldn’t forget, we shouldn’t try to push it in a dark corner of our mind and we shouldn’t try to kill every proper argument by throwing the Godwin card.

      • Tom Gardner

        No, the point simply has no relevance. When the USA starts rounding up noncombatants and torturing them and killing them after forcing them to build war machines for us, then the point is valid.

        The point that is trying to be made here is that the USA isn’t Nazi Germany, we aren’t intentionally killing civilians in heinous ways out of perceived racial superiority.

        If you can’t make your point with out needless sensationalism, then obviously you don’t have a point that carries any weight.

      • :)

        So you are saying the US has not illegally imprisoned noncombatants, has not tortured noncombatants and has not killed noncombatants? In what world are you living?

        You are the only one trying to make a point with needless sensationalism. Nobody here made a 1 on 1 comparison to the Nazis except for you. The Geneva Convention was constructed _because_ of what the Nazis did, so it makes it even more important to remember these deeds. And you are trying to make it sound like the US has not broken any of the international laws. How can you people try to push these laws away as if it’s okay to murder civilians?

        Your efforts to make US war crimes sound okay by comparing them to Nazi war crimes and saying it’s not a big deal, is the only situation in this conversation where the Godwin card is applicable.

      • Charles Vincent

        One of the videos manning released was of us troops driving over dead civilian bodies with a tank and of a us helicopter gunning down civilians and then gunning down more civilians that were attempting to render aid to the wounded that my friend is a clear violation of military law and the law of war under the Geneva convention. Your argument is so full of failure because you failed to look at the important and pertinent stuff manning leaked to the media.

      • MaryLF

        So if he had shuffled through the thousands of documents and released just the ones dealing with “war crimes”, fair enough. But he didn’t do that – he just dumped a bunch of stuff with no responsibility whatsoever.

      • :)

        His actions led to it being dumped, he is indeed indirectly responsible. However, his intentions were different and his actions proved this. He sent it the files to a whistleblower organization and papers such as The Guardian carefully went through the cables to see what they could or couldn’t post.

        But what you see here is that they have tortured him and the only reason they aren’t giving him the death penalty is because the world is watching. 19 counts that could lead to a 100+ years sentence? I think the good of his deeds outweigh the bad, but maybe that is because there hasn’t happened much that we could label as ‘bad’.

        It’s all out there on the internet and it has been there for years, yet nothing has happened? Makes ya think.

      • Nathan Buchanan

        You realize once you bring up Hitler or the Nazi party to make a relevant point, you have no point?

      • 65snake

        That doesn’t work if it’s actually relevant to the conversation.

      • Brian

        but it isn’t relevant to the conversation Snake

      • Brian

        The DEA locked up a guy for four days without food or water. Clearly they are Nazis. You see, once every bad action is tied to the Nazis it ends up making it meaningless. Name a war where both sides didn’t round up non-combatants, put them in prison, torture them, etc. If that is the standard, you are going to have to travel pretty far to find an instance in history where that wasn’t true of many governments. Thus, the comparison is meaningless and like the boy who cried wolf, when someone does rise that is actually a fascist, nobody will pay attention.

      • Tom Gardner

        How is it relevant? Are we rounding up Muslim noncombatants, forcing them to build tanks and what ever else we want, then killing them in horrific ways?

        Are we trying to take over the world?

        Exactly. As I stated above, if you can’t make your point with out needless sensationalism, then you obviously don’t have a point worth listening to.

        In other words, try using logical arguments instead of emotional ones.

      • Psienesis

        We *did* round up Muslim non-combatants. We *have* put them in prisons. We *have* tortured them, and we *have* killed them. How is it *not* relevant?

      • 65snake

        War crimes. 🙂 above states everything I would say, quite clearly, so I won’t repeat it.

    • Shari Peterson

      Did you feel the same way when the Clinton’s shared military secrets with the Chinese?

  • Katie Shea Getman

    I happen to think Bradley Manning is a Hero…just my opinion…our Government has become so shrouded in secrecy that we the people have no clue as to what is really happening.and even some combat veterans are supporting his cause….desperate times call for Desperate measures and in my opinion these are desperate Times….

    .

    • meatwad_SSuppet

      And enforcing secret laws against us. If the law is a secret, it is not valid. Strange how many forget the illegal war(s) part of the equation. The Bush Syndicate should be replacing Manning in the fed-penn.

  • jc

    Betrayed the military? Yes. The Country? No. There is a huge difference there. Yes he should have more carefully screened the documents for military information, but overall he is simply revealing the corruption and darkness that our politicians revel in everyday.

    • Monkeyface

      Exactly. He’s a citizen first and a soldier second.

  • Mando44646

    It doesnt matter “what could have” been leaked. Manning, Assange, and Snowden have done great service to their nation’s citizens in a time where the nation’s government actively attacks civil rights and tears up the constitution. This has only sped up under Obama, Bush 2.0

  • FormerMarine

    It is a military honor to disobey any order that you deem to be illegal or immoral. You’re taught this in boot camp.

    • Francisco J. Barragan

      The other part we are taught in boot camp: Be prepared to pay the consequences if you are wrong, or if your reckless or illegal actions result or could have resulted in harm to others. (Also a US Marine & commander of a veterans organization).

    • Shari Peterson

      And every good German proved it. 🙂

    • Brian

      what order was Manning given that was illegal or immoral? He didn’t commit the crime. So in essentially you are saying an order to maintain classified information is an illegal order.

  • Kate

    Thank you for being a fellow liberal who sees that he is a traitor :)!

  • unclefun

    So the individual is to be held to a higher standard than the US Government or the Military? Screw that.

    • Tom Gardner

      No, the point of this article is that as a member of the military you give up certain rights.

      • :)

        While still holding on to the duty to report war crimes (which this article seems to let out).

  • the Punctual Pothead

    is it a liberal back lash to point out that a soldier should not be punished for exposing American war crimes.
    Especially when those who committed the war crimes got away scot-free.

    But,
    that’s America for you. There is no penalty if you intentionally
    massacre civilians. But you will pay a heavy price if you expose that
    someone intentionally massacred civilians.

    *and
    yes, the double tap strike that Manning exposed is an intentional
    civilian massacre by the American leaders who ordered it. And technically by the
    American soldiers who carried out that order.

    But your right, it’s a bad thing that ‘we the people’ know about these crimes, huh?

    • Brian

      I don’t think he ever said it was a bad thing that we know about the crimes. You are ignoring that he leaked a lot more than information about particular crimes and in fact he didn’t even know what was in the material he was leaking.

  • the Punctual Pothead

    And your “what if” scenario is just as much bullshit. What if George W Bush’s lies killed 4400 American soldiers and millions of Iraqis? Oh, wait…that’s not a what if…that actually happened

    • Shari Peterson

      Right. They are all scumbags.

    • Tom Gardner

      No, it is a very valid point. As the writer stated several times, Manning had NO way to go through every single document and verify that he wasn’t leaking intel that could cost American lives. He had no way of knowing he wasn’t leaking mission orders, troop movements, any number of things that could have cost American lives.

  • indiejesus2

    So the best excuse for your hypocrisy is to say ‘he broke the military code.’ The same military that let’s rapists run free without any punishment for them, but throws out the abused because they spoke the truth, are you going to call all those a bunch of traitors as well? The same military that used to discharge men without honor for being gay? The same military that keeps secret the killing of innocents, including children, you’re speaking of their military code? Cause it seems like they wipe their ass with anybody they don’t like, but yet they deserve our respect? You fakes are living in La-la land.

  • indiejesus2

    Btw, Allen and ‘Forward Progressives’ if you’re going to be a propaganda site for Democrats and spread this brainwashing, you should change the site name or you’re a bunch of liars as well.

    • Paul Peterson

      Sadly, “Fox News” is already taken.

  • Shane

    For someone so against hyperbole and deflection, your entire article is based solely on how you feel and “what-if” scenarios. I see no facts in this article. Please don’t forget that Mr. Manning took an oath to defend the constitution against all enemies, DOMESTIC and foreign. To his own detriment, he did just that. His actions have allowed us to have this conversation. To me, that is heroic. Finally, to answer your completely hyperbolic question: If his actions had resulted in the death of one of my family members, I would still support what he did. Right is right and wrong is wrong, regardless of the outcome. Now for my hyperbolic question: If a Republican were in charge, would you still be aghast at Manning and Snowden’s actions?

    • You hit the nail on the head that the phony progressives who follow the Democratic Party line are hypocrites who would be howling if a Republican was in the White House waging these wars and doing this unwarranted surveillance.

    • MaryLF

      Yes, if they did it the same way.

  • Dave Eckblad

    I didn’t read farther than your first sentence. You’re a shit writer and shit person if you lump all pro-Manning pro-transparency advocates into the “liberal” group.

    • Paul Peterson

      Dave, if you pass judgement against the author as a writer and as a person based on one sentence, not even related to his main point, what does that make you? At the very least, read the article, and attack the content, not the writer. I happen to disagree with him on this topic, but that is not based solely on the sentence “I’m writing this fully expecting a huge ‘liberal backlash’—and that’s fine.” And, I’m a liberal, and a proud one.

      • Dave Eckblad

        You’re not just a liberal. Nobody is just a liberal. Nobody is just conservative either. It’s very close-minded.

  • Jim Calandrillo

    Suppose this happened….imagine if this happened….It didn’t. Manning didn’t kill anyone by his actions. There are killers involved in this story. They are free. I remember that after the My Lai massacre in Vietnam was exposed (I don’t think the whistle blowers went to trial), the Lieutenant who was involved in the actual KILLING was tried and sentenced to life imprisonment. He was soon pardoned by President Nixon. Please tell me that this doesn’t put us in Orwellian and Wonderland territory!

    • Yes, we’re still waiting for a single wrongdoer exposed by the information to be charged. Unfortunately, the emperor doesn’t like being told he has no clothes and jails those who would dare to show it. This whole case is about protecting the American Empire, nothing else.

  • Steve

    If you justify breaking the law does it make it right? I feel like people aren’t seeing this for what it is and instead are using it as fuel for the fire of hatred for our government. Not that it isn’t justified to dislike your government or the ones in charge because they give us all the reason in the world but the fact of the matter is under the uniform code to which all service men/women are subjected he is a traitor. I was enlisted in the Marine Corps and yea some shit happened that shouldn’t have but I didn’t betray my brothers and sisters because the higher-up are ignorant of the gravity of the orders they throw out from behind desks. He is a traitor BECAUSE of the way he dealt with the situation at hand. Personally if he was in my unit and these leaked these documents( regardless of is they hurt anyone) I would want recompense to the full extent of the LAW because that is why we have laws. Children get taken from their parents under charges of child endangerment whether or not the child was hurt, I speak from experience on this. Going by supporter logic since the child wasn’t “hurt” by being locked in a car and left the parents should not be subject to the law. Plainly, fucking stupid. Thank you for your article. It is nice to see that some still speak in fact and not just opinion.

    • Yes, if you justify breaking the law then it does make it right. That is exactly the legal definition of justification. When the act has justice in it even though it breaks the letter of the law, then that otherwise unlawful act becomes justified and lawful. Breaking a “no tresspassing” law to defend or protect a child from harm is an example.

    • meatwad_SSuppet

      You admit to being a conspirator after the fact in high crimes? Turn yourself in sport.

  • John Koskela

    As written, his actions are well described within the UCMJ. Given his level of work with classified information, was the information he sent forth really significant secret information? I kinda doubt that he released information revealing very much about anything. Could troops been at risk because of what he leaked? Could fish in the Atlantic ocean been destroyed because of what he leaked? Do any of us really know whether all that information was such that troops would die, that troop positions would have been revealed? I trust that the military did the correct thing with his court martial. He plead guilty to the crimes the military said that he did. He is not a hero and he did betray his country when he disobeyed orders and violated his oath of service.

  • Greg Weaver

    I agree with Allen on this one. There are better ways Manning could have gone about blowing the whistle on the atrocities that were being swept under the rug. Some of the information he released seriously compromised good people in those countries who were trying to work for peace.

    He should have pursued other routes, such as the ones Clifton outlined, and only then, if those failed, at the most, released *specific* things such as the video to the press.

    I don’t doubt he was doing what he thought was the right thing, but he went about it in a very dumb way.

    • The unfounded claim of doing harm by the exposure of wrong doing continues. Can you provide an actual example of a real person whose “work for peace” was “seriously compromised” by anything Manning released to the public?

  • Brigitte Davis Cowan

    I couldn’t agree more with your assessment of this situation. When he VOLUNTEERED for military service during war time, he signed documents and agreed to uphold the chain of command. He leaked documents that were classified and had no way of knowing when he released those documents where they would end up. My son is a Marine and if those documents had caused his death, Mr. Manning would be guilty of murder and treason. He had no right to release those documents and deserves more punishment than he will ever receive.

  • Debby M

    This is the most accurate assessment of the Manning story that I have seen. I am a liberal, progressive member of the LGBT community and am also a veteran and am simply amazed at how this at best misguided Private (PFC) has become a cause celebre’.

    • If you see this as an accurate assessement of Manning then by definition you are not a progressive. Liberal yes, progressive no. A liberal is a centrist who deludes themself into thinking they are a progressive.

      • Brian

        and a conservative is one that requires everyone to believe a fixed set of things to belong.

  • felipe63

    “….when you become a member of our military you lose the right to be a political activist.”

    Could you please cite the exact article of the UMCJ that states that? Because this veteran thinks that assertion is blatantly false. While I was in the army I saw plenty of political activism that was supported by the chain of command. If fact the day I appeared in front of the E5 board, I scored the highest because I was the only soldier testing that day that knew the 3 branches of govt.

    If there is an article in the UCMJ that states that members of the military cannot be political activists then I will happily stand corrected. However if there is not, then your assertion is either a lie or misinformation that needs to be corrected. Anything less puts your site on the same level as Fox.

    • Paul Peterson

      Felipe, I totally agree with your point, but not with your last statement. This is obviously an opinion piece, not a news story. The guy has a right to be wrong without being a liar, or putting the whole site on the same level as Fox “News.”

      • felipe63

        The problem here Paul is that Mr. Clifton makes this assertion as a ‘fact’, not his opinion, as I read it.

        I also state that only if this goes uncorrected does the site lower itself to Fox levels. Should FP correct this misstatement then the comparison would not apply as Faux almost never corrects their misinformation.

      • Brian

        Felipe, I think there is a difference between certain activity being tolarated and having a “right” to said activity. Are you saying that military members don’t have more limited free speech rights than regular citizens? That commanders can’t limit particular speech? How did political activism as a member of the military work out for General McChrystal?

      • felipe63

        Well it depends on how you want to view the limits on ‘free speech’. The limits are there to maintain discipline and order, not to limit a soldiers ability to speak their mind.

        A soldier can be critical of the chain of command as long as its done in a respectful manner. You can question the CoC, you just can’t call your commander an ‘ass wipe’ while you’re doing it.

        McChrystal wasn’t engaged in political activism, but he and his staff were publicly disrespectful to the higher ups in the Chain of Command. That was his major error. There is a big difference, and they are mutually exclusive.

      • Paul Peterson

        Well, his second sentence does state “As I’ve said many times before, I write to express my opinions on certain topics…” I did not take this to be a journalistic piece.

      • felipe63

        Fair enough, but shouldn’t an opinion be based on actual facts and not on false notions of reality?

      • Paul Peterson

        Oh, they should. But especially in American Politics, they don’t. Certainly, the entire neo-con establishment would have to cease to exist. Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity would not have careers. And Fox “News” would have to stop transmitting altogether. It would be a national disgrace. Unemployment would go through the roof. Politicians would cry in the streets. Entire religions would come crashing down.

        And again, I’m not saying that the guy isn’t wrong on what he said. I just think your judgement is too harsh, especially on the site, which is not responsible for the guy’s rant.

      • meatwad_SSuppet

        Opinion piece is the level of faux.

    • MaryLF

      Without addressing your point about the UCMJ which I know nothing about, the fact that you were the only person to know the 3 branches of government doesn’t make you an activist, does it? Do you have a better example? It does say something about the level ofknowledge of the other soldiers, however. Is it different for officers and elnisted men? I always thought the military were not allowed to participate in political activities while in uniform.

      • felipe63

        You’re right, I did go off on a tangent here. I guess my point was that the Chain of Command wants & rewards those who are politically knowledgable.

        As for political activities, that’s a pretty broad area. For the record I saw non-partisan voter registration drives at the local PX conducted by soldiers in uniform. To me that counts as a political activity.

  • Krist Martin

    Er, but what he leaked is very important to this case. Let’s simplify for a moment; Let us say you, a military officer, are working on a top secret project, say a new bio weapon, and you learn that this bio weapon, once deployed, could kill off a few hundred people as planned or millions if it goes unchecked infecting and spreading like wildfire. Now, you have a moral choice, either keep quiet secretly hoping the weapon is never used, or to leak the information so as to prevent it from ever being used because of public outrage. Yes you’re violating the code of conduct as an officer, but the the act of leaking the information saved many many lives.

    Now replace the bio weapon with what Manning leaked (say sexual abuse by soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan, on women, men, and children, unwarranted murders, expenditure abuses, and otherwise blatant misuse of power and funding) and the whole point of this article goes out the window.

    • Manning’s trial was a kangaroo court. He exposed the military’s crimes and was tried by that very same military whose sole purpose is to keep its continuing crimes hidden. The judge did not allow a fair trial with fair defenses to show that sometimes a lesser law must be violated to protect a higher law. Convicting Manning is like conficting a person who saves a child from a burning building for violating the “no treaspassing” sign posted on the property because the court did not allow any evidence to show the child was in danger..

      • Brian

        Did you miss the part where he was acquitted of aiding the enemy? Did you miss the part where he had already plead guilty to many of the other charges?

      • Nope, to both questions.

      • Brian

        then you admit your comment about a kangaroo court was complete nonsense?

      • Absolutely not! The military court was a kangaroo court. It is like if in 1938 taking a soldier into a Nazi court for exposing Nazi secrets about the extermination camp. The court has plenty of “procedures” that give the appearance of “due process” but they are hollow and the real outcome is a given. The charge of “aiding the enemy” was just a side show to give the Judge the cover appearance of being “fair.”

      • Brian

        it must be scary to live in your delusional world. If it were a “kangaroo court” he would have been convicted of aiding the enemy. As it is, he plead guilty to most of the charges.
        Obsession with Godwin aside, and since we are using historical analogies, what do you think would have happened to Manning in 1776 or in 1863? If summarily shot with the favorable opinion of Washington and Lincoln respectively is not your answer you don’t know history.

  • ozlanthos

    Don’t want leaks? Don’t make people break the law…

    -Oz

    • Gerat point. If you don’t want leaks then don’t build a ship of state using rotten materials. All Manning did was expose the rot in our ship of state.

  • Liberals like me agree with this article, and I wish conservatives who hate Manning would have the same hatred for Cheney and Libby, who exposed the work of Valerie Plame, Brewster Jennings and the people who worked with them to locate WMD. And the key point here is that a barely qualified, low-level enlistee was granted access to so much information.

  • BDW

    VINCIT OMNIA VERITAS. “The truth conquers all (things)”. This includes the US military. To say that the values of such, a human institution trump universal Virtue on which it claims to be based, (semper fidelis – always faithful —motto of the United States Marine Corps) is fundamentally, morally flawed. Sure, loyalty and honoring one’s commitments is important but even more so is recognizing infidelity, VINCIT OMNIA VERITAS. If one doesn’t gain an understanding of this harmony, one will always be a victim of it instead of a beneficiary. I am not a religious person but to recognize Virtue does not require a religious association or affiliation VINCIT OMNIA VERITAS. We should be be persecuting the liars and obstructors, not those who, with great courage and character reveal the truth VINCIT OMNIA VERITAS. Although astounded this is currently being debated, I am however glad that some valuable moral misconception may be elucidated for a new generation. “Truth is treason in an empire of lies.” George Orwell

  • What is a backward conservative post doing on the so-called “Forward Progressives” website? It this kind of confusion about conservative and progressive the propblem with Texas? Manning is a hero and patriot exposing the secret violations of law by our own governemnt and military. Manning took an oath to uphold the Constitution and as far as I can see that is exactly what he did. Instead of a single indictment of the real wrongdoers, Manning the messenger is crucified. Sometimes good people go to jail for exposing bad laws and bad acts.

    • Brian

      yet it seems that many progressives agree with the author’s post?

      • they arn’t progressives. there are many liberals who share the delusion of being progressives.

      • Brian

        must be nice to be the decider as to who fits your definition of progressive

      • Yes it is. BTW, who is your decider? Yourself or someone else? Have you got a list of certified progressives that is published by someone or do you let everyone self-define and don’t care whether they really are progressive or not?

      • Brian

        Um, you are the one that seems to be deciding who is or who is not progressive, not me. Apparently, everyone has to have the same opinions as you on every issue or else they are not progressive.

      • It’s always illustrative to see people refuse to engage in dialogue yet keep talking. I asked you, who decides for you? You make a big deal about me deciding for myself, so who decides for you?
        And as for opinions, no, I don’t determine who is or is not a progressive by whether they agree with my opinion. But a person who sides with the military against a person who exposes the military’s wrong doing has removed him or her self from the ranks of progressives. Perhaps on some other issue they will return to the ranks on another issue, but for now on this issue they have opted out.

      • Brian

        your capacity for cognitive dissonance is rather amazing. You aren’t deciding for yourself what makes you a progressive, you decide what others are based on your own opinions. You contradict yourself in the same sentence “I don’t determine who is a progressive unless I do based on my opinion” (to paraphrase). Your black and white criteria is also fully removed of nuance. You act as if exposing wrongdoing was all that manning did. By the way, let me play that game, unless you believe in Eugenics, a core principle of the progressive movement, then you are by definition not a progressive.

      • LOL! Here you go again with the Straw Man cropping of my statements to create the boogy man you want to see. You don’t seem to know the meaning of “cognitive dissonance” either. Isn’t it wonderful that you can paraphrase what others say and argue against your version rather than against what people actually say? Now what is really interesting to me is that in your frustration you have now shown your true colors as a troll with the statement about “Eugenics.” The claim that Eugenics is “a core principle of the progressive movement” shows you are a troll pure and simple. Thanks for revealing your true purpose here.

      • Brian

        critical thinking isn’t your strong suit is it? You don’t see the problem in letting someone else try to define for you what the rules are to be a member of a group? I thought I was making a pretty striking example. Not sure how that makes me a troll. For one, I consider myself a progressive. Second, if you know history you know that was actually a factual statement of the progressive movement. Third, someone with critical thinking skills would reason that as an illustration of how “progressive” is not some statically defined category, but the meaning and beliefs have changed over time. If you can’t keep up, you may as well pick up your ball and go home. But, then again, I guess since you are self appointed dictator of the progressives, you get to define it for everyone else.

      • I note how you continue to avoid the question of who decides for you if it is not you? Do you have a leprechaun telling you who is and isn’t a progressive? Do you look on a website somewhere? You too are deciding for yourself who is and isn’t a progressive and then are pretendintg that I am somehow incapable of critical thinking just because I admit that each of us decides for ourselves what is or is not progressive. Otherwise please tell us the title of the progressive handbook that you are using as your reference so that you are not deciding for yourself and we can know the name of your authority..

      • Brian

        Gregory, I think we are talking past each other. Yes, we do decide for ourselves who we identify with. However, that doesn’t mean you also can judge others and decide whether or not they belong to a particular group just because they have a different view on an issue. Deciding for yourself what belief system you identify with is different than deciding for others. I never claimed to decide about others, you did. That was the whole point, which you missed time and time again for some reason.

        PS on the Eugenics issue, I’ll leave you with a quote from well known Nazi, Teddy Roosevelt, who you may recall was a presidential candidate under the Progressive Party: “I wish very much that the wrong people could be prevented entirely from breeding; and when the evil nature of these people is sufficiently flagrant, this should be done. Criminals should be sterilized and feeble-minded persons forbidden to leave offspring behind them.”

        I’m a big fan of TR and the progressive movement, but that doesn’t mean either have been without fault throughout history. Understanding this is important. .

  • Hyperclick

    My years in the military were musically, educationally and socially rewarding. I even enjoyed basic training at fort dix, except for the bronchitis in Feb. I would like to think that had I been in Lt. Calley’s platoon at Mai Lai, I would have tried to reason with him and if that hadn’t worked I would have fired intentional misses. If i survived and got back alive, I would have “leaked” this horror to the press; since my chain of command was involved in the massacre. Here’s an account of the madness unchecked power can inflict: “The soldiers had been advised before the attack by army command that all who were found in My Lai could be considered VC or active VC sympathizers, and told to destroy the village. Still, they acted with extraordinary brutality, raping and torturing villagers before killing them and dragging dozens of people, including young children and babies, into a ditch and executing them with automatic weapons. The massacre reportedly ended when an Army helicopter pilot, Warrant Officer Hugh Thompson, landed his aircraft between the soldiers and the retreating villagers and threatened to open fire if they continued their attacks.” Was Hugh a traitor or a hero. He threatened his own troops. These two kids were most likely aware of the possible consequences of their actions and found the courage or the stupidity to go against the power and turn on the lights. Again, for those blinded by misplaced loyalty, The military court decreed, “He (Manning) did not aid the enemy”. He was basically convicted of theft and misconduct and making the military look bad.

  • Hyperclick

    If they want to keep secrets and there are serious classified documents and information out there, the government, military and contractors should tighten up there internal security. Full searches coming in and going out of secure facilities. Come to work with the clothes on your back and leave the same way. Tighten IT security. There are phenomenal detection and tracking software programs and plugins. Many of the current staff can build proprietary software inhouse. This whole security breach fiasco is due to incompetent management and low quality and mismanaged security systems. Again, they’re just pissed off because Snowden and Manning have pointed to their ineptitude.

  • Todd Van Gessel

    When you sign a military contract, that doesn’t mean you just decide to give up your morals because a piece of paper says you need to keep secrets. I disagree with your idea that you “give up the right to be a political activist,” as you put it. Did he dump a shitload of info, that IF fallen in to the wrong hands, might have caused problems? Yes, but he didn’t give it to an enemy. I realize that wiki leaks or the media might not secure those docs as well as the government, but what other choice did Manning have? Continuing the cover up is not the right thing to do.

    • Brian

      what choice? The article listed some to start: a) the chain of command, b) congress, c) leaking just the documents relating to the helicopter incident. What should not have been the selected option is d) grab as much stuff as I can, don’t read it, and then distribute it to various groups

  • Ted

    Spot on Allen….

  • disqus_6AeSbMRBY2

    I have a problem with people deciding for themselves that the American people need to be made aware of some things. What qualifies Manning, or Snowden for that matter, to make those decisions? Are all possible consequences considered before those leaks occur? Also kinda tired of Snowden being hailed as some kind of hero; a real hero, a person with the courage of their convictions, wouldn’t run off looking for a country to shelter him from the ramifications of his actions.

    • What qualifies anyone? what qualifies a general who is engaging in the cover up of wrongdoing by the military deciding that these things should not be exposed? Certainly there is no such thing as a situation in which the military considers “all possible consequences” when it takes actions. Did the soldiers in the helicopter “consider all possible consequences” of killing innocent civilians on the ground? What a silly criteria to foist onto the discussion. As for Snowden, I can think of people who left oppressive regimes to stay out of prison who can still be considered heros. Not everyone has to be a martyr for the cause and be killed or go to prison before they can be considered a hero. Merely doing something good against a rogue government that makes a person one of the most wanted men in the world is heroic enough for me. .

      • Brian

        “Merely becoming one of the most wanted men in the world is heroic enough for me.” So Bin Laden was a hero of yours as well?

      • You’re funny how you crop the statement to fit what you want to argue against. Taking the argument out of context like that is the Straw Man logical fallacy, but then again, you don’t seem to be bothered at all by the use of logical fallacies at every turn.

      • Brian

        funny that should come from someone using straw man incorrectly. I was being facetious to point out the absurdity of your blanket statement of what constitutes a “hero.” And I thought worshipping sports “heroes” was bad. You live in a nice world of generalities and when called on it you complain that you are being taken out of context. Try to say things with some level of understanding of the complexity and maybe you won’t have to get so defensive?

  • Laura Jackson

    I’m sorry, the man is a traitor. Case closed.

  • Luke

    The instant he realized that the US government had betrayed the American people, which it most definitely has, any “agreement” between him and the government/military became null & void. The right to be a political activist is a universal human right AND responsibility which cannot be negated by any contract, agreement, or law. As to any troops who could potentially have been harmed/killed by the leak; collateral damage caused by the US government sending those men and women to fight FOR the cause of fascism in the first place. Period.

  • Paul B

    remind me again how Mr Clifton is in any way ‘progressive’? There will be no progress as long as fake progressives keep supporting the agressions and war crimes of the US government which Mr Manning helped to expose. Having never heard of Allen Clifton’s work for peace justice accountability or human rights, it’s very hard to take his BS opinions seriously.

    • Just off the top of my head without a lot of consideration I can confidently say that in this area a progressive:
      1. Favors exposing government and military wrongdoing, as many whistleblowers such as Manning and Snowden have done.
      2. Opposes weapons of indiscriminate civilian destruction like drone missles, cluster bombs, uranium munitions, and land mines.
      3. Opposes weapons of mass destruction like nuclear and chemical weapons.
      4. Opposes indiscriminate surveilance of the population without individual warrants based on probable cause.
      5. Opposes military expansionism of the American Empire and is in favor of closing US military bases in other nations.
      6. Opposes supporting dictators in other countries even if they claim to be friends in favor of our “national security.”
      7. Opposes occupaiton of areas like Gaza and the West Bank where people are denied basic rights.
      8. Favors international rule of law instead of “might makes right” in USA foreign affairs.
      That’s a quick list that anyone can check themselves to see if they are real progressives or fake progressives. We could also make a list for environmental and social welfare areas of progressive views.

  • LindaK

    I disagree. One can not be required to do something that is morally wrong — even if their government requires them to do so. In fact, when one willingly goes along with their country’s immoral activities, the individual is also guilty. One is always called upon to do the morally correct thing — the right thing. While relatively few have the courage to actually “throw it all away” in order to call their governments out for their illegal activities, you are no more than an apologist for the morally corrupt and easy way out. Shame.

  • Alex Gilkeson

    Shouldn’t citizens be allowed to know every single detail of what’s being done with THEIR tax dollars? If the government halved it’s military spending and put it into education, every student in the nation could go to school for free.

  • Keith Tyler

    Lying makes for poor progressives. No soldier swears an oath to the Military. They swear an oath to the Constitution. They swear to defend the country against all enemies foreign AND domestic. If you don’t think that includes those who commit and/or permit the committing of atrocities, then I for one do not like your “America.”

  • Conor

    Bradley Manning has saved more lives, American or otherwise, than any American during the course of those wars by ending them. Up to, and including, Obama himself. Bradley Manning is a hero, a true patriot.

  • Shari Peterson

    One wonders how forward progressives feel about the Clinton’s sharing America’s military secrets with communist China. Should they be charged by a military tribunal? Naahhh!! Let’s nominate Hillary for president in 2016 instead!

  • Nathan Buchanan

    Thank you for a clear, concise perspective on things. I agree once you join the military you are required to obey a separate set of rules. If you choose to disobey those rules, then you must expect punishment. It seems as if he joined the military for the sole purpose of doing something like he did as soon as he got a chance.

    He just happened to find himself access to classified documents. It really could have been anything. I think he just wanted to be famous for something.

  • Bobbie McMillan

    I wonder what all the fuss is about. He broke the law, for good or bad, he still broke the law. And you can’t truly believe he read all 700,000 documents before releasing them. But seriously folks who among you over the age of 16 did not already know our government is made up of lying, traitorous, hypocritical people that will do anything to remain in and keep power? If nothing else you should have figured this out when more tax dollars are spent on “defense” than any other government programs. Our government in the name of americanism has, is, and will commit far greater atrocities than the ones revealed by Manning. One last thing. How in the hell does a private gain access to that type of classified material without oversight?

  • Guest

    test -.-

  • :)

    Huh? I posted a new post and comment. The post was under moderation and the comment just blanked. Now they’re both gone. What’s happening? o.O

  • Gregory Stuart

    Your premise – that Manning’s actions “could have” resulted in harm to soldiers, is a logical fallacy: you are using the SLIPPERY SLOPE fallacy. Therefore, since your argument is based on a fallacy, it cannot be argued against, nor can it be used as a legitimate argument.

    • Brian

      Not really. Using the author’s drunk driving analogy, if I happen to make it home safe there is no legitimate argument that someone could have been harmed?

      • Gregory Stuart

        Thanks for replying, Brian. Now you’re using another logical fallacy: False Equivocation. Comparing a drunk driver with the soldier who leaked documents to Wikileaks is an attempt to make the two actions equivalent, which they aren’t. To make the case that Manning harmed soldiers, you actually have to make a case that Manning harmed soldiers, and you haven’t made that case, nor have you attempted to make that case. It’s an appealing argument to make the equivocation, but it’s still a logical fallacy. There is plenty of evidence of instances where drunk driving ACTUALLY caused bodily harm to innocent people, but you have not introduced ANY evidence – or even attempted to introduce any – that leaking documents to Wikileaks ACTUALLY caused bodily harm to any soldiers.

      • Brian

        Thanks, though I believe you should go back to logic class as that is not what false equivocation means. Actually, your initial post also incorrectly used “slippery slope.” So I would suggest just stating your view instead.
        But as to substance, neither I nor the author suggested that the release caused any actual harm, so I’m not sure why we would present evidence to support that proposition. The argument is that the lack of harm after the fact is not a justification for the actions because the outcome could not have been known at the time. Manning did not examine the documents he released and had no idea what they contained and whether or not there could have been something harmful.

      • Gregory Stuart

        Thanks for your reply, Brian. Here is my view: my problem with the author’s argument is that it isn’t based in reality – it posits a false reality, an alternate reality, that did not happen; he only asks, “What if…[the reality had been different]?” The problem with that argument is that we live in this reality, where what happened actually happened. You and I can dispute whether or not the author’s argument falls clearly into the category of a Slippery Slope Fallacy, and we can argue about whether your Drunk Driver argument falls clearly into the False Equivocation Fallacy, but no one can argue that we live in an alternate universe where the “What if?” actually happened, because it didn’t. What DID happen is that the world saw a U.S. gunship intentionally murder a journalist. That’s reality, and that’s the reality that the U.S. government didn’t want us to see.

      • Brian

        but many of our laws are based on “what if”. We charge people with reckless driving even if they don’t actually harm someone. We charge people with attempted crimes even though they do not succeed. This isn’t arguing that we live in an alternative universe. It is relying on the probability of harm caused by certain behavior. We do this all the time in many facets of society. If you have a higher insurance premium because you like to skydive it isn’t because the insurance company lives in an alternative universe.
        But I tell you what, I think we are all in agreement that it is good that the helicopter incident got out. The disagreement is in the means. Too many people here seem to fall into the “ends justify the means” camp. I am not one of those. I believe Manning had many other avenues available to him to see that this story got out without dumping hundreds of thousands of documents that he never reviewed out into the public domain.

      • Gregory Stuart

        Thanks for your reply, Brian. I’m glad to hear that we are in agreement about the helicopter, but you are wrong about Manning “dumping” documents. The documents were managed by The Guardian & Wikileaks, who were – in reality – very discretional in what documents were released to the public. No documents which were dangerous to soldiers in the field were released to the public, only documents which were dangerous to the U.S. government’s secrets.

      • Brian

        I think that leaves the question to be, why did he feel the need to release more than the helicopter details and why is it ok to do so to foreign nationals. They may have been very careful, but there were no safeguards in place to ensure that. It seems reckless to give very sensitive information to a third party and relying on them to be good custodians.

      • Gregory Stuart

        Thanks for your reply, Brian. You say it “seems” reckless, but in reality it wasn’t reckless, it was risk management. There are always risks, and there was a risk in trusting that The Guardian and Wikileaks would protect sensitive information which could have harmed troops, while making the ultimate decisions as to which classified information to release. However, the REALITY is that The Guardian & Wikileaks DID safeguard the troop-sensitive info, while releasing the info which showed the U.S. breaking international law.

      • Gregory Stuart

        Again, Brian, you are stuck in fantasy, instead of making your argument according to the facts of this reality. What “seems” reckless to you doesn’t matter, what matters is that The Guardian & Wikileaks DID provide the safeguards which produced the result that no troops were harmed. Here is my evidence for this statement, from today’s HuffPost: “Brig. Gen. Robert Carr, who led the Department of Defense’s review of the WikiLeaks releases…[testified that] not a single death could be linked to names in the WikiLeaks files.”

      • Brian

        You can’t argue that things are ok based on what happens after the fact. Safeguarding sensitive information was Manning’s job, not wikileaks or The Guardian. There were no real protections in place, nor was there any reason to give them things that he had not vetted personally. The correct standard for disclosures cannot possibly be to just trust that whatever third party I give it to will do the right thing.

      • LOL! Gregory, you actually seem to think that people care about avoiding logical fallacies. I’m with you 100%, but I don’t think the dupes who want to lock up Manning care at all about being logical or avoiding hypocrisy when it comes to their own sacred cows.

  • Kevin

    Private Manning was reckless, and has no reasonable justification for dishonoring his oath. He is no whistleblower. He broke laws and will undoubtedly spend a significant amount of time in prison. A dishonorable discharge is a given.

    • :)

      Revealing war crimes is no reasonable justification for dishonoring his oath? You sound brainwashed.

      • Brian

        which war crimes were revealed in the hundreds of thousands of classified documents that did not relate to the helicopter incident?

  • Monkeyface

    “If the information Bradley Manning leaked had resulted in the death of one of your loved ones, would your opinion about his actions be the same?”

    What if Spider-Man killed Princess Di with a stem-cell?!

  • Roberto Nunez-Maldonado

    I’m liberal and completely understand you. I might not agree with a lot of things of our government or conservative or even republicans do that doesn’t mean I’m going to betray my country there’s a right way to do things and this is not one of them

  • lovespherepoet

    Bradley Manning went to The Washington Post and The New York Times before going to Wikileaks. The American people have a right to know what is being done in our name. If the corporate press won’t keep us informed, who will?

  • Champ86

    No worse than Scooter Libby outing operatives,during a time of war.

    • But in the double standard of Washington DC, if you are an elite government official you are expected to leak to the elite news organizations. Manning’s real crime is that he was a lowly private leaking to a news organization that is not on the invitation list of the Washington Press Corps dinners.

  • Matthew Reece

    They found Bradley Manning not guilty on the charge of aiding the enemy because they had to. Finding him guilty on that charge would have revealed the true intentions of the statists. Every American citizen is the enemy of the
    American government, and Manning aided every American citizen by revealing the war crimes committed by the American military.

  • Obz

    What information was able to be used against the U.S. population? I am under the impression that he leaked information on past events implicating U.S. intelligence in a number of activities.

  • Obz

    and what right has this author to decide that once you join the military, they own your soul?

  • Fiona Mackenzie

    That’s arguable. If you love somebody (or some country), you want them to show some integrity. Somebody has to be on watch.
    ,

  • Jan Sicars, Germany

    I was in the German Navy for many years.

    We were taught to disobey any order that we deem to be illegal or immoral. We weree taught this in boot camp!

    • Brian

      Is maintaining classified information an illegal order?

  • ELGato

    Some people did die. Manning exposed the cover up. Just becasue our government lies to us doesn’t mean we aren’t at risk for Blow back. Blow Back, like 9/11. If people died because of the information that Manning released, then the people covering it up and the people who committed the original crimes are guilty not Manning.

  • Green Bay Progressive

    When I took the oath, it was to support and defend the Consitution, not the uniform code. And in those days only officers took the oath, not the enlisted men. We were told not to follow orders blindly, like the Germans did before us. There is a lot of room before we start calling people traitor.

  • Winston Good

    Manning was unhappy employee seeking to damage his bosses. The last thing this punk resembles is a patriot.