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U.S. soldier goes on trial over WikiLeaks disclosures

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Manning was a “humanist” who began leaking information out of a desire to “make this world a better place,”

Yes Manning making it a better place by helping get your fellow soldiers and civilians killed by your traitorous actions. I guess your word isn't worth a lot and your forgot the oath you swore real quick. You are a disgrace to the uniform and the United States.

5 ( +9 / -4 )

@Mathew Simon:

Agree totally with your assessment.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

The then 22-year-old Manning had been traumatized after witnessing a civilian car destroyed in a roadside bombing on Christmas Eve in 2009. “Everyone was celebrating on this Christmas Eve, everyone but PFC Manning. He couldn’t forget about the lives and the families on this Christmas Eve. At this moment he started struggling,” Coombs said.

Pure theater. Manning started leaking classified info over a month before Christmas Eve in 2009. Nice try.

Manning’s lawyer David Coombs later launched an impassioned defense of the soldier, painting a portrait of someone who had been “young, naive and good-intentioned” who found himself grappling with an internal moral crisis soon after arriving in Iraq.

A good-intentioned solider with a moral crisis would have identified himself as a conscientious objector and had himself removed from the combat zone and eventually the service without risking the lives of his fellow service personnel (both American and allied), diplomats, and even civilian countrymen overseas as well as undermine his country's national security and foreign policy.

Manning was also battling a “very private struggle with his gender,” the lawyer said.

Irrelevant. Pathetic but creative excuse to be thrown at the judge for sympathy though. Still shouldn't affect his ability to discern right from wrong.

This young man is going to spend the rest of his life incarcerated. And deservedly so.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

While I condemn what he has done, it was interesting to expose the diplomatic hypocrisy and lies. More than really put anyone in serious danger, Manning has humiliated the US.

-6 ( +3 / -9 )

Manning leaked a video that showed a U.S. combat helicopter shooting at Iraqi civilians in July 2007.

I can understand that.

He had also provided WikiLeaks with the email addresses of more than 74,000 service members in Iraq, including, names, ranks and position

And this is where things go sideways. Had he used any discretion, any at all, then his actions would make more sense. But he didn't. He handed over everything he could get his hands on. That's like going after Bank of America by giving the names and addresses of the ladies who work at the branch near your house. That makes him a piece of shit in my eyes.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Should have demanded a jury trial. People are always scared of the truth and like to hide in the dark it seems.

He is a unabashed hero. People don't want to look at the filthy truth so they must make up lies.

-8 ( +1 / -9 )

One can be a whistle blower for a company, and will be rewarded. On the other hand, one can't be a whistle blower for a government. They will make him regret and pay for his actions. Unfortunately, I'm sure nobody from the government's side will pay for the illegalities disclosed though. Tolerating such illegal actions from the government is just as illegal.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

What he exposed is nothing compared to the Pentagon Papers exposing inconvenient truths.

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

The public has a right to know, so much for press freedom in America. Its same as China, oppressing its people.

-6 ( +2 / -8 )

I'm sorry, I can't see this guy as a hero. He was unstable and riding the wave of hysteria following the emergence of WikiLeaks. If he was truly trying to do "good" in the world, he would have sought a reputable news organization or just any reputable organization. Not an egotistical man taking potshots at the U.S. Aside from the video, nothing he revealed was game changing or relevant to any cause. It did however unnecessarily reveal the names of many people and possibly put them in danger. Sure it might have been a tiny bit embarrassing to the U.S., not the cables leaked, but the fact that we allow incompetent, emotionally immature teenagers access to our classified materials, including diplomatic cables he has no business looking at. Also the fact that they couldn't catch him doing this, but had he been downloading porn or free TV and music I'm sure they would have caught it earlier.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Aside from the video, nothing he revealed was game changing or relevant to any cause.

Peace groups within Afghanistan don't agree with that.

http://www.bradleymanning.org/featured/from-afghanistan-thank-you-bradley-manning

As a young person growing up in America, I believe it is natural for one to develop an idealistic view of his/her country. It can come as a very rude shock, therefore, when one discovers people and agencies in very powerful positions doing things that are completely contrary to those ideals. As a former crypto tech aboard a US Navy ship during Vietnam, I can personally attest to the experience and the dilemma it raised.

I could sense that others who had a lot more courage than I did would not likely stand for it, and so we've got the Daniel Ellsbergs and Bradley Mannings -- who would certainly be considered traitors in a totalitarian system. Along with the Pentagon Papers, I took some reassurance from Christopher Boyce's accounts of the CIA undermining the government of one of our allies (Australia), and from Jonathan Kwitny's meticulously documented book Endless Enemies. (unredacted version)

Information wants to be free, and a free society is one that keeps very few secrets from its people. Land of the free and home of the brave? Maybe someday.

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

Well, there also comes a time, after you've lost that idealization of your government and you're done ripping them for every offense, real and speculated and you realize that every government in the world operates in ways that we may not find wholesome. "Secrets" may not be the ideal way of government but it's how they usually choose to operate. The fact is these secrets have been revealed and a good majority of the population doesn't care because they span two administrations and they can't pin it on "the other guy". If Bradley Manning had been more selective of what he chose to reveal, then we might have a case of whistle blowing. As it is, he indiscriminately revealed a ton of information to the public just for the sake of doing so. In any case, he can't be protected because there can't be any order if you just allow people to break laws and disobey orders after they've taken an oath, there's nothing to stop another Bradley Manning, even less discriminate, even less disciplined from doing the same thing again. The fact is, if Manning didn't want to be complicit in these sort of operations, he should have never became a U.S. Army intelligence officer in the first place. His sudden change of heart really makes you question his motives, which is why I feel the title "hero" is not fitting. There are better governments than ours, and there are worse governments than ours, it's your choice who you choose to support. Bradley Manning made his choice and then reneged .

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Regardless of whether you think the leak was morally justified his conduct was a breech of his legal obligations as a member of the armed forces of the US. Sometimes we need to pay the price for what we believe is right. I think Manning felt that what he was doing was the right thing to do, but I believe that he must accept the consequences of that decision even if that means life in prison.

When confronted with laws you perceive as unjust you are perfectly within your rights to debate the merit of those laws but until they are either overturned or otherwise stricken from the books citizens and members of the military are expected to abide by them. If you make a conscious decision to break the law then you must accept the consequences. I believe recreational drug use should be legal but I do not consume them at this time both because I have no interest in it and because it is against the law at this point in time.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

People may argue that "law" is above one's Constitutional rights.

But lets look at the claims being made here: Osama Bin Laden (Tim Osman) is/was a CIA asset and was dead (Marfan syndrome) long before the leaks came out. How can a prosecution possibly make a claim that the Bradley Manning leaks has anything to do with "Osama Bin Laden"

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2001/nov/01/afghanistan.terrorism

And isn't Al Qaeda (CIA) our friend in Syria fighting the evil Assad Gov and loosing to the unified people of Syria.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

The American "law" is being used to cover up their war crimes. When they make war crime they make it secret. You can argue about his motives all day but his actions put the light of truth on America's crimes. America has done this in the past and still commits war crimes. Then they wonder why the Afghan and Iraqi people hate them. My guy says the grateful Iraqi person is American propaganda. The American military has killed 500,000 Iraqi people. This trial is more cover up.

-6 ( +0 / -6 )

I have no desire to see Manning in prison. Why? Because I don't want to spend any more of my tax money on feeding, housing and protecting him.

Give Manning a fair courtsmartial then execute him for what he is: A traitor to this country.

RR

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

So killing unarmed Iraqi people is being a patriot? Like that famous helicopter footage. Killing the people of an apartment complex for a single rpg. He put the light of truth on America's war crimes. It is just like what they did in Okinawa. Do not fool yourself the Iraqi people already knew about these acts.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

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