Bradley Manning trial opens with competing portraits of WikiLeaks whistleblower

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posted on Jun, 3 2013 @ 08:52 PM
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Was Bradley Manning — the U.S. soldier who leaked troves of documents to WikiLeaks — a naïve, well-intentioned loner tormented by his time in Iraq? Or a glory hound intent on betraying his country?

Link to article.

Myself, I believe neither. I believe that he was neither naïve, nor a glory hound. I think he was doing what was right. Whether it was ethical or not is another story, but, I believe he was following his own morals. I have yet to see that his leaking of documents caused one death. If you know otherwise, please let me know.


What say you? Hero? Villain? Patriot? Treasonous bastard? I don't think he will get a fair trial either, with all the media coverage and even the POTUS saying that Manning broke the law without a trial. Guess he forgot about innocent until proven guilty...




posted on Jun, 3 2013 @ 09:01 PM
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Originally posted by superman2012
I think he was doing what was right. Whether it was ethical or not is another story, but, I believe he was following his own morals. I have yet to see that his leaking of documents caused one death. If you know otherwise, please let me know.


I think this line of thought, with all due respect, ignores the very nature of what occurred. People cant seem to move beyond their preconceived notion of the Government and the military, and in doing so, automatically assume that just because something classified is leaked that it must contain evidence of a crime.

Did manning have a right / obligation to release classified information that showed evidence of a crime?

Possibly, however it depends on what steps he took prior to releasing the info. Did manning attempt to use the proper chain of command to make his discovery known? If not, then it becomes a bit more problematic however understandable.

Where manning made his error was in collecting and releasing hundreds of thousands of classified documents that contained absolutely no evidence of a crime / illegal activity.

For those reasons, he should be held accountable, as should any person who assisted in collecting and distributing those items.



posted on Jun, 3 2013 @ 09:09 PM
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I think Manning honestly meant well in his own mind...but did unthinkable damage by pure negligence, naivety and general doe eyed innocence to what he was in the middle of.

I'd have had some degree of respect for him if he'd even had a vague awareness of a large % of what he threw out to the public domain. The gun camera footage?
Way to go on that one. Excellent work and what leakers are meant to be. Perhaps even some of the Iraq material in the databases.

Hundreds of thousands of State Department cables he could neither fully read...even as a skim..or even comprehend for the impact of their release? No... That;s not noble. that's a childish tantrum of throwing the whole system out the door to get personal gratification in "doing something". The ENTIRE action report database at his level of classification for both Iraq and Afghani war theaters (One of which, he wasn't even in to fully understand the issues with) was also so far over the top of a responsible leak of material as to be criminally negligent.

At the same time?? He didn't DO this thing with the idea of aiding the Jihadis. I really believe he was that simple minded to fail to consider that they'd examine every page of every report to glean names of collaborators (in their view) as well as tactics and methods of the U.S. Soldiers they were fighting, daily.

I think the 20 years he's bought himself by guilty pleas ought to be about sufficient if it come without Parole. This trial to try and drive the knife right through his heart is overkill to the point of obscene in my humble view.



posted on Jun, 3 2013 @ 09:23 PM
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Well, nobody has shown evidence that anyone was harmed by what he did, yet!

Should he have reported to the establishment what he'd discovered? Well, how long do you think he would have lasted had he told his seniors what he'd found?

Also, he DID find evidence of crimes! and even if he only found one crime, then he was justified imo.

But this case is like most cases connected to whistle blowing. Blow it out of proportion, treat em hard, treat em rough, scare the crap out of anyone else who might consider blowing whistles.



posted on Jun, 3 2013 @ 09:26 PM
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Originally posted by Wrabbit2000
At the same time?? He didn't DO this thing with the idea of aiding the Jihadis. I really believe he was that simple minded to fail to consider that they'd examine every page of every report to glean names of collaborators (in their view) as well as tactics and methods of the U.S. Soldiers they were fighting, daily.


Whether he intended the info to fall into the hands of the enemy or not is not a relevant factor. The moment he handed those classified documents over to a group he KNEW would publically release them, the die was cast.

What ever his personal views or feelings, he knew exactly what his job requirements were and he willingly disobeyed them.

If he is not mature enough to do what is required of him then he should not have joined the military.



posted on Jun, 3 2013 @ 09:30 PM
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reply to post by VoidHawk
 


If I rob a bank and steal money, no one is harmed so is that ok?

As for the rest, its not being blown out of proportion. It is NOT whistle blowing when information, which is classified, does not show evidence of any crimes and is released.

You don't get to hide behind a whistle blowing statute when the information you released does not even meet the requirement in order to be covered.

That action is not whistle blowing... its criminal.



posted on Jun, 3 2013 @ 09:32 PM
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reply to post by Xcathdra
 

So according to your own rhetoric, your saying it is ok to turn a blind eye to injustice and murder because you are in the military? We need more individuals like Bradley Manning, who in my opinion is a very brave man, who had the guts to stand up against the establishment.



posted on Jun, 3 2013 @ 09:36 PM
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reply to post by Xcathdra
 


I certainly don't debate that. I have never suggested he didn't earn every day of the 20 years or so he's already got, no matter what happens at this trial. The outcome of the trial is to determine his standing on 'Aid and Comfort to the Enemy' though. That's life...or even Death if it were being pursued that way. Life though, anyway.

Now, we agree what he did is despicable and he betrayed the very real people he worked right next to every day with his actions. I just wonder if what he did and the motives for thinking behind it, warrant his death? That's basically what we're talking about by this trial. Execution by bullet or by old age in a cage. It doesn't change the outcome and it's a state supervised execution.

If he'd taken profit for releasing it, even to Wiki? I'd say fry his butt. If he'd sent so much as a post card to Jihadis outside his base or U.S. forces were engaged with? I'd wish they'd just shot him there.

He didn't though...so how much is enough to satisfy the grudge Obama and Clinton have for this kid and how much is enough for destroying everything he's been, is today or ever can be in life? I'm thinking some proportion to the response isn't a bad idea. After all...we've had REAL spies actually peddling to the declared enemies of our nation, directly, not get jammed up in quite the same way this kid has.



posted on Jun, 3 2013 @ 09:40 PM
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This whole story is bogus. This dude needs to be held accountable for passing on information that jeopordized anyones life and everything else... we need to take a look at it and see if any of the curroption he exposed needs to be reckoned with and if we need to be taking that into consideration with congress and if anyone needs to be investigate.



posted on Jun, 3 2013 @ 09:40 PM
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Originally posted by Xcathdra
Did manning have a right / obligation to release classified information that showed evidence of a crime?

Only to an organization competent to investigate that crime, such as the Office of the Inspector General, the Criminal Investigative Division, or the Congressional oversight committees. Maybe the United Nations or the ICRC. But he chose to release it to a foreign national, with the understanding that said foreign national would use that classified information to damage the foreign relations and national defense of the United States. That is, as one might say, problematic.

I don't think there have been any criminal prosecutions of US persons based on Manning's "evidence." Maybe some foreign sources were prosecuted, but no one on Manning's side really cares about them. I guess they are -- what did WikiLeaks call it, collateral something?



posted on Jun, 3 2013 @ 09:43 PM
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In my book, the kid's an American hero.

If a soldier doesn't have the guts to speak out against war crimes, then a soldier is complicit in those crimes.

Although it's the military's job to use lethal force, there's a perilous line between killing combatants and murdering non-combatants.

Wake-up, and find the courage to speak out against these dishonorable wars.


F.T.G.

edit on 3-6-2013 by seasoul because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 3 2013 @ 09:44 PM
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Originally posted by omega man
reply to post by Xcathdra
 

So according to your own rhetoric, your saying it is ok to turn a blind eye to injustice and murder because you are in the military? We need more individuals like Bradley Manning, who in my opinion is a very brave man, who had the guts to stand up against the establishment.


If you actually read my posts you would see that is not at all what I am saying.

I support whistle blowers, including Manning when it came to the helicopter gun footage.

What I don't support is when Manning illegally accessed, stole, and forwarded on hundred's of thousands of classified documents that show NO criminal wrong doing. That is not whistleblowing, and is not protected as such.



posted on Jun, 3 2013 @ 09:47 PM
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reply to post by Wrabbit2000
 


The "providing aid and comfort to the enemy" article has been around a lot longer than Manning, or Obama, or Clinton, or Bush, or Nixon...

Trying to argue the application of this article based on those reasons does not hold water. Manning voluntarily joined the military. Manning voluntarily chose his MOS - intelligence area. Manning voluntarily signed his enlistment documents, which include a restriction in constitutional rights. Manning knew exactly what was expected of him when he joined and went through basic training. Manning knew what the repercussions would be by violating the UCMJ.

Manning has no one else to blame for his situation but himself, and not only that, he knew exactly what the possible outcome could be PRIOR to even committing the crimes he is accused of.



posted on Jun, 3 2013 @ 09:49 PM
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reply to post by FurvusRexCaeli
 


Manning made his own bed, and to try and spin it as the government not caring for him is not a defense in the least.

As has been stated - Manning knew EXACTLY what he was getting himself into prior to committing the crimes he is accused of.

As for other prosecutions - who knows.. Last I checked the JAG / CID / FBI don't share their active criminal investigations with the public.
edit on 3-6-2013 by Xcathdra because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 3 2013 @ 09:55 PM
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Originally posted by seasoul
If a soldier doesn't have the guts to speak out against war crimes, then a soldier is complicit in those crimes.


He didn't speak out about war crimes, no matter how much you wish all the documents he released did contain something illegal.

What the US Ambassador to France thinks about the French President is not a war crime, nor do the hundreds of thousands of similar documents he illegally obtained and released along the same lines support any criminal actions.

You guys really need to learn how to separate the issues with Manning instead of trying to use the hero defense on actions that are nothing more than cowardly simply because he didn't like the military.



posted on Jun, 3 2013 @ 10:31 PM
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I have to admit, I never did watch this WHOLE video from start to finish so I could see and hear the events both before and after the murders for good solid minutes to either side. I just about got physically ill a few minutes ago. I don't enjoy seeing death and especially wholesale slaughter. That is what this was.

THIS is what Manning originally released. *IF* he'd stopped with things of this nature that he knew the topic of, he'd viewed himself and were...clearly...out of line? I'd agree with people who call him a Hero.



Anyone who hasn't watched that...*ALL* of it...and not just a couple of the "action scenes" without context? Do yourself a favor and suck up for a strong stomach ...then watch what murder in a war zone looks like.

In one moment before they open up and blow these people to pieces, they declare they see an RPG. Good God.. Even *I* can tell that's a professional DSLR with a telephoto lens on it. You can see, in the moment, where the WHOLE camera body comes out clear of the corner for a moment so you can see the entire object. RPG my ass. They murdered them. Then they shot the crap out of the people who came to render aid with kids in the vehicle and in CLEAR VIEW if anyone cared enough to have zoomed a click closer to check targets.


It's only by HOW far over the line Manning went in blowing entire databases with such mountains of material he couldn't even guess at the full content of that I feel he earned every bit of the 20 years he pled guilty to before this trial. What he started with though? If that isn't a war crime..what the hell IS?

I wrote another thread today about a coward and scumbag in Kabul that murdered 10 kids to get a shot at a U.S./Afghan convoy in the city itself. He was a scumbag too. So too are those Apache crewmen though. Very much so. Those eager beavers didn't even care and found the whole thing amusing. They even laughed at a Humvee running over the body of the Reuters man.




posted on Jun, 3 2013 @ 11:44 PM
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reply to post by Wrabbit2000
 


Honestly Wrabbit, I don't care how much embarrassment he caused the government. If they didn't go after the scum in the video above, they are just as guilty....and yes, shooting innocents for the fun of it, is a war crime. (not saying you disagree or agree with me, just back and you were the last post)

I'm glad he did it, and until they show that he has caused deaths as a result of his act, then I don't see how they can charge him with aiding the enemy or treason. He caused embarrassment and shone a light where the US military/government didn't want any attention.

Could he have done it better and released just the items that were war crimes as a show against a corrupt military? Yes. I would have collected all the evidence, showed it to my superiors, and if nothing came of it, then I would have released it to the media. I don't agree with how he did things, but, I do agree with the message behind it. He did not have to release private emails though...that seemed (to me) petty.



posted on Jun, 3 2013 @ 11:53 PM
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reply to post by superman2012
 


You know, I'd say we don't disagree on much then. I'd like to hear that Helicopter Crew is serving a life long tour...in Fort Leavenworth, Kansas to be frank about it. That really was sickening to see what built up to the actual shooting ..and then the cold blooded way they shot up the people who came to pick up the wounded Reuters driver from the sidewalk. I guess the moral of this story is, if we ever see our Government turn on us ....PLAY DEAD and don't move ..even an inch. They won't stop until everything is dead. Scary stuff right there if this crew represented the majority.
(Which I don't believe for an instant ...or Iraq would be a much smaller nation for population, if nothing else in truth)

In terms of deaths? Oh I have absolutely no question people died for what he released. The JIhadis didn't even play about being subtle that they were document searching for names of people to kill for cooperating with U.S. forces. I doubt any Americans died by what he did ...but those action reports had plenty of local's names. They were Secret for good reasons, IMO. A lot of people died with their last thoughts likely being about how bad a mistake it had been to trust that we wouldn't see them burned to the enemy.


Still.... That is why I'm supportive of giving him the sentence he's agreed to accept. HE knows he did wrong. I think there are limits to HOW wrong it was though.. Like others, I'm really torn on that. Especially after watching those 17 minutes of murder and mayhem by a U.S. Gunship crew.

I imagine that....as an American street and say, a Russian or Chinese Helicopter in some alternate future. How would WE feel, having "God" basically smite us with no warning for just being together on the street? That must be what it seemed like to them. Bullets just 'appeared' like hail. It's really a sad thing to have watched with full context.



posted on Jun, 4 2013 @ 12:34 PM
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reply to post by superman2012
 


I think secrecy gets abused far more than used. Since I don't trust my government any further than I can throw them, I think we should do away with ALL secret stuff except in time of Constitutionally declared war. And even then it should only pertain to war info. WikiLeaks is one of the best things ever to come along and this soldier is like the hero who jumps on a live grenade to save his fellows. Yet he pays the price big time. He offered his sacrifice but probably hoping he would somehow elude authorities. Our world sharply improved since the Spanish inquisition. Yet we got a LONG way to go. If they come up with a fund for this dude, I will send a few bucks.

Trying out how pics show up here. This pic is from my singer/song writer live show poster I'm preparing:




posted on Jun, 4 2013 @ 01:16 PM
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He was doing his duty no more.......the question is who is his duty really bound to ? the U.S.government or humanity......i feel he choose well!





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