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The low-key coverage the US media seems to have given to the Bradley Manning case suggests the country that holds itself up as a beacon of democracy is struggling to come to terms with what the trial reveals about America itself, writes Jane Cowan.
For a case centred on the biggest leak of secrets in American history, a massive data dump that sent the US government into a tailspin, the Manning court martial has a remarkably anticlimactic sense of going through the motions. As far as courtroom drama goes, the first week saw hardly a flourish.
There's no shortage, though, of dramatic characterisations of how damaging Bradley Manning's leaks were. Hillary Clinton has described a kind of diplomatic Armageddon, saying "disclosures like these tear at the fabric of responsible government."
Barack Obama's highest ranking military commander, the then chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Mike Mullen suggested Bradley Manning might have "blood on his hands".
But by some calculations what Private Manning leaked was less than 1 per cent of what the US government classifies every year.
...Eugene Fidell, a military law teacher Yale has described the Manning trial as "a train that's run badly off the tracks". It plays out at what he says could be a tipping point for the military justice system, with dismay over its handling of sexual assaults.
People can only cause embarrassment to a government that lacks the grace to be embarrassed by its own actions and its over-zealous defense of those actions.
Actually, he didn't tell the truth - he stole it. That's the issue, not the truth or otherwise of what the stolen documents revealed.
Manning exposed criminal activity by the government. That makes him a patriot, not a traitor. Only those who support the government and its actions could possibly consider his actions treasonous.
Was he naive? Yes, of course. Was he reckless? Yes, of course. Was he motivated by a love of his country? Yes, of course.
Yes, he did expose illegal activity. He exposed wrong doing at the level of outright sickening and a culture of tolerance to it that is inexcusable.
the ends justify the means
Originally posted by MarioOnTheFly
reply to post by Wrabbit2000
Even if the leak did harm anyone...was this his intention?
you can argue about his motives...but in the end...did he do this to bring harm?
he didn't lie...he didn't cheat...he didn't hoax...
How do you explain that? Simply crazy?