Pfc. Bradley E. Manning is NOT a Hero


Not everyone who serves is deserving of respect.

Last April, and its owner, Julian Assange, edited and published a 2007 footage they entitled “Collateral Murder”, which purported to show an American Apache helicopter killing unarmed civilians, including news reporters, in Iraq.

While is slated to release a new video of an alleged “massacre” by U.S. forces in Afghanistan, a 22 year old Pfc Army intelligence analyst serving in Iraq was detained about a month ago, accused of being the source of the leaked “Collateral Murder” video. Charges have now been brought:

BAGHDAD — An American soldier in Iraq who was arrested on charges of leaking a video of a deadly American helicopter attack here in 2007 has also been charged with downloading more than 150,000 highly classified diplomatic cables that could, if made public, reveal the inner workings of American embassies around the world, the military here announced Tuesday.

The full contents of the cables remain unclear, but according to formal charges filed Monday, it appeared that a disgruntled soldier working at a remote base east of Baghdad had gathered some of the most guarded, if not always scandalous, secrets of American diplomacy. He disclosed at least 50 of the cables “to a person not entitled to receive them,” according to the charges.

You can see a complete list of the charges here on the Help Bradley Manning website. If you think that site is stomach-churning, check out the Facebook fanpage (another one here and here), with comments like this:

while its very easy to bash some soldiers as being cruel and callous, these soldiers were doing exactly as they were trained by the Army. The Army uses Racism, hatred, and nationalism to train their soldiers to dehumanize the people of Iraq (or Afhganistan)
Soldiers in a sense are re-programmed to feel no emotion for c…ivilians. Its a trigger mechanism that when soldiers do or see something that an average person (non military) would reel or anguish over, soldiers are taught to push through that emotion.
I think that instead of blaming soldiers for the actions that are not only sanctioned by but encouraged by the leaders of our government, we should be focusing on the system that trains these soldiers to behave that way. If we do not demand responsibility from the nations leaders then nothing will change, and soldiers will still be trained in Racism, and hatred!

So what is Manning’s beef?

With his custom-made “humanist” dog tags and distrust of authority, Bradley Manning was no conventional soldier.

Ostracized by peers in Baghdad, busted for assaulting a fellow soldier and disdainful of the military’s inattention to computer security, the 22-year-old intelligence analyst styled himself a “hactivist.”


Manning is a slight, boyish-looking son of divorced parents from Crescent, Okla., population 1,400. His Facebook page shows him smiling, with stylish, upswept hair and a stated affinity for gay-rights groups including Repeal the Ban, which seeks to end the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy on homosexuals serving in the U.S. military.

Growing up in a house he shared with his parents and older sister, Manning had a sharp intellect and an interest in science, history and computers, said Jordan Davis, a boyhood pal. He said Manning also was determined at a young age to join the Army.

“It always seemed to me that Bradley was actually was more patriotic than probably even your average person,” he said.

Chera Moore, another childhood friend, described Manning as highly intelligent and helpful. But she said he had “anger issues” and could get furious when people disagreed with him.

When Manning’s parents split up in middle school, he left Oklahoma to live with his mother in Wales, Davis said.

After Manning graduated from high school and returned to Oklahoma, he quit or lost jobs in food service and retail in Tulsa, Davis said. Settling briefly in Chicago, Manning moved in with an aunt in Potomac, a Maryland suburb of Washington, D.C., and took community college courses before joining the Army in 2007.

Davis said Manning trained in Arizona, probably at Fort Huachuca, where he trained in compiling intelligence reports. Such reports help the military determine changes in enemy capabilities, vulnerabilities and probable courses of action.

In recent months, Davis said, Manning seemed to have grown more aware of social issues, including the gay-rights movement.

There’s some speculation going on, regarding Manning’s sexual identity as motive. So is this what it’s really about and not some “conscientious objection” to our war efforts, “terrorizing Iraqi and Afghan children”?

Check out his public profile and list of pages on his Facebook.

Manning’s family members declined interview requests from The Associated Press.

According to partial chat logs Lamo shared first with, Manning started communicating with Lamo on May 21, a couple weeks after he was reduced in rank from specialist to private first class for assaulting another soldier.

In one of many personal asides, Manning told Lamo he had been the only nonreligious person in a town that had “more pews than people,” and that he had custom-made dogtags reading “humanist.”

Manning said he was pending discharge for an “adjustment disorder,” according to the chat logs, but Army spokesman Lt. Col. Eric Bloom said Manning wasn’t facing discharge when he was detained May 29.

The chats reveal Manning’s frustration at being “regularly ignored” at work.

“I’ve been isolated so long,” he wrote. “I just wanted to be nice, and live a normal life … but events kept forcing me to figure out ways to survive … smart enough to know what’s going on, but helpless to do anything.”

According to the chat logs, Manning’s turning point came when he watched Iraqi police detain 15 people for printing anti-Iraqi literature that turned out to be a scholarly critique of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki.

“After that … I saw things differently,” he wrote. “I was actively involved in something that I was completely against.”

Manning wrote he had copied onto compact discs “possibly the largest data spillage in American history” while listening and lip-synching to Lady Gaga’s “Telephone.” He wrote that he exploited “a perfect storm” of military computer vulnerability: “weak servers, weak logging, weak physical security, weak counterintelligence, inattentive signal analysis.”

His motive, according to the chat logs: “I want people to see the truth … because without information, you cannot make informed decisions as a public.” Manning wrote that he hoped to provoke worldwide discussion, debates and reform, according to the chat logs.

Lamo told the AP he grew concerned “when it became apparent that he was leaking classified information to a foreign national” — Wikileaks’ Australian founder Julian Assange. Early in their online conversations, Manning told Lamo that he had sent 260,000 State Department diplomatic cables to Wikileaks.

Lamo said he turned the chat logs over to Army criminal investigators after consulting with a friend who had worked in Army counterintelligence.

“It was a combination of an act of conscience and an act spurred by my understanding of the law,” Lamo said. “I did this because I thought what he was doing was very dangerous.”

Ellsberg said he considers Manning and Assange heroes for publicizing information the government wanted suppressed. He said Manning’s alleged leak was possibly more significant than his own, which exposed the secret expansion of the Vietnam War.

“He is the first person in 39 years to do something comparable to what I did — and really better than what I did, because it’s current,” Ellsberg said.

Both Ellsberg and Gabriel Schoenfeld, an author who supports cracking down on leakers, said that the Obama administration has gone further than the Bush White House in pursuing alleged whistleblowers.

The charges against Manning follow April’s indictment of former National Security Agency worker Thomas Drake for allegedly lying and obstructing justice in an investigation of classified information leaks to The Baltimore Sun.

The Army’s decision to charge Manning also followed a federal grand jury’s reissuance in April of a subpoena seeking the names of some sources for journalist James Risen’s book, “State of War: The Secret History of the CIA and the Bush Administration.”

Schoenfeld, author of “Necessary Secrets” and a senior fellow at the conservative Hudson Institute, said leaks of military information during wartime run counter to America’s interests.

“We’re serious about trying to win, and it’s extremely damaging to the morale of our troops,” he said. “It inflames the local opinion, where we have a real battle for hearts and minds.”

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Let me start by saying that Bradley Manning is a traitor to this country and deserves to be punished as such.

There are a lot of opinions about the war and everybody is entitled to their own. Let me share a few of my own.

1) The only involvement the media or politicians should have in a war is the president ordering the war. Other than that, they need to stay out of it. Case and point: Vietnam. Politicians set the rules that we could not follow the enemy when they crossed the border. Hit and run attacks became the way of the war for the enemy and politicians made it impossible to fight back. This just added to the myriad of problems in this war and helped make it unwinable. Media anywhere near a battlefield is ridiculous. They are a liability and an unnecessary distraction to the brave men and women who fight for this country.

2) Anyone who believes that Wikileaks did not doctor the video is a fool. Those self-righteous fools will do anything to attack the government. While I am sure some or all of the documents posted are real, it is still no excuse to reveal secret documents to the world for the sake of public disclosure. There are some things that foreign nations and our general public do not need to know. Sure in a perfect world there would be no need for secrets, but surprise, its not. If the government told you all its secrets, the US would become the weakest nation in the world and I have no doubt we would quickly be attacked by other nations and taken over. Secrets are the advantage we have, and the reason we are a superpower and at peace domestically.

3) Wars have casualties. Military and civilians. It is an inevitable fact. What makes it worse is that these terrorist scum use them as shields, and hide in the crowds. This just increases the potential damage. It is a sad fact, but we cannot focus on this.

4) Terrorists and extremists are a minority. True Muslims who do not pervert the words of the prophet Muhammad do not share their beliefs. In fact, in Islam, the Jews and Christians are given a special place since they all worship the one God. They do not hate you or anyone for your beliefs. The scum on their jihad have no idea what true Muslims are. They are brainwashed fools.

5) This is something I have been wanting to get off my chest for the longest time. For those idiots who say that we invaded Iraq for oil not WMDs, you are wrong. Saddam used chemical weapons on his own people the Kurds.

(just for those who have no idea what I am talking about) Some might say, But we didn’t find any. Lets think about this: Tell Saddam for months that we are going to come in and search for these weapons, and when we finally do get there the weapons are gone?? What? No way the guy sneaked them out of the country or did God knows what with them..

So Bradley Manning enjoy prison, or your execution. I don’t care as long as traitors like you never see the light of day again. Whistle blowing is one thing if there is legitimacy to their claim they can take it through proper channels and ensure our secrets stay safe. And for those who doubt anything I say, find reliable sources and make your own decision.


Firing squad is too good for Manning. Since he obviously hates America so much, deport his ass to Iran. Let him go live where he seems to have his loyalties.

@anticsrocks: #157

If you are going to send him to Iran, give him a sex change first.


An even more fitting end, let him go to Iran to see how they treat homosexuals. It anit no, “we’ll look the other way by not asking, and you don’t tell us,” bs. They will put him in a burlap sack and bury him up to his neck. Then they will through rocks at his head until he dies. A lot less humane than the firing squad. That won’t be for the crime of treason either, just for being gay.

@Flyovercountry: #159

The only problem I have with your idea is that his suffering will be over with too soon. Think how long family members will suffer if members of their family are killed because of the leaks.

If he was sent as a woman, think of all the things that could happen to him/her in an Islamic state: Can’t drive, can’t go out without a family member, if he/she is raped he/she will be executed for prostitution.

When Assange and Wikileaks show that they have an agenda other than to keep hitting America with leaked docs, then I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt.

What’s their motive?

The little gay chump Bradley deserves the death sentence. Period. He is guilty of treason.

We invaded Iraq for control of the Middle East, for oil, for WMDs, to spread democracy.

It was not as simple as one solitary reason.

We mucked it up in 90-91 when we should have backed Saddam on his invasion of Kuwait and encouraged him to invade Saudi Arabia. In return for our support, we should have made him pledge to lay waste to and decimate the Nejd and the Saudi Wahhabi Cult.

Smorg, have you seen him? I don’t think it would take much to finish the transition.

@Hard Right: #163

It should be a cheap operation since there won’t be too much work involved. Your tax dollars at work.

A long time ago someone came up with this idea for Sodom Hussein and then parachute him back to Iraq. That would make a good movie. I would be glad to buy a ticket to that kind of movie: Seeing him get the same treatment he gave his people. Priceless!

@Dawood Khan: You said:

We invaded Iraq for control of the Middle East, for oil, for WMDs, to spread democracy.

So THAT’S why I’m only paying $1.50 a gallon for gas!!

What’s that?

It’s TWICE that at the pump? But I thought we invaded Iraq for the oil…

@anticsrocks…. yeah, I thought that too!! LOL!! Just an old “Evil Bush” did it line….. so tired.. LOL!

We invaded Iraq for control of the Middle East, for oil, for WMDs, to spread democracy.

So THAT’S why I’m only paying $1.50 a gallon for gas!!

We invaded Iraq for so that OUR big oil companies would have control of the Iraqui oil, not for WMDs, and most definitely not to spread democracy. The hope was to have LOTS of oil to sell to you as $4 / gallon gasoline.

@J. D. Hunter:

We invaded Iraq for so that OUR big oil companies would have control of the Iraqui oil


How, precisely, does that line of thinking comport with reality?

How much Iraqui [sic] oil are OUR big oil companies currently controlling?

Hint: You may find the answer written down in your handy dandy notebook right next to the definition of treason you alluded to earlier.

Oh, I almost forgot to mention, during WWII we attacked Germany for their schtollen recipe.

FROM THE MUSLIMS TERRORISTS, and knew of the atrocitys done by SADAM HUSSEIN, who actualy tryed to get his father killed also, they suspect him to conceal weapons of mass destruction many being chimicals and had been used by him on his northen tribes,


We don’t seem to control a pint of Iraqi (yes I do know how to spell, pedant) oil. I didn’t say that Cheney’s fantasy actually worked. I just know that was the nutty idea, that and nutty paranoid personal revenge.

the Shrub had invasion plans going his first week in office.

@J. D. Hunter:

We don’t seem to control a pint of Iraqi (yes I do know how to spell, pedant) oil. I didn’t say that Cheney’s fantasy actually worked. I just know that was the nutty idea, that and nutty paranoid personal revenge.

Strange, I see no factual backing to support your crackpot theories there.

How, precisely, do you “know that was the nutty idea”?

Where are the facts to support your contention?

Are they not written in your notebook?


@J.D.Hunter: You said:

the Shrub had invasion plans going his first week in office.

That is interesting. I am sure you read that somewhere in some report or interview. Care to share the link? I mean surely (shout out to Leslie Nielson, “Don’t call me Shirley”) you didn’t just conjure that idea up on your own, did you?

Did you?

Punishment: Execution. May he not rest in peace in hell.

Yo Col. Renault:

It’s been a long time since I’ve studied the details of the Uniform Code of Military Judgment, but … uhhh … isn’t Manning supposed to get a court martial first? With legal defense? And isn’t Manning presumed to be be innocent until he’s proven guilty of a crime?

I think the Army has to do most of that stuff before they can execute Manning. That’s the way they taught the UCMJ to me, anyway. Has it changed? Execution first, then the court martial?

Whoops, I really *am* rusty … Uniform Code of Military JUSTICE.

Well, they used to say in my war, with all its patriotic tenp whistleblowers keeping the lifers clean:

Military Justice is to Justice
as Military Music is to Music …

COL Renault is entitled to his opinion.

No guarantees that’s his real name anyway.

One one hand, I think Manning deserves life imprisonment if he’s guilty. Blowing the whistle is one thing. He went beyond that by going outside of the Nation.

On the other, if he really did it for reasons other than revenge because he was ill-treated as a poofter in the military, then I may come to a different conclusion. His leaks put lives in danger. Not a good thing.

Just my opinion.

He (Manning) seems like a weak little poofter who just couldn’t hack it in the military. I knew gay folks when I was in the military and most of them aren’t treated any different than anyone else. Manning probably acted like a little whining bitch and therefore attracted attention from some assholes. Happens to all kinds of people. Not just poofters.

22/january/2011. of course the MILITARY will give him a trial, but that should not take too much time and spent energy and money, so if one say ! he will be EXECUTE, they are right also, because ,
in warzone he should have been execute on the spot, as soon as it became known to his COMMANDER,
and whoever order the delay of this punishment is in the wrong, for whatever political reason,
they want to turn it into political self rewarding agenda, as we previously witness them protecting some criminal behavior for the same reason.

@Stephen R. Zimmett: So, he’s a Socialist. Progressive is just packaging. You just don’t call yourselves Socialists anymore.

Progressive=Socialist=Communist= UN-AMERICAN!
No matter how you package a lump of schit, it’s STILL GONNA STINK!

Hmmmm … I sort of thought we should wait for the court martial and its verdict before we execute PFC Manning. I think it’s called presumption of innocence, and it’s the way we do things in the USA. A lot of people here want to just skip over all that boring stuff.


“Let the jury consider their verdict,” the King said, for about the twentieth time that day.

“No, no!” said the Queen. “Sentence first — verdict afterwards.”

“Stuff and nonsense!” said Alice loudly. “The idea of having the sentence first!”

“Hold your tongue!” said the Queen, turning purple.

“I won’t!” said Alice.

“Off with her head!” the Queen shouted at the top of her voice. Nobody moved.

“Who cares for you?” said Alice, (she had grown to her full size by this time.) “You’re nothing but a pack of cards!”

— “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland,” Lewis Carroll

Manning has already admitted his complicity, so guilt or innocence is not really in question. What we are dealing with now is simply the mechanics of trial and conviction. My hope is that he be brought to trial in a speedy manner so we can get on with the execution.

@Donald Bly:
What we are dealing with is simply the moral principle that truth concealed is a lie incipient and that a moral man knows that truth deserves to be told.

@Donald Bly:

The Prosecution team has already stated that execution is not on the table for a sentencing that they will be seeking. I am not certain if in under the UMCJ a Judge would be able to impose that as a sentence if the Prosecution did not seek it. It would be wild to say the least. What ever sentence he does receive, it will be well earned.

@J.D. Hunter…. you being a moral man… I’m sure that if you ever served in the military you’d telegraph the enemy your map coordinates so that you could live up to your morality…. or is that spelled “mortality”. After all… you wouldn’t want to be accused of “lying” to the enemy. By your reasoning… that would be immoral.

There’s our troops, there’s the enemy, and finally, in our American democracy, there are the people in whose name we purport to fight our wars with the permission and the approval of the American people.

If the administration and the military lie, and conceal the true purpose of the war, and the true nature of the war, from the people, it is not appropriate military secrecy. It’s a fundamental fraud and crime.

The American people have the Constitutional right to know the truth about every American war. If their own government won’t tell them the truth, it is inevitable in every “liars’ and scoundrels’ war” (Congressman Abraham Lincoln’s characterization of Polk’s Mexican War) that some American like Daniel Ellsberg, Anthony Russo and Bradley Manning will bring the truth to the American people.

The American people cannot properly vote for or remove their leaders, or support or oppose policies during wartime if we’re prevented from learning the truth about the war for 25 years. The American people have the right to know the truth about each war in “real time” — when it matters, when the lives of our service members are at stake. It’s a useless coverup if we only learn the truth as a museum artifact from the past.

I think Private Eddie Slovik was the last member of the US military to be executed — for desertion in Europe in WW2. Other soldiers executed in WW2 were convicted of rape and murder.

The Army “Kill Team” in Afghanistan will almost certainly not face execution; the most detailed story about them is in the current Rolling Stone:

One soldier complained to his father, an Army vet; the father called the unit’s stateside command and reported the “Kill Team’s” murders of Afghani civilians. He was told nothing would be done until the unit returned to the States from Afghanistan. The “Kill Team’s” 1LT CO has since been promoted to CPT.

These are the kinds of military secrets most of the patriotic commenters here believe should remain secret, and accuse Manning of treason for revealing.

I’m an Army vet, I served honorably to respect the uniform my uncles wore in WW2. Sunlight is always needed to disinfect and keep the uniform clean, and if the chain of command and the administration won’t expose wartime truths to sunlight, the American people always need — and will always get — someone like PFC Manning.

If he’s convicted, I wish him a prison sentence just as long as 2LT William Calley, squad leader of the My Lai Massacre. (An Army unit murdered between 347–504 unarmed Vietnamese civilians.)

Wikipedia: Ultimately, Calley served only three and a half years of house arrest in his quarters at Fort Benning.