Private Bradley Manning Facing New Charges
It was reported that new charges have been brought against Army PFC Bradley E Manning, the soldier "suspected of leaking thousands of classified documents to WikiLeaks." He's now being charged with "aiding the enemy" which can bring the death penalty although "prosecutors have told the defense team they will not recommend [it]." In July he was charged with “mishandling and leaking classified information, as well as putting national security at risk." His lawyer "said on twitter that ‘aiding the enemy’ was the ‘most significant additional charge.’”
I first read about Bradley Manning as an unappreciated hero of 2010. A quick search finds many supporters of this brave young soldier. Julian Assange is the "public face of WikiLeaks," but PFC Manning, according to Chase Madar (among others) is a patriot who;
"has done his duty. He has witnessed serious violations of the American military’s Uniform Code of Military Justice, violations of the rules in U.S. Army Field Manual 27-10, and violations of international law. He has brought these wrongdoings to light out of a profound sense of duty to his country, as a citizen and a soldier, and his patriotism has cost him dearly."
It's hard, for me at least, not to sympathize with his troubled childhood, his liberal views and sexuality which did not fit in with the Army. I am also one who believes that sometimes breaking the law is the right thing to do. However setting all that aside, even for those adamant about obeying the law, consider that "to prevent the major crime of torturing and murdering innocents, [Manning] committed the minor crime of leaking the evidence."
From the Bradley Manning website and a tweet from his friend David House, “Bradley is in a shocked state due to solitary confinement, but his mood and mind soared when I mentioned the democratic uprisings in Egypt.” Many believe more good than harm have come of the Wikileaks. I hope PFC Manning will soon be free to see the results of his courageous whistleblowing.
(Image source: www.bradleymanning.org)