Bradley Manning explains himself on leaks

esh_gaMarch 1, 2013

Fort Meade, Maryland (CNN) -- Pfc. Bradley Manning pleaded guilty Thursday to 10 of the 22 charges against him -- but not the most serious one, "aiding the enemy" -- in what the government says is the largest leak of classified documents in the nation's history.

And, for the first time, Manning offered his rationale for the crimes.

He said he passed on information that "upset" or "disturbed" him, but nothing he thought would harm the United States if it became public. Manning said he thought the documents were old and the situations they referred to had changed or ended.

Reading a statement for more than an hour, Manning described his motivations, beginning with what he called "sigact tables," documents describing significant actions in Iraq and Afghanistan that he said represented the "ground reality" of both conflicts.

He said he'd become "depressed about the situation there" and made copies of the sigact tables in his secure workstation in Iraq. Then, he took them back to the United States and pondered what to do with them.

Manning said he first called The Washington Post. He spoke to a woman who he believed was a reporter and told her the kind of material he had. After five minutes, he got the impression she wasn't taking him seriously, he said.

He said he then called The New York Times and got nothing but answering machines, so he left a message and his phone number and e-mail address, but never heard back.

Manning said he finally decided to send the documents to the WikiLeaks organization.

"I believed if the public was aware of the data, it would start a public debate of the wars," he told the court.

Interesting. Is he a hero then?

Here is a link that might be useful: source

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tobr24u(z6 RI)

Not a hero. He obviously had access to classified information which he took an oath not to reveal. I heard that they are looking for twenty years, seems about right to me...

    Bookmark   March 1, 2013 at 8:31AM
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rob333

Ditto what tobr said. Of course, I grew up military and that may be tainting my view. I don't think everything in our government (specially military!) should be transparent. Most things, but not tactical information during conflicts.

    Bookmark   March 1, 2013 at 8:36AM
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WxDano(5b-2a-6/7)

Not a hero. But I support WikiLeaks and its goals and ideals.

Written as I change houses, cares, and identities so a CIA drone doesn't rain death from the sky on my family...

    Bookmark   March 1, 2013 at 9:43AM
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labrea_gw

Nope not a hero!

    Bookmark   March 1, 2013 at 9:56AM
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Circus Peanut

Not a hero, but also not a villain. Set him free.

    Bookmark   March 1, 2013 at 10:09AM
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jodik_gw

I think if something doesn't smell right, regardless of our position, regardless of oaths taken, we have a moral obligation to get that information to public ears and eyes, or to the proper authorities who will take appropriate action.

Whistle blowers are often a very good thing, and help bring about positive change by revealing things like corruption, harm being done, illegal or immoral action by those who commit crimes in secret and feel they are above the law, etc.

I, too, support Wikileaks and such organizations. Our government is one 'by the people, for the people', and as such, none of its members are above the law. None of our military command are above the law. I would do the same thing if I felt duped, felt my organization was duping the public, or smelled a rat within my organization.

"Classified" is one thing... keeping secrets that aren't above board is something else, entirely.

    Bookmark   March 1, 2013 at 10:33AM
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labrea_gw

His torture has been a disgrace!

    Bookmark   March 1, 2013 at 10:33AM
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PRO
Brushworks Spectacular Finishes(5)

I'll save myself the typing and repeat what needs to be heard.

His torture has been a disgrace!

I think if something doesn't smell right, regardless of our position, regardless of oaths taken, we have a moral obligation to get that information to public ears and eyes, or to the proper authorities who will take appropriate action.

Whistle blowers are often a very good thing, and help bring about positive change by revealing things like corruption, harm being done, illegal or immoral action by those who commit crimes in secret and feel they are above the law, etc.

I, too, support Wikileaks and such organizations. Our government is one 'by the people, for the people', and as such, none of its members are above the law. None of our military command are above the law. I would do the same thing if I felt duped, felt my organization was duping the public, or smelled a rat within my organization.

"Classified" is one thing... keeping secrets that aren't above board is something else, entirely.
___________________________________________

In my opinion (clarifying to protect my family)

Manning took an oath to protect and defend the constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic. We have a domestic enemy that is far more dangerous than the Taliban.

Here is a link that might be useful: 1,000 Days

This post was edited by brushworks on Fri, Mar 1, 13 at 11:24

    Bookmark   March 1, 2013 at 11:22AM
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jodik_gw

I would say that, too... our enemies are not always foreign. The oath taken didn't mention hiding secrets that the military and government didn't want the public to know about, because we might not approve or support their actions, or because what they were doing is wrong.

    Bookmark   March 1, 2013 at 11:35AM
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RpR_(3-4)

I wonder if he military still has firing squads?

    Bookmark   March 1, 2013 at 3:49PM
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