June 07, 2010

Brad Manning, I Hope They Hang You High

A disgruntled Army specialist by the name of Brad Manning has been placed under arrest after a former hacker turned him in for bragging about breaching national security, having turned over hundreds of thousands of documents to Wikileaks:

SPC Bradley Manning, 22, of Potomac, Maryland, was stationed at Forward Operating Base Hammer, 40 miles east of Baghdad, where he was arrested nearly two weeks ago by the Army's Criminal Investigation Division. A family member says he's being held in custody in Kuwait, and has not been formally charged.

Manning was turned in late last month by a former computer hacker with whom he spoke online. In the course of their chats, Manning took credit for leaking a headline-making video of a helicopter attack that Wikileaks posted online in April. The video showed a deadly 2007 U.S. helicopter air strike in Baghdad that claimed the lives of several innocent civilians.

He said he also leaked three other items to Wikileaks: a separate video showing the notorious 2009 Garani air strike in Afghanistan that Wikileaks has previously acknowledged is in its possession; a classified Army document evaluating Wikileaks as a security threat, which the site posted in March; and a previously unreported breach consisting of 260,000 classified U.S. diplomatic cables that Manning described as exposing "almost criminal political back dealings."

"Hillary Clinton, and several thousand diplomats around the world are going to have a heart attack when they wake up one morning, and find an entire repository of classified foreign policy is available, in searchable format, to the public," Manning wrote.

In every instance cited above by Manning there are avenues to blow the whistle on corruption and illegality through channels that would bring wrongdoers to justice.

Instead, Manning decided to declare himself arbiter of his own brand of justice, leaking hundreds of thousand of classified documents and and two videos that leftist Wikileaks founder Julian Assange has used to smear the U.s. military. The more famous of these, July 12, 2007 gun camera footage from an Apache attack helicopter firing upon armed Medhi Army militants, has been thoroughly discredited.

I'm not a lawyer, and don't claim to be, but Manning's distribution of classified military and State Department information during an on-going conflict would seem to be the very definition of treason.

I don't know if they still hang spies from treason, but they should. If Brad Manning is guilty of the crimes of which he is accused, he should be executed as soon as his appeals are exhausted.

"He was in a war zone and basically trying to vacuum up as much classified information as he could, and just throwing it up into the air," said the hacker who turned him in, Adrian Lamo. Even worse than committing treason for a cause or for money, Manning apparent did it for kicks.

The Wired article also notes that Manning had "a keen interest in global politics."

Too bad he chose the wrong side.

Posted by Confederate Yankee at June 7, 2010 08:50 AM

Doing it for money is far worse than doing it for kicks. He's less of a rat than scum like Pollard.

Posted by: chumpstyle at June 7, 2010 09:30 AM

Someone murders inncoent people and this hero reports them. Then some snitch turns him in... adrian is the worst kind of filth. Of course DOD tweaked the story, I doubt he leaked diplomatic comms and that this is just lies and more evil. If you don't see anything you know it was a lie.

Posted by: na at June 7, 2010 09:52 AM

Manning probably will end up with a job at NYT--they support this kind of treason.

As for murdering innocent people, the real killers were those who chose to hide amongst innocents while waging war. And all our internal and external enemies know this.

Posted by: iconoclast at June 7, 2010 10:49 AM

"Then some decent American turns him in... Manning is the worst kind of filth."

There, fixed it for you.

Posted by: Johnv2 at June 7, 2010 12:18 PM

To paraphrase: "Executing a soldier is the poorest use of soldier."

If guilty, SPC Bradley Manning is a traitor and should be court martialed and punished as such. Twenty-five years in Ft. Leavenworth is the most likely sentence.

That's in my backyard, so I might baked him a cow pie and toss it in his general direction.

This guy here says that Manning is a homosexual and frustration about DADT is the motive for his (alleged) traitorous acts.

Perversely enough, the author is not disturbed that Manning might have committed treason, endangered his fellow soldiers and compromised the mission, but the author is more upset that repeal of DADT is in jeopardy!

Morally repugnant dipstick...

Posted by: locomotivebreath1901 at June 7, 2010 12:37 PM

Brad Manning is a hero.

Posted by: Maria at June 8, 2010 08:35 AM

You people who savage Manning would make Good Germans in the 1930's. Real patriots criticize their government when it is wrong, and expose its atrocities when it commits them.

Posted by: JdL at June 8, 2010 08:46 AM

hey sysop, is that how you´re dealing with critics? erasing comments? i repeat, when you´re blaming manning for publishing this horrible video just "for fun", then you´ve to hear those sarcastic comments made by the helicopter pilots as well. manning did something very courageous, no matter what you hardliner might say about it. the world lacks of people like him. never saw more firestarter than on this page. cheers

Posted by: user778 at June 8, 2010 08:47 AM

I want one of you lefties to explain, using complete sentences, why what Brad Manning did was honorable instead of treason.

According to the best information available, he never even attempted to use or investigate whisteblower statutes. He never approached his chain of command, the CID, or the Inspector General.

Instead he took it upon himself to release videos that he did not understand the context of, so it could be exploited by a radical left wing activists. Read the links I provided in the article... if you dare. The Iraqi Medhi Army militants gunned down in the video were armed with AK-47 rifles and rocket-propelled grenades. The van that came to pick up the wounded cameraman (which the pilots had every reason to believe was a terrorist, since he traveled with them) had been buzzing around the battlefield, and is shown in the beginning of the long video. The driver seems to be ferrying militants and weapons from a nearby mosque to fighting positions, and he clearly knew the rules of engagement, and that stopping to assist a combatant renders him a combatant as well... just like the other two militants that were smoked with the driver that no one seems to want to admit exists.

War is messy, and the fog of war makes it inevitable that civilians sometimes get killed or injured, like those two poor kids that the father cynically used as human shields. When combatants cravenly hide among civilians, more civilians will die.

Listen closely to the various communications between air and ground units. I doubt you'll understand the details, but you should be able to easily understand that the pilots of the gunship were eager to destroy enemy combatants, while every bit as concerned about limiting civilian casualties. They used the smallest weapon at their disposal, the 30mm cannon, when they could have used Hellfire missiles (as they did on a later target), because they sought to minimize collateral damage.

Brad Manning is a REMF (I'll let you look that up) who understands real combat only slightly better than you do. In his arrogance, ignorance, and malevolence he decided to disclose hundreds of thousands of top secret documents, that he obviously didn't even read.

You call him a hero.

To what cause?

Posted by: Confederate Yankee at June 8, 2010 09:52 AM

come on, the footage shows exactly what it was: young cowboys in their helicopter firing at people while having a lot of fun and laughing at their victims. they just did NOT have enough background information about the situation.

//The Medhi Army militants gunned down in the video were armed with AK-47 rifles and rocket-propelled grenades// that´s what the helicopter crew thought, but didn´t clarified!

i read your "article". it´s full of resentments against the reuters journalists you´d like to push in the islamic corner. as far as i know its still not clear who was on the streets except the journalists. the army tought that, supposed that... (like all the w.m.d.? remember?) keep the collateral damage as small as possible... don´t make me laugh. what more can happen when you fire at civilians (yes) and children?

lucky me i´m an european tax payer and didn´t had to come up for this marvellous "hit".

here´s another link to light you up a bit (if you dare):

Posted by: user778 at June 8, 2010 11:55 AM

Hang him! he is the worst kind of rat he betrayed his comrades

Posted by: R, Lemon at June 9, 2010 02:14 PM

Confederate Yankee? Isn't that an oxymoron?

Would the video have been released had Manning taken advantage of "whistleblower statutes" or his chain of command? Or might it have been classified as confidential, Manning hushed and the public never made aware of the actions being undertaken in their names? Perhaps Manning did not trust that the truth would come out or that he wouldn't face reprisal. Can the government and military be trusted to prosecute inappropriate behavior among their own ranks? Will honorable soldiers be corrupted by those guilty of war crimes who remain enlisted or in command?

If what the soldiers in the helicopter did was acceptable under the rules of engagement, what harm was there in releasing it to the public? Why should something like this be confidential? Shouldn't we be open about our actions if we believe them justified?

Posted by: pfft at June 10, 2010 08:04 PM