Like it or Not, Bradley Manning is a Traitor — Not a Hero

I don’t expect a giant “liberal embrace” for my opinion on Mr. Manning, and that’s okay.  I’ve never been one to change my opinion to pander to anyone.   Especially on an individual who betrays his country.

And that’s exactly what he did.

His supporters always seem to have tunnel vision when it comes to his actions.  They’ll read an article here or there about some of the atrocities that were revealed in the information he leaked (during a time of war), and because of those atrocities they believe his actions suddenly become that of a hero, not a traitor.

These people quickly display how easy it is for all of us at times to fail to see the bigger picture.

This isn’t a case of the government prosecuting a whistleblower, because every member of the military is subjected to a completely different set of rules than ordinary citizens.  What Manning did was violate his oath to the United States military.  He broke the chain of command—one of the most vital structures in our military.

Imagine for a moment if breaking the chain of command in the military became acceptable.  Suddenly, it was allowed for subordinates to question their superiors and act independently of their unit.

It would be complete chaos.

Don’t kid yourself, Bradley Manning isn’t a hero.  He obviously suffers from some serious emotional issues.  He seems to struggle with his gender, his sexuality, his parents divorce and from most accounts of those who knew him, he never seemed to fit in with anyone.

And while I sympathize with his struggles, that doesn’t excuse his actions.  I think that’s something some of his supporters seem to confuse.  They read the story about a bullied gay man, who struggled with acceptance in society (and the military) and empathize with his life story.  And while I’m an avid supporter of LGBT rights, that doesn’t impact my views on why I oppose his actions.

Bradley Manning was a gay American (at a time when being openly gay wasn’t allowed in the military), struggling with his gender, emotionally unstable, opposed to the war we were fighting—who volunteered to join the United States Army.

Keyword: Volunteered.

Nobody made him join.  At the time he knew being openly gay wasn’t allowed in the military and we were still at war.  If he struggled with being gay as an ordinary civilian, and opposed the wars with which we were engaged, what in the world was he doing joining the United States Army?

The bottom line is, this guy should have never been in the military.

The real controversy in all of this should be how exactly did such a emotionally unstable individual not only get accepted into the Army, but how did they get deployed to war and gain access to such sensitive classified material? But that’s a story for another day.

Upon entering the Army, almost immediately, there are accounts of Bradley Manning’s conflicts with drill sergeants and his near discharge before even completing basic training.  While deployed in Iraq he lacked discipline, seemed to be looking for ways to get kicked out and often was subjected to disciplinary action for his behavior.

Have many of his supporters read some of the transcripts of his conversations with Adrian Lamo?  When I say Manning has serious emotional issues, it’s not an exaggeration or any kind of personal attack.  In one of the transcripts with Mr. Lamo,  Manning states that he didn’t mind being put in jail for the rest of his life, or being executed, he just worried about “his picture being plastered all over the World Press—as a boy.”

He seemingly wasn’t aware of the consequences that his actions might have on others — instead, one of his main concerns was that the world would see him in the press as a male, not a female, which he felt deep down he really was.

Here’s a piece of the transcript:

(1:11:54 PM) bradass87: and … its important that it gets out … i feel, for some bizarre reason

(1:12:02 PM) bradass87: it might actually change something

(1:13:10 PM) bradass87: i just … dont wish to be a part of it … at least not now … im not ready … i wouldn’t mind going to prison for the rest of my life, or being executed so much, if it wasn’t for the possibility of having pictures of me … plastered all over the world press … as a boy

(1:14:11 PM) bradass87: i’ve totally lost my mind … i make no sense … the CPU is not made for this motherboard

(1:39:03 PM) bradass87: i cant believe what im confessing to you :’(

I don’t bring this up to attack Mr. Manning, I only point out the selfish worry he seemed to have about how people may see him gender-wise in the press rather than his own death, the possibility of life in prison or the potential ramifications of his choices on others.  This is not the talk of any kind of “patriot,” it’s the talk of someone battling with emotional instability.

Again, Manning wasn’t thinking about the consequences of his actions.  He wasn’t trying to be a hero.  What he was doing was looking for anyone to connect with.  He had confessed to feeling isolated and alone in the Army (as he had often throughout his life).  He didn’t feel like he fit in and seemed to hold great animosity towards the United States military and many of those he served along side with.

He wasn’t someone that had years of knowledge within the intelligence community, who carefully leaked specific and vital information to the media, hoping to expose some wrong doings by our government.  He was an angry individual, looking for some kind of validation in his life, that did an information dump of hundreds of thousands of pieces of classified information recklessly—because he could.

Looking at how much information he leaked out, there’s no way he really knew about everything he was releasing.  He basically grabbed as much as he could, as quickly as he could.

At the time, he had no way to know the ramifications of what could happen once this information was exposed, because he had no way of knowing what every piece of information he leaked contained.  It’s a “what if” question most of his supporters won’t answer:

What if you had a loved one serving in the military, and the classified information he recklessly leaked out brought about a response from our enemies that resulted in your loved ones death?

It’s easy to dismiss this “what if” question because anyone can play that game with almost any scenario in life.  But most who dismiss the question simply don’t want to answer it because they know their feelings about Mr. Manning would change.

Seeing the pieces of information he exposed, it’s easy to hold him up as a hero because some of it was horrific, and controversial, behavior by our government.  But those that do so ignore the dangers of someone in our military, with access to classified information, during a time of war, deployed to war, leaking information that could compromise the lives of our brave men and women serving overseas.

I’m sorry, I just don’t have sympathy for someone who does that.

His supporters sympathize with someone who they view as a “hero” for exposing some wrongdoings during a time of war.  What they seem to fail to understand are the inherent dangers of someone within our military, trusted with classified information, leaking that information out and possibly risking the lives of deployed men and women.

Bradley Manning didn’t release this information to be a hero.  He didn’t release the information to see “the truth come out.”  He released this information because he seemed to be seeking validation, not justice, in a life that he never felt comfortable in.

He felt isolated, alone, and was approaching a psychological level of mental breakdown according to published transcripts and military records.

I do feel bad for the guy because he’s obviously struggled through life.  From reading comments by people who’ve known him, it seems that he never felt accepted by society, struggled to accept himself and never quite seemed to fit in anywhere.  What our “norms of society” can drive certain people to do is often tragic.

But the moment he voluntarily swore an oath to our United States military, then broke that oath by leaking classified information that could have risked the lives of our brave military men and women—he became a traitor.

And I’m sorry, but that’s where Bradley Manning lost my sympathy.

The following two tabs change content below.
Allen Clifton is a native Texan who now lives in the Austin area. He has a degree in Political Science from Sam Houston State University. Allen is a co-founder of Forward Progressives and creator of the popular Right Off A Cliff column and Facebook page. Be sure to follow Allen on both Twitter and Facebook. Have feedback, inquiries, criticism or hate mail? You can email him as well.


Facebook comments

  • Mo

    I am Bradley Manning! People should not fear exposing the wrong doings of others!

    • chrisslowik

      But they should fear endangering the lives of people entirely unrelated to those wrongdoings. Do you not see how reckless and careless leaking volumes of random classified information is?

      • brocore

        Who has been harmed since the release of those documents? This is a reframing of the issue. People weren’t harmed because of his release of the material, and the government has conceded as much. This is why they’re trying to use the argument that his release of the material is being used as a propaganda tool in that it could potentially help terrorist organizations in recruiting, not that he was directly responsible for any actual harm done.

      • sandra1947

        Old school here, you – do – not – release – sensitive – information – to – anyone. You know that when you enter the military. Whether anyone was harmed by that release is immaterial. Each little piece of information can be used in conjunction with other little pieces of information to ultimately provide the full story to our enemies. Seasoned intelligence officers know this. Only sometime in the future will anyone know who ultimately was harmed. It’s traitorous.

      • brocore

        Following this reasoning the My Lai Massacre would have never been exposed. Ronald Ridenhour followed chain of command in this instance but didn’t see results until he wrote to Congress independent of his COC.

      • dazems

        Your comparing specific cases of single events. Apples to oranges. You can not justify a confused grabby little boy with the purposeful actions of those that KNEW what they had. This idiot didnt just break the rules.. He absolutely abused them.

      • brocore

        Ridenhour had heard secondhand of the massacre. He didn’t know whether or not it was true, just stories from members of the company. Which is why he wanted the situation investigated.

        If you watch, or read, watch Manning released, including the chat logs, it’s pretty clear he knew what he had. He expressed concerns over what he had seen. He knew it was wrong.

      • dazems

        He only knew of a few things.. Not the VOLUMES of material he took and is no justification for everything else. enough said.

      • Debbie Bock

        So its okay for America to invade sovereign nations based on lies dazems? Just wondering!

      • sandra1947

        If you want to get specific here, in that case he still did not go public with his information, he went through congress to expose it. Still through government channels, not released to someone like Wikileaks.

      • KatieInCalifornia

        The difference between this and My Lai is that My Lai was a discrete act that was exposed, rather than just a ton of classified stuff that could not have been vetted for the harm it could do.

      • Debbie Bock

        Katie……what harm DID IT DO?……shoulda woulda coulda!!!Sheesh…..

      • Jeff Camire

        Actually you are wrong congress is in fact a part of the chain of command, which ends with the president.

      • Naysayer

        How is releasing information to Wikileaks in any way comparable to going before Congress???

      • Debbie Bock


      • sandra1947

        Call BS if you want to little girl, but you’re not old enough to know much about how “security” works. No I am not a FOX watcher as you stated in another post, I’m a liberal democrat, but I’ve also had experience in and with the military, took the oath and it meant something to me. I don’t know Manning’s motivation nor do I care, I know what he did, so does he, and now he has to pay for it.

      • Bine646

        who was harmed? hopefully noone but the next might not be so lucky- this is getting back to the basics, this is common sense. manning will be made an example of

      • Debbie Bock

        Bro…obviously those on the Manning is a traitor bandwagon are not the type of people who understand a whole lot and I’m pretty sure the majority are Fox News viewers…..nuf said!

    • Me

      No you”re not, you’re just another lame Internet troll. Get off your parents’ computer and go get a life.

  • Me

    I am Bradley Manning! The military is a broken institution that operates outside of the US Constitution. They treat their service members as though they are property, not real people.

    • Bine646

      If manning felt that way he shouldnt of joined and took the oath

      • tweet

        Well I’m sure he wasn’t privy to how life in the military would be prior to joining… Yes, some things are assumed… but civilians can’t possibly anticipate what their life will be once they go off to war.

      • Bine646

        called leaving the service, dishonorable discharge is better than giving away secret cables, cant do it

    • Robert Russ

      Service members are the property of the US govt (assets). Sorry you did not realize this.

      • angryspittle

        Jawol Herr Commandant!

  • Gsm

    Thank you! Agreed! You can’t convince me that he read all of the documents he leaked and knew that no one’s life would be risked–he simply didn’t care.

  • urshittinme

    Unmitigated bullshit!

  • polliwogg

    As someone who served (20 years active and reserve), I consider Bradley Manning a traitor. His personal problems make no difference in this case.

    • CherMoe

      But the actions of our own country do.

      • Bine646

        He didnt believe in the military he could of left w dishonorable discharge- instead he decided to be a traitor

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jamie-Carter/100000584050262 Jamie Carter

    The number of documents is my issue as well what if some of those unread leaked documents caused some of his fellow troops to die we frankly will never know.If he had leaked just evidence of war crimes I may have considered him a hero but he didn’t.

    • Glenn Brown

      This is my problem with the whole wikileaks thing in general. They willfully admit that they are putting peoples lives in danger this is where we get into the whole “liberty isn’t license” category.

      • angryspittle

        Just who the fuck put people’s lives in danger here? I would submit it was the fucking politicians who lied all those poor fucking people into their graves.

      • Glenn Brown

        So you are suggesting that each of the 251,287 State Department Embassy cables that manning released to wikileaks were ONLY limited to the less than stellar actions of this country? Manning is no whistleblower, he indiscriminately dumped information regardless of what it revealed. We should not put him in the same league as Snowden who, IMHO appears to have been legitimately been revealing something he thought was a clear violation of the constitution. The shear size of what Manning dumped reveals that he had no idea what he was revealing.

      • angryspittle

        Interesting. A lot of folks tend to have the opposite view of these two.

      • Glenn Brown

        I suspect people think that way (at least progressives anyway) because it has become pretty obvious that Snowden doesn’t like the President very much and people let their political leanings get the best of them (before you guess wrong about mine I was a volunteer on Obama’s senate primary race when no one thought he could win and have been on the bandwagon ever since).
        Snowden, IMHO operated with at least some ethical motives. I can’t really imagine what Manning’s motives were since the shear volume of what he dumped leads me to believe that he could care less what the actual content of what he was dumping meant.

  • Bine646

    Wow first thing i agree w clifton on

  • jchastn

    This is probably the best article about this guy that I have read. His actions were the actions of an immature, unstable young man who was manipulated by WikiLeak’s Julian Assange. He had no business in the Military, and because of his horrifying violation of the Uniform Code of Military Justice, he must be prosecuted. Assange needs to go to prison too.

    • aids

      God forbid someone exposed the corruption in the us military,… you people are fucking insane.

  • Marcus Daniel Byrne

    I agree 100%. There are a few things I disagree with my fellow lefties on and this is one of them. As one of the guys that has been on the ground trying to make the best out of a bad situation I can’t excuse what he did at all. Not to mention the danger he could have put troops in just trying to be some sort of hero. I abhor Manning and worse his ignorant acolytes.

    • Debbie Bock

      Wonder why Pat Tillman died? Hmmmm, methinks its because he was going to expose the LIES THE PERPETRATED THE IRAQ DEBACLE…..all you ridiculous war mongerers should talk to every parent who lost a child in Afghanistan and Iraq and explain to them why their child died……..FOR WHAT REASON??? ugh…..can’t stand fake patriotism!

      • Marcus Daniel Byrne

        I don’t wonder, I know why and how Cpl. Tillman died. While helping a part of the platoon out an ambush they took a position by foot on the opposite hillside in a canyon. The other part of the platoon thought it was enemy fire. Tillman was killed by friendly fire while trying to signal that he was a friendly position. Iraq was a debacle. I know because I spent 30 months there. He knew no more and no less about Iraq than you do. You’re living in this stupid, ignorant and delusional myth that Tillman was some sort of Rosetta Stone for the purpose of the invasion of Iraq. He wasn’t. He was a Corporal. He knew two things: 1. what his squad leader told him and 2. what his platoon sergeant told him. You’re doing the same thing to Tillman you’re doing to Manning.

        The left wing crackpot conspiracy theorists are just as bad as the right wing. His death was covered up because it would be embarrassing for the world to know that even Army Rangers can fuck up clearing a complex ambush and kill one of their most famous soldiers. Occam’s Razor. It’s really that simple.

      • Bob

        Huh? Why would Pat Tilman have had any knowledge about the “LIES THE[sic] PERPETRATED THE IRAQ DEBACLE”? He was a soldier on the ground, not some high-up CIA guy. That is a loony assertion. Just because he is well known doesn’t mean he had access to inside information. He was a football player.

  • Rachel

    The reason he was allowed into the army is that they are DESPERATE for soldiers right now. Haven’t you seen the commercials they have out, lately? The ones suggesting to teens that if they join the army, they will spend a few years having fun in a 100% safe environment, and then get to go to any college in the world for free/ have a guaranteed job for life after they get out of the army.

    • Anonymous

      If they’re desperate for soldiers, why is there a hold for accepting new recruits across the board? Almost a two year wait just to go to boot?

      • Debbie Bock

        Because Barack Obama is president and he has no INTENTION of starting any wars based on lies, unlike the previous traitors administration!

      • Robert Russ

        lol. wow, such ignorance.

    • Marcus Daniel Byrne

      They’re not desperate at all for recruits. As a matter of fact, they’re looking for reasons to kick people out, especially since the sequester hit. Including kicking out all of those people that were accepted over the last 10 years with moral waivers, no high school diploma etc.

  • brocore

    What has happened to the left? We have a leader who attacks whistleblowers and suddenly we side with him just because he’s on the left? We make excuses when he does the exact things we criticized previous administrations for? Where are your morals? You selectively picked out one piece of the chat log to change the context of what he was saying. Read over the entire log. He expressed concern that what he was criminal.

    One part of the UCMJ requires an individual to report criminal behavior. Chain of command would not have worked in this situation because that information would have been covered up, Manning would have been turfed under a medical discharge for his gender identity issues to prevent anything from looking suspicious, and he would have had no proof to back up his claims.

    • KathyBland

      There were any number of ways he could legally blow the whistle on criminal activity but doing a data dump to a foreign website wasn’t one of them.

      • Matt Anderson

        I love the phrase “any number of ways”. It truly is a great phrase. It allows the person using it to sound like they know what they’re talking about but actually get by with knowing less than nothing about that situation.

        How’s this for an exercise: name three. If there truly are “any number of ways”, and you know this for a fact, three shouldn’t be difficult.

        I will, however, insist on one *minor* requirement. They have to be plausible ways. I wouldn’t expect Manning, or anyone else, to “try” one of those “any number” of ways if they realistically would not work. This disqualifies ways such as “report the illegal activity to one’s superior officer” and the like.

      • KathyBland

        The Military
        Whistleblower Protection Act, Title 10 U.S.C. 1034, as amended, prohibits interference with a military member’s right to make protected communications to members of Congress; Inspectors General; members of DoD audit, inspection, investigation or law enforcement organizations; and other persons or organizations (including the chain of command) designated by regulation or administrative procedures. A protected communication is
        any lawful communication to a Member of Congress or an IG, as well as any communication made to a person or organization designated under competent
        regulations to receive such communications, which a member of the Armed Services reasonably believes reports a violation of law or regulation.

        So he can report to anyone in the CIC, the DOD, or any Member of Congress. A simple email with his concerns would suffice.

      • db1db2d

        Oh yeah. That would work. …. snort….

      • KathyBland

        It worked for Ronald Ridenhour. Manning owned it to his country to at least try to go that route first. Abu Ghraib was exposed by soldiers & others going through proper channels even though the accused were Military Police. So yes it can work,

    • Debbie Bock

      Manning definitely is more of a man and soldier than any I have seen in the past 3 decades…..he is a hero and most NORMAL Americans would want to know that the corruption of our government and military is what brings on MOST of our wars…….I have no respect for our military anymore……since they decided to be the blinded sheep for the criminal Bush administration……very few heroes anymore…..Lt. Watada….Pat Tillman, and Bradley Manning!

      • Golden_Earring

        You’re lucky I’m not within arms reach of you…. WTF do you know about being a soldier? You stupid c**t! Spoken like a true ignorant civilian!! And we in the military have NO respect for you or those like you either. But that’s ok, when the Huns come over the wall, I won’t stand between you and them….

  • Chris C

    If Bradley Manning is as you describe, then we are dealing with an emotionally disturbed, psychologically tortured individual. For that reason he deserves sympathy and some level of compassion. This does not absolve him of his misdeeds. He must answer for his actions, no question about that, and he will suffer the consequences of them, but the story seems tragic nonetheless.

  • disqus_vUn3odrlb6

    Although I agree to some extent with the author, I do not believe his sexual orientation, his relationship with his parents or any other speculation about his personal make up has any bearing on his culpability. A member of the military must follow chain of command. He violated that trust and he must answer for his actions. The end does not justify the means. He made a decision that adversely affected the world’s view of the USA and he should answer for his act of treason.

    • brocore

      Adversely affecting the world’s view of the USA is not treason. As defined in the Constitution, Treason is “levying war against [the US]” or “giving Aid or Comfort” to the enemy. Can anyone prove his release of this material directly led to recruitment of terrorists? Can anyone prove direct aid?

      • dazems

        can you say without a doubt it has not provided aid or comfort to a terrorist group? NO, you cant. Your trying to justify his actions as if this is “okay” and ” no harm, no foul” type issue. We arent children anymore. If your are sworn in , you are agreeing to a set of rules. Where these rules not broken?YES, yes they were.

      • brocore

        And you can’t say the opposite. In a court of law, the onus is on the prosecution to PROVE guilt. They don’t get by simply on speculation or conjecture.

      • tweety

        What happened to “innocent until proven guilty” – or have we given that up?

      • Robert Russ

        He has openly admitted what he did and why. So we are past that point.

    • G

      You are deluded to think the rest of the world ever viewed the US administration favourably, you dont ever view a bully favourably-what politicians say in front of cameras is theatre, what happens when the curtain drops is a different matter, Manning is a brave man to have lifted that curtain. And people need to stop using the ‘hypothetical lives put at risk’ argument-what of the lives already lost, there needs to be some redressal for those. Violent reprisals against soldiers in a war zone can happen for a million reasons, the release of classified documents may or may not be one of them

  • Tighten’ Up Tighter

    I would like to bring up the comparison between what Bradley Manning has done and the actions taken by the refusenik movement in the Israeli military who had stood down and refused to continue bombing innocent civilians in Gaza.
    It is exactly what is needed in our modern military people who are willing to hold their commanders accountable for their actions even at risk to their own safety.
    Without Bradley Manning’s actions many of the atrocities that we are committing supposedly in the name of Freedom would have remained undisclosed.
    As for the liberal view on this issue I would like to quote Phil Ochs
    ” There are many varying shade of American Politics the shadiest of these are the Liberals 10 degrees to the left of center in good times 15 degrees to the right of center if it affects them Personally. “

  • btrams

    I wont take a stand on whether Manning is hero or traitor. I’ve read several articles on both sides, most of them better written than this one, in which Clifton claims to be an “avid supporter of LGBT rights” but then spends considerable ink to use questions about Manning’s sexual orientation to slant the story. I could care less about that. What concerns me is the Clifton’s assertion that the Oath of Enlistment carries with it implies absolute loyalty to the chain of command, even if it includes complicity in ignoring or covering up war crimes. Part of that oath also compels the volunteer to operate under the Uniform Code of Military Justice. Another article implies that said code impels one to report such things as war crimes. When Nazi soldiers and officers offered up the “I was just following orders” defense, when they clearly knew they were commiting war crimes, we didn’t buy it. To make the argument that Manning should have simply followed orders to ignore war crimes, is beyond hypocritical.

    • http://www.facebook.com/teresa.welby Teresa Welby

      Just because Manning is gay doesn’t mean he is not a traitor and a careless self serving assh*le. You can be for gay rights. You can be gay. You can love your gay child or your gay best friend and still think a specific gay person is wrong, bad, a jerk, criminal, stupid, etc….
      Things happen in war, ugly bad things and those things should be exposed and usually they are eventually. Surely you are not comparing the USA to Nazi Germany?

      • Bob

        I don’t think you read btrams post very carefully. They are questioning the article author’s assertion that the chain of command trumps the obligation to expose war crimes.

      • TXREBEL1

        Have you ever heard of INTERNATIONAL LAW (e.g. Nuremberg Tribunals and Geneva Conventions, etc.) Teresa? Do you believe Uncle Sam should obey IL or not? Do you know what the RULE-OF-LAW doctrine dictates Teresa? How about the RULE-BY-LAW doctrine? Do you believe in law-abiding (consistency)? Or better yet: do you believe anyone or any government has the right to be ABOVE IL and get away with war crimes to say the least?

        Since when did exposing war crimes become crimes in themselves?

        You asked BTRAMS the following question: “Surely you are not comparing the USA to Nazi Germany?” In defense of BTRAMS, the following assertions are my response to your naive question…..

        How I just love this comparison especially coming from American “patriots” like you. No seriously. Wow. This is so unfair to Nazi Germany. At least they were CONSISTENT in their hate. They had the Final Solution and they carried it out. Hateful? Yes. Genocidal? No doubt. Criminal? Obviously yes, from those who are neither ethically-challenged nor morally-corrupt. BUT AT LEAST THE NAZIs WERE NON-HYPOCRITICAL unlike Uncle Sam. If there is anything I cannot stand in this world is hypocrisy. It is DO AS WE SAY, BUT NOT AS WE DO. This is what the RULE-BY-LAW doctrine dictates. Gangsters usually operate under this mentality. State-sanctioned gangsters/terrorists justify their crimes via this route. This government is one of thee most criminal and hypocritical of them all in modern history. The NAZIs would be jealous.

        But believe me, in the near future these Yankee Imperialist Gangsters will be tried and convicted before the INTERNATIONAL CRIMINAL COURT and the WORLD COURT, among other IL institutions. Because you see Teresa, in the end, whether one operates via the RULE-BY-LAW or RULE-OF-LAW doctrines, for the sake of consistency though, NO ONE IS ABOVE THE LAW. No one. Not even Uncle Sam.

        Now that is CONSISTENCY my dear.

      • Golden_Earring

        “At least the Nazis were non-hypocritical”? Are you F***ing kidding me?!?! NO ONE was more hypocritical than they! Yankee Imperialists”?? Go crawl back under whatever video game system that you’re hooked on. You’re obvious hatred for America and it’s military is showing through. I DO agree that this government is corrupt, but otherwise you don’t have a damn clue what you’re going on about.

        Military personnel have sworn to uphold and defend the CONSTITUTION of the UNITED STATES. NOT some U.N. convention or International Law. On a Human Rights level, IL is intended to coincide with Western Laws. To bolster them or provide stop-gap where individual national laws did not cover specifically enough. NOT to be opposed to Western Law. Int Law DOES NOT trump the US Constitution, I’ve got news for you. Ever hear of the 1648 Treaty of Westphalia? Maybe you’re one of those who doesn’t believe in Nation-State Sovereignty. There seems to be more and more of you a-holes these days.

        If someone from the U.S. for example violates Int Law overseas (especially on a Human Rights level) then more often than not they’re also in violation of the U.S. Constitution in some manner or the UCMJ if they are military, You’re making a comparison/contrast as if Western Law and IL are VASTLY different.

      • G

        USA’s decision to invade Iraq was based on an elaborate deceit – we all know that, your country has ruined a civilisation and destabilised that region at the cost of unimaginable loss of human life. The brutal way in which this was done does not leave any room for moral debate- the most powerful nation in the world was killing innocent people as if it were a game simple as that [see the collateral damage video and you’ll know what I am talking about]. Those of us who are more aware of USAs track record know it was for power and profit. For a nation which has constantly been at war since the second world war and killed millions around the world directly or indirectly, it is not unfair to say that the USA is worse than Nazi Germany

    • A SNCO

      Being i the military part of my obligation and its an obligation that is reinforced often is that I as an individual have a duty to speak up when you know a crime has been committed. However, there is a right and a wrong way to do it. Especially when you’re dealing with classified information. My oath of enlistment states that I will follow the lawful orders of the officers appointed over me. If the order given is unlawful (illegal, immoral, or unethical) I have a duty to stand up for what is right and say no. However, I must also realize that failure to follow orders is a crime and I will have to justify my actions in a court of law. Mr Manning is a traitor, if he felt he couldn’t go to his chain of command, fine. There where other ways for him to address his specific concerns without endangering the lives of others. Disclosing thousands of pages of classified information is not only reckless, but traitorous and in a time of war unpardonable no matter the reasoning behind it.

  • KatieInCalifornia

    I proudly consider myself a liberal, and I could not agree more. It’s one thing to leak something you’ve vetted and become a whistle blower (e.g., Daniel Ellsberg with the Pentagon Papers), and quite another to just leak a whole pile of stuff with no thought to the consequences. National security was compromised, which includes trusted relationships broken and intelligence assets (i.e., human beings) put in danger. This guy’s actions are nothing short of treason. He deserves to spend the rest of his life in prison with no chance… ever… of parole.

  • tweet

    I don’t know how I feel one way or the other about this, although I’ve been thinking about it for some time. But your explanation about the chain of command concerns me… Do you think that sexual assault should also stay within that chain of command? Just saying that the chain of command arguement isn’t really valid. But your other points are.

  • Lasergirl4

    Judas was a traitor too, but had he not done so, the Jesus story would be completely different. I don’t know if he is a traitor or not, or if what he did is completely wrong or completely right. I do know that what he did do was to illuminate some pretty scary aspects of our military and the actions of our government. I guess I’m glad someone did it.

  • jeczaja

    Gay or unstable is irrelevant and I suspect, part of media BS to distract us from the war crimes he exposed. The embedded press is just the PR department for the war machine. If Manning had legit channels to expose the atrocities, he should have used them. Did he?

  • db1db2d

    So much for your opinion, Clifton. What is lacking in your commentary is facts. All you have added to the conversation is character assassination via home-brewed arms-length psychological B.S. Also missing are pertinent questions. Theoretically, facts will come out in the trial. But even if they do, will we ever even know what the facts are? I rather doubt it, because our pathetic media is utterly clueless as to what questions are actually pertinent.

    I also rather doubt that there was ANYTHING of a strategic or operational value to any “enemy” of the US, nor did anybody die based upon the release. You repeatedly use the phrase “classified information” as if it actually means something specific, when there are multiple levels of classification. Since when is a video of 1st degree murder committed by uniformed grunts deserving of being “classified”, meaning “covered up” because it is an embarrassment to the military? Perhaps you could answer that one.

    What is screamingly obvious by its omission is a discussion of who the hell is actually responsible for safeguarding documents and communications in their care. One would think that intelligence officers and State Dep’t officials actually know how to protect highly classified information and communications with encryption and passwords. As far as I know, NOBODY has accused Manning of decrypting ANY goddam “secret documents”, have they? So, why is Manning getting his ass fried for disseminating information that NOBODY thought was important enough to protect? Why have we not heard of the firing or arrest of those who were actually responsible for protecting the information? It sure as hell was not a geeky goddam PFC with only 3 years of service under his belt at the time. Who granted him a security clearance with his background? Why don’t you answer that one?

    Also, has ANYONE actually documented that the release of these documents endangered ANYBODY’s life? (other than Manning’s). Embarrassment over US soldiers engaging in atrocities and embarrassment of State Dep’t officials acting as Monsanto Field Sales Reps does not rise to the level of treason. That is pure horse shit and ass-covering by other people who DID NOT DO THEIR JOBS. When I hear about demotions, courts-martials, firings, or other sanctions of other people of rank and responsibility in this foul mess of incompetence, then maybe this trial could be viewed as something other than retribution geared to chilling any tendency of people to expose massive wrongdoing in the government.

    That is the point that you are missing by the unthinking labeling of his actions as traitorous. The OTHER point you are missing is that there are millions of people in this nation who feel betrayed… by their elected officials, by intelligence services, by military men of no conscience who ALLOWED the most corrupt administration in the history of this nation to INVADE two other sovereign nations as a “response” to a tiny group of stateless criminals. Anybody with a functioning brainstem (which actually exempts “Dubya” from responsibility) knew before those invasions were initiated, that they would never accomplish their stated goals and would inevitably result in atrocities being committed by American servicemen.

    • Debbie Bock

      rock on db1……love knowing there are still rational people here!

      • Golden_Earring


    • KathyBland

      Arguably releasing information about Pakistani secret raids and black ops running around with kill or capture lists certainly put every America serviceman deployed in that area at risk of retaliation. The Bush war machine stirred up a hornets nest of futility and there needs to be accountability for some of the activities Manning revealed. I am ashamed of what our government did and to a certain extent is still doing. But I will not give Manning a pass on willy-nilly release of classified information as a potential solution to war crimes – what he did was wrong.

      • db1db2d

        kathybland – US Soldiers are in a sovereign nation that they invaded. They volunteered to make Afghanistan safe (read corrupt enough) for American Corporations to engage in commerce there. They only reason they are there 10 years later is that the entire affair is a very predictable massive failure. It’s a WAR ZONE, one that WE CREATED. Do you have any idea how asinine it sounds to worry that they may be “retaliated” against in a war zone that they created, one in which it has been the firm commitment of the Taliban to kill them from day one?

        I have never heard anything more goddam idiotic from somebody that can spell. Perhaps you can explain to everyone how someone’s death in a war zone can be determined as being due to “retaliation for a release of documents” when these ragheads are already pissed off by having witnessed in person much more devastating horrors visited upon them by US Soldiers in their own back yard. In short “They don’t need no stinking documents” to know that Americans are thoughtless, arrogant, self-justifiying murderers of children.

        AlQaeda provably left in 2002. What the hell are we still doing there and why? There have been numerous non-sensical explanations for it from generals and the CIC, not one of them remotely coherent, logical or believable. In short, we have NEVER been told the truth, and our esteemed leaders want to make damn sure that we NEVER do learn the truth, not because of “national security” but because most of the American public would be utterly repulsed, outraged and ashamed at the crap being done in our name.

        I wish there were several thousand Bradley Mannings in our government and military whose only job is to blow the whistle on bullshit and they should be well rewarded and protected for doing it. This used to be the honored profession and job of news organizations. They no longer serve that purpose but the need is still there. The USA would be a much better nation for it.

      • Robert Russ

        AlQaeda is still there now, actively attacking our troops. How can you be that ignorant? I have first hand knowledge of this and am pretty sure this is common knowledge among any human paying any degree of attention to world affairs.

      • juhani

        You’re saying that we created the warzone in afghanistan?
        we certainly did not make it any better; but to state blatantly that we started it in the first place is a bold faced lie through your teeth. Don’t be so ignorant and i’ll be more polite to you.
        The entire area of the middle east has been in a state of conflict FURTHER BACK THAN WRITTEN HISTORY CAN GO.
        And yet the USA is suddenly at fault for the entire thing?

        You need to sit down, cool off, take off your dunce cap and take a middle school history course; or re-take it, since you demonstrably learned nothing the first time.

      • db1db2d

        Juhani, Yes you ignorant jackass, Bush/Cheney created the warzone in Afghanistan. We certainly did not create it here, and they as a nation were not at war with us, so how the hell do you think it happened? AlQaeda operatives were not Afghan citizens, but rather a group of stateless criminals of largely Saudi origins. Perhaps we SHOULD have invaded Germany, because there were Alqaeda there too. This is granting you the possibility of a thinking capability that you have not so far demonstrated.

        Think about this logically for a moment if you can. If some crazy jackass living in Texas, but who is NOT a US citizen, blows up the Eiffel Tower, does that make it OK for France to invade the US? According to your logic, the answer is yes. We SHOULD be at war with France at this very moment, because they are bombing the shit out of Baltimore and feeling REALLY justified and extremely patriotic about it, and some of them have their eye on the California wine country property….

        You are so effing stupid, I can not believe I am wasting time educating your moronic, not to mention rude, ass. So, you effing moron, the Middle East has been at war with itself further back than written history can go. So what? Who gives a flying shit except an oil company executive or an Israeli apologist, both of which are running what passes for “foreign policy” in the US?

        Afghans were NOT at war with us until we invaded Afghanistan. Iraqis were definitely not at war with us until we decided to invade them too, just for the hell of it. We saved them from “Saddam’s cruelty” by killing over 100,000 Iraqi citizens and wiping out their infrastructure. Brilliant American logic. Then we left, and they started killing each other again without our interference.

        You can take your “superior attiitude” and stick it where the sun don’t shine until you demonstrate some superiority. I suggest you STFU until you have some remotely intelligent to contribute..

      • Golden_Earring

        STFU you C**T!!

  • AndyF

    We haven’t heard the full story here and we probably won’t until well after the trial is over. Did Manning intend that all the documents be released publicly or did he trust that Wikileaks would review them and only release those that showed unconscionable acts? The true villain here is Julian Assange who indiscriminately dumped all these documents on the Internet without regard for the safety of anyone. We know from statements by Wikileaks volunteers that Assange was urged to redact the names of people who might be at risk for their lives if their names were published, but did not do so. If the leaks had been judicious, the case against Manning would be far weaker.

  • lollypop

    This is just total BS…The duty of a citizen to expose US atrocities far outweighs a military oath…

    • Debbie Bock

      Amen lolly………some think since its the US military its above all laws!

  • Sitandspin

    The author of this article is delusional scum.

  • Tinker307

    As the parent of a soldier who was serving on the same FOB in Iraq as Manning, I find his actions grossly negligent. There was no way for him to know if what he was leaking could of caused the death of his fellow soldiers, for that alone, I consider him a traitor. My daughter thinks he needs to be Court Marshaled and then executed, I agree. I feel for him, being a gay man in this country isn’t always easy, but volunteering for military service sure as hell wasn’t going to make it easier. I can’t just right off his actions, his actions put my daughters life in jeopardy…

  • jbarelli

    It appears that many of the folks commenting (often with insults to the author) either did not read the article, or are simply so closed-minded that nothing other than laudatory comments about Mr. Manning will be tolerated.

    There were some important bits of information that came out of Mr. Manning’s actions. But those seem to be the “silver lining” to this overall dark cloud. There is some question about whether Mr. Manning even knew what they were. What he either did or should have known is that some of that information would put other people at risk.

    But while the author didn’t specifically say it, I will. While Mr. Manning will have to pay the price of his actions, the real perpetrators here are the people who accepted him for enlistment and then cleared him for access to highly classified information.

    John Barelli
    Chief Navy Counselor
    United States Navy

  • Hoganable

    Human rights > Some shitty military ‘structure’ where you can’t question authority.

  • thinkingaloud

    Among the many disturbing elements of this post is the unexamined assumption that the U.S. military represents “our” interests, and that the people they kill are “our” enemies. Nothing could be further from the truth.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1094137639 Philo Van Kempen

    If more military members would break their oath and say ‘no, sir’ when they should, we wouldn’t be fighting these useless, counterproductive wars.

  • Debbie Bock

    Hey twit……..was it okay for gw ahole and dickless cheney to LIE our military into invading innocent people? you are clueless and Manning is a hero and we need to PROSECUTE THE GW BUSH ADMINISTRATION………..the WHOLE ADMINISTRATION….soldiers do not have to OBEY unlawful orders……obviously you haven’t been in or around military!

  • Bob

    Sorry but this is not “a story for another day”

    The real controversy in all of this should be how exactly did such a emotionally unstable individual not only get accepted into the Army, but how did they get deployed to war and gain access to such sensitive classified material?

    This is THE story. Manning was a PRIVATE. No way he ever should have been able to access this information, much less get this information off of a computer and out of the building. Why in the world none of his superiors have been disciplined for this MASSIVE breech is beyond me.

  • NavyVet06_10

    saying: imagine for a moment if the military was acceptable. okay moment over, i would have done nothing less. we slaughter children in a van and you have anything to say? fuck the military and the corporations it stands for. the constitution is subverted due to americans scared of losing their precious savings accounts pushing for fewer rights around the world for everyone but the other wealthy folks like themselves. we should have been there in the first place and yet despite serving, i consider my own actions remorseful and this kind of propaganda, inadvertent or not, is a bigger problem for this world than the heroic actions of manning any way you slice it. wake up slave.

    • NavyVet06_10

      shouldn’t have** and pardon my french. but i am a sailor after all…

  • doodle108

    The author seems to miss the point of the while Manning story here…if you are in the military and you have information of a war crime or corrupt act, are you supposed to follow an order to cover it up? Or should you do something about it?

    Intelligence analysts concluded that Manning’s leaks were not a threat to US personnel, what the leaks did do was uncover a web of deception, lies and abuse by the government?

    Does the author feel the Pentagon Papers should not have been leaked? Manning was smart enough to know the info he was leaking was not putting lives in danger….should he have kept information about war crimes a secret?

  • Pingback: Washington Liberals - For and against Bradley Manning()

  • http://mendaciousbeing.tumblr.com/ typhoeus

    Most of the commentators here should be ashamed. You are not progressives; you are being divided, induced to join the ranks of neoliberalism against real, progressive change-makers like Manning and Julian Assange.

    Obama is a recidivist violator of the Constitution (have you read about his unprecedented cell phone surveillance yet in this week’s headlines?) and you people are supporting him in that by vilifying Manning.

    Allen Clifton decries ad hominem attacks on Manning but his entire article is ad hominem. Is he serious?

    Forward Progressives should eradicate his terrible piece of writing from its website—that is, if Forward Progressives truly is a progressive site. But I’m beginning to doubt the organization’s intentions. . . .

  • Pingback: Forward Progressives — There’s a Big Difference Between the Actions of Bradley Manning and Edward Snowden()

  • KAYB

    It does not have to be all or nothing, which is what those of you calling him a traitor seem unable to comprehend, at least from what I’ve read in following this man’s story. Many of the documents that were leaked by Manning led to some very important, and course altering revelations in this “war”. It was very important for it to happen this way, and he knew he was taking a chance, and generally what the consequences could potentially be. He seemed very unsure of himself in life and in the decision he was making, but anyone would be. I also think that to assert that he should have never even been in the military is absolutely absurd. You realize that peoples’ feelings on things change significantly over time and as they grow and experience life, especially the amount of the life that Manning was exposed to. I was in the Army for 10 years and got out more disillusioned with our military and our government than I was before I got in, and I am far from the only one. I don’t know if you have ever served, Allen, but this is something any person should be capable of discerning. How do you expect for Americans to peel the curtain back on a murky war and an increasingly opaque government? There is never a perfect way to accomplish something like this, however, that is not to say that it should not happen.

    • BobS

      I was in the mil and agree with that part of what you’re saying. However, following Aristotle an honorable person has *both* right intention and practical reasonableness in action. Regardless of your view of his intentions, Manning did not carefully review docs and select those that lifted the rock on US actions overseas. That review process would have put him at risk. I don’t know whether he realized it or not but according to his mil job (MOS) he should have known that handing over wholesale the docs would reveal troop movement patterns and methods. This put his fellow service members at greater risk. He maximized their risk in order to minimize his own. If you think you have an unlawful order you have duty to not obey it as others have pointed out. But that does not mean you carry out an unlawful order of your own that risks lives. You can dissent from it, go to jail and then can speak out against the war. That’s honorable in the eyes of many of your fellow citizens even if not good for your future career. You take a personal risk for a larger purpose. Indeed, if the order is illegal (targeting civilians, for example) you may even get eventual recognition and compensation later from official channels. But your oath does not set you up as judge of the entire war. Indeed when you sign that oath you precisely give up the right to judge the overall order – that’s the president in his role as commander in chief with oversight and declaration of war by the Congress. The latter system is bent if not broken but that fact does not mean that every service member is now judge of each war. Believe me people on the left would not want this because most service members tend to be more Republican (on average) and more likely to disagree with a progressive president than the public at large. And I separate these issues from the issue of how Manning should be punished and how he has been treated with which I might be more in agreement with others here.

      • BobS

        I meant declare an oath above.*

        I want to mention a famous exception to the above when Ridenhour pointed his helicopter gunship on Calley and his troops to stop the horrific murders at My Lai his actions were later commended by authorities even though he was clearly putting his own troops at risk. But he was preventing the carrying out of an unlawful order and that’s how military legal authorities viewed it. Manning actually had no illegal orders that I’m aware but he could have declared himself a conscientious objector based on what he was learning.
        (you can search on Wikipedia for Ronald Ridenhour for more information)
        Most of the people referring to the oath in this comments section conflate several issues. That oath only refers to specific orders that you are given (shoot this person, plant that Claymore, abuse this prisoner to “soften him up”). The larger point of that oath is to declare yourself legally subservient to the policies written by others under the authority of the constitutional process. In joining the military you give up rights and I think that’s clear to most people. But you are not rendered an automaton so you if you are specifically told to do something contrary to military law (which follows international law to a large extent) you do have a duty to disobey.

  • Austin .Doyle

    Total Chumpbait article. This kind of journalism is despicable. Our ‘expert psychologist’ is writing about someone else’s state of mind and motives? Hacks like Clifton reassure the public that they have the right to have
    the results of their own moral decisions kept well hidden from them. His
    kind of propaganda soothes people into believing that Manning was just a
    freak and a weirdo, a one-off kink in the machinery, who hopefully will
    be thrown in the hole forever or at least for a very long time, so that
    we don’t have to hear about any of this awful stuff again. What kind of sick society do we live in when someone with morality is criminalized?

  • BobS

    The author doesn’t even get into the issue that had Assange not been talked out of (by his colleagues some of whom have abandoned him as a megalomaniac subsequently) dumping unedited the details of the files the lives of hundreds of dissidents who risks their lives to meet with US officials would have been put at risk. Manning processed and released the information in the fashion that minimized getting caught which meant he was maximally careless with lives of his fellow service-members and with the fate of other heroic individuals who had a taken a risk in the chance they might better the situation in their own country. We may all agree that the mistreatment of Manning and especially the use of isolation as a method akin to psychological torture is shameful like Guantanamo. But carelessness over the lives of others to whom you have pledged an oath and even to those whose lives were simply entrusted to you be virtue of your position is not heroic. Not even close. I also note the hypocrisy of my fellow travelers on the left for their deafening silence over the far worse treatment of John Walker Lind and one suspects this is because Lind had become a conservative Muslim rejecting the progressive values of his upbringing.

  • Heather

    I am not a liberal per se, registered independent lean pretty far to the left on most issues and I APPLAUD YOU! I am also a military brat (whose father served this country for 28.5 years in the USAF and a soon to be Navy wife). You couldn’t be more accurate!

  • ESRoller

    I’d like to extend my thanks for going against the social grit and offering a thought provoking perspective on something with such a magnetic bandwagon. I clicked this link expecting to be appalled by a fanatical rant full of charged words like “terrorism” and “freedom”, and whatever other kind of slick tactics pundits use these days.

    I have more family members & friends than not, who are currently serving or have served in the military in their lifetimes. I have always been a strong supporter of the GOOD-HEARTED individuals that volunteer to fight a war for the rich, in lieu of the general thought that they may see things they never dreamed they would see, know things they never dreamed they would know, and do things they never dreamed they could do. I’d almost say I am a progressive individual except that it insinuates a bipartisan stance of sorts in which I take no part.

    I think we so easily throw these emotionally charged verbal grenades around as if we have received all the facts in a nice gift wrapped package straight from an almighty and infallible source. Personally, I dont know what a hero is, and I damn sure don’t know what the status quo constitutes as a hero, but I do know that, (and I’m not saying this is the case) someone who acts with integrity (whatever that may be to them) is no hero. Is it really so scarce of people to do what they think is right that when we hear about it we praise them as if they arrived here on a golden chariot pulled by fantastical unicorns? At the same time, I wouldn’t spit on him as a traitor either, or if you must, please think about the people you’ve “voted” into office and entrusted with every fiber of your existence. These people commit more sociopathic, depraved acts of utter sickness and carelessness than we will ever know about. And yet somehow, we spend our time thinking about the personal crises of a transgendered individual’s misguided attempt at social approval. He is neither hero nor traitor, but just another lost soul, emotionally disfigured from years of inner as well as outer torment. Certainly, he is still responsible for his actions, but I’ll never stop expressing the notion that if we all worked as hard on our feelings of compassion, understanding, respect, and at the very least, tolerance…..the difference in this world would be incomprehensible.

    • ESRoller

      ***if we all worked as hard on our feelings of compassion, understanding, respect, and tolerance as we do at excavating and exploiting other people’s differences, faults and shortcomings….the difference in this world would be incomprehensible.***

  • Katherine Weaver

    I’m conflicted on this, I honestly didn’t know who this guy was because I don’t watch television. Until the last couple of weeks everyone has been talking about it, so I googled him, read some of the stuff released and made the mistake of watching the air raid footage. I’m appalled that our military has no class when it comes to killing other human beings (if you watch that footage they act as though they are playing a video game and find amusement in a person suffering and when they run them over in tanks.) I understand these may have been horrible people who did like things, but if you see it from the enemies perspective we were just as evil as they were when we do that. To me that is horrifying to think these people could kill in such a heartless way then be released back into society.

    Although, on the other hand he did release documents during war times that could have given the enemy the advantage. And whereas the way those people behaved was atrocious, they were acting on orders, and he committed treason by stealing government documents. I do side with some of the things he said though about ‘what if he were the bad guy’… if it was so easy for him to do it, who’s to say there isn’t someone else in our army who shouldn’t be. Perhaps the information needs to be a little more guarded, or possibly block the ports of their computers so they can’t have information printed onto CDs?

  • like-mind

    Emotional instability is accurate. He was getting back at the Service he wasn’t cut out for, and his emotionally unstable Ego was tenderly fluffed by Assange about what a brave hero he’d be. Still is a traitor. He could have asked for a transfer, even a demotion, if he didn’t approve of his duties.

  • Photographic_Memory

    Exposing war crimes is ALWAYS a heroic act. You curiously use the neocon argument “in a time of war”, so I guess My Lai should have never been exposed either. Furthermore, even the Pentagon admitted no one was killed (or even put in danger) as a result of the exposure of these war crimes (evidence of which I have reviewed for myself). Then there’s the incredibly unethical treatment of Bradley Manning, which shows how much Obama likes Bush’s tactics. You’ve confused loyalty to the people and the Constituion as being a traitor, simply because it showed the crimes and cover ups of a corrupt administration. Perhaps you’re a fan of Nixon? “When the president does it it’s not illegal.” Manning is a hero for standing up for justice despite the crimes of those around him and the criminals in power. But what would I know of military matters? I’m only an Army vet (combat arms).


    You’ve got to be kidding right? Seriously? You honestly believe Bradley Manning is a traitor? WHO did he betray? Or better yet: WHAT did he betray–The UNITED STATES OF EMPIRE? What about Uncle Sam’s war crimes among other shit? While Manning is rotting in prison you so-called “progressives” on this site are rambling your “patriotic” diatribes mimicking neo-fascists masquerading themselves as “conservatives” (e.g. Dikkk Cheney, Peter KKKKing, blah blah blah…). Why bother calling yourselves “progressives” when y’all agree with them neo-fascists with believing that Manning (and I’m sure by now, along with EDWARD SNOWDEN) being traitors (?) The same bullshit “rationale” was said by Nixon, Kissinger, etc. regarding DANIEL ELLSBERG’s release of the PENTAGON PAPERS. As a Vietnamese-American living here for the last 30 years: I SALUTE MANNING, SNOWDEN, WIKILEAKS, ANONYMOUS, ELLSBERG, ZINN, CHOMSKY, SDS, ETC. Since the Political=Personal, BTW: my sperm-bank father was trained, brainwashed, equipped, etc. by Uncle Sam as a Navy Seal (Underwater Demolition Team/Special Operations Group), recruited by the neo-conservative RICHARD ARMITAGE via the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) in 1962, prior to the land-invasion of South Vietnam by Yankee Imperialist forces in 1963. He was too busy being such a fuckin’ hero obeying his imperialist masters with KILLING HIS OWN PEOPLE, while leaving his entire family at home during the war years. His mother was dying of cancer. Every time he came home, especially being on-the-run from the “communists” post-1975, he’d beat the shit out of us. And it gets mucho better folks: When the National Liberation Front (NLF) caught up to his brother-in-law, they put into him OVER 1000 AK-47 bullets, that at his funeral, it was closed-casket. This fool was one of the most murderous police-chiefs in his province and got what he deserved. But back to my sperm-bank father. This was how brainwashed the fucker was: After my paternal grandmother passed away in early 1981, he took my older brother and I and left VN for good since the end of 1981 LEAVING HIS WIFE AND THREE DAUGHTERS behind to fend for themselves. In retrospect, I’ve always wished he had left me behind, like he intended to do so. He was the “captain” of an entire boat of close to 200 people, who paid him in GOLD. But he chose not to take his entire family with him. My older sister before me (I am the youngest child among the five of us), who used to babysit me, with what little I could remember, committed suicide when she was 17. WITH A CHILD ON THE WAY, she wished her father was around to get “his blessing” to get married and felt ashamed. I believe she was the lucky one among us. Her suicide=His punishment. I did not see my Mom for 18 years and my oldest Sister for 27 years!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Can you imagine any of this shit? Why not? This sperm-bank did his “military duties” right? Sure, by being OBEDIENT to his corporate-imperialist-capitalist-masters killing his own people and for what? Really for what? To “contain communism”? WTF?! Looking back, after all the abuse, violence, war-crimes, and ultimately abandoning his wife and three (helpless) teenage daughters (just like how the DIA/CIA abandoned Viet Fascists like him and nearly all their other puppets elsewhere in the world), lately I’m been wishing that the Viet Communists had put at least 1000 AK-47 bullets into him so that he could Rest-In-Piss (RIP), just like his mentors/heroes such as the other Viet Fascists (Ngo Dinh Diem and Ngo Dinh Nhu). These Vietnamese “traitors” got what they deserved. In fact, the Viet Communists didn’t go far enough. Their whole “reeducation” and “amnesty” for these Viet Fascists were soft-line and counter-revolution in the end. Your Red-White-And-Blue Empire is cracking. IT IS ABOUT TIME. Sooner than later your UNITED SURVEILLANCE STATES OF AMERICA (U$$A) will be RESTING-IN-PISS, just like the Stalinist U$$R Imperium had. I will never forgive or forget what Uncle Sam did to VN. TROOPS HOME NOW!


    The real (international war criminals) here are the imperialist forces, especially the chain-of-command. Do you honestly believe what Manning did via WikiLeaks (somehow) put “our troops” in harm’s way? Really. I have a very simple solution to all of this: BRING ALL THE TROOPS HOME NOW SO THEY’D BE SAFE. But let me guess, with over 700 U.S. military bases and installations worldwide, “our troops” are spreading “democracy” (like country crock) right? WOW. Do you mean like democracy in Saudi Arabia among other places? LOL.

  • Patrick

    You go on for half your article about his sexual orientation which has absolutely nothing to do with what he did..you makes excuses because you can’t comprehend that the men and women (of the military) you see in your life day in day out are actually murderers with a very fucked up moral compass. He didn’t release classified files to feel accepted or because he was angry, he did it because it was the right thing to do. You say he put the lives of individuals who serve under the united states military at risk yet you fail to realise that many of those individuals took and continue to take the lives of innocent civilians in third world countries carelessly while being held at zero accountability. Your government does not care for your “heroes” which serve in the mlitary which was exposed by daniel ellsberg in the “pentagon papers” exposure of 1971 where your government sent soldiers into battle knowing they would not come out. Your government has begun to play “god” deciding who lives and who dies and who is told to keep their mouth shut.

  • Aaron Spalding

    I love the whole whistleblowing garbage. Even Asange admitted that the men in the ‘Collateral Murder video’ were holding weapons. The fact that reporters were killed is not a eardrums. US soldiers were actively taking fire from the area. Had the reporters (whom the pilots did not know) not taken it upon themselves to interview insurgents during an active combat op, they would probably be alive today. They’re deaths ate the fault of their own stupidly. The fact that a family was injured aiding one of them is moot. The pilots acted in their best interest with the knowledge they had at the time. They should be applauded.
    As for Bradley, the kid broke his oath of secrecy. He admitted to it and deserves to pay the appropriate sentence. I don’t believe he wanted to ‘aged the enemy’ but his actions are not condonable at any rate.

  • Army IC Member

    As an active duty NCO in the United States Army and a member of the Intelligence Community, I find PFC Manning’s actions deplorable. To gain access to the facilties where the informaiton was obtained requires a legaly binding nondisclosure agreement to be signed. He broke that agreement and released classifed information to the world.

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  • michap77

    FACTS: Manning is a hero. America has become the new axis of evil. Only those afraid of the sad truth deny this.

    Fix America. Don’t put your heads in the sand for the sake of pride.

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  • angryspittle

    How can anyone who fulfilled his oath that he took when inducted be considered a fucking traitor? He had an obligation to report criminal actions. He is a hell of a lot more honorable than the assholes who sent him there on lies. They are the bastards who belong in jail.

  • angryspittle

    Something is seriously wrong when the ones who expose the crimes go to jail and the criminals responsible for those crimes walk free.

  • Ernest Humperdinck

    He did far more damage than any good, I used to think he did right but it damaged the support for the troops more than influence a change on foreign policy. Snowden was another thing and don’t have much to say about him, but Manning did the most damage for the military and the military is my concern. If he wanted a change he should have been an activist at the grass roots after service. He was ignorant for what he did and now is paying the price