However, I feel that service is more than to your branch, commander, or unit. What is a soldier? Someone willing to sacrifice themselves for a greater, to defend those who can't defend themselves, to bring honor to their service. A US soldier serves the people first, the government second. Manning realized the risk he was placing his life in, and like a true soldier, he didn't let that knowledge deter him. In taking responsibility, he's holding his head high, not cowering behind attorneys and HTTP proxies.
I can't say if he's right or wrong, but I can say that he showed courage befitting his title.
That is not what Bradley Manning did. He did a full dump of information regardless of whether or not the information was related to his cause. That's not a courageous protest: that is playing God with other's lives on the line. In his delusion of Godhood, he literally committed treason.
Sorry for the harshness of this, but it genuinely outrages me that people see heroism in this guy. His behavior is outside even the most liberal interpretations of the concept of non-violent protest or civil disobedience.
> That is not what Bradley Manning did.
Did you even read the article linked?
" Manning said he first tried to take his information to the Washington Post, the New York Times and Politico, before contacting WikiLeaks."
"Manning said he tried to talk to an unnamed Washington Post reporter to interest her in the Iraq and Afghanistan documents, but “I did not believe she took me seriously.” He left voicemails with the public editor and the news-tips lines for the New York Times and heard nothing. A blizzard, he said, kept him from driving to Politico’s office to discuss the documents. According to Manning’s account, only after his attempts to give the documents to mainstream media organizations fail did he consider giving them to WikiLeaks."
Half-heared efforts to contact three media outlets are not cause for dumping intelligence unrelated to this issue you are trying to bring to light.
Instead he sent them to Wikileaks?
That's the same pseudo-argument that keeps coming up again and again. Whose lives did he play with? Please don't answer with some hypothetical "aiding the enemy" crap.
Wasn't it the U.S. military that originally played with lives aka "collateral damage"?
Second, if you search through this entire comment thread you will find links to NYTimes articles about them actual damage caused.
...to a journalist, to vet and release as appropriate. It's not like he just uploaded it to The Pirate Bay or something.
If we believe that, then we should believe that any employee of any startup has an honorable sacrificial duty to leak that startup's code along with a dump of its databases.
I'm just wondering where the line is drawn here.
MAYBE if it was some company making bucket loads of money off of GPL code they were deliberately and knowingly abusing the license!
Likewise breaking the law is not necessarily wrong, and what's legal and what's moral don't always overlap. Consider slavery.
As for the last part, it could be a duty to leak code if your startup is doing something highly immoral. No one's arguing for what you said; it seems like trolling.
You might be reading too much into this (or not). In the context of a plea bargain in the United States, "accepting responsibility" is a keyword. It triggers a significant reduction in your sentence.
Full responsibility, on the surface, means that Manning is taking full responsibility under the law, and is not shying away from the legal consequences of his actions. He knows that according to the laws and the power structure, he's accountable for his actions which threaten said laws and power structure. Those self-interested parties will react in the appropriate way to defend the status quo.
Full responsibility to history means something else entirely.
Full responsibility to history means that Manning doesn't shy away from the responsibility he has in challenging a corrupt power structure, and fighting for the rule of law. He's accepting responsibility for standing up for truth, in spite of the legal consequences. He's accepting full responsibility for being part of something bigger than himself.
What's the corrupt power structure and how did he challenge it?
He intentionally and indiscriminately released thousands of classified documents in direct violation of his duties.
What specific instances of corruption did he uncover that justify what he did?
Look, he was clearly unhappy. From what I've read it sounds like he was lonely, confused, and unstable. But he was given significant responsibilities and he violated that trust in a _very_ serious and criminal way.
If he was unhappy there are many, many other things he could have done than release those files.
What I see is this thread is just a bunch of platitudes. Yeah! he stuck it to the man! But what did he actually achieve? All I see is a fucked up young man making a _huge_ mistake.
And again, something that had no consequences gets a kid to suffer the rest of his life, just to keep military and courts and other "serious people" all of which that could also be seen as criminals of bigger crimes such as inflicting pain for a living (military instead of farmers and abundance, lawyers and judges instead of friendship and disputes in games and drinks). And these military go to war with the mote to spread freedom and democracy, what for ? to arrest kids for life ?
Skeletors of the world... grow up, relax, have a beer and life for the swords to plow shares or tanks to tractors, or drones to aerial seed planters!
I'll be back later, just going to turn on my TV and watch some Fox News. You like that channel too? So informative and they always tell us the truth, who needs Wikileaks when we have unbiased televised news? Maybe we can watch it together sometime, eat some genetically modified corn, polish our military grade automatic guns and sip on fluorinated water, it'll be great.
How about human rights workers and democracy activists in repressive regimes like Iran, who rely on keeping anonymous to avoid jail, torture, and execution? Some of them secretly asked US diplomats for help. Well, secret until Manning released diplomatic cables concerning those requests.
The above people were already in danger--educating girls in Afghanistan, or working underground against Iran is risky business--so we can't say for SURE that any deaths of such people since the leaks were due to information from the leaks, but the odds are pretty damn good that some were.
What specific things in the leaks do you think were important enough to justify endangering and very likely killing innocent people such as those Afghan civilians, or freedom fighters in repressive regimes?
But it's also common sense, right? It is not controversial that the Taliban operate death squads. If you want to say NATO does too, fine, but that doesn't change the implications of the document dump. It does in fact create a list of specific people subject to reprisal killings by a group that is world famous for targeted reprisal killings on a scale even the US Army (in your least charitable interpretation) would have difficulty rivaling.
Still another response to your criticism is that you've set an unreasonably high bar. How many Pashtun residence of Paktia province do you know? I don't know many. How well reported to you think Ghazni province is compared to LA County? You're suggesting that we not take harm seriously until an extremely thin layer of journalists can document that harm carefully. Well, that's never going to happen. 60% of every Pashtun person identified by the document dump could already have been murdered and we wouldn't know.
History suggests that this concern is more than legitimate. How good do you feel the accounting has been for death squads in South America?
Julian Assange is alleged to have sat in a room full of journalists and said "Well, they're informants. So, if they get killed, they've got it coming to them. They deserve it." That seems like an easy claim for some journalist who was at the table to have knocked down. Has that happened, or is it likely that Assange actually said that? The journalist who made that allegation was David Leigh, investigations editor or The Guardian. FRONTLINE ran the claim in their documentary. Do you think FRONTLINE didn't fact-check?
I also remember we were warned they were coming before they actually came.
Although you didn't say that this link contradicts my point (being, there are no reports anyone was hurt), I assume that is why you pasted it. I will point out that it also contains no such reports, and doesn't contradict my point.
> But it's also common sense, right? It is not controversial that the Taliban operate death squads. If you want to say NATO does too, fine, but that doesn't change the implications of the document dump. It does in fact create a list of specific people subject to reprisal killings by a group that is world famous for targeted reprisal killings on a scale even the US Army (in your least charitable interpretation) would have difficulty rivaling.
This is not a discussion about whether the US Army or the Taliban is worse. I'm not really interested in taking a position on that. You're kind of creating a straw man there.
> Still another response to your criticism is that you've set an unreasonably high bar. How many Pashtun residence of Paktia province do you know? I don't know many. How well reported to you think Ghazni province is compared to LA County? You're suggesting that we not take harm seriously until an extremely thin layer of journalists can document that harm carefully. Well, that's never going to happen. 60% of every Pashtun person identified by the document dump could already have been murdered and we wouldn't know.
I feel like although this makes sense, you didn't actually think about what you are suggesting. Yes, I do believe that in order to claim that someone is responsible for people getting hurt, you need some indication that it actually happened. Speculating about what horrible things could have happened is essentially an unbounded thought experiment that has no relevance. We have enough actual problems to worry about, let's not waste resources over hypothetical problems.
Note that I didn't even set a bar - I'm just pointing out that there hasn't even been a whisper of an actual papercut from a friend of a friend. Nothing. Given the propensity of people on both sides to exaggerate in order to further their agendas, the fact that there was nothing reported speaks volumes to me anyway.
Sure, it's common sense that they're going to look for traitors in the documents, but it's within the bounds of reason that one could take the position that they had a high probability of getting out of harms way, relative to the greater good that said person feels would come of releasing the documents. Of course, this is taking a chance, and reasonable people can disagree about whether or not that was acceptable risk. In this case, however, the "for releasing" position would have been correct as far as anybody seems to know.
> Julian Assange is alleged to have sat in a room full of journalists and said "Well, they're informants. So, if they get killed, they've got it coming to them. They deserve it." That seems like an easy claim for some journalist who was at the table to have knocked down. Has that happened, or is it likely that Assange actually said that? The journalist who made that allegation was David Leigh, investigations editor or The Guardian. FRONTLINE ran the claim in their documentary. Do you think FRONTLINE didn't fact-check?
What does a statement made by Julian Assange have to do with this?
I'm saying it's invalid reasoning to continue making serious attacks based on what "might happen", especially when the time during which said incidents would likely occur has now passed, and it never did happen as far as anyone seems to know.
The particular claim that I am addressing charges that his decision potentially caused unacceptable collateral damage. I am not taking a position on whether or not releasing the documents was justified or whether or not Assange is an egomaniac who doesn't shower. If one's position is that he should not have released these, it's bullshit to justify that position with this particular claim.
* The Taliban is likely to kill Afghans with minimal provocation, having done so on innumerable occasions in the past.
* Even if the Taliban had done so hundreds of times directly in response to the Wikileaks dump, it's likely we would never have heard about it.
* The poor harm minimization concern was one expressed by many journalists, including those ideologically close to Wikileaks.
* The leader of Wikileaks has been reported as ambivalent to the concern, which calls into question the diligence with which anything they published was redacted.
These are reasons a reasonable person might evoke harm from the document dump. They are not dispositive of harm having occurred. It would be difficult in any circumstances to dispose of that question one way or the other.
The comparison between the Taliban and the US Army was itchy trigger finger debate tactic stuff from me. Sorry.
Apropos nothing: I really do not like Julian Assange. But I can't think of a way anything he did was criminal (extremely unethical: yes) and I would be offended and upset if he was the target of reprisals from the US Government. Weirdly enough, given how sympathetic Bradley Manning seems to be to people, I have no trouble at all understanding how he could be a criminal. He dropped a gigantic collection of documents he could not possibly have read or likely even understood to an anonymous third party on the Internet. Most of what we know today about Wikileaks (and the basis for most people's opinions about the Manning leak) are based on the result of the leak, and weren't known in January 2010.
It's similar to the way we can conclude that smoking has killed people via lung cancer, even though it is impossible or nearly so to pin any particular lung cancer death on smoking. People get lung cancer who do not smoke and do not spend time with smokers, and so any particular death might be due to one of those instances of lung cancer.
There's also common sense. The Taliban is known to target people who they discover are committing certain acts that they consider to be offenses (which is why US forces were keeping an eye on those people, and thus why those people turned up in US reports). It seems unlikely that they would consider, say, educating girls, to no longer be an offense if they first learn about it through a leaked US report.
The other side can also do thought experiments bounded by "common sense." It's common sense that anyone who was an informant knew that their cover was blown and they got out of harms way ASAP. It's common sense that during the time before the release, when the US Gov was calling up foreign governments to let them know a bad leak was on the way, they also called up their informants.
It's also worth noting that only an extremely small percentage of the content contained identifiable information. Most of it wasn't related to informants at all.
Your claim that the odds are high that some are or will be killed from the leaks would be questionable at the time of release, and now that we have a few years of history, fails even a preponderance of evidence standard of proof. For such a serious claim, I personally feel that it warrants at least that.
Bradley Manning just leaked one instance of human error that caused innocent people to die. Now he will spend much of his life in prison.
No idea why people call this guy a hero. If you read any history of any war, innocent people die because of human error.
Would we really go to war if we knew the true extent of human suffering? Maybe, but visibility to such suffering at least allows people to feel sympathy, instead of simply being ignorant to suffering.
"Sunlight is the best disinfectant" --U.S. Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis
Look a Supreme Court justice agrees with that because I put an out of context quote from him.
You mostly don't read about innocent people dying in war. It's expected and nobody really cares. History books talk about how amazing the Roman or British empires were. When did you ever read anything more than vague lip-service about all the killing of innocent people that involved?
I've heard this said quite a bit but am way too ignorant about it to form a logical opinion or know where to find more information. Basically, what information from the Gov't do we have a right to? All of it? Some of it?
I know there are classified documents that are kinda essential to keeping people safe that would be better left confidential, but they eventually make it out, albeit heavily redacted. Is there some quick-reference (worth a shot..) or a place of reference I could at least start my journey? There's a lot of misinformation out there, especially regarding this case specifically.
How much? As much is needed for everyone to have a rationalised discussion. As I write this I realise that with media outlets such as FOX, that makes it pretty hard.
As Bradley Manning said, most military information has a tactical shelf life of 48-72 hours, after that most information can (and should) be released. Perhaps a more transparent/accountable military would be a harder target for fundamentalists to rally support against, but I wouldn't actually know.
He's making the argument that there exist certain documents that are "better left confidential", and that those documents "eventually make it out". Both statements are highly contestable, and I've offered a fairly extensive source by a Pulitzer prize winner to contradict those points.
His final statement is ironic. We're talking about a man (Manning) who risked his life to uncover information that the government tried to conceal by spreading misinformation. The existence of misinformation about Manning's own story is nothing if not ironic. It's not an insult - to Obama, perhaps, but not OP - and my apologies if anybody took that way. However, taking the time to look me up on Twitter just to call me a 'prick' certainly doesn't offer anything valuable to the discussion and does nothing to keep the level of discourse on HN high.
Finally, I think I agree with others. If you truly believe in your actions, you take responsibility, no matter the consequences. Such is how many in the war of independence saw it. They knew that if the British caught them, they'd likely be tried as traitors. Not saying all revolutions are have 'honorable causes'. Just saying it's honorable to take responsibility for what one does to further one's beliefs, even if the actions are not honorable, depending on view.
Given that I actually serve, let me explain why: He did the INFOSEC equivalent of dropping a nuclear bomb.
Whistleblowing is going, "Hey, I have evidence of War Crime FOO, I should leak this to somebody and blow the whistle". Not, "Oh, look at all this data I have access to, let's just FTP this shiat up to the latest foreign national to hit the news".
In the DoD whistle-blowing is actually a thing, believe it or not. For instance U.S. soldiers committed a horrible atrocity in Iraq involving murder, rape, and arson . The world was alerted to this by an Army soldier (of all things) , Pfc. Justin Watt, who revealed it to a mental health practitioner, who got U.S. Army investigators involved. Notably, Pfc. Watt suspected his chain-of-command would not believe him or would try to cover it up, and yet he still managed to alert investigators without revealing an entire CD-R's worth of classified material.
Pfc. Manning did none of this. He didn't alert U.S. Army CID, the U.S. Army Inspector General (IG), the DoD IG, an American friend back home, a fellow soldier, or even the American media (as the Pentagon papers had been revealed). Edit: Turns out that Pfc. Manning almost managed to inform the media, but ran out of patience (or coffee, or something).
But all of this is assuming that Manning had details of a set of war crimes (1 or many). Even this ends up being more favorable to Manning than reality though. Manning didn't leak "war crimes", he leaked whatever info he could download, without verifying that it was all actually evidence deserving of whistle-blowing. Much of those "evidence of war crimes" were instead the most mundane types of reports (e.g. diplomatic cables describing how Putin and Berlusconi were buddy-buddy, or patrol reports describing how soldiers patrolled a certain area to verify the safety of an Afghan informant). However nice it might be to peek into diplomatic traffic from the outside, it was still classified, it was not evidence of war crimes, and Manning never read it all anyways before he leaked it to a foreign national over an unsecure network.
"But what about all the good stuff he was trying to do?", you might ask. Turns out he even had an ulterior motive to be mad at the Army, he had recently been demoted from Specialist for physically assaulting a fellow soldier. I'll bet Pfc. Manning doesn't even know how much of his exfiltration job was to get back at the Army, and how much was to "blow the whistle". And either way, you don't do horrible things just because it turns out well for a few people (unless you're a Wall St. banker, I suppose).
The saddest part is that prior to 9/11 Manning wouldn't have been able to dream of having access to the information he had access to.
9/11 exposed deep flaws in the U.S. government's ability to handle intelligence agencies amongst the various agencies. It was better for FBI to hoards its intel, CIA to do the same, and etc. all down the line. After 9/11 it was finally realized that this wouldn't work when trying to defend from the kind of terrorism which kills thousands of people at a shot, and so interagency cooperation became the watchword.
The thinking went, if we can trust a soldier enough to die for his country, have his own weapon, and have him analyze the workings of an Islamist group in Iraq, then surely we can trust him if we give him all the intel he needs to do his job, right? Right? I mean really, who's the bigger threat here, Al Qaeda or Pvt. Garcia?
But it only takes one disgruntled soldier to prove otherwise.
It's possible that the value of the release is greater than the harm from irresponsibility.
This is also a common refrain among some of Manning's supporters, but I try to treat people and arguments on their own merits. The enemy of my enemy is not necessarily my friend.
The US military's definition of a civilian not including people standing next to other people who carry weapons in public in Iraq shouldn't have been a revelation to anyone, it's not like they were making a secret of it.
BTW, Daniel Ellsberg, the most famous whistleblower, has given Manning his full support: http://www.bradleymanning.org/activism/sign-daniel-ellsbergs...
>Bradley Manning has worldwide support because the information he released to the public uncovered human rights abuses and corruption, and contributed to peace and democracy. Nobel Laureates like President Obama shouldn't send Nobel Peace Prize Nominees like Bradley Manning to prison for life! After more than 950 days of pre-trial imprisonment by the US military, and multiple instances of outrageous government conduct, it is time to drop the charges and free Bradley Manning!
And that's kind of an important point: Ellsberg helped author the Pentagon Papers and knew full well the import of what he leaked (to an American paper, btw, not Soviet, N. Vietnamese, or neutral party). Despite having a Top Secret clearance Ellsberg didn't leak other classified information that he may have had access to, as it didn't pertain to the lies that the government was feeding the public at the time.
If the possibility of that kind of laser-guided information about where to find enriched nuclear material (for a fission bomb or dirty bomb) doesn't scare you, you're not paying attention.
And that's even assuming that America is the worst thing to happen to the world ever.
Why? It didn't, so this is a non-issue.
Just pretend that they contained evidence of <insert some hypothetical systemic atrocity>, and now that we know, your mother and children are safe.
Do you see why these are not useful thought experiments?
Also, it doesn't matter. No harm, no foul.
The reason we can pretend is that we're acting just like Pfc. Manning did; he didn't know what all he was leaking either.
If I was designing a casualty procedure for a nuclear reactor with unknown conditions I would have to assume worst-case scenario.
If I was designing a Ruby gem to convert arbitrary input into executable code I would have to assume worst-case scenario.
And likewise here, if I'm going to move classified information of unknown contents then I should at least consider worst-case assumptions of what that data might contain.
At least I bother to call it pretending. Manning just assumed it would be either "WAR CRIME" or relatively innocuous and got lucky.
If the vulnerability in your ruby gem was found and fixed before any reports of actual attacks, and no reports of attacks ever came out, we would not claim that you are responsible for some arbitrary number of businesses getting owned.
Would we blame someone for putting arsenic in their spouse's meal if the spouse coincidentally passed up dinner that night?
Would we blame someone who killed a family of 5 by driving drunk on the road even though he or she is way too impaired to think straight?
Whatever else I believe, I believe people are responsible for their own actions. If I mess up and things still don't go screwy it's luck, not a positive reflection on me.
> Would we still blame a company for leaking 6.5 million hashed passwords if the hackers decided for whatever strange reason not to take advantage of it?
I'd blame them for negligence. I would not blame them for the hacks that "strangely" never took place.
> Would we blame someone for putting arsenic in their spouse's meal if the spouse coincidentally passed up dinner that night?
I'd blame them for attempted murder, and this analogy has nothing to do with anything.
> Would we blame someone who killed a family of 5 by driving drunk on the road even though he or she is way too impaired to think straight?
Blame them for killing someone they actually killed? Sure, no brainer.
The analogies are getting ridiculous, as analogies always do, so let's both avoid those.
What I wouldn't do is blame someone for the death of many people when no one actually died. Analogies be damned, this just makes no sense to do.
As one of the (unwilling) funders of the Afghan war, I believe it's in my best interest to have as much truthful information available to me as possible, although of course there are a very few specific things that need to be kept secret, at least for a time. However, as the leaked documents showed, we as funders were being provided a very distorted picture of what was actual happening. As the LA Times said, commenting on the leaks, "no democracy can or should fight a war without the consent of its people, and that consent is only meaningful if it is predicated on real information."
With respect to the harmful effects of what was leaked:
"In October, the Pentagon concluded that the leak "did not disclose any sensitive intelligence sources or methods", and that furthermore 'there has not been a single case of Afghans needing protection or to be moved because of the leak."
Manning's motives may not have been completely pure, but I still strongly believe that he did the right thing.
I'm not on the inside of the Army but I'll say that much of what was leaked (as described by the Guardian, et al) was not that surprising, but that's because I was paying attention to existing public-source news, blogs, etc.
But if Manning managed to only leak material that was already kind of out there, that was only by sheer luck (the first nuclear bomb killed no one after all; it was detonated in the middle of nowhere).
> With respect to the harmful effects of what was leaked
This is what we call "no harm; no foul". It's not something I believe in with regard to classified information (at least when you can't be bothered to actually read through the classified information).
The reasoning is simple: Let's say for example that I tie you down and move to shoot you and realize I'm out of ammo. So I duck out of the hut to get more, and when I return you've been freed by a passing bystander.
No harmful effects came to you, right? So I should just be free to go, right? No harm, no foul, after all.
And I don't see why you see a distinction between what Manning did and what Ellsberg did with the Pentagon Papers. Ellsberg doesn't see much of a difference: http://articles.cnn.com/2011-03-19/us/wikileaks.ellsberg.man...
For Ellsberg I'll just paste my comment from below:
My opinion is that Daniel Ellsberg supports Manning for the simple reason that it aids his own activism, even if the facts are not 1:1 the same as his case was.
If I see a company engaging in illegal/unethical activity, by your logic I can only go elsewhere after I try to resolve it with them. However what trust do I have that my complaint will be handled well? Moreover if they are in a position of authority over me my only guarantee of protection is a weakly enforced whistle blower law that can be disregarded in cases of national security.
Also, what is your test for acceptable outlet? The NYT is okay but a media outlet without the history of the Grey Lady is not? And Ellsberg gets a pass because he was selective in what he passed on? Honestly if Ellsberg knew about atrocities NOT associated with Vietnam then he should have opened up about those as well.
Among the many other elements that go into signing away a few years of your life on a DD-2, is that you do in fact swear or affirm that you will use official channels where available, especially in the context of divulging information relative to the security of the 300+ million other citizens you've sworn to defend.
He didn't even bother to try, and this was only some scant years after Pfc. Justin Watt proved it could be done.
Please don't compare your Initech Employee Handbook to life and death conflict as if they're exactly equivalent.
One could take the position that his stated intentions were lies and that he was actually acting consistent with the second stage (self-interest). But all we can do there is speculate unproductively.
In any case, law seems like a silly standard to base a moral argument on, and there is no shortage of obviously dumb laws, in addition to outright malicious laws.
Where does "I will keep the promises I make to other people" fall into there?
I guess that's right. Maybe the more salient point is that obviously official channels would not want to send such a huge volume of documents to journalists, so it would have been a useless exercise to try to go through official channels. Worse than useless, actually, as after that he would never have had the opportunity to leak the material again.
even if the facts are not 1:1 the same as his case was.
No two things are 1:1 outside of mathematics. For instance, Ellsberg leaked material classified as "top secret" while Manning didn't leak such sensitive material. But overall, these things are pretty close, though. Manning knew full well the import of what he leaked as well: a lot of import. Neither Manning nor Ellsberg knew every detail in what they leaked, as the volume was tremendous.
to an American paper, btw, not Soviet, N. Vietnamese, or neutral party
Not sure why it matters if you leak it to an American journalist or an Australian journalist or whatever. What if he leaked to a French national working for the NY Times, or an American living abroad? Would that change things?
Why not? As long as he isn't saying that he did try the channels and they didn't work, that doesn't invalidate the observation that they don't tend to work (or whatever).
That's not true. You have anecdote and GP has speculation.
However, the DOD IG, MNF-I HQ, or congress could have wielded effective oversight.
Actually, he did alert the American media. Specifically, the New York Times and the Washington Post.
He talked in vague terms to a WaPo reporter.
He canceled leaking the helicopter video to Politico because of weather.
He "left a voicemail" with the public editor of the New York Times saying that he had something very important. How many of /those/ calls do they get in a day?
But let's say you're right, and we'll call "trying a wee little bit to alert the American media" good. That was #6 on my list (I didn't even count "inform your shrink", btw). What happened to #1-#5?
And why did he leak classified material that he didn't read, that was not evidence of war crimes?
If you're just going to chisel on a single point of my wall of text then by all means go for it. In the meantime I'll see if I can edit to include how he almost managed to work up the cojones to drop the bombshell at an American newspaper but couldn't muster enough motivation, because I certainly don't want to be even slighty non-factual on HN.
I also find the duration and character of his pre trial detention to be unconscionable. I believe it is reasonable to suspect him of crimes which, if guilty, would warrant decades or life in prison.
Yet, it may be that he should be released to punish the government for his detention and prevent them from doing the same in the future.
If you aren't a Wall Street banker or have deep knowledge in that area, why even comment on it?
However there is also a bias in tone of your post. Reminds me of those I have heard before regarding whistle-blower Police officers. Fellow officers are highly motivated to dig up any dirt and paint a picture that the person is nuts and didn't belong, or had a vendetta, etc, etc. Rather than the scenario where an honest person decided they had enough.
Each case is different of course, so pardon the bluntness, but your post is exactly what I'd like to hear if I were a fellow soldier.
I just feel sorry for the many other M. Pynes in Australia with my name. I jumped on the right GMail address and all the other ones have had to go without (though it doesn't stop their friends/associates from occasionally sending me mail meant for them).
I have no sympathy for the officials who armed Manning and the rest of the military with the infosec equivalent of a nuclear bomb. Why did they have that info if it was so potentially dangerous? Privates in the military were given ALL of that data? Really?
Manning may be guilty, but the negligence goes all the way up.
The reason was 9/11. Did they go overboard? Hell yeah they did, but that's how the military seems to operate (possibly the gov't too, who knows). It's always penduluming from one extreme to the next, they can never simply do the exact right thing.
If only more people were like him. Hell, how many people do you hear about, who, when charged with a crime put their hand up and say "Yes, I did it". Not many, even for simple things like traffic violations.