Bradley Manning has been found guilty of all but one of the charges. He is not guilty of aiding an enemy. He is guilty of giving away secrets, not TOP SECRET, classified stuff.
So what did he give away and why did he do it?
He started by releasing video of U.S. Forces shooting Reuters journalists and children. That was shocking! The voice chanel as they waited for permission to shoot was really shocking. Was this what the war in the middle east was all about?
He is to be sentenced and the speculation is that he could get over one hundred years in jail. Many commentators seem to think this is too lenient. He gave away secrets, put American lives at risk, he is a bad guy!
No, that’s not really what this is about. He exposed war crimes! Any material that put lives at risk whould be TOP SECRET and he did not release anything like that. So what’s at risk then?
Bradley Manning exposed the horrors of war to the American people and the world. He exposed official lies and cynicism. He showed politics for what it is, or certainly has become, lies and deception. We pride ourselves in our democratic way of life. In a democracy we have government of the people for the people. The people decide!
How can the people decide when they do not know the truth? Keeping secrets from the enemy is sensible but when the enemy already know the secret who are whe kidding? Bradley Manning’s crime was to expose the lies and deceit perpetrated by the Pentagon and the U.S. Government on the American people ; and the rest of us.
What about his sentence? We shall soon see just how just the U.S. system is when we can compare the sentence Manning gets with the sentences given out to the perpetrators of war crimes like the Mi Lai massacre or the Abu Grade abuses.
Bradley Manning has been judged by the American military. Soon the American military will be judged by the treatment given to a whistle blower. The world awaits the sentence and waits in judgement of politicians and the military establishment in America and we wonder about our own governments? Democracy?