Bradley Manning is a pathetic little 'man,' who is currently facing a military court for releasing secrets - intelligence material - to those who wish harm to Americans and their interests. Really, he is pathetic! I don't care how 'special' his supporters claim him to be - and how ironic that one of his supporters who proudly holds a placard 'I am Bradley Manning' is female - or at least I think she is! Gender confusion, anyone? At the heart of Manning's current defence is the claim that because he is gay, and in the military, he was under enormous pressure, and was distressed, emotionally fragile. Blah blah blah....
Much is being written about Manning, and clear lines are being drawn between those who hail this US Serviceman as a hero, and excuse his behaviour on the grounds he had a crappy childhood, and is gay *gasp*, and those of us who know him for what he is: a traitor, plain and simple, who worked in Intelligence, and decided that he was smart enough to decide what secrets should be shared with the world.
I am no psychologist (although I did crack a few psych text books in my undergrad days) but frankly? I don't CARE if Manning had a less than ideal childhood. It matters not one whit to me that he is gay. I am totally unimpressed that apparently the Military thought he was smart enough to work in Army Intelligence.
Really??? To me, Manning is a stooopid traitor, and deserves to answer - and pay - for his actions. Period.
He IS a traitor, since he deliberately CHOSE to violate his oath to protect America from all 'enemies foreign and domestic.' By his choices, I believe Manning IS a domestic enemy of the USA. He is also an arrogant tool, since he chose what documents he would give over to Assange - another *cough" freedom fighter for truth. By his actions, Manning is saying that he is smarter than his bosses, and that HE is more qualified to say what the world needs to know.
One of the columns out there about Manning is written by War On Terror News, who, as always, addresses Manning's behaviour dispassionately, clinicly. You know, based on the FACTS:
What follows is a historical look at what motivates a person to spy and betray their country. It IS a must read here.
Not everybody watching and writing about Manning is taking his claims of 'poor me' seriously. Susan Katz Keating has this:
Saturday, December 17, 2011
Bradley Manning International "Chew Your Food" Day... I Think...Today is International Bradley Manning Solid Food Vigil Day. Or something. I guess that means no Gerber allowed. No, not that one; this one! Or is it the other way around? In any case.... Be sure to chew your food 20 times for Bradley. And is it me, or... do those orange signs look an awful lot like radioactive warning stickers?
Be sure to go read the comments over there.
One of those comments has this (in part)
Manning disobeyed orders and transmitted secure documents to a foreign national. Being gay is not excuse. Showing the world that war is horrific is not a reason to disobey orders. Manning was over 21 and knew right from wrong...
That right there is all I needed to know from day one, and no matter how his 'handlers' or supporters choose to spin his treason, Bradley Manning is NOT a hero. He IS a traitor who deserves the harshest penalties.
This Ain't Hell also addresses the confusion about Manning's actions. (Hint: One of the lines his defense team, so far, is trying on: "Wasn't him"!!!) Worth a read, and again the comments are enlightening.
Another of the assinine and patently disingenuous defence claims of Manning's indefensible actions is that 'no harm was done and the information might as well be public.' Again, really? Who the hell is Manning to make those decisions? And how can we REALLY know what harm was done by releasing what should have remained secret? Again, Manning's arrogance is mindboggling, and I suspect that the fallout from his choices will reverberate for a long time.
That 'no harm was done' line was reported in the Taipei Times, among many other salivating msm, which I suppose could add some validity to the 'international spy of mystery' that is movies and pop culture. But this is not a movie, and real life actions have real life consequences.
Yes, Manning is getting international exposure, and yes, he has the usual American moonbats calling "Free Bradley Manning."
But in truth, he is a lousy spy, and there is NO mystery at all about Manning: He IS a pathetic traitor, who should never have been given any level of Intelligence clearing (Due diligence, US Army?) He is also a disgrace to all the honourable Military Servicemembers who daily honour their solemn oath to protect America from all 'enemies foreign and domestic.'
Manning consciously chose to act as he did. Nobody else. He is no movie character (although some would say he is a caricature.) He is no super spy, and this betrayal of his country's secrets does not make Manning a movie star - although we can be sure a movie will be made eventually of his *cough* 'heroism. Before that happens, it is time for him to 'man up' and accept the responsibility - and the consequences - of his treasonous behaviour.
Do they still hang traitors in America?
No harm done??? WTF?? We will never know all the harm that has been done.
What a tiny whining little man.
Part 1/2 Bradley Manning is not a traitor; he is an external whistle blower. An external whistle blower is someone that is entrusted with information which they then leak to another organization in an attempt to fix an issue (Davis, 1996, p.5). The release of military documents to the public was necessary to promote change in the American military’s blasé reaction to serious war crimes.
You write “Who the hell is Manning to make those decisions?” Manning is an external whistle-blower. External whistle-blowing is when a person reports serious wrongdoings of the organization they work for, in this case the US Military, to an outside organization, which in this case is WikiLeaks (Open Polytechnic of New Zealand, 2009, pg. 16). Manning is justified in his external whistleblowing as he felt no action would be taken if he reported the information to people above his senior commanding officer. In the army it is unacceptable to break the chain of command and it is likely Manning would have been punished. To this day there has been no action taken to prosecute the perpetrators of the serious war crimes.
Bradley Manning had reason to fear whistle-blowing internally to seniors in the military. An example of a similar case prior to Bradley Manning is John Needham. John Needham was in the army and witnessed very serious war crimes. He reacted to this by writing a letter to the military officials to notify them of the war crimes, including graphic pictures. The army responded with a large report which found “offense of War Crimes did not occur” (Phillips, 2011, December). After not taking part in the criminal activities of his unit he was sent on a secret mission which went bad, when requiring help from his unit he was ignored, luckily another unit answered his calls (Phillips, 2011).
Whistleblowing is a disloyal activity and generally frowned down upon as it results in negativity in the organization which is being put in the spotlight. In this case it was well justified as there was no mutual loyalty between Manning and the US Army. Manning had been lied to before joining the army. The US Army has an image as a place of honour and respect, two things not associated with war crimes and mutilation of civilians. It was necessary for Manning to follow the oath he swore upon enlisting in the US Army, to protect from all enemies foreign and domestic (US Army, 2011), this has been fulfilled by Manning, by blowing the whistle he has attempted to protect his country from domestic threats. The soldiers committing the war crimes would be dangerous in society due to their lack of discipline and sense of justice.
Part 2/2 Manning had three main options for action. His first was to do nothing and stay quiet about what he knew was going on. His second option was to notify a senior member of what he knew was happening. His final option was to leak the information to a media agency, notifying the public and the world of the war crimes. There are three main stakeholders in this situation, the US Military, the public of the world and himself. The options can be analysed using an act utilitarianism approach to find what the best moral option is. The first option would provide happiness to Manning and the US Military as it would result in no punishment for Manning, for the Military it would result in no bad press. The public in Iraq would suffer however as nothing would be done to prevent this injustice. The second option is dependent on what the senior member would have done with the information. If the senior member makes a change because of the information then this results in happiness for Manning. It could possibly result in a negative impact on the US Military’s image from bad press. It would result in less suffering from the public due to penalties being imposed to those found committing war crimes. If this option did not result in bad press it would be the best option. The final option for action would result in happiness for Manning as he would feel he has done his part to rectify the issue. It would also result in suffering for him through being placed in prison and solitary confinement. This option leads to suffering for the military as it results in negative publicity for them. The greatest good comes to the public which are currently suffering from injustice and war crimes; these are the innocent Iraqi people being killed.
Utilitarianism is about the greatest happiest and least suffering, Manning knew that internal whistleblowing would result in little change. He sacrificed his own happiness for the public’s greater good. He should not be facing the charge of treason for doing what he felt would provide the greatest happiness over suffering for the most involved. The option for action he took was the best moral action to take to minimise suffering and maximise happiness. The true harm caused from Manning’s actions came from those committing the war crimes, not Manning; these are the people who require punishment.
Thanks for the lengthy comment/justification on Manning's behavior, Scott. One of my regular readers gave me permission to share with you their response, which I have to say, makes more sense than all of your novella, and in less words, too!
"He stole classified documents and gave them to the enemy. That is treason."
Pretty cut and dried, I'd say. No ands, ifs, or buts....
Thanks for allowing it through, it's for my Business Ethics assignment.
I agree it is treason which is a very serious crime. I still take the stance that he did the right thing although he should not have leaked as much information as he did; just the files about the war crimes would have been sufficient.
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