"Heroism is a slippery and ambiguous concept. But whatever it means, it is embodied by Bradley Manning and the acts which he unflinchingly acknowledged today he chose to undertake. The combination of extreme government secrecy, a supine media (see the prior two columns), and a disgracefully subservient judiciary means that the only way we really learn about what our government does is when the Daniel Ellsbergs - and Bradley Mannings - of the world risk their own personal interest and liberty to alert us. Daniel Ellberg is now widely viewed as heroic and noble, and Bradley Manning (as Ellsberg himself has repeatedly said) merits that praise and gratitude every bit as much."
@1 year ago with 22 notes
#glenn greenwald #bradley manning
Pfc. B. Manning's personal statement to court martial: full text
@1 year ago with 129 notes
I believe that if the general public, especially the American public, had access to the information … this could spark a domestic debate on the role of the military and our foreign policy in general as [missed word] as it related to Iraq and Afghanistan.
I also believed the detailed analysis of the data over a long period of time by different sectors of society might cause society to reevaluate the need or even the desire to even to engage in counterterrorism and counterinsurgency operations that ignore the complex dynamics of the people living in the effected environment everyday.
The people in the van were not a threat but merely “good samaritans”. The most alarming aspect of the video to me, however, was the seemly delightful bloodlust they appeared to have. The dehumanized the individuals they were engaging and seemed to not value human life by referring to them as quote “dead bastards” unquote and congratulating each other on the ability to kill in large numbers. At one point in the video there is an individual on the ground attempting to crawl to safety. The individual is seriously wounded. Instead of calling for medical attention to the location, one of the aerial weapons team crew members verbally asks for the wounded person to pick up a weapon so that he can have a reason to engage. For me, this seems similar to a child torturing ants with a magnifying glass.
What a hero.
(Source: descentintotyranny, via bostonreview)
"The clear reality, though, is that those who condemn Manning now and want to see him imprisoned for decades are the direct heirs of those who, in the early 1970s, wanted to see Dan Ellsberg imprisoned for life. Those who now condemn both Ellsberg and Manning — like those who support the executive power abuses and secrecy of both the Bush and Obama administrations — are authoritarians to be sure, but at least they’re sincere and consistent in their views; it’s those who support one but condemn the other who are incoherent at best. As Ellsberg himself makes clear, everything that is being said now to condemn Manning — everything – was widely said about Ellsberg at the time of his leak. Back then, Ellsberg was repeatedly accused of being a traitor, of violating his oath, of endangering America’s national security, of aiding its enemies, of taking the law into his own hands; he was smeared and had his sanity continuously called into question. Had it not been for the Nixon administration’s overzealous attempts to destroy him by breaking into the office of his psychiatrist — the primary act that caused the charges against Ellsberg to be dismissed on the grounds of government misconduct — there is a real possibility that Ellsberg would still be in a federal prison today. He’s viewed as a hero now only because the passage of time has proven the nobility of his act: it’s much easier to defend those who challenge and subvert political power retrospectively than it is to do so at the time."
@2 years ago with 37 notes
#glenn greenwald #bradley manning #wikileaks #daniel ellsberg
Iraq War veteran on Manning, the media and the military
@2 years ago with 143 notes
#bradley manning #wikileaks
Serving with my unit 2nd battalion 16th infantry in New Baghdad Iraq, I vividly remember the moment in 2007, when our Battalion Commander walked into the room and announced our new rules of engagement:
“Listen up, new battalion SOP (standing operating procedure) from now on: Anytime your convoy gets hit by an IED, I want 360 degree rotational fire. You kill every [expletive] in the street!”
We weren’t trained extensively to recognize an unlawful order, or how to report one. But many of us could not believe what we had just been told to do. Those of us who knew it was morally wrong struggled to figure out a way to avoid shooting innocent civilians, while also dodging repercussions from the non-commissioned officers who enforced the policy. In such situations, we determined to fire our weapons, but into rooftops or abandoned vehicles, giving the impression that we were following procedure.
On April 5, 2010 American citizens and people around the world got a taste of the fruits of this standing operating procedure when WikiLeaks released the now-famous Collateral Murder video. This video showed the horrific and wholly unnecessary killing of unarmed Iraqi civilians and Reuters journalists.
I was part of the unit that was responsible for this atrocity. In the video, I can be seen attempting to carry wounded children to safety in the aftermath.
The video released by WikiLeaks belongs in the public record. Covering up this incident is a matter deserving of criminal inquiry. Whoever revealed it is an American hero in my book.
(Source: azspot, via soupsoup)
"In sum, the full chat logs — in particular the parts Wired concealed for over a year — prove that Adrian Lamo is a serial liar whose claims are inherently unreliable. But Wired’s selective editing prevented this from being proven — served to shield from critical scrutiny the person the BBC accurately described as Poulsen’s “long-time associate” — and thus enabled Lamo to run around for a full year masquerading as a reliable source, making claims that were fabrications and driving much of the reporting about the Manning and WikiLeaks investigations. Enabling false claims to be disseminated to the public on a vital news story — by withholding plainly relevant information that proves those claims false — is the opposite of the purpose of journalism, as is needlessly withholding key context to the events one is purporting to describe; yet that’s exactly what Wired did here, and continued to do despite growing calls for the release of this information."
@2 years ago with 38 notes
#glenn greenwald #bradley manning #wikileaks