Bradley Manning: An American Hero - by Stephen Lendman
Manning, of course, is the courageous Army intelligence analyst turned whistleblower, who admitted leaking:
-- "260,000 classified United States diplomatic cables and video of a (US) airstrike in Afghanistan that killed 97 civilians last year," and
-- an "explosive (39 minute) video of an American helicopter attack in Baghdad that left 12 people dead, including two employees of the Reuters news agency" - "collateral murder" he felt obligated to expose.
It got him in trouble. On June 7, the military in Iraq arrested him, saying:
"The Department of Defense takes the management of classified information very seriously because it affects our national security, the lives of our soldiers, and our operations abroad."
Defense Secretary Robert Gates called the leak "potentially dramatic and grievously harmful....The battlefield consequences of the release of these documents are potentially severe and dangerous for our troops, our allies and Afghan partners, and may well damage our relationships and reputation in that part of the world. Intelligence sources and methods, as well as military tactics, techniques and procedures, will become known to our adversaries."
Unmentioned was the following:
-- our attack, invasion and occupation are illegal under US and international law;
-- war crimes, including murder, torture, and targeted assassinations happen daily;
-- civilian men, women, and children are willfully targeted;
-- since October 2001, millions of Afghans have been killed, injured or displaced, their country perhaps the most hellish anyway, devastated by decades of war, deep poverty, depravation, and unimaginable human suffering, mostly caused by America;
-- the same holds for Iraq, Pakistan, and nations where Washington wages proxy wars; and
-- our presence and imperial aims cause harm, not Manning or WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, exposing truths the public has a right and need to know.
They deserve praise, not prosecutions, compliments, not condemnation, and accolades, not accusations. They're heros, risking personal harm to disclose disturbing truths, what government and media reports suppress, sanitize and distort, letting warlords plunder lawlessly so war profiteers can cash in, Americans the worse off for it.
In his August 4 Anti-Empire Report (http://www.killinghope.org), author William Blum asked: