“I believe that if the general public, especially the American public, had access to the information contained within [the leaks] this could spark a domestic debate on the role of the military and our foreign policy in general as well as it related to Iraq and Afghanistan.” - Bradley Manning, February 28, 2013.1
Last week, Pfc. Bradley Manning delivered a historic, personal testimony to his motivation behind leaking diplomatic cables and battlefield data to Wikileaks.
Manning explained that he had become deeply troubled by the reality of our asymmetric warfare in Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as the cover-up of horrific battlefield crimes; he felt similar events could only be prevented by vigorous public debate.
It's perhaps now more clear than ever that Bradley Manning was aiding Americans, not the enemy.
One of the most moving aspect of Manning’s testimony was his explanation as to why he leaked the so-called “Collateral Murder” video, which shows the gunning down of two Reuters journalists and bystanders by apparently bloodthirsty and remorseless American soldiers in a US aircraft.
Manning described being deeply “troubled” by the video, especially the crew’s “lack of concern for human life” and lack of “concern for injured children at the scene.”2 Manning directly stated that he wanted the American public “to know that not all people were targets that needed to be neutralized” but “people living in the pressure cooker environment of asymmetrical warfare.”
Statements like these solidify what many of us had assumed for some time now: Pfc. Bradley Manning is an American hero who wanted to aid the public, not a traitor looking to 'aid the enemy.' That he risked his life to courageously leak this information and provoke a public debate to bring greater transparency to our foreign policy actions makes the insinuation that he ‘aided the enemy’ all the more absurd.
It is now clear that Pfc. Manning leaked these documents at great personal risk for our benefit. The least we can do is continue to support him in any way we can. Thank you for continuing to do so.
Brian SonensteinCampaign Director,Firedoglake.com
Sources:1. Pfc. Bradley E. Manning's Statement for the Providence Inquiry, Alexa O'Brien,AlexaObrien.com, 2/28/2013.1. Bradley Manning Describes ‘Collateral Murder’ Video as ‘War Porn’, Kevin Gosztola, The Dissenter, 2/28/13.
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