Bradley Manning, American Hero


| 7/8/2011 10:23:21 AM


Presidential-medal-of-freedomThis article was originally published at TomDispatch.com 

***

We still don’t know if he did it or not, but if Bradley Manning, the 24-year-old Army private from Oklahoma, actually supplied WikiLeaks with its choicest material -- the Iraq War logs, the Afghan War logs, and the State Department cables -- which startled and riveted the world, then he deserves the Presidential Medal of Freedom instead of a jail cell at Fort Leavenworth.

President Obama recently gave one of those medals to retiring Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, who managed the two bloody, disastrous wars about which the WikiLeaks-released documents revealed so much.  Is he really more deserving than the young private who, after almost ten years of mayhem and catastrophe, gave Americans -- and the world -- a far fuller sense of what our government is actually doing abroad?

Bradley Manning, awaiting a court martial in December, faces the prospect of long years in prison.  He is charged with violating the Espionage Act of 1917.  He has put his sanity and his freedom on the line so that Americans might know what our government has done -- and is still doing -- globally.  He has blown the whistle on criminal violations of American military law.  He has exposed our secretive government’s pathological over-classification of important public documents.



Here are four compelling reasons why, if he did what the government accuses him of doing, he deserves that medal, not jail time.

Lise Hedstrom
8/11/2011 9:57:00 PM

In 1972 the retired Army officer from whose office Dr. Daniel Ellsberg took the Pentagon Papers confirmed that, yes, "the American people had the right to know." That should be true today.


Lise Hedstrom
8/11/2011 9:50:04 PM

In 1972 the retired Army officer from whose office the Pentagon Papers were taken by Dr. Daniel Ellsberg confirmed that the American people "had the right to know." That should be true today.




Pay Now Save $5!

Utne Summer 2016Want to gain a fresh perspective? Read stories that matter? Feel optimistic about the future? It's all here! Utne Reader offers provocative writing from diverse perspectives, insightful analysis of art and media, down-to-earth news and in-depth coverage of eye-opening issues that affect your life.

Save Even More Money By Paying NOW!

Pay now with a credit card and take advantage of our earth-friendly automatic renewal savings plan. You save an additional $5 and get 4 issues of Utne Reader for only $40.00 (USA only).

Or Bill Me Later and pay just $45 for 4 issues of Utne Reader!




Facebook Instagram Twitter