There’s Nothing Wrong with Exposing War Crimes—Free Bradley Manning

August 25, 2013 | Revolution Newspaper |


On August 14, Bradley Manning stood to make a statement before the military court where he has been on trial since early June. About two weeks earlier, Manning had been convicted on six espionage charges for supposedly “spying” on the U.S., in collusion with WikiLeaks, a media outlet. He was also convicted on lesser charges of computer fraud and theft.

The files he released to WikiLeaks contained damning, irrefutable evidence of U.S. atrocities, cover-ups, and deceit—in short, war crimes. Among the covered up crimes revealed by Manning are: the Collateral Murder video that depicts U.S. soldiers in helicopters gunning down and killing Iraqi civilians, and laughing about it; the fact that Barack Obama authorized a secret drone bombing campaign in Yemen; the fact that Egyptian torturers received their training in the U.S.

But it was Bradley Manning who was put on a high-profile trial—not for committing war crimes, but for exposing them.

Manning made a short statement on August 14, in which he said he is “sorry that my actions hurt people. I’m sorry that they hurt the United States. I am sorry for the unintended consequences of my actions. When I made these decisions I believed I was going to help people, not hurt people. The last few years have been a learning experience.” He also said that he “should have worked more aggressively inside the system,” and questioned “how on earth could I, a junior analyst, possibly believe I could change the world for the better over the decisions of those with the proper authority?”

Bradley Manning did nothing wrong, and was wrong to apologize. He did, in fact, help people, and the only people “hurt” were those committing, ordering, and covering up war crimes. He did know more than those with the “proper authority” who were ordering and covering up war crimes.

In an online chat before he faced any criminal charges, Manning asked his correspondent these questions: “If you had free reign over classified networks for long periods of time... say, 8-9 months... and you saw incredible things, awful things... things that belonged in the public domain, and not on some server stored in a dark room in Washington DC... what would you do?... or Guantánamo, Bagram, Bucca, Taji, VBC for that matter... things that would have an impact on 6.7 billion people... say... a database of half a million events during the Iraq war... from 2004 to 2009... with reports, date time groups, lat-lon [latitude-longitude] locations, casualty figures... ? or 260,000 state department cables from embassies and consulates all over the world, explaining how the first world exploits the third, in detail, from an internal perspective?”

And, we might add, if you were at the conference where the Nazis made their plans to exterminate the Jews and had a chance to leak what happened there to media sources who would tell the world what was going on, wouldn’t that be the RIGHT thing to do?

For the vengeful, vindictive advocates of this criminal system of capitalism-imperialism and its death-machine military, mere admission of “guilt” by Manning isn’t enough. They imprisoned, tortured, and threatened him until he threw himself on the mercy of the court and apologized. But this system and its courts have no mercy.

Bradley Manning did nothing wrong. He’s been unjustly imprisoned for over three years—including ten months of torture in the form of solitary confinement. He should be set free now.

Sentencing of Bradley Manning is expected to take place Wednesday August 21 or Thursday August 22, with short notice. Supporters are planning to gather in public places on the evening of sentencing, to demand his immediate release. Info at and

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