Bradley Manning // Oh say, can you see freedom, by the dawn’s early light?

Key source: Bradley Manning offers partial guilty plea in WikiLeaks case

This isn’t going to be an in-depth look into the build-up of Bradley Manning’s arrest or conviction. Nor will it be a fact file or record of the information that he has been accused of supplying to WikiLeaks; a record including, but not limited to: approximately 260,000 diplomatic cables, approximately 500,000 Afghanistan and Iraq War logs, and approximately “several” videos. And this post certainly isn’t going to contain “binders full of women”. Too late for that one? Too bad. Let’s take a look at what else is “too late”: justice.

Skimming over newspapers, websites and general conversation, you’ll find that certain questions arise…

– Is Manning guilty of releasing the files to WikiLeaks?

– Is there enough evidence to convict him?

– Is Adrian Lamo a viable source of the information that he provided to the US on Manning?

– Is Manning’s cell of sufficient size and is his prison routine of acceptable quality?

But many seem to have forgotten the fundamental question behind the hot-headed, skew-whiffed, kerfuffle and that question is: should Bradley Edward Manning be convicted at all?! Is he a venomous, selfish, “watch the world burn”, Joker-esque traitor; or is he a self-sacrificing, patriotic, “ready to believe in good”, Batman-esque hero? Should we be comparing him to Judas Iscariot; or to whoever that hero guy in The Bible was? … Javier? Or maybe it was Jalapeño? Nevermind.

When did the Freedom Of Information Act (USA, 1966) – not be confused with the Freedom Of Information Act (UK, 2000); because, as we all know, freedom is heavily dependent on geographical location – become the Freedom Of Information That Has Been Approved By A Select Committee Of Politicians And Lawyers Operating Under (hail Satan and purchase more washing up liquid) A Strict Regulatory Gateway Of Federal And State Law Act (USA, 666)? The original act was set up to allow access to documents that are under government control; the ‘minor’ hitch being that the government still has explicit control over which documents they wish to withhold.

This can easily be compared to a sleazy teenage girl (the US government) and her private diary (the soon-to-be leaked information). Let’s say her best friend (Bradley Manning) is reading through her diary – which said teenage girl has allowed them to do – and begins to discover a series of events where she has cheated (committed war crimes) on her long term boyfriend (the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan). Now, I’m not saying that cheating is remotely comparable to committing war crimes – even on a metaphorical level – but I’m just trying to keep things somewhat “PG”; how about I say “sadomasochism” and we just leave it there? Her best friend then goes to tell a friend of a friend (WikiLeaks) who then spreads the news to the rest of the world.

Do we follow so far? Good. Now have a good ol’ think with that brainbox of yours. Who is really at fault?

The friend of a friend?

The best friend?

Or the teenage girl herself?

… I’ll leave you to make your own decision on that one. All I have to say on the matter is that exposing a crime is not a crime in itself.

How might these decisions or predicaments be avoided in a resource based economy; you may ask? If we cut things down to the basics, the fundamentals, the bricks that built the house, you’ll find that this all falls under the umbrella of freedom, information and privacy. Of course, individuals – and even countries – have the right to their own privacy but Bradley Manning did not breach his country’s right to privacy. He had already been provided with access to the information and it just so happened that he stumbled across the alarming evidence of war crime.

Should Bradley Edward Manning be convicted at all? What’re your thoughts?


These views are solely my own and are NOT officially affiliated with the stances or views of TZM UK or TZM in its entirety.

– – Kavanhugh – –

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