[Reading 05] Bradley Manning: Drastically Out of Touch with Reality

It is quite sad really…when you see someone who has so much potential in life, yet makes their own lives miserable without even knowing it by believing in the lies of the world. This was really the core reason Bradley Manning did what he did. He believed that everyone has to accept the way you live just because you say so. That everyone has their own truth, and if you don’t accept it, then you are evil. That it’s okay to act completely on your own passions, as opposed to logic in touch with reality. This is evident in Bradley Manning’s Army of One where Manning says himself that he had no end game when deciding to release the thousands of confidential files he did.

“What is your endgame?” Lamo asked Manning.

Manning didn’t have one. He’d started leaking as a way to protest the conduct of the war. The Apache helicopter killings were “wrong,” he wrote to Lamo. But soon he embraced a broader principle: Open the drawers. “information should be free,” he told Lamo, reciting the hacker mantra. According to the chat logs, Manning said he leaked Iraq and Afghan war logs, reports on Guantánamo prisoners, and a cache of diplomatic secrets.

“What is your endgame?” Lamo asked Manning.

Manning didn’t have one.

The fact that he just released the documents in a seemingly arbitrary manner show that this was not a noble cause. Sure, he wanted to protest the conduct of the war, but to what end? I agree that the US was doing many things that were drastically unacceptable, and they needed to be exposed. He was somewhat correct in his gut feeling that he needed to expose that aspect of the military misconduct. But what he did beyond that was truly betraying the United States of America. His misdeed was stated very eloquently during one of the hearings:

“There may not be a soldier in the history of the Army who displayed such an extreme disregard” for his mission, the prosecutor, Capt. Joe Morrow, said in court on Monday, August 19, 2013. Manning “felt he alone was knowledgeable and intelligent enough to determine what information was to be classified.”

For Manning to expose massive evident wrongdoing is one thing, but for him to choose to release massive amounts of other diplomatic secrets on how the US does its intelligence gathering or dealings in the war probably cost lives. Our enemies now knew exactly what to look for and how to avoid it. There is no telling how much of this information the enemies have exploited in opposition to the US and its soldiers. He drastically betrayed his duty to the nation. There is a reason for different levels of security and for secrets to be kept. This is how our nation remains safe. In no way was Manning doing his duty to the national wellbeing.

Because of this massive miscalculation of his releases, he should not be protected as a whistleblowerwer. Bradley Manning is a traitor. While exposing some important abuses that can never be tolerated, he recklessly put many more lives at risk with his arbitrary releases. He should be in prison for life.