|~ Bradley Manning ~|
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News is again active with reports on the latest turn in the Bradley Manning case. If you've missed the story, Manning is the U.S. Army soldier arrested and accused of releasing classified material to WikiLeaks. Reuters reports that the case is the largest leak of government secrets in the history of the United States. To the surprise of many, Manning has just plead guilty to charges that he "misused classified information." However, in a slight twist to the story, he denied the top charge of "aiding the enemy" (the Iraqi "insurgents"). Manning, who has been jailed for nearly 3 years now, was able to testify:
I believe that if the general public ... had access to the information ... this could spark a domestic debate as to the role of the military and foreign policy in general... I felt I accomplished something that would allow me to have a clear conscience... This was the type of information...[that] should become public.
The need to have a public re-evaluation of the role of war in U.S. foreign policy is long passed (the War in Iraq started in 2003, and we've been at war for the 10+ years since). A look through the many documents on WikiLeaks helps explain why the U.S. army and government want to see Manning imprisoned for life. The counter-argument is that citizens have the right to know of the actions taken in their name by their own government.
If you're unconvinced, take the time to watch this 30 minute documentary, Subconscious War, which was created with some of the more disturbing footage that Manning released.