Private First Class Bradley Manning, the man who made a decision to risk his career, his future, and his life to shed a light on immoral and unethical actions done by our government, in our names, using our tax dollars was found guilty today.
Bradley Manning exposed the murder of innocent civilians at the hands of U.S. soldiers, the unlawful detention and intimidation of foreign journalists, Guantanamo Bay files revealing despicable and inhumane treatment of detainees (many of them innocent), the Diplomatic cables (which I am still combing through, where revelations like Shell Corporation has used corporate capture to implement themselves within foreign governments, in order to facilitate a favorable regulatory climate for their oil extraction business), among a bevy of other revelations that have made a lasting impact here and abroad.
I view Bradley Manning as a hero, a brave American who has witnessed what many others have witnessed, but unlike all those other people, Manning didn't turn a blind-eye to it, he risked his future and sanity to expose it.
Our government was especially tough on Private Manning, detaining him in long bouts of solitary confinement, sometimes in the stark nude, pushing Bradley Manning to the point of insanity according to the few people who our government allowed to see him during his lengthy detention.
The government's case against Manning, something the mainstream media I'm sure were told to stay away from, barely received any coverage. Manning's statement read before the court, almost went unnoticed if not for the brave journalism of independent reporters; an opening statement by the way that was a sound, detailed and sane reasoning for why Manning gave the leaks to the press in the first place. That statement read in court should have sparked a national conversation about where as a country we have fallen, and why we are acting in such an unethical, inhumane, and sometimes criminal way.
I knew all along Private Manning would be found guilty, I think he did also, making his actions even that more admirable. Perhaps if nothing else the announcement of his guilt will reopen the case to the public, give them another chance to view the video files of murder, to read the numerous reports of military and corporate misconduct and plunder, and read Manning's opening court statement. It's really ironic that the man who exposed the war crimes is being hauled off to prison by those responsible for committing the crimes he exposed ' I guess that's just a sign of the times.
Hopefully for Bradley Manning, he will be able to appeal, and get his sentence reduced, and hopefully will be able to once again join his fellow Americans out in public, so we can thank him for not letting us be unknowing accessories to war crimes committed in our names with our resources.