Bradley Manning is the real patriot

Posted on April 26, 2012

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Bradley Manning is the real patriot 
Michael Hainline – Guest Post

The second round of hearings of Bradley Manning – the accused whistleblower and leaker of military
Rally in support of Bradley Manning on August ...
files –  is currently in progress, and the status quo of the Government machine is showing. When Manning decided to take military files, which documented abuses by the United States Military and misconduct of forces aligned with the United States, he was instantly targeted as the worst kind of scum out there. He was what the historical record would like to characterize as a “Benedict Arnold”. The U.S. Government and the U.S. Military will point out that when Pvt. Manning took the oath upon entering the U.S. Army, that he swore an oath to both the United States and the President of this country. And by releasing these files, he broke that oath in a treasonous manner and undermined this country. Did it undermine this country? I think without a doubt that the release of the files definitely undermined the United States of America, but not in the way that they want to portray it. It showed us in a negative light, a light that proved without a shadow of a doubt that we, time and time again, put ourselves on a pedestal above the rest of the world. You can give your rationale that we have to fight anyway we can against “terrorism”, but we can’t go on pretending that we are upholding the virtues that were agreed to when we signed the Geneva Conventions, signed in 1949. We covered up war crimes that were committed to “protect” our soldiers; but it wasn’t really to protect the soldiers, was it? It was more covering the asses of those who gave those soldiers the commands and placed the soldiers in harm’s way.

When it is all said and done, I have no illusions on Pvt. Manning’s fate. He will be lucky to see the light of day again after the trial is over, and his name will slowly fade away except for a few who echo it to the world. Could Pvt. Manning have done things differently? Couldn’t he have just reported the misdeeds to his superiors? If you listen to Washington Insiders and those who try to guard the Republic from any harm, they will say that Pvt. Manning intentionally leak the information knowing that the enemy would see it. What they can’t explain is why it would matter if the “terrorist” saw said videos or documents detailing misconduct. They were fighting us before then and would fight us whether this information was released or not. What is more at stake is that the world finally started to see that the “Knight in Shining Armor”, aka the USA, wasn’t as good and truthful as they want to portray themselves. And when the so-called Leader of the Free World is sitting there with egg on his face, you know someone is going to have to pay. So to save face, you have to show the people of your nation that what Pvt. Manning did threatens their lives, and that he aided the enemy in making Americans easier targets. What they don’t want to face up to is that if you don’t cover up the truth, and you don’t do illegal activities in the first place, you don’t have to worry about things like this happening.

To me (and yes, this is just a 37 year old American who writes commentary for a blog, tweets, and likes to podcast once in a while) Bradley Manning is the true definition of a patriot. What Manning did took more guts than most people would ever have. He decided what he saw and was privy to had to be exposed, not to aid terrorists in trying to kill Americans. It was about trying to prevent these atrocities from occurring further. Could he have turned the information over to his superiors? He could have. But judging by how many times the military and US Government has covered up and misrepresented things in the past (Pat Tillman death, for starters), why would anyone trust them to do the right thing? If America wants to regain their standing in the rest of the world, it needs to stop hiding its own activities and then scolding others for things they may or may not being doing. If this was someone in Iran who leaked information of misdeeds by the Iranian government, that man would be celebrated by the United States. And if that same person was convicted and tried in Iran of treason and sentenced to death, the outrage would be deafening. Things are always different depending on where that person lives or is associated with.

I say this. Give me a man who believes in the principles of truth over a man who believes in the principles of a nation who rely on deception.

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