This is a transcript that journalist Alexa O'Brien made in court of his verbal statement, because the court hasn't released a written statement. And, I'm going to add her to my blog roll. Looks like she covers whistleblowers. Boy that blogroll is getting long.
My opinion on Manning is thus: On one hand he was entrusted with secret data and broke that trust. If he was my frienemy, and stole and published my diary I would be most upset. Especially if I had written something embarrassing. And if he did the crime, he should be willing to do the time.
On the other hand, the US is bullying other nations and perpetrating war crimes. So they were asking for it, in a way. It was like leaking Al Capone's diary. And I am actually glad that this information came to light. Maybe it will force the US to behave. Although I doubt it. They'll probably form a committee and forget it, if they do anything at all.
Also, I must say that Manning strikes me as a very bright man, and that in a more just and fair world he would be considered a wonderful asset. If our leaders had any sense at all of commitment to the values that formed this country in the first place, even if the law dictated that they punish Manning, they should either commute his sentence or make it as short as possible, enact reforms and then put his talent to use ferreting out corruption. I think he would not have gone public if they had shown any reponsiveness to his concerns.
But it is not a just and fair world.
The essence of it is this: people are brought up with these ideals of the US being a free country, leader of the free world, successful, transparent, honorable and all that. The reality is it's not that way. Our leaders have been lying to us and bullying other nations, and we are not successful, as our dollar is propped up with the narco trade, and our banks with Ponzi schemes. The dollar itself is a Ponzi scheme. And we are NOT free, because of all the surveillance, the billions of bullets and bulletproof road check booths recently purchased by DHS, the TSA and their antics, etc. While this skullduggery probably has been going on for longer than we've noticed, I do think it's getting exponentially worse. And certainly the ability to detect it has increased as well, or maybe it's just the motivation level of the whistleblowers, as it gets more and more outrageous.