The latest admirable whistleblower: Bradley Manning
Americans had a right to know the ‘true cost of war’
In the Guardian – via Reddit.com – we read that Bradley Manning, awarded several ‘decorations’ by the United States Army, has explained to a military court that he passed information to Wikileaks because he believed the American people had a right to know the “true costs of war”.
At a pre-trial hearing on a Maryland military base he gave an account of his motives; he believed the Afghan and Iraq war logs published by the WikiLeaks website, were “among the more significant documents of our time revealing the true costs of war”.
Manning said he was convinced the documents from embassies around the world would embarrass but not damage the US.
He spoke about his depression about the state of military conflict in which the US was mired
Ed Pilkington reports that Manning continued: “We were obsessed with capturing and killing human targets on lists and ignoring goals and missions. I believed if the public, particularly the American public, could see this it could spark a debate on the military and our foreign policy in general [that] might cause society to reconsider the need to engage in counter-terrorism while ignoring the human situation of the people we engaged with every day.”
Whistleblowing motive: his information ‘could spark a debate on the military and our foreign policy in general’
On Manning’s return to Iraq, he was sickened by the apparent “bloodlust” of a helicopter crew, shown in a video in a secure military database, that recorded an Apache attack in 2007 in which a group of people in Baghdad came under US fire.
In the video he saw a man who had been hit by the US forces, crawling injured through the dust, and heard one of the helicopter crew wishing the man would pick up a weapon so that they could kill him. “For me that was like a child torturing an ant with a magnifying glass.”
The group was later found to have included civilians, children and two Reuters correspondents who died.
Colonel Denise Lind, who has the duty of ensuring that the accused made his guilty plea voluntarily and in full knowledge of its implications, found that Manning made his plea without coercion and in knowledge of its impact, and accepted it.
Uncovering abuse and seriously unethical practices in the public interest, these brave whistleblowers are to be cherished – see one of twelve posts with news of others on this site.
Posted on March 1, 2013, in Conflict of interest, Government, Secret State, Vested interests, Whistleblowers and tagged Afghan and Iraq war logs, Apache helicopter crew, Baghdad, Bloodlust, Bradley Manning, Ed Pilkington, United States Army, Wikileaks. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.