I’ve exposed perhaps too much of what makes me weepy in these pages; here’s more. It turns out PFC Bradley Manning, the 22-year-old intel analyst who risked his life to expose the banally recorded daily atrocities committed in service to the imperial project, is simply a good guy. He’s not a fame-seeker, unlike the slimy self-promoting pig who outed him, or on the side of The Terrorists. He simply wanted to do what he thought was right. I’m convinced of this now — as I read endless reams of coverage, I keep coming back to the human dimension of Bradley. He’s 22.
â€œEverywhere thereâ€™s a U.S. post, thereâ€™s a diplomatic scandal that will be revealed,â€ Manning wrote of the cables. â€œItâ€™s open diplomacy. Worldwide anarchy in CSV format.”
He’s also a bit of an excited badass. Is that wrong?
You can read a better and longer analysis of the virtues of Bradley Manning in recent and forthcoming pieces by the tireless Arthur Silber. But if you don’t have time to read it through, you can get to the distilled essence of it here: a courageous, rash, intelligent, disillusioned, young man has risked his life to expose what he, and most of us who read this website, consider the world’s worst evils. If that doesn’t make him a hero deserving of your help, or at least your vocal sympathies, what would? As we continue sifting through this data — and there is MUCH more to come — how important will this man have been to the cause of peace, looking back from the future? Scott Horton summed it up in a recent interview with Mike Gogulski, the creator of the website championing Bradley’s legal defense:
“This ought to be the Dan Ellsberg moment — the part where people finally decide that they’re over it and they no longer support this, and they want and end to it sooner, not later.”
Open your wallet for Bradley. I’m sending him $100. You can also change your various profile photos to this “Google Bradley Manning” image — I have just changed mine. The London Times might be wringing its hands over the alleged outing of Afghan “informants” (likely mostly bribed tribal elders) as the “human cost” of the leaks — never mind the wars themselves, I guess — but Bradley tried to strike a blow for all humans.
Of course, we aren’t sure if Bradley leaked these particular documents, but it seems likely he did in light of his admissions and his access to US military records. If it later turns out he did not, his case will still be important for future whistleblowers. If there’s anyone who hates when their authority is challenged, it’s the authorities, and the brave people who defy them need all the help they can get.