Would You Have Chelsea Manning’s Courage When Called?

Chelsea is free!

With more than a little irony, while I was in Iraq working for the State Department, Chelsea Manning’s office was across the hall from mine. While I was winning the war by writing emails to the embassy, Manning was across the hall capturing the texts of hundreds of thousands of State Department cables, famously released by Wikileaks, showing that was could never be won.

My war in Iraq ended in near-complete failure. What Manning did will have an impact far beyond that terrible struggle. In this video, I ask the question of why I didn’t do what Manning did, and challenge the audience: when faced with history, would you have the courage to do what Manning did?

I didn’t.

Skip ahead to about 2:30

Peter Van Buren blew the whistle on State Department waste and mismanagement during Iraqi reconstruction in his first book, We Meant Well: How I Helped Lose the Battle for the Hearts and Minds of the Iraqi People. His latest book is Ghosts of Tom Joad: A Story of the #99 Percent. Reprinted from the his blog with permission.

  • Matthew Newgarden

    Poor Bowe Bergdahl had he come out as gay, or better yet like Manning as transgendered Obama might have pardoned him also.

    • Obama waited until Manning had spent years in custody before pardoning her. Bergdahl has been free since returning from Afghanistan and isn’t even going to go on trial until this October.