The long awaited trial of Private Bradley Manning began today at Fort Meade Maryland. It has been a few years since Manning was arrested for releasing hundreds of thousands of documents that he contends the public had a right to see and the disclosure of which would spark a debate on our role of our military and our foreign policy.
Perhaps he is correct about all of those assertions. It is quite possible that the contents of the documents should be available to the public and perhaps they would spark debate. Let us assume all of that is true.
Another truth is that Manning was not in a position to make that call and it was not his right or his duty to release the information.
Bradley Manning was charged with analyzing intelligence and guarding that information. He was supposed to guard the information in accordance with the rules established for it. Someone classified the information and decided that it was not to be publicly available.
Manning disregarded the classifications and the instructions to keep the information from being released. He decided and took it upon himself to gather it and release it to someone who would make it public. This is where he went wrong. He broke the law and he is no hero for doing so.
People in certain positions within the government are charged with doing jobs that require secrecy. Manning was in such a position and he failed to do what he was trained to do. He failed to do what he was ethically and legally bound to do.
The fact of the matter is it does not make any difference if the information is damning, if it should be available to the public or if it would spark debate because Manning was not allowed to take that decision and he was not allowed to release the information.
There are those who support him and call him a hero. He is a traitor and he should spend a very long time in jail.
Suppose something he felt should be made public resulted in a terror attack in America. Suppose what he released was used by the enemy to attack and kill members of our military. I know that many on the left might still view him as a hero but most folks would be quite upset if what Manning released was used to harm them or their families or our nation.
Manning is a confused young man with many mental health issues. He got in a snit and did something very stupid and now he will have to pay.
No matter what, he is no hero.
Never surrender, never submit.