A Leak Of Death: WikiLeaks & Army Private Bradley Manning Commit Treason

Written by Kevin Webb
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Bradley Manning & WikiLeaks Owner Julian Assange

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In case you haven’t already heard, Army Private Bradley Manning, an Army Private that was most recently deployed to Iraq, has leaked over 90,000 pages of classified Afghanistan war documents and materials to a website dedicated to protesting wars. That website is Wikileaks. Let’s take a look at why Army Analyst Bradley Manning is a traitor, and deserves nothing short of the death penalty due to the deaths he has caused and new dangers that now exist for innocent Afghan families, and why Wikileaks should be treated as an international terrorist.

Who Is Army Private Bradley Manning?

Private First Class Bradley E. Manning (born 1987) is a United States Army soldier who has been arrested and charged with the unauthorized use and disclosure of U.S. classified information.

Manning was an intelligence analyst assigned to a support battalion with the 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division at Contingency Operating Station Hammer, Iraq, when he was arrested by agents of the U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Command acting on information received from federal authorities provided by an informant, Adrian Lamo, in whom Manning had previously confided. Lamo, a journalist and former computer hacker, stated he came forward as an act of conscience. Manning allegedly told him via instant messaging that he had leaked the “Collateral Murder” video of the July 12, 2007, Baghdad airstrike, in addition to a video of the Granai airstrike and around 260,000 diplomatic cables, to the whistleblower website Wikileaks.

On July 5, 2010, PVT Manning was charged under the Uniform Code of Military Justice with violations of Article 92 and Article 134, for “transferring classified data onto his personal computer and adding unauthorized software to a classified computer system,” and “communicating, transmitting and delivering national defense information to an unauthorized source”. The maximum possible prison sentence for the charges is 52 years. An Army spokesman stated that an Article 32 hearing, similar to a grand jury, would be held to determine whether or not there was enough evidence to proceed to a court-martial.[1]

Private Manning held a minimum of a Secret Security Clearance, which the Department of Defense spent hundreds of thousands of dollars to filter him through the screening process. He has had a thorough background check, state and federal background checks, investigations and interviews. Most importantly, he has sworn an oath to defend our constitution and our country against ALL enemies, foreign and domestic. For anyone that has or is currently serving in the U.S. Armed Forces, you understand what that means.

Due to Bradley’s role as an Analyst in the Army, he was granted a security clearance in order to gain access to classified materials. By definition, his clearance gave him access to information whose unauthorized disclosure could result in exceptionally grave danger to the nation. Even if he were to release classified materials to another military member with an equal clearance, it is still considered a breach in security. Every classified document has specific orders as to who can and can’t view its materials.

Who is WikiLeaks? | The Bad

WikiLeaks is a foreign source operating out of Australia, which goes by the name of WikiLeaks. It is a website dedicated to spotlighting war crimes and classified government documents in efforts to turn more people against war. Simply speaking, if 100 terrorist were killed in a gun fight and one civilian was killed in the crossfire, WikiLeaks would tell you about that one civilian. You wouldn’t hear a word about the other 100. You can visit WikiLeaks here, or contact them here.

I am a huge advocate of freedom of speech, but the code and regulations sphered around classified documents is an amendment to that freedom. The classification is there to protect individuals, and more importantly, to protect our country (and other countries).

What Private Bradley Manning Did

Private Manning gained access to over 90,000 pages of classified materials, and leaked it to WikiLeaks. The documents included sensitive materials such as Afghan civilian informant names, military installation locations, meeting locations, undercover operations, top secret missions, classified intelligence documents, intelligence video materials, and military strategies used during the war.

After the Afghanistan war documents were retrieved by WikiLeaks, they were then posted online for the world to see. The world that had the opportunity to view these documents included the Taliban, Al-Qaeda, Jihad, and terrorist groups alike.

The Leak Of Death

WikiLeaks claims they release information like this in order to save civilians lives and protect innocent people. This leak has done the complete opposite. Since the release of these documents, several innocent Afghanistan informants and their families have been confirmed murdered. Not only are more innocent lives being lost, but the Afghans have lost all confidence in American forces to be able to keep them safe for providing information to us. In case you didn’t know, information is what has gotten us this far in the fight against terror.

Not only have we lost informants to death and fear, we’re now having to spend thousands of dollars to move and protect the families of current and recent informants that may still be alive. This is just the beginning as to why this is a treasonable offense. We could face repercussions decades down the road as the documents will continue to provide a first-hand look into our military operations in Afghanistan.

Wikileaks should not be treated as an international terrorist, as the information that they have leaked, and intend on leaking in the future is in direct relation to an on-going war, where lives are still at risk.

Treason

Since the beginning of established military and governments, treason has been a crime punishable by death. Typically no questions asked once proven guilty. Treason is defined as a violation of allegiance to one’s sovereign or to one’s state, a breach of faith and confidence entrusted by one’s government and the betrayal of the allegiance that a person owes his sovereign or his country.

By definition, Bradley Manning has committed a blatant act of treason in its simplest form. Bradley Manning has broken his personal oath of enlistment that he spoke, as he raised his right hand and swore to defend his country. He has trampled his integrity into the ground and is officially an enemy of the state.

People Defending & Supporting Private Bradley Manning

What really makes me sick are the few people that are defending and supporting Private Bradley Manning. You can see here some videos of people speaking out against his arrest. Listen, he wasn’t a civilian trying to improve civil rights, or a politician fighting during a campaign. He isn’t a cooperate worker competing with another company, and he sure isn’t a hero. He made a promise, an oath, to defend America and obey his Commander in Chief regardless of his political beliefs or personal opinions. There is nothing that excuses his behavior or justifies his actions. He committed treason pure and simple. He broke every military code entrusted upon those who serve our great country and work to keep it safe. He is a traitor to his fellow soldiers, Marines, sailors and airmen. He is a disgrace.

Why He should Be Put To Death

Unfortunately, he’s probably not the only military service member who has the itch to release information. There are more out there. Sentencing him to anything short of death for the crime of treason, will only empower others who wish to carry out his same acts of treachery. If an example has ever needed to be made in our military, it is now. His actions have caused more innocent deaths, by ousting civilian Afghan families who have helped America in their fight against terror. The same innocent civilians that we fight to protect are now in more danger due to his selfish, despicable actions.

He has dishonored his name, his service, his brothers and sisters in arms, his family, his friends and his country if the allegations against him are true.

Sources
[1] Wikipedia

About the author

Kevin Webb

35 Comments

  • Should Warrant Officer Hugh Thompson, Jr. been put to death for exposing the My Lai Massacre in Vietnam?

    Many people thought so back in the day, including a congressman who publicly called for his execution. He had exposed the horrendous massacre and had intervened to stop it.

    Check it out.

  • He SHOULD be put to the death for treason, but you and I both know he won’t be.

    It’s this spineless betrayal of our brothers in arms that annoys the hell outta me. Defending this piece of garbage? NEVER. In fact, truth be told, our youngest graduates in just a bit and will be hanging out learning a language (oh 18 months or so) and then off to the fleet. If our own flesh and blood – our son – were to betray our brotherhood in this manner, especially after receiving the training and the clearance and swearing an oath of allegiance to the Corps, we would disown him. Period.

  • @nuff,

    At first glance, Warrant Officer Hugh Thompson, Jr. does not deserve the death penalty, simply because the actions taking place were not a lawful order, and go against our strict rules of engagement. Him intervening to stop it was the right thing to do, but releasing classified materials, regardless of their contents, is a dishonor to our ethos.

    Any leak in military information to personnel who are not authorized to view it should be responsible to accept punishment.

    Furthermore, if the information he leaked put more U.S. personnel in danger, caused additional deaths or jeopardized our overall mission, then yes, he is guilty of treason as well.

    There us a vast difference in these two stories. Bradley Manning did not save any lives by his leak. He caused more deaths, put our troops in Afghanistan in deeper danger, sacrificed his country for selfish reasons and compromised our overall objective in the region, which was to re-establish a local government.

    Reaching our objective without the help of the local populace is nearly impossible, and we’re now left with fearful informants that can’t trust our ability to keep information, names and identities classified.

  • The punishment for treason is death. He commited treason the moment he gave the classified documents to those wikileaks people. What else is there? It seems pretty cut and dry to me. Its Not like he leaked info to stop a massacre. As far as I know we’ve done no such thing in Afghanistan anyway, so what reason could this guy have other than he got paid or he is just a straight-up traitor? Either way the fact remains, the punishment for treason is death. He commited treason.

  • The activities of US military personnel in the middle east is brittle at best.
    In our enlightened society the people believe we have the right to know what is going on and what their countries money and lives are being spent at. With the release of those files which shows the death toll of civilians to be much higher then released reports how can the people be expected to trust the words of their government when they falsify reports of such big matters as civilian casualties?
    Yes lives will probably be list with this but if it creates enough of an outrage to stop the next war it might be worth it.

  • He committed treason, He has and will cost lives. See if this situation in Korea has not been escalated by his leaks. His selfish actions have caused death. He should be tried for treason and if quilty he should pay the ultimate price. I’m deeply against capital punishment, but if he is not put to death this will happen again.

  • Committing the act of treason equals death. Simple enough. Let’s do it and let Bradley Manning serve as a shining example of what a member of the United States military is not. He is a disgrace to everyone and everything we hold dear. He doesn’t deserve to live any longer than a court martial takes.

    • Thoughtful Thinker – Your “name” confuses me. You pretend to be concerned about people dying in war, while seemingly supporting someone who has caused even more deaths to take place. Sure, people have died during this war, but the only people I care about that have died during this war are those who fought in support of the United States, my great country.

      ANYONE who works against the greater good of my country, and defies their oath to protect and defend the constitution of the United States, while putting lives at risk, deserves no sympathy.

      Imagine if you had a kid, and he was allergic to something. Now imagine that there is someone that wants to kill your kid by using what he is allergic to. The only problem is that the person doesn’t know exactly what your kid is allergic to. One day, a family member tell the “bad guy” what your son is allergic to so that he can use it to kill him.

      How would you feel?

  • well, first of all.. is there no comment moderator? what Bruce said is despicable and ignorant. totally missed the point of this article. secondly, this situation is so fragile. society has become, within the last decade or so, information hungry. we want our information in the most expedient manner. we are impatient and we want to know things that years ago we would NEVER have had access to. what PVT Manning has done is unforgivable. goes against the Army values the Warriors creed everything. he should be sentenced to death by firing squad. yes, it is harsh.. but i totally agree with what a few others have said. if we do not make him the example, more PVTs will get the encouragement to do the same. But maybe this time, it will be on a grander scale.
    Everyone claims to be so “American”, well I hope that the “American” thing is done: publicised death by firing squad.

  • Dear Thoughtful Thinker,

    A lot more people are going to die due to Pvt. Manning. What did he think this was a game?? Was he bored and got a thrill out of betraying his fellow soldiers and country? His heart will be beating out of his chest when they lead him to the gallows.

    Now my question is…Why were people allowed to bring recordable CD’s, or any recording devices into a “SECURE” area?? Why wasn’t there a fail-safe on those computers that would notify anyone if secret documents were being downloaded? Seems like all this transparency between agencies, that was DEMANDED after 9/11, has come back to bite us all.

    • Every Sensitive Compartmented Information Facility (SCIF) has procedures in place to stop electronic storage devices, audio listening devices and electronic transmission devices from infiltrating their facility. However, they work just like anything else…. with human and technological errors.

      The real problem here is that it appears that the two-person accountability procedures seems to have not been used, which would then fall under whoever was directly in charge of him. NO SCIF allows for individuals to be in areas where information like this is accessible by themselves.

      The background checks that go into personnel that hold clearances is very extensive. What the background checks to not account for is future activity and motive changes.

      Regardless, when all is said and done, PVT Manning is a disgrace.

  • To all those people who think they have to right to know everything that is going on in our government, had better look to the past, and read up on our country’s history.

    Secret messages are what helped the country become the United States of America, NOT the colonies of Britain.

  • It is a good thing that PFC Manning only had a “Secret” clearance, and not anything higher. I believe that there are more people involved then this one person.

    The New York Times did an article in July 2010 when the first of these leaks came out, it is worth a read. It says that PFC Manning had friends in Boston that may have helped him.

    Some one definitely dropped the ball on the security protocol here, and the clean-up and repair to image as a country will take years.

    Why weren’t pseudonyms used in these cables, instead of real names? Too much information to people without a need to know.

  • I absolutely agree that they should hang him. I am also a veteran and have a lot of friends serving. Anyone that adds additional risk to their jobs protecting us should be tried for treason and if found guilt put to death.
    Airborne All the Way,
    Jim

  • I’m a two tour OIF veteran from the Army. PVT Manning is the result of what politicians and lame hippies have been doing to the Army for years; weakening it. Thank god for our warfighters, they’re still tough but support is getting weaker and lamer. Now in Basic training these ‘soldiers’ have the option to pull stress cards on their drill sargeants and have to be immediately taken to the chaplain. Officers have been working hard and made great strides in cutting the balls off of the NCO corps. It is sad and the main reason I left. A peice of weak human trash like PVT Manning never should have made it through basic. He should have been weeded out and discarded with all the others that couldn’t handle it. Now he has made a decision that gives the military no choice but to kill him and have him be remembered forever as a traitor. Anyone who defends him has no idea what it means to serve, and should never be afforded the honor of putting on a uniform.

    Never was a Marine, but I respect the hell out of that organization for refusing to weaken yourselves like the Army has done and continues to do.

    • Droozy,

      Thank you for your comments. Unfortunately, this weakening mentality has spread further than just our military, as can be seen in kids no longer being rewarded for being better, going to extreme measures to ensure that someone’s feelings are not hurt, and doing everything possible to “level the playing ground.” This mentality hinders those from being able to rise above, fighting for what they have and earning their place in this world.

      My brother-in-law just recently graduated from Army Basic. I saw his DVD of Basic. Yes, there was a DVD of his training, and yes, it was terrible. My friends that have been in the Army could not even relate to what I was telling them about the DVD. They were shocked.

      We live in an age of a pampered generation, and it’s effecting us in several ways. I blame parents, politicians, and most importantly, the individual for stooping to the level of using their surroundings as an excuse to not do great things for themselves, and for their country.

      Thank you for your service Droozy. Keep up the fight.

      KW

  • Hey, I really liked your article and totally agree with you. I am doing a debate on WikiLeaks and was wondering if I could possibly get a few of your sources? Like where you got your information on the “The Leak Of Death” section?
    Thanks!

  • Manning should first be forced to “out” his contacts. There is no way that a kid of his background could have done all of this unaided on either the gathering or dispersing ends of the operation. The sheer volume of data proves that there was no way of his identifying privaledged confidants, undercover agents, double spies, etc. Puplication of this data has several downsides to the prosecution of the war:
    1. People who have devoted their very lives to helping us have now been put at risk, and even worse, their families are also at risk. These people may or may not live, but many will decide to not cooperate in the future.
    2. Others who may have cooperated with us in the future will no longer be as willing to help out.
    3. Both of these items will have a direct impact on how many of his Brothers in Arms are going to suffer casualties. Wikileaks states that there have been no fatalities. That is a little like predicting how many defects there is not in a roll of toilet paper. You can aregue about all of them but never know what is truth.

  • The point about our troops casualties needs to be thought out. How many troops have been shot because a tip was not available? How many people are missing arms and legs because informant A has been killed and nobody likes the odds in taking their place? How many kids will not have a Dad or Mom to help them grow up because Manning decided to be a traitor.

    I say that he either cooperates fully and helps take down the entire network of scum (sorry to all you algae who are rightfully miffed at me for unsing the word scum) he has been working with or he gets the death penalty.

    He cooperates he gets life in prison.

    He delivers Mr. ASS-ONS with a conviction then he gets 20 years at hard labor.

    I have 2 kids in the millitary, am a veteran myself, and had my Dad die last year after 65 years as a Disabled American Veteran. In my family National Service actually means something, and that is why I would have no problems pulling the trigger on Manning or ASS-ONS.

    Lloyd

  • can anyone show me any concrete evidence of any person or persons being killed as a direct result of manning/wikileaks?? i found this article (that i very much disagree with) during a search for that very evidence.
    i’d like to strongly suggest to people like the writers of this article and the (dare i say) sheep who agree with this corporate-plutocratic propaganda that you actually pay attention to what’s been leaked, intsead of just saying that he shouldn’t leak it.
    also- should i assume that when you accuse assange of treason you mean against australia? where he’s from?
    once again, PLEASE someone enlighten me with some evidence of someone being killed as a direct result of wikileaked documents.
    PLEASE! DO YOUR OWN RESEARCH INSTEAD OF SWALLOWING THIS REACTIONARY TRIPE (the trail of this crap goes straight to the rich governing forces that own most popular media outlets)
    free manning free assange free your mind

    • Bradley Manning made an oath and then broke it. Whether he was “right” or “wrong” in his actions is a moot point for me. He did not follow his chain of command and he provided sensitive materials to a foreign nation.

      Had he provided that sensitive information that he thought was critical that it be exposed to military or government officials, this would be a different story, but that’s not what he did. This follows common sense rules that can be applied throughout life, including at our jobs, in our marriages, and with out friends. If we have a problem, we go to the source… we don’t go to the enemy of that problem (i.e. friends, other companies, etc).

      Kevin

  • what was it bruce said? im curious about the grounds on which he was “moderated” (i call that censorship) those ‘founding fathers’ you probably worship had specific views on censorship, as well as chemical/biological warfare, colonization, preemptive attacks on other nations, religious institutions, banking institutions, corporate rule, etc. in the context of manning and other political prisoners being held without the rights deemed inalienable hundreds of years ago, id like to encourage all of you to read the first, 5th, and 6th amendments in the bill of rights (and if you tell me only americans deserve rights like miranda and habeus corpus then you’re nationalist fervor makes you indistinguishable from a common NAZI

    • Taylor – Bruce’s comments went outside of the few rules I have on my site. I do not censor content unless it is racially derogatory, is full of curse words, or promotes violence in any way.

      On occasion I’ll delete comments that are horribly written using no grammatical thought whatsoever.

      Kevin

    • In regards to the rest of your comment. Bradley Manning made an oath and then broke it. Whether he was “right” or “wrong” in his actions is a moot point for me. He did not follow his chain of command and he provided sensitive materials to a foreign nation.

      Had he provided that sensitive information that he thought was critical that it be exposed to military or government officials, this would be a different story, but that’s not what he did. This follows common sense rules that can be applied throughout life, including at our jobs, in our marriages, and with out friends. If we have a problem, we go to the source… we don’t go to the enemy of that problem (i.e. friends, other companies, etc).

      Kevin

  • Taylor’s entry places the burden of proof of determining the root cause of any death being related to Private Manning’s mass leakage on those arguing against the leak.

    Another tact is more appropriate since Manning is the one making the violation of his Military Oath via the leaks. Note the fact he made the leaks has been proven. We are now talking about penalties for his actions. Can any of his liberal defenders PROVE that those who have been wounded or killed since this action took place are not downstream results of Manning’s gross violation of the Secrecy Directives he was working under.

    More specifically, how can they prove that those who might have been recruited to provide information have decided against taking that action for fear of retaliation against them and their families, would not have provided actionable information preventing any deaths or dismemberment? There is no doubt that the fear of having your name made known will discourage you from cooperating while you still live in a hostile environment having cut back on undercover informants. The information these informants may have given could have saved somebody’s life or a lifetime of living with these injuries.

    I would like to see these liberals try to make that argument to those who have suffered such losses. It is always those who are the farthest from offering up their lives if necessary on the Altar of Liberty that complain loudest about rules meant to preserve those who actually hear the call to service. Put your life on the line, or at least your kids life on the line, and then tell me you are not concerned about information leaks.

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  • Kevin,

    You and I are pretty much opposites politically but your assessment of Bradley Manning proves there’s always common ground. I came across your site because another blog linked to your puzzle pieces/traitor photo. I was appalled that people were rallying to his cause even after he pled guilty to 10 of the 22 counts against him removing any doubt that he is, indeed, a traitor. The prosecution took the death penalty off the table but a life sentence is looking like a strong possibility. Treason like this should be punished severely.

    Semper Fidelis,

    Sean Huze

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