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.
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.
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.