“Bradley Manning is not a piece of equipment.”
That’s one of the Facebook messages Bradley Manning allegedly posted prior to his military incarceration for “disclosing state secrets” and “aiding the enemy.” Strange now that he has become a tool for Hollywood liberals to cry foul on the government.
The Bradley Manning saga is a complicated one — is he a hero? Is he a traitor? Hard to say. The same goes for Adrian Lamo, the hacker who reported Manning to the FBI.
Reading Manning’s Wikipedia page is like reading the biography of a mass murderer — the isolation, the gender confusion, the harassment; it all fits in with the profile of someone on the cusp of great and tragic evil. There are clearly great issues at play with Bradley Manning, and he is an individual in need of real help. I think many people should consider themselves lucky that this leaking of information is the trajectory that this damaged life took on, rather than something more gruesome. But did he do “the right thing”? I don’t know if I have an answer for that, or if anybody really has one that matters. I think this whole “Wikileaks” issue will be left for some future iteration of society to sort out not only the facts, but the repercussions as well.
I think Manning’s saving grace is a dialogue he had with Lamo in which he points out that he could have sold the information he leaked online to the Russians or the Chinese, but that “information should be free.” I respect that mode of thinking, but I don’t know that we should be turning Bradley Manning into a hero just yet.