Bradley Manning is Acquitted of Aiding the Enemy

Both Politico and the Huffington Post are reporting that Bradley Manning has been acquitted of aiding the enemy. This was the most serious charge facing him. It was also the charge which could have sent him to prison for the rest of his days. The Huffington Post is also reporting that he was found guilty of the lesser charges.

Bradley Manning

My understanding is that Manning will be sentenced next week. He has been held in solitary confinement since 2011. While I am sure that he will be staying in prison (given the other charges), I hope that the acquittal on the most serious charge is a sign that Manning will be shown leniency in his sentence. I also hope that this means he will be treated more humanely during the remainder of his time in prison. Time will tell.

Is Bradley Manning a hero? Is he a villain? Or somewhere in between? Let me know what you think.

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Chris Henrichsen has moved Approaching Justice off of Patheos. Find his latest posts and the new Approaching Justice. Thanks!

  • Robert Slaven

    I say he is a hero. The war in Iraq was an unjust, immoral, illegal act
    of aggression for which America should be ashamed. And the way the war
    was conducted in Afghanistan (which was somewhat more just, since they
    were, at least theoretically under Bush, TRYING to find Osama) sucked,
    too. I see Manning’s leaks as equivalent in importance and necessity to
    the Pentagon Papers. I think it’s appalling that he’s been convicted
    of ANYTHING, even if he dodged the worst “aiding the enemy” charge.
    Everyone whines about America being “a Christian nation”. A truly
    Christian nation wouldn’t have done the crap that Manning brought to
    light. So yeah, hero, totally, and to those who say he’s a traitor, I
    say I’d rather be a traitor than a patriot under a government as fallen
    and plutocratic and war-mongering as this one.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/approachingjustice/ Chris Henrichsen

      While I think the case does have similarities with the Pentagon Papers, it does not come close to the significance of the Pentagon Papers.

    • JohnH2

      I wish Congress would give Manning and Snowden the Congressional Gold Medal. We, the people, have been better able to make informed decisions and opinions about a variety of subjects because of the loyalty of these brave men to the principles of the nation over the government.

      I agree that Manning actions have had a great impact, like the Pentagon papers. That impact though has been more overseas then in the US where it has been more muted.

  • Joseph

    I say hero. No hero is without flaws, and maybe Bradley Manning should
    have been more selective in his “document drop,” but what he shared
    needed to get out. I’m glad he’s been acquitted of the more serious
    charges, but that doesn’t make up for 3 years of inhumane treatment and
    torture.

  • Kristina Johnson

    This is an easy answer, it all comes down to one thing, is what he exposed simply damaging to those who are given such power or did he put his nation at risk…This is the only question we need to ask, when immoral acts of even your government are couched in their invisible friend “national security” only to hide immorality; one who can act has a responsibility to act. This actually was sort of the logic that was chosen by the founders of the US in having the power to act against the king shouldered them with that responsibility. If his actions put others at risk in the doing where he could have chosen to prevent that, he would be guilty of putting others in harms way and would be judged on the intent and consequences of his actions.

    So the exposing immorality which serves only to suffer the embarrassment and admission of guilt on this nation is HERO.

    Recklessly putting our nation in harms way Villain.

    The middle is for the greater necessity of measure which is taking the risk of harm to prevent a greater and more sinister harm by allowing the harm to continue. Which means he suffers a lesser penalty but he should have found another way…

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/approachingjustice/ Chris Henrichsen

      Kristina, I think that is a good way of conceptualizing it.

  • Mex

    I’m sorry but I feel he violated his sworn duty. He also had a security clearance that forbade him from leaking any top secret data. He should be held accountable for his actions. The subject or nature of the data is not the issue here but what was his job and his promise to uphold his duty. On the subject of the data, it is bad, but as we know we’ll really never know all the facts about the data as our attention is focused on the messenger. Not sure how we as citizens get governments to be held accountable for their actions without people like Manning, catch 22 at best.

  • Digger

    If he is a hero, then he is a person you would tell your children about; someone whom you wouldn’t mind if your children take as an example for their own lives. Would you want your child to live like Bradley Manning?


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