The website dedicated to fighting for Bradley Manning and whistleblowers alike has been following Manning’s recent in-court appearances. Below is just one of many insightful pieces of information the public has received thus far:
Bradley finished reading his entire statement, a nearly two-hour defense of whistleblowing, transparency, and the refusal to be complicit in that which you cannot abide. “I believed and still believe these are some of most important documents of our time,” he said of the war logs he passed to WikiLeaks. Bradley affirmed his belief that the documents he released needed to be in the public realm (specifically the American public), that he “only wanted docs I was absolutely sure wouldn’t cause harm to the United States,” and that he’d hoped the release would result in domestic debate and a reevaluation of the United States’ war on terror.
He “became depressed with the situation we were mired in” in Iraq. In counterterrorism operations, he said, the U.S. became ‘obsessed with capturing and killing people.’
Bradley discussed his horror at the ‘Collateral Murder’ video of US Apache soldiers gunning down Reuters journalists and those who came to rescue the injured. He said the U.S. gunner who wanted to shoot the wounded in Collateral Murder video “seemed similar to a child torturing ants w/ a magnifying glass.” He was also aghast at the way that David Finkel had characterized the killings in his book, The Good Soldiers. When he learned that Reuters had attempted to acquire the video and was stonewalled by the U.S., Bradley said he’d wanted to try to get the video to Reuters so they’d be able to view the incident and the U.S. rules of engagement so their journalists could better avoid this from happening again.
He also revealed that while he was on a mid-tour leave in the U.S., he’d wanted to give documents to theWashington Post, but that the reporter or editor he talked to didn’t seem interested, especially without more information. He then called the New York Times’ public editor and left a message leaving his phone number – no one called him back. He’d wanted to try to talk to Politico about sharing documents with them, but he was stranded in Maryland when a blizzard hit. He then turned to WikiLeaks.
He said he had many conversations in anonymous, secure chat rooms with someone who called him/herself ‘Nathaniel,’ whom Bradley believed to be someone who worked for WikiLeaks, namely Julian Assange or Daniel Domscheit-Berg. He said that he would occasionally propose certain documents to ‘Nathaniel,’ but that “no one from [WikiLeaks] pressured” him to give more information.
The “decisions to send were my own,” he said, “and I take full responsibility.”