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Are you Bradley Manning?  That’s the question posed in a newly “viral” youtube video entitled “I Am Bradley Manning” that’s garnered just over half a million views in roughly 6 weeks.  The video features a smattering of A-list celebrities, musicians, and activists who proceed to detail the motivations, sacrifice, and plight of the detained 25 year old Army PFC, Bradley Manning.  Manning, who admitted to leaking hundreds of thousands of classified diplomatic/military cables to the organization called “Wikileaks” in what’s being hailed as the most substantial leak of classified information in history, is currently awaiting a verdict from a military judge in Ft. Meade, Maryland, following a pre-trial detention period of over 1000 days.  In less than 24 hours Manning is expected to receive a verdict on charges that he aided the enemy, for which he could be dealt a life sentence.  As the verdict nears, one can’t help but wonder:

Where’s the media!!?

Mere weeks ago America was certifiably captivated by the verdict-watch in the George Zimmerman trial, and before that the Jodi Arias trial.  It’s really not necessary to detail how much of a media spectacle these trials were during the weeks and months approaching the verdict because you were there!  You could probably rattle off your opinion of George Zimmerman, Jodi Arias, or Casey Anthony right now, and it’s doubtful it would be your first time.  But, what of Bradley Manning?  Do you sympathize with the courageous “whistleblower” or consider him a “mentally unstable” “traitor” with “gender identity issues”?  Perhaps the “virality” of the “I Am Bradley Manning” video can shine some light on the public consciousness regarding the Manning trial.  If we assumed that every viewer was American, viewed the video only once, AND viewed it with a friend.. that amounts to less that 1% of Americans.  I’m aware that a youtube video view-count isn’t an accurate indicator of interest in the Bradley Manning trial, but I’m willing to go out on a limb and say that the majority of my fellow Americans either aren’t really interested in the sacrifice Manning feels he made for his country, and/or the idea of transparency/freedom he believed to be worth risking a potential life sentence in prison, OR simply don’t know who he is.  I’ll proceed to speak for the masses who, like me, simply can’t be bothered to give a care about the fate of Bradley Manning.

Here’s some statements from the video that would seem to more accurately reflect American consciousness towards the Bradley Manning trial.


I always do what I’m told by those I perceive to have authority, regardless of whether it’s right or wrong…moral or immoral.

I believe that exposing war crimes, like the indiscriminate slaughter of innocent journalists and children, is less important than maintaining the facade that a nation that preemptively invades/occupies/drones sovereign nations possesses the moral authority to dictate what’s best for others.

I love my country, and would never want to do anything to tarnish its reputation…even if it’s the right thing to do…because I’m a patriot.

I’m not willing to risk my life or liberty to defend the ideals upon which my nation is purported to be based and founded…because I’m a patriot.

Like I just said…I’m not a traitor.

I believe the media, and what they’ve told me about that mentally-unstable, sexually-confused traitor.

Who is Bradley Manning?  I’ve never heard of him.

Oh he in Maroon 5? that’s Adam Levine.  BTW, did you hear he just got engaged?  It’s true, I just heard it on the news.

Bradley Manning?  Is he related to George Zimmerman?  No?  Well, did he kill anyone?  No?  You say he actually exposed murder?  Why would I care about that?

I’m so burdened with responsibility, and debt, that I honestly have little time to make the effort to learn who Bradley Manning is..

Bradley Manning?  Yeah, I’ve heard Maddow/Hannity mention him one time.  Whatever they said..that’s what I think about him.

Bradley Manning?  Yeah..quarterback for the Giants, right?

Bradley Manning?  Shut up, bro.  Jäger bombs!!!

Bradley Manning?  Stop.  I don’t want to know.  I can’t handle the truth.

If you can think of more reasons why you, and the majority of Americans, are not Bradley Manning feel free to share them!


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Comment Preferences

  •  It's true that most people (6+ / 0-)

    probably don't know who he is or what he did. But of the people who do know what he did, his supporters are in the distinct minority. You can't release 400,000 secret cables that you never read and claim to be a whistleblower. And the US government cannot allow someone to take it upon himself to release such information and not suitably punish him.

    •  "suitably punish him" (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      It's way too late for that.

      •  His punishment is just getting (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Sky Net, edrie, Bush Bites, vcmvo2

        started. He'll likely serve two or three decades in prison. I think that every person who swears an oath to protect classified information is aware that if the breach that oath that a lifetime in prison awaits. So it is not as if this whole thing was a surprise to him.

        •  I don't think it's his surprised reaction (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          wayoutinthestix, BlueDragon

          or lack of surprise that's relevant here. His treatment is part of a bigger pattern now.  

          Also, the US might have lost its ability to extradite people in high profile cases because of, in part, the treatment we gave Bradley Manning.

          •  You think that Russia and China treat their (0+ / 0-)

            prisoners better than us? No. And how many Americans really think that his treatment has been so bad? Solitary confinement is not torture in most peoples' eyes.

            •  I don't think you get the point. (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              It's no longer just about how fairly AMERICANS feel he has been treated.  This has affected our international image, just as it adversely affected the Soviets image when they detained political prisoners for trying to inform the west about the Gulag system.

              •  It's not like we tar and feathered the guy. (0+ / 0-)

                In any country, if an intelligence insider releases a trove (400,000 documents in this case) of classified information he is going to go to prison for a long time. Most of those who think worse of America due to Manning are the kinds of folks who think he should be released and given a ticker-tape parade. We're always going to be unpopular with that segment.

                •  Yeah, well, right an op-ed for (0+ / 0-)

                  Der Spiegel and Le Figaro about that, where it might do some good, if they're gullible.

                  •  I wouldn't worry about the Germans (0+ / 0-)

                    looking down on us regarding the treatment of prisoners.

                    •  In fact they do. (0+ / 0-)

                      I dont' want to google up past pieces in Der Spiegel, but they have a long history of concern for what's happening in this country and our right-ward drift towards totalitarianism.  They've experienced it before themselves, you know.

                      Jeffrey Toobin on CNN just a little while ago: Snowden's almost certain to get foreign asylum now as a direct result of the new Manning verdict.  Toobin has been  a very harsh critic of both Manning and Snowden.

      •  'suitable punishment'? (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        danbojangles, Meteor Blades

        Time served and the thanks of a grateful nation.
        I don't mind being (again) part of a distinct minority.
        The authoritarians told me I was wrong about civil rights for minorities,women and gays,they told me I was wrong for opposing wars from Southeast Asia to Iraq,and now I'm supposed to kill the messengers that expose war crimes and a government that spies indiscriminately on its own citizens?
        Don't think so.

        'The tyranny of the ignoramuses is absolute and inescapable' A.Einstein

  •  Bradley Manning is icky because (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    wayoutinthestix, danbojangles

    he might be gay and transgender.  His icky personal chat logs with another icky person were leaked to

    Funny how we learn things like that so quickly about people the NSA doesn't like.

    (1:47:01 PM) bradass87:im an army intelligence analyst, deployed to eastern baghdad, pending discharge for “adjustment disorder” in lieu of “gender identity disorder”…

    (10:19:53 AM) You mentioned gender identity, I believe.

    (10:19:59 AM) bradass87:ive had an unusual, and very stressful experience over the last decade or so

    (10:20:53 AM) bradass87:yes… questioned my gender for several years… sexual orientation was easy to figure out… but i started to come to terms with it during the first few months of my deployment

    (10:21:09 AM) May I ask the particulars?

    (10:21:34 AM) I’m bi myself, and my ex is MTF.

    (10:21:34 AM) bradass87:im fairly open… but careful, so yes..

    (10:22:00 AM) bradass87:im aware of your bi part

    (10:22:24 AM) bradass87:uhm, trying to keep a low profile for now though, just a warning...

  •  I don't have the courage to be Bradley Manning (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    With Obama as president, I would have too much to lose.

    Progressive, Independent, Unitarian, Vermonter.

    by Opinionated Ed on Tue Jul 30, 2013 at 07:19:42 AM PDT

  •  I'm not Bradley Manning (0+ / 0-)

    I wouldn't dump ten zillion pages without any regard for what's in them.  I would dump the specific content I saw that referenced the abuses I wanted to publicize.  That's really the only contentious issue here, at least among progressives.  

    You know, I sometimes think if I could see, I'd be kicking a lot of ass. -Stevie Wonder at the Glastonbury Festival, 2010

    by Rich in PA on Tue Jul 30, 2013 at 08:17:24 AM PDT

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