Bradley Manning: “Gay Hero” Or Fabulous Traitor?

UK human rights activist Peter Tatchell is no stranger to controversy and he’s certainly taken on admirable causes, but is his praise of alleged Wikileaker Bradley Manning one of them?

Speaking today, Mr Tatchell said that the soldier was “inspired by his commitment to human rights” and had attended gay Pride marches and campaigned against bans on out gay troops and same-sex marriage.

Describing Mr Manning as a “humanist and a man with a conscience”, Mr Tatchell said he had allegedly been driven to release the files because he “became disillusioned with his country’s foreign and military policy [and believed] it was betraying the US ideals of democracy and human rights”.

“It is only (allegedly) thanks to Bradley Manning that we now know the truth about this slaughter of innocent civilians – and about the killings of hundreds of other civilians in unreported and undocumented incidents,” Mr Tatchell said.

Hearing Tatchell say it, you’d think that Manning acted heroically and in direct defiance of DADT when some question the actual effect of Manning’s alleged leaking and whether Wikileaks simply used Manning as a pawn. Army Court-Martial Defense Attorney David Coombs also disagreed with our harsh characterization of Manning’s new prison and made Manning’s imprisonment sound quite nice actually.

Unlike at Quantico, PFC Manning cell has a large window that provides adequate natural light. His cell also has a desk, a bed, and a toilet. The cell is approximately 80 square feet. He is provided with a normal mattress, sheets and a pillow. None of his clothing is taken away from him at night. PFC Manning is able to have all of his personal items in his cell, which include his clothing, his legal materials, books and letters from family and friends. He is also able to have a pen and paper at all times in his cell, and is able to write whenever he chooses.

Coombs also says there’s juice, treadmills, movie rentals, and visitation hours. Is this any way to treat a man Obama has already declared guilty?