What Is The Media NOT Telling Us About Bradley Manning?

We know for a fact that some people support Bradley Manning for his alleged WikiLeaking of classified military documents that revealed military abuses in the Middle East. But are media outlets too scared to appear supportive in fear of angering their corporate and political ties?

Queerty has long followed the Manning-WikiLeaks saga and has asked whether Manning is a gay hero or a traitor for allegedly leaking diplomatic cables to Julian Assange and his crew.

This last weekend we sent out Nathan Diebenow and Robert Bell of Standard Rebellion—an independent activist media group—to cover the June 4th Rally For Bradley at Bob Dougherty Memorial Park in Fort Leavenworth, Kansas hosted by the Bradley Manning Support Network, Courage to Resist, and Veterans for Peace. While there they spoke to Andy Thayer of the Gay Liberation Network (one of the activists arrested with Dan Choi during Moscow Pride) about how Manning’s gay identity plays into the larger media narrative of him working with WikiLeaks because of his opposition to Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.

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  • Jeff

    Him leaking the documents, doesn’t make him a hero in any way.

  • SteveC

    Him leaking the documents certainly doesn’t make him a hero.

    But the fact that he is being incarcerated indefinitely without trial illustrates how precarious our democracy is.

    I know that different rules apply in the military, but Manning’s continued incarceration makes our Army look very, very sinister.

  • Mike

    The documents revealed numerous egregious violations of US and international law. This makes him a whistleblower under the Military Whistleblowers Act. Awesome video… most rational approach towards his sexuality that I’ve heard.

    “The liberties of a people never were, nor ever will be, secure, when the transactions of their rulers may be concealed from them” — Patrick Henry

  • Luke Ryan

    Bradley Manning *is* a hero to me. Free Bradley and bring the war criminals to justice, starting with Bush/Cheney.

  • Barbara

    Who is the criminal and who is the hero? Manning exposed crimes being committed by our government. Manning is the hero in my mind. Bush and Cheney are the criminals. His sexual orientation has nothing to do with the matter (except that our narrow minded government is probably treating him more cruelly than he would be treated if he were straight.) Shows gays have great courage!

  • Pannyx

    Bradley Manning is not a hero. He didn’t selectively steal secrets exposing crimes. He accessed and released as much stuff as he could and then sent it on to foreigners. That is pure and simple treason.

  • Pocket

    @Mike: Powerful quote and a helpful reminder to anyone who thinks it’s admissible for governments to conspire behind the backs of their people. It might be the afghans today, but when OUR civilians are slaughtered by air born gunfire in OUR streets will we be so listless?

  • Roget

    Last time I checked we were all in the US. Bradley Manning has been held in prison without being charged. He has not had a trial, and has not had a chance to review the alleged evidence against him. He is innocent until proven guilty.

    If you saw the Frontline documentary, you’d call him a hero. The asshole who set him up belongs where Manning is. That kid was isolated, alone, and in the middle of Iraq in a shed. He was suffering from major depressive disorder, like 75% of his company.

    Don’t you realize this kid is responsible for the Arab Spring? Autocratic regimes in Tunisia, Egypt, Yemen have all been overthrown without a war. Libya and Syria may end up with democracies. That 5’2″ 120 pound pipsqueak has changed the world more than anyone else in recent times. The government needs to charge him, or release him. He’s a HERO!

  • GayGOP

    Bradley Manning and Wikilieaks are not good things for stability. Quite honestly, if Wikileaks had anything to do with the Arab Spring, and it likely did, then when Islamist Governments, like those in Iran and the Taliban, take over, they will have been responsible for far greater instability and danger.

  • Tim Hothersall

    Bradley Manning could still be INNOCENT. You can shove a stick up his arse and parade him around if HE decides he wants that when he gets out, but the very least that you can do is allow him that choice.

    Wait until he enters a plea before calling him a hero and pressurizing him into pleading guilty and being sent down for 52 years just to further your causes and be a martyr.

    He is a good man; too good to be a martyr.

  • Sidney

    Bradley Manning leaking those documents definitely makes him a hero! The Military Industrial Complex had absolutely no right to hide these document nor did the State Department. Secrecy is not Democracy nor is it acceptable in a Republic. Secrecy equals tyranny. Every single United States Soldier takes an oath to uphold the Constitution of the United States of America. That Constitution does not recognize the right of Government nor the Military to usurp the will of the people. The People have said over and over, “We do NOT want secrecy in our Government.” Obviously, we have been promptly ignored. Bradley Manning fulfilled his duty as a United States Soldier to the people of America and protected the Constitution from threats foreign and DOMESTIC. He is the only one that it can be said for. How many other soldiers who were privy to these documents did not fulfill their oath. Bradley Manning is a hero and no matter how much he is demonized and denigrated he served his country well. Much better than the rest of the soldiers who knew about this and allowed the American people to be kept in the dark. To bad more soldier don’t have the testicular fortitude Bradley Manning had. FREE BRADLEY MANNING!!

  • Tim Hothersall

    @Sidney: I agree that releasing the documents was a heroic thing to do, but the only evidence that we have so far is some dodgy chat logs from an unreliable source. How difficult would it be for a COMPUTER HACKER to fabricate or embellish a chat log.

    Nobody wants to see Bradley Manning free more than I do, that is why I am posting on these boards; because I do not want, what may be his only defence, taking away from him.

  • Scott

    The government has 50% of the blame for not properly securing the data. Should PFC Manning’s superiors be charged?

  • B

    Picture of Tim Hothersall wrote, “No. 12 · Tim Hothersall @Sidney: I agree that releasing the documents was a heroic thing to do, but the only evidence that we have so far is some dodgy chat logs from an unreliable source. How difficult would it be for a COMPUTER HACKER to fabricate or embellish a chat log.”

    The problem is that, regardless of whether Manning released them, there were apparently a huge number of documents. Ones showing unacceptable behavior on the part of the U.S. aresomething the American public should have a right to know – we have to know what they are doing if our right to vote the “bums” out of office is to be meaningful. Other documents (e.g., diplomatic cables) seemed to include assessments of various foreign officials, and there is a legitimate reason to keep those secret. Someone from our government holding discussions with Official X from “Slobvenia” has a legitimate reason to know if Official X takes bribes and represents his own interests rather than his government’s or country’s interests, but if those assessments become public, it creates a problem that makes negotiations more difficult – nobody will trust us if we say a discussion is confidential and Official X will be pissed off at us (and we might have a legitimate reason to try to get him to do something).

    As to the chat logs, you can falsify some of them, but a “hacker” does not necessarily have access to all of them, and probably not to Manning’s hard drive – even if you delete a file, remnants of it may still exist on a “free list”. Also, it is possible to recover data from areas of a disk that have been overwritten: on multiple passes a disk head does not go over precisely the same area, so you can have old data at the edges of a disk track. A normally working disk drive will ignore that old data, but specialized hardware can recover it in some circumstances. For a case with the sort of security implications that Manning’s case has, they would hopefully have used such techniques, but that is not guaranteed due to the need to find someone to blame it on and punish – the government has to convict someone to convince other countries that this leak was an aberration, and Manning set himself up as a perfect victim by blabbing to some “hacker” (even if Manning was merely BSing the guy).

  • ToyotaBedZRock



    Your little pussy ass wouldn’t have the balls to leak.

    Bradley Manning:
    ????“Hypothetical question, if you had free reign over classified networks for long
    ???? periods of time… say, 8-9 months… and you saw incredible things, awful things…
    ???? things that belonged in the public domain, and not on some server stored in a dark
    ???? room in Washington DC… what would you do?”

    In Iraq, Manning was ordered “to round up and hand over Iraqi civilians to America’s new Iraqi allies, who he could see were then torturing them with electrical drills and other implements.” Manning questioned the orders he was being given to help round up Iraqis and brought his concerns to the chain of command. He pointed to a specific instance where 15 detainees were arrested and tortured for printing “anti-Iraqi literature” he found that the paper in question was merely a scholarly critique of corruption in the government asking “Where did the money go?” He brought this to his commander, who told him to “shut up” and keep working to find more detainees.

    Bradley Manning:
    ????”I want people to see the truth… regardless of who they are… because without
    ???? information, you cannot make informed decisions as a public.”


  • ToyotaBedZRock


    The ???? where supposed to be blank spacing characters not question marks.

  • B

    No. 8 · Roget wrote, “Don’t you realize this kid is responsible for the Arab Spring? Autocratic regimes in Tunisia, Egypt, Yemen have all been overthrown without a war.”

    The catalyst for the “Arab Spring” seems to be Mohamed Bouazizi, a hapless street vendor who immolated himself to protest his shoddy treatment by the “authorities”. Social networking sites (e.g., twitter and facebook) played a role, at least as a tool: they made it possible for like-minded individuals to coalesce into a group and a political movement quickly. Twitter’s sometimes-maligned 140 character limit (spaces included) possible helped: when the “authorities” tried to cut off Internet access (whether in general or selectively), they found it was much harder to do than thought – sure you could shut down all the ISPs, but that doesn’t stop people from using modems and a telephone, and when your bandwidth is that limited, a 140 character limit is an advantage. If you cut the phone lines too, business can’t function, and even if you shut off the public phone network or cut all non-business lines, there are satellite links.

    Basically, a technological improvement allowed an aggrieved public to react faster than the powers that be could shut them down. It’s happened before: one of the factors enabling the Reformation (the religious revolt against the Catholic Church) was a new technology, the printing press. Martin Luther got a large following quickly as a result, and some German princes protected him (my guess is that they wanted to increase their authority relative to Rome’s and Luther’s popular support made him useful to them). In addition, he had a geographic advantage – Germany’s distance from Rome. The Pope’s minions simply couldn’t respond fast enough. Luther wasn’t the first person to try this, but others who did were located closer to Rome and lacked Luther’s technological advantage, so the Catholic Church’s process for dealing with “heretics” (intimidating them and burning them at the stake if necessary to maintain order) had enough time to work in those previous cases, but not in Luther’s case.

  • Tim Hothersall

    @B: Ok, so Brad might have set himself up, but that does not make him guilty of the charges surely.

    As for Lamo accessing Bradleys hard drive, Helo! He’s a HACKER.

    It is more than plausible that Lamo framed Bradley to conceal the identity of the real source.

    There are some serious anomalies in those chat logs: Here’s a for instance he is alleged to have said:
    (01:54:42 PM) Manning: i would come in with music on a CD-RW
    (01:55:21 PM) Manning: labelled with something like “Lady Gaga”… erase the music… then write a compressed split file.

    Then later on in the chat log:
    (02:14:21 PM) Manning: listened and lip-synced to Lady Gaga’s Telephone while exfiltratrating possibly the largest data spillage in american history

    How the hell did he listen to Lady Gaga if he wiped the disk to to rip the mined data onto it?

    It just doesn’t add up: He’s an intelligent man with friends in the hacker community; He would know that there was a possibility that Lamo’s communications were being monitored; And while considering that point, why did Lamo have to go to the authorities? Why did the authorities not already know what was supposed to be going on?

    I could go on for days….

    There is no doubt about it, Bradley Manning COULD be innocent.

    I keep hearing people banging on about what a hero he is: Well he is certainly a hero, but not necessarily because he released the documents.

    I am not against the anti war movement; I am not even against the leaking of the documents, but it is wholly unfair to let Brad go down for 52 years just so that the cause can have a poster child. He’s so much better than that!

    Ok, he may be guilty, he may even plead guilty, but he needs to be given the chance to do what is best for him; Sadly at the moment, the free Bradley Manning movement appears to have forgot about Bradley Manning.

  • B

    No. 19 · Tim Hothersall wrote, “@B: Ok, so Brad might have set himself up, but that does not make him guilty of the charges surely. As for Lamo accessing Bradleys hard drive, Helo! He’s a HACKER. It is more than plausible that Lamo framed Bradley to conceal the identity of the real source.”

    First, being a “hacker” does not mean you can break into any computer in the world. If Manning’s computer was always behind a firewall that blocked all incoming TCP SYN packets. Lamo would not have been able to connect to it, and would have to send a
    virus or what have you via email, or point Manning to a web site that could exploit a browser flaw. Having that work is not guaranteed – email services can try to filter out viruses or do other security checks. If their chat sessions were text only, there’s very little a hacker can exploit with that. I’m sure the government did pretty exhaustive checks of everything on Manning’s computer over the past year given the high-profile
    nature of the security breech. If someone broke into Manning’s computer, modified things, and then carefully restored everything, including time stamps in the file system, that something funny happened could possibly still be detected for the reasons I gave in my previous comment.

    If Manning is innocent, what I would guess might have happened is that Manning was feeding Lamo some BS (which also fits the inconsistencies in the chat logs that you mentioned), and that Lamo simply turned Manning in as he claimed. It’s possible that
    Lamo got someone else to leak the data (if he knew anyone with access to it) but it is also possible that a third party independently leaked the data, with neither Manning nor Lamo being aware of that. Then Manning gets trussed up as the culprit, and everyone is happy (except, of course, Manning, his family, and friends).

    Oh, and I might add that in commenting on previous articles, I had stated that Manning could be innocent giving a similar explanation of why that is possible to what I mentioned in the previous paragraph.

  • TTTTom

    @Scott:. Should PFC Manning’s superiors be charged?
    Absolutely! His superiors AND the entire Military Intelligence Analysts’ IT department. It wouldn’t hurt to go after the people that made the offensive or objectionable entries in the logs he leaked to begin with!

  • Tim Hothersall

    @B: I am glad, that you believe that Bradley may be innocent.

    Emotionally, it is not the best place to be when your second best hope is that you are legally declared to be full of sh1t. This is especially true when the alternative is that half of the population declare you a hero but in order to attain this heroic status you have to spend the best part of the rest of your life in prison.

    All that I really want at this stage is for people to think about what they are doing to Bradley. As I said, my beef is that everybody seems to have forgot that Bradley Manning is a human being, not a political cause or a banner to march behind.

    To me, the priorities are:

    1 Getting Bradley out of prison
    2 Bradleys’ emotional well being

    I honestly cannot say whether Bradley did it or not but imagine that you are in a temporarily fragile state of mind; you are arrested and accused of doing something that you have not done and in excess of 1,000,000 people call you a hero for doing it. How would that make you feel? and; Why in the hell do I seem to be the only person that cares?

    Sorry, I am not having a personal go at you, I am just very frustrated, I live 4200 miles away and there is nothing that I can do for him.

    If I scream form the rooftops and people do sit up and take notice, there is a real danger that they will be so offended that they will give up the cause and while calling him a hero is not doing him any good, people are raising money for his defence, and it is a hell of a lot better than leaving him to rot.

    So every so often, when everybody has stopped listening, I will have a rant at someone on a reasonably quiet forum just to get it off my chest. Fighting for Bradley himself is not easy; being Bradley must be almost unimaginable.

  • Seaguy

    I wanna have his babies.

  • Tim Hothersall

    @Seaguy: Oh! FFS; there’s always one isn’t there?

  • Burkey

    Look at all the people here who believe government should be allowed to make life and death decisions with our tax dollars without telling us what’s going on. You guys need to do some reading on what’s going on over in Iraq and stop watching PBS, which is a complete tool. Get the books that are coming out about what’s up on the ground. Manning saw atrocities being committed and was told to “shut up.”

    There were no WMD. Our country is being bankrupted by these insane dictators who want to keep spreading depleted uranium around the world. Lookup: Dr. Helen Caldicott, who notes that in Fallujah, 80 per cent of babies are being born grossly deformed bc of the depleted U. Dr’s are telling the women not to have babies.
    Books: Thomas E Ricks “Fiasco” Camilo Mejia’s book, Dahr Jamail’s book….
    you won’t get it on the news, because the news is censored. I know because I work in it.

    Manning is beautiful.
    He is simply beautiful and those of you who say he’s not are simply asshats.

  • Brecht

    Anyone thinking Manning should be locked up should watch the “Collateral Murder” video he alledgedly leaked. Ask yourself this: if you would be in the same situation, having access to evidence of horrible war crimes, would you just shut up about it? Would you allow for war criminals, even if they “play on your team”, not to be exposed? Anyone with any moral decency would have done what Manning did.
    What makes this whole story even worse is the inhumane treatment he has been receiving ever since he got arrested.
    All this, while the murderers in that video are walking about freely…

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