Skip to comments.Supporters of alleged WikiLeaker Bradley Manning consider him a ‘patriot,’ not a traitor
Posted on 01/27/2011 1:45:42 PM PST by 2ndDivisionVet
While much of America views Bradley Manning, the private first class who has been accused of leaking secret documents to WikiLeaks, as a traitor, he does have some defenders who consider him nothing less than a patriot.
He was trying to help the country, said Kevin Zeese, a member of the steering committee of the Bradley Manning Support Network.
Zeese tells the story of Manning as a loss of innocence tale. The story of Manning, he says, is about a guy who believes in America, enlists in the army, and gets to Iraq only to discover that the country has, in Zeeses words, gone off track. If he doesnt do anything, Zeese said, imagining Mannings decision-making process, hed be complicit.
So instead he decides to get evidence out to the media, Zeese continues. Zeese went on to point out that he could have sold the classified files for a lot of money to unfriendly nations. Thats what traitors would do.
Real political leadership, Zeese explained, would acknowledge Manning for these actions and use it as an opportunity to begin a debate on what kind of foreign policy the U.S. should have.
Hes a patriot. Not a traitor, Zeese proclaimed.
Furthering the love-fest, MSNBC host Dylan Ratigan implicitly compared Manning to human rights activists on Monday, saying during a discussion about Mannings situation: They love to make movies about Nelson Mandela in South Africa.
Hes the guy who should be in the gallery when Obama gives his State of the Union speech, said Zeese, as a guy who really took risks to make our country better.
It sounds as though Manning, who is currently being held in solitary confinement at Quantico Marine Corps base in Virginia, has come to be seen as something of a folk hero. But Zeese shrugs off such a description.
I like the word patriot better than hero, he said via e-mail. If he did what he is accused of he took risks with his personal liberty, knew he risked prosecution in order to make sure the American people knew the truth about U.S. foreign policy.
But the actions of Mannings supporters seem to be driven less by a conviction in the morality of his actions and more by anger at the treatment they allege he has received since his arrest.
On Martin Luther King Day, Mannings supporters held a rally outside of Quantico, protesting Mannings treatment.
We wanted to show the Marines that Americans knew how they were treating Manning and that they strongly opposed it, Zeese said.
On Sunday, David House, a friend of Manning who visits him regularly at Quantico, and Jane Hamsher, founder of the liberal blog Firedoglake, were detained when they attempted to visit Manning. The two were prohibited both from seeing Manning and from leaving the base, and by the time they were released, visiting hours for the week had ended.
Hamsher did not mince words about the fact she believed the motivation behind her detainment was to further mistreat Manning.
There is no doubt in my mind that the primary objective of everything that happened today was to keep Bradley Manning from having the company of his only remaining visitor, she wrote after the incident. What is happening to both of them should be of concern of everyone.
The approach of the Marines is going to have the opposite effect they intend, Zeese said. I can tell you supporters of Manning are enraged by their behavior and want to take further action. This will escalate the conflict and intensity of support for Manning and it will increase the media attention.
His prediction may have already come true. Today at the White House press briefing, Jake Tapper of ABC brought up Mannings case.
Is the administration satisfied that hes being kept in conditions that are appropriate for his accused crime and that visitors to Bradley Manning are treated as any visitors to any prison are treated? Tapper asked White House spokesman Robert Gibbs. Gibbs responded that he hadnt heard it discussed.
Zeese said Mannings supporters would not be deterred from advocating his cause.
The Marines just seem more and more arbitrary and capricious with consistent abuses of their discretion in favor of punishment rather than fair treatment and justice, Zeese said. They are not making us afraid. They are making us angry.
I consider him to be a criminal.
C’mon, people. This guy signed all kinds of oaths that he would keep this information secret. He’s a little prick.
Then give them the body to bury.
I was the same MOS (96B) while in the Army as this little homosexual creep. Makes me want to shower just thinking about it. BTW, I made Spec/5 in no time, yet he’s a PFC. Hmmmmmm....
I’m sure Benedict Arnold had some supporter too.
I’m sure the number is at least in the hundreds who have been killed because of Manning’s treachery.
Yeah, he should be hanging by the neck in the gallery, and the rest of the traitorous bastids right beside him.
As if these people (or the Obots) care about that...
So did the Rosenbergs. Hell, some of their supporters still think they’re innocent despite Soviet documents that prove their guilt.
They know that yet again, they can disguise their contempt for the lives of ours and our allies in the fact that none of the details will ever be revealed so as not to further harm security. These people are bags of excrement covered in human skin.
He’s a bitter homosexual who as a Private could not have possibly had access to some of what he handed to Assange.
He had help.
“I keep looking for the words “gay” or “homosexual” and can’t find them in this article... “
I also could not find, faggot, buttholesurfer. But maybe in the follow up article they will also reveal he’s a democrat.
Isn’t Manning the textbook example of the rationale behind limiting military service to heterosexuals?
Patriot to exactly what Cause, Country or Ideology?
They should reveal themselves, pay for his rigorous defense in a Court of Law and as a group pay the consequences, along with him.
Try, convict, and execute.
We should have executed John Walker Lindh. We did not, and as a result there was no fear of death for Bradley Manning as he committed treason.
We need to execute someone for treason to set the example for our own and the world we will not tolerate treason.
Such an execution would send two signals. One to those who would commit treason--we will find you, convict you, and execute you. And another to those who would not--there is no greater crime than threatening the freedom and lives our this nation's citizens, and we will use every power in the Constitution to protect our citizens.
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.