I must admit I’ve not read up on all of the findings of his trial, but my thoughts at the time of his being released to the US was that until it was established through a court that he had abandoned his post, it was our duty to bring him home, so I agreed with the decision to make a prisoner exchange. I was unwilling to accept the notion that we’d abandon one of our soldiers on the basis that he MAY have abandoned his post.
Yes, they’re willing to do what most wouldn’t, and I respect them for that.
Ok, so there are a few things to address in this. I’ve covered some of it back when this case originally took place, hell maybe stuff in this very thread… it was like 5 months ago since anyone posted in it. But let me try to point out a few things.
First, there is the notion of “the military” engaging in abuses. This certainly happens. And we have whistleblowing protections for legitimate whistleblowers. In some cases, someone might take illegal actions due to trying to expose some thing, but if they were to do so they should live with the consequences. But in such a case, I could possibly respect their actions. Someone like Snowden, for instance… while I did not really agree with how he acted, he seemed to have legitimate complaints about what was happening. He was trying to accomplish some specific thing. (we don’t need to get into everything wrong with what he did here)
But this is not what Manning did. Manning was not a whistleblower, by any stretch of the imagination.
Manning was not trying to expose any particular abuse. Manning did not release any specific information about a crime being committed.
Instead, Manning released a mountain of classified data, which she did not even know the contents of.
To me, that is a profoundly irresponsible act.
It’s irresponsible because while overclassification is a thing, classification is also legitimate in many cases. There are times when information being leaked can harm our soldiers. Not merely the abstract “military” that you are railing against, but actual men in the field. Hell, in some cases, we’re talking about guys who are little more than kids still. Releasing information which could put those men in danger, with no greater goal other than personal glory and a vague notion of harming the organization you’ve taken an oath to, is not an admirable act to me. It is contemptible.
Finally, the notion that anyone other than Manning is responsible for Mannings actions is pure absurdity. No. Manning chose to release a mountain of classified data, with no goal in mind beyond simply feeling some ridiculous sense of celebrity. Manning gave no thought at all to the men in the field who her actions might endanger. And her actions were her own.
Manning is not a good person, and not someone who should be honored in any way.