If You Were Bradley Manning, What Would You Do?

from the put-yourself-in-his-shoes dept

Some Bradley Manning supporters have put together a very compelling campaign, called I Am Bradley Manning, asking the government to drop the “aiding the enemy” charge against Bradley Manning and noting the chilling effects it has on whistleblowers. The key part of the campaign is a five minute video of various well-known people talking about Bradley Manning and asking what would you do if you were in his shoes, and saw that your government was lying to the public, and doing things that you believed went against the very values and principles you were supposed to be fighting for.

The video includes commentary from a variety of different people, including Pentagon Papers leaker Daniel Ellsberg, reporter Matt Taibbi, actors Russell Brand, Wallace Shawn, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Peter Sarsgaard and many more, musicians Roger Waters, Tom Morello, Moby and many more. For whatever reason — even with all of the new attention paid to leaking due to Ed Snowden, the travesty that is the Bradley Manning trial still just isn’t getting that much attention. One hopes that a bit more mainstream interest might change that. It really is an important question: if you were in Bradley Manning’s shoes, what would you do?

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Comments on “If You Were Bradley Manning, What Would You Do?”

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Anonymous Coward says:

Re: I would like to say I would have done the same thing...

Ditto. I am a coward (not only in the anonymous fashion) and would likely fight myself for weeks to months to years over what I should do. Then again, I’ve never been faced with a situation of such importance to other people, so I can only hope that would be incentive enough.

I’ll probably never know if I have the strength necessary that I doubt I have, but I appreciate knowing that Manning does have it.

John Fenderson (profile) says:

Re: I would like to say I would have done the same thing...

Me too. I’m not a cowardly person, and I tend to act on my beliefs even when it’s easier or less harmful to turn my back on them, so I would like to believe I would do the same as Snowden.

However, this is one of those “easy to say when you aren’t actually facing it” kinds of situations. So, to be 100% honest with myself, I don’t really know what I’d do.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: I would like to say I would have done the same thing...

I already know what I would do. I worked for a company in the past who had shady practices when it came to most everything. I had domain admin access, so I was able to watch my own back, but I saw stuff happen both to internal employees and external clients that would make your head spin.

What did I do? Well, I was pretty junior at the time and I knew the job looked good on my resume, so I rode it out, kept my head down, and once I had enough experience to get something better, left and did so. Honestly, I can’t imagine doing it any differently. That company is still in business and I know is never going to change (even if I blew a whistle to someone, I watched them weasel out of enough to know it wouldn’t affect much), so all I could do was stay on guard, get something out of it, and move on. I still have a good reference and quite a bit of experience from there.

Anonymous Coward says:

Of course it’s not getting much attention, because regardless of how the government tries to spin the decision, by claiming Manning “aided the enemy” the are essentially stating they consider the American people the enemy (which is why, like Snowden, they rarely name a specific “enemy”, just “potential terrorists”).

Berenerd (profile) says:

Re: Re:

And this is my thought exactly. He made the american people aware of what our government was doing. He gave nothing to the enemy other than talking points to prove the US is not holier than thou, which they already knew anyhow. I wonder if the US government really understands the full meaning of their actions at this point. The US people can only keep a blind eye for so long.

AB says:

Re: Re: Re:

Even the ‘talking points’ are actually a gift to the US since a country that still has something to talk about is far less likely to attack.

The fact is that nothing he told was harmful to the US, though some of it was certainly uncomfortable to specific individuals within said US. Of course that hardly counts since those individuals are the greatest existing threat to the nation – far greater than any terrorists, real or imagined.

renato maalouli says:



What were their crimes even??

The right to exercise FREE EXPRESSION, only to be subdued, chastened the worst possible way, ruthlessly brutal and painful to which the government itself makes the country such partnership, to be a greater control of nationals of the U.S. and the world and thus be targeted only the information that interests and convenient to own U.S. government and Israel. What is missing now. Put a camera in my bathroom?

Thank hacker American government, and the president of this country, Barack Obama (I trusted him), you helped me a lot in the exercise of my individual freedom and you also “never” persecuted those who think different from you.

“DESIRE” total progress for all intellectuals throughout the world from this discovery;


tqk (profile) says:

What would Bradley Manning do? He’d get nailed to a cross. He’d be a deer in the headlights. He’d be a Winston Smith, utterly oblivious to the magnitude of the avalanche of power about to fall and crush him. This’s the 21st Century. The proper response to it is a cross between Jason Bourne and the Inglorious Bastards; that is, if you don’t wish to end up like roadkill.

Snowden has the right idea, but he’s far too trusting and naive as well.

Rekrul says:

What would I have done?

I would have taken the information, scrubbed it of anything that could directly endanger lives (names of informants, etc), removed anything that could identify me, made multiple copies while wearing rubber gloves and then covertly mailed them from another city to various news outlets and/or Wikileaks, all while doing my job and keeping my head down.

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