Wikileaker Bradley Manning Pleads Guilty to Some Charges
You remember gay U.S. soldier Bradley Manning, right? We wrote about him a few months back:
In May 2010, U.S. Army Private Bradley Manning was arrested under suspicion of leaking hundreds of thousands of classified State Department documents to the international whistleblower site Wikileaks. He did this by burning the files onto a CD with "Lady Gaga" written on it.
Among the files Manning leaked were a now famous video showing a U.S. helicopter strike against Iraqi civilians, another listing Wikileaks specifically as a U.S. security threat and 260,000 U.S. diplomatic cables which embarrassed ambassadors and foreign diplomats worldwide...
Manning faces 22 federal charges for his role in the leak. And, according to his attorney David Coombs, he has plead guilty to some of the lesser charges by admitting that he did in fact leak the documents (something that was already accepted fact).
However, Manning has not pled guilty to the more serious charges of 'aiding the enemy' [al-Qaeda] and 'exceeding authorized access' on his computer (that is, retrieving files that he should not have had access to.
Whether you see Manning as a traitor or a hero, the outcome of his case should matter to internet users and human rights supporters alike because it will determine whether the U.S. can arrest its own citizens for reporting military wrongdoing to foreign media. It will also provide a second hard look at the U.S. practice of military torture -- something Manning has endured while awaiting trial.
Just look at him in the picture above. The boy is gaunt. That's what happens when you're forced to spend 23 hours a day naked in solitary confinement without exercise, a bed or uninterrupted sleep.