Bradley Manning Explains his Leaks in his own Voice in new Tape (Goodman)

Amy Goodman’s Democracy Now! airs excerpts from a leaked interview in which Bradley Manning for the first time since his arrest can be heard explaining why he gave government documents to Wikileaks for public release. He wanted to show everyone the “true costs of war” and to “spark a domestic debate on the role of the military and our foreign policy in general as it related to Iraq and Afghanistan.”

This is what Manning said:

BRADLEY MANNING: I began to think about what I knew and the information I still had in my possession. For me, the SigActs represented the on-the-ground reality of both the conflicts—of both the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan. I felt we were risking so much for—we were risking so much for people that seemed unwilling to cooperate with us, leading to frustration and hatred on both sides. I began to become depressed with the situation that we found ourselves increasingly mired in year after year. The SigActs documented this in great detail and provided context of what we were seeing on the ground.

In attempting to conduct counterterrorism, or CT, and counterinsurgency, COIN, operations, we became obsessed with capturing and killing human targets on lists and on being suspicious of and avoiding cooperation with our host nation partners, and ignoring the second and third order effects of accomplishing short-term goals and missions.

I believe that if the general public, especially the American public, had access to the information contained within the CIDNE-I and CIDNE-A tables, this could spark a domestic debate on the role of the military and our foreign policy in general, as well as it related to Iraq and Afghanistan.

I also believed the detailed analysis of the data over a long period of time by different sectors of society might cause society to reevaluate the need or even the desire to engage in counterterrorism and counterinsurgency operations that ignore the debate—that ignore the complex dynamics of the people living in the effected environment every day.”

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9 Responses

    • Bradley Manning simply did a “document dump” to Wikileaks where Dr. Ellsberg, a Harvard-educated scholar and policy expert, carefully redacted material that could compromise national security interests.

      Dr. Ellsberg was charged by the Department of Justice in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles but those charges were dismissed due to improper government conduct.

      There is a vast difference between what Bradley Manning did contrasted with Dr. Ellsberg. We cannot have U.S. Army privates decide they are going to leak massive amounts of classified information into the public realm for political motives.

      I agree with a number of points Manning made in the cited interview, but I do not agree that he had any legal or moral authority to publically disseminate classified information he had control over.

  1. I fear that the USG will now go on a witch hunt to find the person who taped this statement, and prosecute him/her. Whoever it is should be given the Congressional Medal of Honor for bringing some light to this prosecution, just as Manning deserves it for his extraordinary commitment to duty and to the Constitution.

  2. Manning seems to be reading from a script.
    Truly, this is his voice.
    Whether they are his words, or those of an advocate or advisor, remains to be seen.

  3. Bradley Manning sounds like he’s reading from a script because he’s reading from a text of his remarks that he’d written in advance for this very purpose. He thought through what he was saying; he wasn’t speaking extemporaneously.

    • This Amnesty International Report corroborates Pvt. Bradley Manning’s testimony. It details forced confessions extracted by the Iraqi security services under the government of Nouri al-Maliki:
      link to

  4. The murder from sky video of the killing of the Reuters reporter in Iraq and those with him and subsequent cold blooded killing of the people in the van, the good Samaritans that stopped to help the wounded, shocked the world and made the warmongers in the US shut up to large degree. It moved the goal posts definitely, keeping Iraq from agreeing to US demands about staying on there, because the US wanted immunity from prosecution for military contractors and others in Iraq as a condition of staying..
    Documents release showed how out of control and insane the ‘war on terror’ really was amongst other stuff.. -Among the other stuff were diplomatic correspondence about the government of Burma that showed the split in opinion among military leaders governing Burma (Myanmar)that surrounded the keeping of aid ships from unloading in wake of storm there.. This raised the bar for diplomatic and military behavior and led to gain in accountability.. It helped Burma move ahead for peace and prosperity. Bradley Manning by acting to release documents helped the United States.. He helped other nations and checked rogue behavior around the world. In my opinion if those who can don’t act, we all lose our freedom..
    But it’s even more spectacularly important than even that. Because Earth is fast losing her reflectivity and ability to shed heat to sky. She is at this very moment having CH4, Methane release in Arctic faster and faster on its own. Because of oil and coal use that set it in motion and out of control.. Earth is the only place in the Universe known to have life.. We are callously killing the home of all creatures large and small.. -and for what?

  5. Bradley Manning might only be a PFC but he has shown much more intelligence than all 4 million members of the DOD put together. He should not have to answer to them. They should have to answer to Bradely Manning.
    That military is not OUR military. It is the military of the Confederate States of America.

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