Why is Bradley Manning your hero?Submitted by snakepit22 on Thu, 08/22/2013 - 12:09
Why do we keep trying to create heroes for this movement? For people who condemn the mainstream media, we seem to fall very easily into their trap of propping up those they consider heroes. A sheriff in Idaho gives a pro-gun speech and all of the sudden he is "the next big thing". A former governor questions the official 9/11 story and we all of the sudden knight him as a defender of liberty. A private in the Army leaks documentation of a war crime (and 500,000 other documents)and he is the defender of freedom. Do we even care about these people, who they are, what is on their resume?
In the case of Bradley Manning, does it matter that he leaked half a million other documents which he couldn't possibly have read, couldn't possibly have examined, to decide whether they were appropriate to leak in the name of freedom? Do you at all find it odd that in his letter asking for a pardon, he quotes noted Socialist, Howard Zinn? What about this kid makes you think he understands liberty? Millions of socialists, communists, and outright enemies of liberty are also against war. Being against war doesn't make you a mouthpiece for liberty, it just makes you human.
I do have sympathy for Bradley Manning and I don't want to see him in prison for 35 years. But a hero? From where I sit, he seems like a very confused and depressed kid who acted with extreme carelessness. We look for heroes and find them in news station sound bites. We've stopped looking at liberty as a logical choice and started simply following public figures who've put a spotlight on one thing we don't like.
Be proud of Bradley for the good he did in exposing war crimes, but realize that was only a small part of what he leaked. Having said that, it is hard for me to believe he was acting out of concern for liberty and not just some depression fueled confusion as a result of being gay in the Army. It is even harder for me to believe that Bradley understands Liberty. Thirty five years in prison will not stop him from committing the same crime again, being out of the Army will. So, in my opinion, yes he should be pardoned. But should he be held as a hero of this movement? No. This isn't simply an antiwar movement, it is a pro-liberty movement, and Bradley Manning has done very little to prove he understands liberty.