Sure, I'm pleased that some of the documents Manning let loose have helped to turn the hip-to-be-at-war mentality.
When I think beyond the particulars to the process, Manning sent materials that were classified according to the laws you and I elected representatives to enact. Although I signed the Manning petition and donated and have the stickers on my truck, I'm not so sure I'm down with the notion that the personal should circumvent the procedural.
If our laws don't mean squat, we should change the laws. What does it served to make exceptions? What Manning and Assange did was against the laws we have enabled through our process. So, if the laws that keep your private information private were released worldwide by Assange, would you be okay with that -- all your book purchases, the websites you've visited, the photos you've taken, every parcel you receive, every conversation you have over the phone, every email?
I don't see how we can demand personal privacy and throw over the laws we've enacted as a nation so cavalierly. If the laws are wrong, work on the laws. This guy broke the laws we put in place through those we elected. To make him a scapegoat for our own lack of vigilance when it comes to public information laws...well, it seems pretty lazy.
I'm sure I don't want Julian Assange deciding what should be public information. That's information vigilantism. One guy can decide what information gets out. A dictator of information; nothing is secret unless he decides it is. Our system may be corrupt and bankrupt, but at least it's ours and not one guy playing dictator of information.