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Chris James

It's going to be a Manning summer

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Okay, here we go with the Wikileaks trial of Bradley Manning....remember him? Despite all the hoopla about his being gay I find that totally irrelevant. The defense would have us believe he was so upset about anti-gay sentiment in the military that he released 75,000 classified documents.

Lots of pros and cons will be aired this summer as the trial progresses and I'm sure you may have an opinion. I personally think the boy is an idiot. Why put on the uniform, swear loyalty oaths, sign secrecy agreements and then do something like this.

Those who think he has committed treason have a point, those who think he is some kind of hero are stupid. You want freedom of information released to the world? How about we start with your social security number and bank account information?

This man released the names of everyone working for the U.S. military in Afghanistan, both in uniform and those undercover. The Taliban sure read the documents so comfort and aid to the enemy does seem in order.

20 years or life in prison seems to be on the table while some suggest the firing squad. Perhaps the military needs to check it's people out a little better before handing them the keys to the kingdom, but then I think they are the biggest idiots in this whole sordid affair. Read on:

http://www.lgbtqnati...-witness-stand/

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I agree. When you are in uniform, you eschew politics OR you are supposed to. It doesn't matter how badly you feel about the civilian goverenment; how inept, stupid or corrupt they are.

Civilian control of the military is drilled into our soldiers, especially the officer corps, from DAY 1. We do NOT want military officers to make political decisions regardless of how they feel. That is why every third Colonel in a banana republic declares himself president for life and shoots the old president.

As a side bar, Manning being gay hands gay haters a ready made rhetorical club to beat us with. One of the arguments against gay people serving in the military openly was that GLBT people were unstable/unreliable/etc and that they couldn't be trusted. By creating the largest leak of classified material in history, Manning hasn't done us any favors.

It does not matter that he hated Bush. It does not matter that he was gay. It does not matter that he was against the war. It doesn't matter what information he dumped.

The only thing that matters is that he put on the uniform and broke the trust that he was given.

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I initially was for Manning, but more and more has come out about how troubled and psychologically screwed-up the guy is. And some of his early supporters have left, reportedly because of Manning's temper and other problems. It's clearly not a black and white issue.

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Not reported greatly in the UK, but I too was initially in favour. But there is a huge difference between 'whistle blowing' where an unfairness or illegality has been committed and endangering innocent others. As reported, his actions fall firmly into the later camp.

I frequently disagree with political decisions taken on the use of the military of the UK overseas, but such disagreement does not lead me to take it out on the soldiers who have my backing 101%.

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