Bradley Manning is a member of the US Army that had access to databases the government used to transmit classified information. He saw evidence of crimes, abuse, and corruption, and his conscience led him to release that information to Wikileaks. He believed the public needed to see the information so they could know the truth and make informed decisions.
Probably the most notable information released was a video of helicopter gunsight footage from a July 12, 2007 Baghdad strike. The video shows an attack against a group of people, several of which were armed. Two of the men in that group were from Reuters news service. One was killed and the other injured. A father with his two kids drove up in a van and started to help up the injured reporter. The soldiers got permission and attacked the van, killing the second reporter and the father. The two children were injured, but survived. The video of this incident was titled Collateral Murder by Wikileaks and you can watch it at that link. Be warned that while it is a black and white video from a helicopter, it is still disturbing.
Manning was arrested in 2010 and kept in solitary confinement for almost a year before being transferred. His trial just began on June 3, three years after his arrest. Earlier this year he pled guilty to the charges of releasing the files to the public, but he is still being accused of “aiding the enemy.” If convicted, he faces life imprisonment.
There has not been any evidence I am aware of that the information released has placed anyone in danger.
Whistleblowers are important and they should be protected, not locked up in cages their entire life. The public is better off for this information being released.
I stand with Bradley Manning and believe he should be released.