Bradley Manning in court, Day One

UPDATE: This livefeed from The Guardian lucidly describes the details as the defense wraps up (12/21/11).

For some background, see my March 2011 posts on Manning, Part One and Part Two. See also the video of the US military murdering civilians from a helicopter, which was covered up until Manning (allegedly) released it.

Glenn Greenwald:

The individual who is most responsible for having informed the world of more journalistic scoops than every single media outlet combined, who even Bill Keller, the very anti-WikiLeaks executive editor of the New York Times, said was responsible substantially for helping to trigger the Arab Spring—this is, of course, if he’s actually has done what the U.S. government has accused him of—and, as well, has helped to bring about the end of the Iraq War, not just by showing that Apache helicopter attack video, but also by publishing documents about a U.S. air strike on a home that killed six children—or actually, they did a night raid that killed six children, and the U.S. then air-bombed that house to destroy the evidence so that they could lie about what took place, which is what the Iraqi people learned about with the release of these cables, that caused the Maliki government to refuse the release of immunity—has done more to inform the world about so many things that we ought to have known than any single person alive.

If he’s alleged to have done what he’s doing, he now faces possibly the death penalty. Although the government is not seeking it, he could still have it imposed on him if he’s convicted, as well as a lifetime in prison at the age of 23 […] It’s an extraordinary tragedy, what has happened to Bradley Manning. The criminals whom he’s exposed have suffered no consequences. The only one who’s suffering consequences is the person who exposed these grave crimes to the world. […] The benefits that these leaks have generated for the world are so enormous that we wouldn’t have time to discuss even a fraction of them.

Daniel Ellsberg:

First of all, on that video, which I’ve seen a number of times, let me speak as a former Marine company commander, and I was a battalion training officer who trained the 3rd Battalion, 2nd Marines on rules of war. No question in my mind, as I looked at that, that the specific leaked pictures in there of helicopter gunners hunting down and shooting an unarmed man in civilian clothes, clearly wounded, in an area where a squad of American soldiers was about to appear, as the helicopter gunners knew, to take custody of anyone remaining living, that shooting was murder. It was a war crime. Not all killing in war is murder, but a lot of it is. And this was. […]  Private Bradley Manning […] is credited by President Obama and the Justice Department, or the Army, actually, with having given WikiLeaks that helicopter picture and other evidence of atrocities and war crimes—and torture, specifically—in Iraq, including in the Obama administration. That, in other words, led to the Tunisian uprising, the occupation in Tunis Square, which has been renamed by—for another face that could go on that picture, Mohamed Bouazizi, who, after the WikiLeaks exposures of corruption, in Tunis, himself, Bouazizi, burned himself alive just one year ago tomorrow, Saturday, December 17th, in protest. And the combination of the WikiLeaks and Bradley Manning exposures in Tunis and the exemplification of that by Mohamed Bouazizi led to the protests, the nonviolent protests, that drove Ben Ali out of power, our ally there who we supported up ’til that moment, and in turn sparked the uprising in Egypt, in Tahrir Square occupation, which immediately stimulated the Occupy Wall Street and the other occupations in the Middle East and elsewhere.

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