It was my pleasure this past Thursday, May 12, 2011 to talk about Bradley Manning with Emma Cape, of COURAGE TO RESIST. We discussed Ellen Nakashima’s recent article about Bradley Manning in this month’s Washington Post Magazine.
I first heard Ellen on Michel Martin’s Tell Me More, and became interested in how Nakashima presented Bradley Manning. I read Nakashima’s article and was grateful to learn so much about Manning, including his time in Oklahoma, to his time with his Aunt Debbie, to his time in Wales. It was interesting to learn how he was initially pursuing a Ph.D in Physics, and how he learned a lot in computer programming from his father. However there were two mainly troubling points in this article to me, each of which frame Manning as though what he did was ‘unpatriotic’ when, assuming he in fact is guilty of what he’s accused of, this act is nothing short of patriotic. It forces us to look exactly at what our taxpayer monies are used for in U.S. foreign policy. First, is a statement by Nakashima that Manning tells his boyfriend that he’s gotten his hands on sensitive material that he’s considering passing to WikiLeaks. There is no evidence that Nakashima provides for this claim. Second, Nakashima writes that based on “a second source,” the chat logs on Adrian Lamo’s hard drive matched those on Bradley Manning’s hard drive, but Nakashima does not identify this source. This to me seems to be the whole article’s attempt to declare Manning guilty before his trial and it is denies him his right to a fair trial that, also Troy Davis never got as he faces execution. My dialogue here with Emma Cape of COURAGE TO RESIST (www.bradleymanning.org) mentions the latter point as well as President Obama’s reaction to Manning case.