Re: Re: Manning and whistleblowing
posted at 7:03 pm on January 19, 2013 by Jazz Shaw
Ed, I hear what you’re saying, and I’m not disagreeing on the technical points. Bradley Manning absolutely had each of those avenues open to him, and perhaps more. Even in a worst case scenario where he was deployed in a command who refused to process any complaints he might have, there were other avenues. When on leave or in a position to make a private, unmonitored call to family members, he could have gotten word to a more “friendly” senator about his charges, even if he lived in a deep red state. And they would have received a response given the political and security ramifications of the claims. But that’s not really the crux of what I was driving at and, perhaps, failed to convey.
One of my key points was that Manning doesn’t even qualify as a legitimate whistleblower by definition, as I explained in my column. Had he come close to qualifying, he could have found extra-legal avenues for his complaints. Given the rather poisonous media environment, as I think you’ll agree, the alleged traitor could have found a willing ear anywhere from the CBS evening news to even Wikileaks. Had he truly been angry just over the now public video and released just that – perhaps with a handful of carefully chosen pieces of military correspondence supporting his claims – he would have found willing allies in the press. And that kind of pressure can and does have an effect (at least sometimes) on the military and their civilian directors. It might even have influenced a somewhat more favorable outcome for him.
But going back to my original assertion, his blatant, scattershot release of nearly a million pieces of sensitive documentation made it hard for even the media to give him cover on the larger stage. Assuming the things his lawyer has already hinted at being willing to admit are true, Manning was no whistleblower. He was angry at something to be sure, but it wasn’t righteous indignation. He may have been angry at the military after finding, once on the inside, that he was a poor fit for it. But he was no crusader. He was treasonous.
The military justice system is not composed of idiots, no matter how much many of us who lived it like to joke about it. And I think the judge in this case is no idiot and has already seen through this as a sham. Just my opinion, of course.