Having had his sentence for betraying the nation commuted by President Barack Obama, former soldier Chelsea Manning is making the rounds of various public speaking appearances. One of these took place in the Big Apple at the New Yorker Festival yesterday. When the question came up of the hundreds of thousands of sensitive documents he dumped out into the public sphere, Manning claimed that he had not, in fact, done anything wrong. The reason? They weren’t “intelligence documents” but rather “historical data.” And no… I’m not even kidding. (Fox News)
Chelsea Manning on Sunday told a crowd at the annual New Yorker Festival in New York that the information she leaked did not expose names of informants.
“These aren’t intelligence documents,” she said. “It’s historical data.”
She went on, “There’s nothing sensitive in there, there’s no troop movements,” she added. “It was a historical record of everything that had happened in Iraq and Afghanistan.”
Manning, who was released in May after seven years in military prison, was by turns impassioned, defensive, humorous and occasionally tearful in a panel discussion with New Yorker writer Larissa MacFarquhar.
This argument is nothing but word salad and nonsense. Manning dumped more than a quarter million diplomatic cables and over 480,000 army reports and couldn’t have sorted through and read them all if he’d had years to work on the project to the exclusion of everything else. The court heard the issue and while the charges of Aiding the Enemy were eventually dropped, 17 other very serious charges stuck. Numerous military spokespeople agreed that our foreign affairs efforts, both diplomatic and military, were damaged by his revelations for years to come.
Historical documents? Yes. So were the plans to West Point when Benedict Arnold turned them over.
As I’ve said previously, if Manning was truly upset about a couple of military operations where civilians were injured or killed and he couldn’t get anyone in the chain of command to listen to him, he could have just released those two or three videos he claimed were so important. It still would have been aiding the enemy and a breach of his oath, but at least he could argue that he was blowing the whistle on something which might legitimately have been seen as improper behavior on the part of the Army. But dumping another three quarter million documents on top of them blows that excuse out of the water.
And as to his claim that the leaks didn’t expose the names of informants, that’s not a bridge to stand on either. In fact, the interviewer attempted to get him to comment on the fact that Wikileaks had failed to redact the names of Afghan civilians included in the leaked material. At that point he got more than a little defensive. (Business Insider)
“I’m not going to have this debate right now,” Manning snapped, after The New Yorker’s Larissa MacFarquhar asked about WikiLeaks’ decision not to redact the names of Afghan civilians mentioned in the documents Manning had leaked to the organization in 2010.
Her agitation seemed misplaced; no one had challenged her to a debate, and Wikileaks was central to the story many had paid money to hear her tell. But she insisted, upon further questioning from MacFarquhar about how and why she decided on WikiLeaks, that she “hadn’t had time to think about these questions.”
So you haven’t had time to think about those questions, eh? Seems to me that you had years on end of absolutely nothing to do but think about things. Of course, I can think of some other folks who probably didn’t have nearly as much time to ponder the leaks. Do you know what the enemy does to civilians among their own numbers who are even suspected of working with the American military? We might ask them all to comment but I have a feeling some of them have gone missing.
This is a farce. The fact that this traitor is still being lauded as some sort of role model by the left is an insult to everyone who has ever served in uniform. But you keep on trotting him out there like a show pony and we’ll keep reminding everyone of exactly what he did.