When the last name “Manning” floats around the media circus, its usually associated with one of the two pro-football stars Peyton and Eli (or their lesser known father, Archie). Bradley Manning is a name that relatively few people know or recognize off the top of their heads, but it should be. No, Bradley Manning has no apparent relation to any star athlete (that we know of). His story is more controversial, more complex, and more shrouded from the media.
Bradley Manning, now 25 years old, was arrested in May 2010 upon suspicion of leaking classified material and information about the United States military to a now well-known whistleblower site called Wikileaks.
Bradley Manning is credited with leaking a video, now known as “Collateral Murder”, that shows a U.S. Apache helicopter killing unarmed civilians and two Reuters journalists in Iraq. Manning is also credited with leaking several military documents that were considered classified by the Army. Bradley Manning was reported to authorities and arrested on violating the Espionage Act and aiding the enemy.
Today’s news cycle is constantly fixed on the subject of Edward Snowden, the low-level NSA worker who leaked information regarding massive surveillance programs that the United States engaged in. Several people recognize the name Edward Snowden, but fewer know of Bradley Manning.
These people need to be given, at the very least, attention. Manning was in solitary confinement for close to 10 months. He was detained, and is now on trial. His treatment was deplorable and media has virtually ignored his case and his story. The video he leaked contained terrifying examples of a government potentially spinning out of control. And the worst part? People involved in the military procedures in Iraq and Afghanistan have confirmed this isn’t something that only happened once.
The verdict in his trial is set to be read tomorrow, but who will be watching?