Saturday, December 11, 2010

A Reminder Who The Primary Culprit in the Wikileaks Case Is

Zombie over at PajamasMedia points out that the person who, at least so far, was the primary reason for these 250,000 diplomatic cables seems to be a soldier named Bradley Manning, who appears to have provided them (along with some much more serious classified materials) to Wikileaks.  Of course, the news media are paying more attention to Julian Assange than Bradley Manning for a number of reasons:

1. Julian Assange is a publicity hound.

2. Bradley Manning is not exactly the poster child for "Don't Ask, Don't Be Fabulous."  Manning's misbehavior with classified document leakage apparently started out as:
While still enlisted, Manning was dumped by his transvestite boyfriend (seriously) and was so upset that he lost his temper and got into fistfights with other soldiers, and was dishonorably discharged for his violent outbursts. Before leaving his post, he downloaded all the secret files he could get his hands on, out of spite. Once back in the civilian world, he fell in with a crew of radical gay activists, to whom he bragged that he had these secret files. These activists were already aware of Wikileaks from earlier cases, and it was they who contacted Assange on Manning’s behalf, and eventually the two hooked up and Manning gave him the files on the promise that Assange would publicize them.
Obviously, there are a lot of gay soldiers who have the maturity to not do stupid things like this--and the maturity to keep their mouths shut about their sexual orientation.  They have my respect for doing their job for our country, and deciding that this is more important than making a big public noise about their homosexuality.  You can see why the news media would prefer not raising the ugly little details about Manning, however.  It doesn't fit the narrative.

UPDATE: A commenter says that the sequence of events described by Zombie in the blockquote is incorrect--that he was still on active duty when he was arrested.  I don't have any alternative narrative, but I'm interested in hearing one.

UPDATE 2: Wikipedia's account somewhat matches the above, and somewhat doesn't. It is certainly a plausible version with sources.


  1. "Don't Ask, Don't Be Fabulous."

    I'm stealing that.

  2. Not quite sure where you got your information on Manning, but it seems to be completely incorrect. He was arrested for the leak while still on active duty (which he still is) in Kuwait. He has never been discharged, and won't be until the end of his prison term / execution.

  3. That, and "Zombie" defends Assange as not really being a criminal, and "if not him then someone else would have done that".

    Possession of classified documents is criminal, unless one *IMMEDIATELY* turns them (the docs and associated info) to the relevant authorities; regardless of any appeals to the "Pentagon Papers Affair".


  4. I'm not seeing the blockquoted section in the linked article; maybe it was removed for inaccuracy. A more accurate version of Manning's status comes from one of the comments:

    The simple fact that he's in a military brig indicates that he's still on active duty, and wasn't discharged -- the only time civilians are in the brig is if they've been declared enemy combatants, which hasn't happened to Manning.

  5. It was in one of Zombie's comments on that article by Zombie.