The Norman Transcript

Columns

August 26, 2013

Manning is no Snowden

NORMAN — Bradley Manning is no Edward Snowden.

And though both are accused of going public with secret government documents, the comparisons pretty much end there.

While Snowden’s revelations touched off a painful but long-overdue review of the government’s excesses under cover of the Patriot Act and other post-9/11 laws, what Manning did was hubris.

“When I made these decisions, I believed I was going to help people, not hurt people,”

Manning said during trial. His decisions while an active-duty Army intelligence analyst were to give up hundreds of thousands of secret military and diplomatic documents to WikiLeaks to expose what he thought was the U.S. military’s ‘bloodlust.’

So the 35-year sentence Manning got this week was leniency itself. With good behavior and credit for the more than three years he has already been held, Manning could be out in about 6Ω years, according to his defense attorney David Coombs.

And in the end, the documents he gave to Wikileaks did little more than put fellow soldiers and others at risk. Manning digitally copied and released more than 700,000 documents, including Iraq and Afghanistan battlefield reports and State Department cables, while working in Iraq in 2010.

Manning also leaked video of a 2007 Apache helicopter attack in Baghdad that mistakenly killed at least nine people, including a Reuters photographer.

Manning’s lawyer argued his client had been full of youthful idealism and really, truly, genuinely believed that this information could make a difference.

But it was shown that al-Qaida used material from the helicopter attack in a propaganda video and some of the material was found in Osama bin Laden s hideout after he was killed.

Government witnesses also testified that the leaks endangered U.S. intelligence sources, some of whom were moved to other countries for their safety.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Columns
  • First, do no harm — to your bank account

    After being sued by the Wall Street Journal, the government finally released its Medicare reimbursement data last week. It included the less-than-stunning revelation that 28 of the 100 doctors who received the largest payments in 2012 were ...

    April 15, 2014

  • Reading between the lines

    Reading is such an improbable idea — a miracle, really. Yet simple squiggles on a page, arranged just so, can convey ideas that change the way we think or introduce to us characters we love for a lifetime. In celebration of reading — and ...

    April 15, 2014

  • CCFI tackling area’s child abuse problem

    Editor, The Transcript: To those of you who are reading this editorial, I assume you care or at least are entertained by the opinions of others. It is my hope and desire that when you read this editorial, you will care about the facts. ...

    April 12, 2014

  • Does Oklahoma need advice from Texas?

    Does Texas have a lock on “brilliant minds”? The names of Texans like Congressman Louie Gomert, Sen. Ted Cruz and that other guy ... I can’t think of his name ... oh yeah, Rick Perry come to mind very quickly. Add to that infamous list ...

    April 12, 2014

  • Why Comcast-Time Warner deal makes sense

    Say this about the deal announced Thursday for Comcast to buy Time Warner Cable: It’s big. Big price tag of $45 billion. Big combined subscriber base of 30 million households. And big risk of a veto from government antitrust regulators....

    April 12, 2014

  • Solid evidence within ice record

    In his November 10 Letter, Gary Reynolds misstated information in the October 27 op-ed by Catherine Hobbs, “New report says global warming is “unequivocal.” Mr. Reynolds incorrectly stated that Dr. Hobbs cited evidence from the 2007 UN ...

    April 12, 2014

  • Times two during April tax season

    Each April, it matters about which column the numbers fall into. Jerry’s first surgery for cataracts occurred in November and the other, December. “How’re you seeing now?” friends say....

    April 8, 2014

  • Soldiers home but not yet safe

    March ended with this uplifting news: For the first time in seven years, no U.S. soldiers died that month in combat. Not one....

    April 7, 2014

  • Fred Harris still sounds like a presidential candidate

    A tourist who happened to wander inside the Kerr Auditorium at the Sam Noble Oklahoma Museum of Natural History Friday afternoon missed the introduction but caught the tail end of Fred Harris’ lecture....

    April 6, 2014

  • Latin inventors thrive — in U.S.

    If you think that Latin America is doomed to remain behind in science, technology and innovation — as one could conclude from the latest international rankings of patents of new inventions — you should meet Luis Von Ahn....

    April 1, 2014