The Norman Transcript

Opinion

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
Opinion
  • Help for rural America

    A drive through rural parts of the Southwest can be depressing. For sale and for rent signs are prevalent. Businesses along main streets have closed. Unless they are close to a major interstate highway, many communities are in decline....

    April 23, 2014

  • Embarrassment to Oklahoma, again

    The standardized testing that was halted in local schools Monday is another embarrassment to the state. The same thing happened a year ago and Oklahoma gave them another chance....

    April 23, 2014

  • Time to move on; exit of Sebelius is right choice

    From the moment it became obvious that healthcare.gov wasn’t working, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius became damaged goods for the White House....

    April 23, 2014

  • Happy birthday to us

    We don’t expect any cake and that many candles might be dangerous but today is the unofficial 125th birthday of Norman....

    April 22, 2014

  • Hero of Haarlem … for common good

    “Trudging stoutly along by the canal,” as the story goes, the 8-year-old son of a Dutch sluicer was returning home from delivering cakes to a blind man. Humming as he passed the dikes, he noticed that recent rains had made his father’s job ...

    April 22, 2014

  • Hate without end

    The news that a former grand dragon of the Ku Klux Klan is suspected of shooting and killing three people near Jewish community centers in Kansas seems at first glance like a disparaged past flaring briefly into the present. Americans like ...

    April 21, 2014

  • Reform is necessary

    Editor, The Transcript: Last year, the legislature passed laws reforming the Oklahoma Department of Veterans Affairs, which was a good start, but more is needed. Recent media reports have revealed that the ODVA employs M.D. and D.O. ...

    April 20, 2014

  • Keep your brain cells

    Editor, The Transcript: Hey kids. Four centuries ago, Shakespeare wrote about life’s seven great adventures. I forget his exact words, but they were something like this: 1. Our birth; none of us can remember it, but never the less, it is ...

    April 20, 2014

  • Don’t let moderation confuse you

    Jeb Bush’s recent compassionate comments on immigration show how far apart he is from the far right of the Republican Party....

    April 20, 2014

  • Priest’s execution should spur action

    In the hierarchy of saints, martyrs are on the highest rung of the celestial ladder, at least for me....

    April 20, 2014