Bradley Manning refused to defend the indefensible

August 22, 2013

Pfc. Bradley Manning should have realized that an "undeclared" war simply means you're supposed to keep your mouth shut ("Manning testifies: 'I'm sorry that I hurt the United States,'" Aug. 14).

Didn't he know that as an Army intelligence specialist, he wasn't being paid to think?

By showing the world we're blasting the very civilians we purport to protect, Mr. Manning has endangered our peacekeeping missions. Further, it is he who is the loose cannon, and not those attached to the bombers and gunships seen massacring scores of civilians as brought to light by his disclosures.

Indeed, it's Mr. Manning who is considered violent and impetuous and not feckless military field intelligence, which with drone technology recently boasted a casualty ratio of one insurgent per 50 innocents.

But who's counting? After all, who has time for accuracy, ethics or accountability when we're still trying to come up with a plausible rationale for being over there in the first place?

Perhaps for Mr. Manning it was one thing to defend democracy and freedom but an entirely different one to defend that which is altogether indefensible.

Tracy Stott, Baltimore

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