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Listen: Bradley Manning’s Leaked Court Statement
Posted on Mar 12, 2013
We’ve known for a while what Pfc. Bradley Manning looks like, but thanks to the Freedom of the Press Foundation we also now know what he sounds like.
The organization violated court rules when late Monday it released the full audio of Manning’s hourlong statement before a military court in Fort Meade, Md., marking the first time since his arrest in May 2010 that the American public has heard him speak.
The foundation also posted an edited clip of Manning discussing his reaction to a 2007 video he released to WikiLeaks. The video, titled “Collateral Murder,” depicts a U.S. airstrike in Baghdad that killed a number of civilians, including two Reuters journalists.
“At first, I did not consider the video very special, as I have viewed countless other ‘war porn’-type videos depicting combat,” Manning said. “However, the recording of audio comments by the aerial weapons team crew and the second engagement in the video of an unarmed bongo truck troubled me.
“It was clear to me that the event happened because the aerial weapons team mistakenly identified Reuters employees as a potential threat and that the people in the bongo truck were merely attempting to assist the wounded. The people in the van were not a threat but merely ‘good Samaritans.’ The most alarming aspect of the video to me, however, was the seemly delightful blood lust they appeared to have,” he said. “They dehumanized the individuals they were engaging in and seemed to not value human life by referring to them as ‘dead bastards’ and congratulating themselves on their ability to kill in large numbers.”
Manning added that he felt “emotionally” burdened by the video.
Manning pleaded guilty to 10 charges and faces up to 20 years in prison. However, he also pleaded not guilty to 12 other charges that constitute the more serious allegations against him, including aiding the enemy and espionage.
As Truthdig columnist Chris Hedges—who witnessed Manning’s statement in court—wrote earlier this month in a piece titled “We Are Bradley Manning :
To view Alexa O’Brien’s full transcript of Bradley Manning’s statement, click here.
—Posted by Tracy Bloom.
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