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Ear to the Ground

Bradley Manning: Whistle-Blower or Attention Whore?

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Posted on Jul 26, 2013
AP/Patrick Semansky

Army Pfc. Bradley Manning is escorted to a waiting security vehicle outside of a courthouse in Fort Meade, Md.

We’ve seen radically different presentations of Bradley Manning in the closing statements presented by the defense and prosecution at his court-martial. But it’s what the judge believes that will determine his fate.

The defense, in its closing argument Friday, said Manning was a troubled soldier who was deeply disturbed by what he saw in the secrets files to which he had access and wanted to do something to make the world a better place.

By contrast, the prosecution argued Thursday that Manning delighted in the fame he thought his exploits would bring him. He wanted to be known, and he was determined to aid the enemy—the charge that could land Manning in prison for life—to that end. The problem with this line of reasoning is that it doesn’t explain why Manning would deliberately cover his tracks. He was outed, after all, by the hacker Adrien Lamo, Manning’s confidant-turned-Judas.

Manning’s lawyer, David Coombs, asked the judge to review his client’s entire online chat with Lamo, not just the damning bits the prosecution placed in evidence.

“You have to look at that from the point of view of a guy who cared about human life,” Coombs is quoted as saying by CBS News.

—Posted by Peter Z. Scheer

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