After being detained for 8 months in Quantico, VA, Fort Leavenworth, Kansas is PFC Manning’s next destination. The Pentagon says the move has nothing to do with his treatment in Quantico. It’s about Fort Leavenworth being a more suitable place for a longer stay. Looks like they’ve read the tea leaves regarding his fate.
I wonder if it was pressure that prompted his transfer. Amnesty International spoke out against his treatment, saying that the his treatment was inhumane. The British government was also critical since PFC Manning is also a British citizen (through his mom). He was in solitary confinement and allowed exercise one hour a day. He was only allowed to sleep in a “suicide-proof smock.” He’s made to strip in front of the guards before getting the smock. I’m glad he is getting the transfer, mainly because solitary messes with your head. For someone mentally ill, that could just completely destroy their psyche. Manning being mentally ill is debatable, but a mental health specialist recommended that Manning not be deployed to Iraq. The military tossed it aside and sent him anyway, probably because they need as many bodies they as can get over there.
Reading the comments disturbed me, of course. Things like “string him up,” “save money, execute him now,” “line him up in front of a firing squad.” Hmm. Innocent until proven guilty?
If it turns out that he is convicted of leaking sensitive information via a Lady Gaga CD and a minimally secure military network system, what do you think should be the punishment? People who made the above comments believe he is a traitor. Other people say he’s a hero for forcing transparency.
I don’t know how I feel about this “grey hat hacktivist.” He took an oath to keep secrets, well, secret. Releasing information like this can “out” undercover government agents, putting their lives at risk. He also gave a lot of people information regarding America’s foreign policy. I don’t know, but I found it interesting that the KSA encouraged the United States to attack Iran. Ideally, shouldn’t democracies be transparent?
Since my stance is “I don’t know,” what is yours? PFC Manning – traitor or hero?