In the wake of the largest security breach in U.S. military history, the mainstream media have struggled to report all the facts about Bradley Manning, the Iraq war soldier in the middle of the Wikileaks scandal. In an effort to pursue political correctness over truthful journalism, ABC, CBS and NBC ignored uncomfortable facts about Manning's sexual orientation and history of "emotional fragility," choosing instead to describe him as an "outcast who tried desperately to fit in."
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Sunday’s Washington Post Magazine carried a cover story that oozed with compassion for radical-left WikiLeaks suspect Bradley Manning. Just as they did in last August's "antiwar hero" story, the Post utterly failed to locate Manning and his supporters on the far left. They were merely "free-information activists." They were the same kind of folks who wanted America to lose the Vietnam War, like Daniel Ellsberg, but that didn’t make them liberals. Post reporter Ellen Nakashima summed up:
For most of the past year, Manning spent 23 hours a day alone in a 6-by-12-foot jail cell. His case has become a rallying point for free-information activists, who say the leaked information belongs to the American people. They compare the 23-year-old former intelligence analyst to Daniel Ellsberg, leaker of the Vietnam War-era Pentagon Papers, and decry excessive government secrecy.
Cenk Uygur can't figure out why accused Army leaker Bradley Manning isn't being treated like a "hero". Seriously.
Uygur's guest on his MSNBC show this evening was P.J. Crowley, the former State Department spokesman who was forced out of his post for publicly criticizing the treatment of Manning while in detention awaiting trial.
Cenk whined as to why Manning isn't being accorded the "hero" treatment that Daniel Ellsberg received from some for his leak of the Pentagon Papers back in the Vietnam day. But P.J. presumably surprised Cenk, strongly supporting the prosecution of Manning, saying he "caused damage to the United States and our interests around that world," and that his "prosecution is quite necessary."
View video after the jump.
On Wednesday's Newsroom, CNN hyped the concerns of psychiatrist Terry Kupers over the imprisonment of Wikileaks suspect Bradley Manning. Kupers labeled Manning's months-long solitary confinement "cruel or inhumane treatment, and by international standards, they constitute torture." The guest also claimed that "nobody has been accused of crimes like Bradley Manning's."
Anchor Carol Costello noted in her introduction to her interview of Kupers (which aired 47 minutes into the 10 am Eastern hour) that "Manning, the man accused of giving Wikileaks classified documents, spent most of the last nine months in solitary confinement. One psychiatrist tells CNN that amounted to torture, and it could have done more harm than good." An on-screen graphic trumpeted this charge: "Wikileaks Suspect 'Tortured': Doc: Months of solitary does permanent damage."
A man is arrested and detained for months without any charges being brought against him. He is being held in deplorable conditions, forced to endure extreme physical and mental distress. He is exposed to the same ‘torture’ tactics that other enemies of the United States have allegedly suffered through.
So why isn’t the Commander-in-Chief taking heat for this travesty of justice?
Because this isn’t the Bush administration.
Firedoglake blogger, David House, has been detailing a recent visit with Bradley Manning, accused of leaking classified documents to Wikileaks, at a military prison at the Quantico Marine base in Virginia (h/t Weasel Zippers). Of course, House bemoaned the ‘inhumane’ treatment of Manning, describing the toll that months of solitary confinement have taken on his physical and mental well-being.
AFP ran with the story and made it clear that they had no intention of offering a balanced report. In fact, viewing the headline, one would never know that the story came from an extremely liberal website, reading more as fact than a slanted accusation.
In a report aired on Sunday’s NBC Nightly News, correspondent Mike Taibbi raised the possibility that the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy that prevented U.S. Army Private Bradley Manning from being openly gay in the military may have played a role in his decision to acquire and leak classified information to WikiLeaks. Before recounting that some in Manning’s hometown of Crescent, Oklahoma, believe he should be strictly punished for his actions, Taibbi also related: "Back in Manning's hometown, they're wondering if his troubled home life and his service in an Army that would not allow him to be openly gay had an impact on his decision to leak sensitive documents."
A bit earlier in the story, the NBC correspondent had also informed viewers of former hacker Adrian Lama’s account of Manning’s complaints about military service. Taibbi: "And in a dozen online conversations, Manning complained he was 'never noticed,' 'regularly ignored,' 'abused,' and said he became the WikiLeaks source because serving in Iraq he was 'actively involved' in something he was completely against."
Yesterday on Twitter, Salon's Glenn Greenwald promised followers a forthcoming story detailing allegations of torture against Private First Class Bradley Manning, the soldier accused of leaking to WikiLeaks. Manning, you may recall, is currently in the brig at Marine Corps Base Quantico.
"A major story brewing is the cruel, inhuman treatment - torture - to which Bradley Manning is being subjected: more to come shortly," Greenwald pledged on December 14. Greenwald's story was published early this morning.
So what was Greenwald's big scoop? What's the "torture" that Manning is subjected to?
If you said that he's in solitary confinement, can't watch MSNBC, and doesn't get a soft pillow with his cot, you guessed correctly (emphases mine):
Instead of leading with how Army Private First Class Bradley Manning may have jeopardized national security with his document dump to WikiLeaks, NBC's chief Pentagon correspondent Jim Miklaszewski, in his profile of Manning on Tuesday's Today show, told viewers he was the "most unlikely suspect, with a youthful smile" and portrayed him as an abused victim of the military. Miklaszewski used the New York Times' Ginger Thompson in his report to tell the tale of young man who apparently decided to avenge the abuse he had taken over the years, dating back to high school, by selling out his country.
Before throwing to soundbites from Thompson, Miklaszewski teased that the New York Times reporter "profiled Manning and found that as a young man he was an outcast who tried desperately to fit in." Thompson then went on to reveal that Manning "was teased all the time in elementary school for being a geek" and was beaten up in high school for "because kids figured out that he was gay." After Miklaszewski added that the abuse continued when he joined the Army, noting "once in the military, he quickly became a target," he aired another clip of Thompson claiming "As a gay man in the military, he was, you know, he was outcast and he was, you know, teased and harassed."
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On Saturday, The Washington Post devoted an entire article to left-wing praise and Facebook fan pages for Private Bradley Manning, suspected of the shocking leak of more than 90,000 documents on the war in Afghanistan. The headline was "Army analyst linked to WikiLeaks hailed as antiwar hero."
Washington Post reporter Michael W. Savage (not that other Michael Savage) began: "For antiwar campaigners from Seattle to Iceland, a new name has become a byword for anti-establishment heroism: Army Pfc. Bradley E. Manning." In the entire story, there is no liberal or leftist label used, and there is no conservative counterpoint quoted. There are only "grass roots activists" offering praises to the audacity of Manning:
In investigating the leak, will the media explore every plausible motivation on Manning's part, even in spite of strong resistance from the forces of political correctness? We're about to find out.
Manning was openly gay, and possibly transgendered. The UK Telegraph gleaned a number of posts from his Facebook page in which he expressed what seems like intense depression, and occasionally disdain for the US military. There is evidence that he took part in protests against the military's "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy.
"He essentially followed the Nuremberg principles," Moore claimed, "which is when you see something going on like this, when you see war crimes being committed, when you see lies being told in order to bring a country to war, you have to speak out against it."
Moore thought that Manning "is exactly who we want in our armed forces," and deserves the Profile in Courage award for helping to make the WikiLeaks public knowledge. "You can't just line up and be a good German and do what you're told to do," Moore said in defense of Manning's audacity.
The liberal filmmaker appeared on King's show last Tuesday, and the news hour was re-aired Sunday night. Moore answered questions from King and from viewers themselves on topics ranging from the BP oil spill to the Arizona immigration law to the WikiLeaks scandal.