Bradley Manning: Does the Wikileaks Whistleblower Deserve the Nobel Peace Prize? Jack Westerfil

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Bradley Manning: Does the Wikileaks Whistleblower Deserve the Nobel Peace Prize?  by  Jack Westerfil

Bradley Manning: Does the Wikileaks Whistleblower Deserve the Nobel Peace Prize? by Jack Westerfil
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In late May 2010, Pfc. Bradley Manning, who was a military intelligence analyst in the U.S. Army, was arrested for allegedly disclosing hundreds of thousands of classified diplomatic cables and intelligence reports to WikiLeaks, a website thatMoreIn late May 2010, Pfc. Bradley Manning, who was a military intelligence analyst in the U.S.

Army, was arrested for allegedly disclosing hundreds of thousands of classified diplomatic cables and intelligence reports to WikiLeaks, a website that publishes leaked classified information.In February 2012, Pfc. Manning, confined to a military facility and facing a court-martial, was announced as a nominee for the prestigious Nobel Peace Prize.On the surface, this is arguably an odd coupling of cause and effect, action and reaction.

But this story is more complex, its backstory more integrated, and its ripple-effects on political and cultural public opinion so strong and widespread, that it is timely and topical to examine this story, provoke some thought, and then ask the question “Does Bradley Manning Deserve the Nobel Peace Prize?”There is surely no shortage of news and media coverage on Mr. Manning and his odyssey. A continuous, almost daily pipeline of information can be found on the web: in print, on blogs, in tweets, via videos, billboards, high school marquees, and even sandwich boards.

Regardless of what side of the argument you are on, the Bradley Manning saga has most definitely captured the attention of society.The story broke in early June, 2010 and was splattered everywhere, from the New York Times to Wired, from the Washington Post to salon.com. Just 22 years old, Manning was an overnight “sensation.” In the summer of 2010, the story was embellished with reports about Manning’s troubled past, including one in the New York Times, detailing his early struggles in childhood, in high school, and in the military.In March of 2011, news came that Pfc.

Manning was facing 22 additional charges, including one carrying the death penalty. And in February of 2012, not long after Manning and the world learned that he would be facing a full military court-martial, came the announcement from the Nobel Peace Prize jury that he had been nominated for the prestigious prize.In December, 2011, Julian Assange, the publisher of WikiLeaks, issued a public statement on the website in support of Manning.Quite a chain of events, and a drama that has people the world over navigating the media highway in search of information, insights, answers, and clues to one of the biggest news stories currently being reported on.EXCERPT FROM THE BOOKManning would often go to visit Watkins on his trips to Cambridge.

During his visits, he befriended Watkins’ large group of friends, some of which were a close group of hackers. Manning’s friends stated that he enjoyed the company of Watkins’ friends because they were so different from people in the military and they accepted his homosexual relationship with Watkins, his liberal political views, his nerdy side, and his desire “to do something that would get attention.”Hacking can be defined in many ways. But those who do it say that the main philosophy of hacking is that everyone should have free access to information.

Manning, who was interested in hacking, had access to some of the most classified information in the world.Manning’s time in the military had been anything but stellar. He was reprimanded twice in the military—one time for assaulting an officer. Manning later wrote in e-mails that he felt “regularly ignored” by his superiors “except when I had something essential, then it was back to ‘Bring me coffee, then sweep the floor.’”It appears that the more isolated he felt in the military—he donned custom dog tags that said “Humanist,” and friends claimed he kept a toy fairy wand on his desk in Iraq—the more he became attached to his hacker friends.According to Wired Magazine, Manning told Watkins in January 2010, that he had gotten ahold of a secret video of a military helicopter attack that killed two Reuters phot



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