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Debating the Motives of Bradley Manning

Journalist Glenn Greenwald (Salon) took issue with a profile of Bradley Manning written by Steven Fishman (New York Magazine) “that purports to shed new light on the accused WikiLeaks leaker,” and attempts to show that Bradley Manning had serious psychological problems. Greenwald thinks Fishman’s objective backfired.

In a Salon article yesterday, July 4, 2011, journalist Glenn Greenwald took issue with a profile of Bradley Manning written by Steven Fishman of New York Magazine  “that purports to shed new light on the accused WikiLeaks leaker,” and attempts to show that Bradley Manning had serious psychological problems.

Greenwald thinks Fishman’s objective backfired.

He states –

Though the article focuses on a variety of Manning’s emotional struggles in a way that — as is typical for whistleblowers or anyone who engages in acts of meaningful dissent — is supposed to make you believe his alleged actions were the by-product of psychological afflictions, it actually achieves the opposite.

Greenwald took a strong stance in defense of Manning, particularly since the political and media elite Many who so concluded did nothing to stop the killing of innocents, let alone bring accountability for those who caused it. He found Manning heroic because he took action to stop the bloodbath, and then asked the question – Which is the psychologically suspect behavior?

In the chat logs quoted by both Fishman and Greenwald, Manning stated:

hopefully worldwide discussion, debates, and reforms – if not, than [sic] we’re doomed – as a species – i will officially give up on the society we have if nothing happens – the reaction to the [Collateral Murder] video gave me immense hope; CNN’s iReport was overwhelmed; Twitter exploded – people who saw, knew there was something wrong . . . Washington Post sat on the video… David Finkel acquired a copy while embedded out here. . . . – i want people to see the truth… regardless of who they are… because without information, you cannot make informed decisions as a  public.

Greenwald further quoted Fishman’s writing, “Some survived by becoming desensitized — the blood and death goes right past them. Manning took it personally.” In the Salon article, Glenn Greenwald responded with a knee-jerk reaction.

The notion that these reactions to wholly unjustified, massive blood-spilling is psychologically warped is itself warped.  The reactions described there are psychologically healthy; it’s far more psychologically disturbed not to have the reactions Manning had.

As might be expected, he also took pot shots at Adrian Lamo, furthering the tired cliche that Lamo was simply seeking publicity, giving Lamo no credit for his own moral struggle before making a decision, the difficult position he was in, or Lamo’s desire to do the right thing for America as well, evidenced by the advice he sought.

It’s a compelling article that makes one wonder about the definition of a good deed. Both men stood up and did something, and the world is changing as a result.

But Greenwald’s view on Manning is hard to dismiss. This article deserves a few minutes of your time. Read it HERE.

http://bit.ly/k2unZc

 

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