BRADLEY MANNING’S MISSION, Bradley’s words in Bradley’s voice….spread the news.


Recording courtesy of Buzzfeed

Here is the full audio of the mindbending statement Bradley Manning gave in court on Thursday 28th February, which in the absence of any proper response from USG to requests for a due amount of transparency, has been leaked from the courtroom (or media room) by someone (THANK YOU, SOMEONE!) and given to the Freedom of the Press Foundation to make public.


and this, from @karwalski, is brilliant as well, because it’s easier to listen to/hear, and so really helpful, though it’s not Brad’s own voice.

All these taken together with the following transcripts make a fantastic resource and a great historic record. Thanks so much to all of you! Fab!


Transcripts, which followed the reading of the statement in court, were published by Alexa O’Brien (see end of linked post and also here) , Nathan Fuller & Mike Mckee, and, redacted, after David Coombs got permission from the court to publish it, linked to from his blog – here.

BRAD bradley reading statement graphic novel edn clark BEsEOYrCMAAmHPh

Clark Stoeckley – pls donate here to thank Clark for his FREE and WONDERFUL visual coverage of the court martial and to help with expenses


Here also is a short video produced by Laura Poitras which incorporates the part of the statement relating to the leaking of Collateral Murder


Read about the background to the leak of the audio &c in FotPF’s post here: ‘Freedom of the Press Foundation publishes leaked audio of Bradley Manning’s statement’ and see also here for more info.

More on this from Glenn Greenwald, Democracy Now!, Kevin Gosztola, Dan Ellsberg and Bradley Manning Support Network

The news has been reported on widely (US outlets) and here from Raf Sanchez (who was in court when Brad gave the statement) for the Daily Telegraph.


Just had to include this amazing tribute from Afghanistan – ‘Bradley Manning: hero of suffering Afghans’ and ‘Bradley – people of Afghanistan love you’. I hope he gets to hear about this one!

Bradley’s momentous statement should leave no-one in any doubt of the moral and political agency motivating his immense gift to us – #ThankManning indeed – here is awe…

thank you brad knit-in


Excerpt 1: Motive in releasing war logs

SEE for transcript

Excerpt 2: Contacting media outlets

SEE for transcript

Excerpt 3: Using Tor to submit documents to Wikileaks

SEE for transcript

Excerpt 4: Manning’s reaction when he found the Apache helicopter video

SEE for transcript

Excerpt 5: On reporting that Iraqi detainees did nothing wrong

SEE for transcript

Excerpt 6: Motives in releasing cables

SEE for transcript

Excerpt 7: Assessing sensitivity diplomatic cables

SEE for transcript

Taken from this FotPF post – ‘Help spread Bradley Manning’s words across the Internet’

some thoughts follow –


But let’s just backtrack ten years to what started this, because, when people like NYT Bill Keller write dispusting the cohesion in Bradley’s action, we need to remember that what Brad did was a defined RESPONSE, not a random act initiated by him apropos of nothing much demanding action – Bradley Manning DID NOT START THIS….

reel back to:


Last month (15th February) we marked 10 years since the largest ever demonstrations in the history of the world, when millions of people in over 800 cities worldwide said with one voice: ‘Don’t Attack Iraq!’ The march in London alone is estimated to have been 2,000,000 strong.

BRAD - guy's iraq-war-demonstrations-february-15-2003



This month, on 19/20th  March 2013, we will also mark the 10 year anniversary of the invasion which started that war the peoples of the world so emphatically opposed.

And this probably tells us all we need to know about the utter sham of our ‘democratic’ societies. Because, instead of heeding us, the vested interests and lawless powers that run things pressed ahead with their pre-ordained programme of lies and manipulation, to drag all of us, against our expressed wishes, into an invasion of Iraq and a war which was surely as illegal and immoral as ever war was.

The cynicism with which the justifications were trotted out, seem, even more in hindsight than at the time, like the last rattle of any integrity in our public life.

BRAD no wmds



And, as we were launched into what was to prove a perpetual war of terror, an even greater separation set in between the governors and the governed in our western ‘democratic’ societies,  as accountability slipped away and disappeared, buried under the supposed ubiquitous threat from ‘terrorists’ and ‘insurgents’.

Which everything else came to be defined by.

And which became the bottom line of the relationship, having disastrous consequences for justice, truth and civil liberties.


When the Iraq war began, Bradley Manning was 15 and at this school in Haverfordwest, his ‘maternal home town’, in Wales.

BRAD 1000 DAYS Haverfordwest school gates! radMann1

When he left school, he returned to the US, where his father lived and where he had spent his earlier childhood, and, eventually, being particularly gifted with computers, he joined the US Military as an Intelligence Analyst.


Bradley Manning thought he could serve his country – schoolfriends describe him as patriotic; he thought he could benefit the Iraqi people – he is reported as saying that he believed he could make a difference by his effective work; and he also was looking to get himself the college education he wanted – this last a reason many young soldiers sign up for military service.

bradley manning

The young Bradley Manning was NOT, at the age of 19, looking for trouble when he joined up nor when at the age of 21, he was deployed to Iraq….but he was there and he did see things that, as he told us on that Thursday in court (and as the chat logs had already made clear), he could not just ignore.


For Bradley Manning was an honourable guy, Bradley Manning knew right from wrong, and Bradley Manning had a compassionate heart and a vibrant conscience.

All these things are well attested to by friends, by what we know of his life, by his own words, by the two occasions now we have now heard him testify in person, and by the actual fact of the leaks.

Did you ever ask yourself why the rest of those 2.5 million people who all had access to the information Bradley is accused of leaking….didn’t?

BRAD CROWDWhy they passed by on the other side? (And up to 4.5 million had access to some of the material)

18 whistleWhy they never, as far as we know, said to themselves, ‘I can’t be a party to this’

18 whistleWhy they shut up and did what they were told even when it meant they were compromising their integrity, and by implication, were complicit in what they knew was indefensible?

18 whistle

Complicit in inflicting immense suffering on people, in destroying lives and breaking hearts, in holding people down, keeping them in poverty, slavery and despair?

18 whistle

Why almost without exception, they were seemingly not morally mature or responsible enough to take significant action opposing all that injustice?

18 whistle

And there are, of course, a few notable exceptions…..and these few whistleblowers have all, like Brad, been relentlessly pursued to prosecution, and accused of being traitors by their fellow citizens.

But these people are exceptions – the vast majority failed entirely to react to the evidence before them.

What does that say about the state we’re in?

It’s not an easy thing to do. To step right out against all prevailing norms, with all the odds crushingly weighted against your two pennorth making any difference at all. Why bother?


brad testifies free-bradley-manning_0Perhaps most people are more short term pragmatic than Bradley Manning, have less consuming empathy, and are more adept at ignoring uncomfortable truths.

Most people probably don’t believe in themselves, in their judgment, in humanity, and in their ability to change things, as much as Bradley Manning, and probably most people simply wouldn’t have the guts to step out of that kind of deeply scored line and take the risk of having the guns turned round on them.

Probably most people’s conscience is more jaded and most people’s hope more or less restricted to the narrow sphere of their own welfare.

And maybe most people just don’t see so very clearly to the heart of things.

brad avaaz

And don’t realise that inaction is as much a position as action – Brad calls it apathy and appears to see it as something he must not allow to get the upper hand in his consideration of what to do.

we’re human… and we’re killing ourselves… and no-one seems to see that… and it bothers me


apathy is far worse than the active participation

I prefer a painful truth over any blissful fantasy.

05 brad army unif

Reminding some of us of this:

Washing one’s hands of the conflict between the powerful and the powerless means to side with the powerful, not to be neutral.

Paulo Freire


Embedded in the chat logs we already had, there is (contrary to what Bill Keller is suggesting) a strong sense of mission; a sense of Brad’s being in the position where he faces a moral imperative; where he realises that it is he who must take this action – a clear sense of calling.

01 truth duty

Julian Assange describes such moments like this: 

‘Usually the whistleblowers that approach us do so when they have a moment of moral clarity……that moment of moral clarity should be seized….that moment of courage…..should be seized and used…..’

And we learn more from the Feb 23 statement about this, that it is obviously a sense which Bradley weighs and tests, which in this process does not dissipate, only becomes clearer and more definite as he considers his response.

And the statement clarifying his actions which you can hear above, does just that – it clarifies. And it does give some new information. But it is consistent with what we already knew, and to anyone interested enough to have looked into the chat logs and other evidence that was previously available to us, it isn’t, in the main, a surprise.


And it really is such a nonsense, such a ludicrous insult to Brad’s very obvious intelligence to say that his statement attaches a retrospective meaning which he has formulated only through the body of support he has attracted since his imprisonment, as Nathan Fuller and Kevin Gosztola point out in their rebuttals to that NYT editorial.


There are people among us for whom we have to be very grateful indeed (and Bradley Manning is being revealed as one of them), who, seemingly, just cannot bear to be other than truly and honestly humanitarian; they care passionately and practically about justice and truth and instead of just focusing on self protection, they care enough about the future we have as people together on this planet to expose themselves to jeopardy.

02 truth legalise

He says:

i cant separate myself from others i feel connected to everybody… like they were distant family

i… care? >sigh<

And his moral clarity is not contaminated by the sophistry that rejects real hope. Here is a moment when Brad contemplates the possibility that nothing will change:

and god knows what happens now

hopefully worldwide discussion, debates, and reforms if not… then we’re doomed as a species

i will officially give up on the society we have if nothing happens…

But, although he considers this, you can see it’s not his default – because his default is plainly optimistic, belief, hope – all those acute states of being that define a mindset the polar opposite of cynicism…apathy…the paralysis of a lazy pragmatism.

i want people to see the truth… regardless of who they are…

because without information, you cannot make informed decisions as a public

if i knew then, what i knew now… kind of thing… or maybe im just young, naive, and stupid…

im hoping for the former

it cant be the latter because if it is… were fucking screwed (as a society) and i dont want to believe that we’re screwed

well, it SHOULD be better

bradley-manning beautiful


Bradley Manning was sent out to an illegal, pointless and immoral war, soon recognised it for what it was, and bravely took steps that he believed would make a difference to the madness he was seeing; to make an impact on

the situation we were mired in

A U.S. Army soldier keeps a lookout from behind a bullet-riddled wall at Strongpoint Lugo in the village of Charqolba Olya in the Arghandab Valley


He describes the “sense of relief” he felt after he transferred the first documents to WikiLeaks in January 2010.

“I felt that I had accomplished something that would allow me to have a clear conscience about something I knew was happening in Iraq and Afghanistan every day.

At that time I believed, and I still believe, that these tables (the Afghan War Diary and the Iraq War Logs) are two of the most significant documents of our time.

Apparently that belief, that seal on his actions has not left him – in the words of the title of Chase Madar’s book, we are witnessing the historic and pivotal Passion of Bradley Manning. 

BRAD 9781781680698_Passion_of_Bradley_Manning



apathy…. apathy is far worse than the active participation
I prefer a painful truth over any blissful fantasy”
I did hesitate
I saw myself turned into the face of it
overtaken and buried    wrapped into it
stuff had happened before
but choices, even as they absorb us,
call us by Name
and the fit here was tight     apposite;
Me, incorrigibly the bearer of burdens,
the means, the method,  
and a life-for-death channel
to clean water
On the other hand
there was Apathy
that most far reaching
of all contributions
its fine dust slipping
through soothing fingers
sealing the world over
smothering the grieving
giving cover
to the grievous
and making Cataclysm a Ministry
And there in the desert
this was so clear to me:
we were   all   very   thirsty
For now you will interpret me
through the rising cloud of the deluge,
seize at falling fragments (debris) tearing me,
frustrating me. But in the end that
just won’t wash like this will
I’m telling you –
I’ve been fighting with my life in the depths of it,
yet I can’t envy you;
I can’t do what you do;
I was ever gripped by the defining option
And look, I’m the catalyst, right?
I’m still in this reaction
wooing it, winning it, bringing it on,
and when all’s said and done
I’m coming on through it
vw june 2012
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