For more from Manning ‘own words’ see also 28th Feb court statement here and ‘Chelsea Manning in her own words’ here
*ALSO* Download this arranged for three voices as a script. Why not organise a performance?
The following text is taken from words attributed to Chelsea during what was intended to be a confidential online chat with a person who, having offered that confidentiality, instead reported her to the authorities. For the full chat logs so far as we know, see Firedoglake’s compilation from several different sources. This text is an extraction from these chat logs of all that pertains to motive. It makes it quite clear (especially as Chelsea never expected the conversation to be made public) that her motivation is conscience.
CHAT LOGS (May 2010) Chelsea Manning
“one of the more significant documents of our time, removing the fog of war and revealing the true nature of 21st century asymmetrical warfare.”
Hypothetical question: if you had free reign over classified networks for long periods of time…say 8-9 months…and you saw incredible things, awful things….things that belonged in the public domain and not on some server stored in a dark room in Washington DC…what would you do?
or Guantanamo, Bagram, Bucca, Taji, VBC for that matter…
things that would have an impact on 6.7 billion people
say… a database of half a million events during the iraq war… from 2004 to 2009… with reports, date time groups, lat-lon locations, casualty figures… ? or 260,000 state department cables from embassies and consulates all over the world, explaining how the first world exploits the third, in detail, from an internal perspective?
Hilary Clinton, and several thousand diplomats around the world are going to have a heart attack when they wake up one morning, and finds an entire repository of classified foreign policy is available, in searchable format to the public…
uhm… crazy, almost criminal political backdealings… the non-PR-versions of world events and crises… uhm… all kinds of stuff like everything from the buildup to the Iraq War during Powell, to what the actual content of “aid packages” is: for instance, PR that the US is sending aid to pakistan includes funding for water/food/clothing… that much is true, it includes that, but the other 85% of it is for F-16 fighters and munitions to aid in the Afghanistan effort, so the US can call in Pakistanis to do aerial bombing instead of americans potentially killing civilians and creating a PR crisis
theres so much… it affects everybody on earth… everywhere there’s a US post… there’s a diplomatic scandal that will be revealed… Iceland, the Vatican, Spain, Brazil, Madascar, if its a country, and its recognized by the US as a country, its got dirt on it
it’s open diplomacy… world-wide anarchy in CSV format… its Climategate with a global scope, and breathtaking depth… its beautiful, and horrifying…
and… its important that it gets out… i feel, for some bizarre reason
it might actually change something
i dont believe in good guys versus bad guys anymore… only a plethora of states acting in self interest… with varying ethics and moral standards of course, but self-interest nonetheless
i mean, we’re better in some respects… we’re much more subtle… use a lot more words and legal techniques to legitimize everything
its better than disappearing in the middle of the night
but just because something is more subtle, doesn’t make it right
i guess im too idealistic
i think the thing that got me the most… that made me rethink the world more than anything was watching 15 detainees taken by the Iraqi Federal Police… for printing “anti-Iraqi literature”… the iraqi federal police wouldn’t cooperate with US forces, so i was instructed to investigate the matter, find out who the “bad guys” were, and how significant this was for the FPs… it turned out, they had printed a scholarly critique against PM Maliki… i had an interpreter read it for me… and when i found out that it was a benign political critique titled “Where did the money go?” and following the corruption trail within the PM’s cabinet… i immediately took that information and *ran* to the officer to explain what was going on… he didn’t want to hear any of it… he told me to shut up and explain how we could assist the FPs in finding *MORE* detainees…
everything started slipping after that… i saw things differently
i had always questioned the things worked, and investigated to find the truth… but that was a point where i was a *part* of something… i was actively involved in something that i was completely against…
but i was a part of it… and completely helpless…
event occurs in 2007, i watch video in 2009 with no context, do research, forward information to group of FOI activists, more research occurs, video is released in 2010, those involved come forward to discuss event, i witness those involved coming forward to discuss publicly, even add them as friends on FB… without them knowing who i am
they touch my life, i touch their life, they touch my life again… full circle
i just… couldnt let these things stay inside of the system… and inside of my head
i recognized the value of some things…
knew what they meant… dug deeper
i watched that video cold, for instance
at first glance… it was just a bunch of guys getting shot up by a helicopter… no big deal… about two dozen more where that came from right… but something struck me as odd with the van thing… and also the fact it was being stored in a JAG officer’s directory… so i looked into it… eventually tracked down the date, and then the exact GPS co-ord… and i was like… ok, so thats what happened… cool… then i went to the regular internet… and it was still on my mind… so i typed into goog… the date, and the location
… and then i see this
[‘this’ is NEW YORK TIMES REPORT OF INCIDENT as it DIDN‘T happen ]
i kept that in my mind for weeks… probably a month and a half… before i forwarded it to them
it was unreal… i mean, i’ve identified bodies before… its rare to do so, but usually its just some nobody
it humanized the whole thing… re-sensitized me
i dont know… im just, weird i guess
i cant separate myself from others
i feel connected to everybody… like they were distant family
i probably shouldn’t have read sagan, feynman, and so many intellectual authors last summer…
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.
i think ive been traumatized too much by reality, to care about consequences of shattering the fantasy
im not brave, im weak
like i think ive said before…. im not so much scared of getting caught and facing consequences at this point… as i am of being misunderstood, and never having the chance to live the life i wanted to…
well, it was forwarded to WL
and god knows what happens now
hopefully worldwide discussion, debates, and reforms
if not… than we’re doomed
as a species
i will officially give up on the society we have if nothing happens
the reaction to the video gave me immense hope… CNN’s iReport was overwhelmed… Twitter exploded…
people who saw, knew there was something wrong
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
i mean what if i were someone more malicious
i could’ve sold to russia or china, and made bank?
LAMO: why didn’t you?
because it’s public data
LAMO: i mean, the cables
it belongs in the public domain
information should be free
it belongs in the public domain
because another state would just take advantage of the information… try and get some edge
if its out in the open… it should be a public good
rather than some slimy intel collector
im crazy like that
That bloody Adrian Lamo has a lot to answer for. For those that don’t know, he’s the one that grassed Bradley Manning up.
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Most of the changes for good starts with just one outstanding human being, Bradley is one!
Wow! What insight for a 24-year-old. No wonder that our government is scared out of its mind (and Constitution) by Manning!
The world would be a safer ,happier place with more people like BRadley Manning. He should be freed immediately. The lies we are told by our governments especially about weapons of mass distruction and terror groups are a disgrace
I wish they wouldn’t stop the space program, maybe they could find another planet, then the excessively aggressive could all ship themselves to it to give themselves some other place to conquer… as for me I’ll take little old used up earth, I’m all conquered out, then we can free the suppressed.
I hope his action will give others the courage to do the same thing,then, there is hope for mankind!
wonderful courageous young man
A few more Bradley Mannings and we might be free.
I feel deep respect for this man.
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Some people barely know BRADLEY MANNING’S name! Who was Gandhi anyhow?