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How the Military Destroys the Lives of Soldiers Who Try to Tell the Truth

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kpete Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-11-10 09:47 AM
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How the Military Destroys the Lives of Soldiers Who Try to Tell the Truth

How the Military Destroys the Lives of Soldiers Who Try to Tell the Truth

Bradley Manning is not the first military whistleblower to have his life ruined. The military is infamous for trying to silence soldiers who speak out against the war.
August 11, 2010 |

Last week, Representative Mike Rogers called for the execution of military whistleblower, Private Bradley Manning. His crime? Sharing the Collateral Murder video and the classified Afghanistan war logs with Wikileaks, which exposed the truth behind the failing war in Afghanistan, Pakistans cooperation with the Taliban, and potential war crimes. The 22-year-old Army intelligence analyst said he felt it was "important that it gets out...I feel, for some bizarre might actually change something. He is currently in jail at Quantico, on suicide watch, and is facing up to 50 years in prison for exposing information the American public has the right to know.

The government is engaging in selective prosecution to ensure that employees keep their mouths shut, says Stephen Khon, a lawyer specializing in whistleblowing cases. All of a sudden the whistleblower becomes public enemy number one. There is no proportionality.

Manning leaked the information anonymously with the assurance that his name would never be released, but all the same he has been accused of seeking his 15 minutes of fame. Manning specifically said, I just want the material out there...I don't want to be a part of it. His name only became known after hacker-turned-reporter Adrian Lamo ratted him out. Before going to Wikileaks, Manning tried, unsuccessfully, to report the information to his officer. He explained that he immediately took that information and ran to the officer to explain what was going onhe didnt want to hear any of ithe told me to shut up and explain how we could assist the FPs in finding more detainees. Yet now he is being denounced for not handling the matter internally.

Regardless of whether he is found guilty and sentenced to prison, Mannings life will be irreparably destroyed. If you are deemed a whistleblower in the Army, there is a very good chance of it ruining not only your career but your life, says David Debatto, a U.S. Army counterintelligence special agent who saw several such instances while serving in Iraq in 2003. Manning was already "pending discharge" when he made the complaints, but now, even if he isnt charged, he will most likely be dishonorably discharged. This will mean a loss of all benefits and difficulty getting a decent civilian job, a bank loan or a lease.

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