Bradley Manning

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Rumor: Bradley Manning hates America.

Portal: Politics
Army Pfc. Bradley Manning escorted into military courthouse in Fort Meade (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
General Information
Origin Kevin McCullough, "Why Liberals Honor Treason & Hate America?"
Source Right-wing pundits and commentators
Start Date December 2010
End Date ongoing
Status Disproven
Narrative Elements
Type hate
Location United States
Action treason
Hero Conservatives and the Right
Villain Bradley Manning and Liberals
Victim U.S. national security

The right-wing campaign to smear Bradley Manning as a "Hate-America Hero" is concurrent with accusations by the military that Manning "aided the enemy." [1] Although Manning is yet to be found guilty of treason, his reputation has been damaged by right-wing pundits as an anti-American who has compromised national security and the security of Americans serving their country abroad.[2] Manning was arrested in May 2010 in Iraq after providing Wikileaks with classified documents as well as the notorious "Collateral Murder" video of the July 12 2007 Baghdad airstrike.


Story Form

The cast of villains consist in Manning, Julian Assange, Wikileaks, and liberals, all of whom prioritize the freedom of speech over national security. The heroes, right-wing pundits and their followers, claim that such disclosures by Manning and Assange are tantamount to supporting terrorists; the U.S. government too is a hero as it is prosecuting Manning for "aiding the enemy" and is seeking the extradition of Julian Assange. Whereas Manning is facing an espionage case, which is tightly controlled and under closed sessions, Assange awaits in limbo at the Ecuadorean embassy in London. The victim is the U.S. citizenry, although Wikileaks claims that the Obama administration has not only victimized Manning but its "treatment of Bradley Manning has been inhumane and degrading" and has violated the Eighth Amendment’s prohibition of cruel and unusual punishment and the Fifth Amendment’s guarantee against punishment without trial.[3]

Narrative Landscape

The right-wing onslaught includes Robert Stacy McCain who writes that "The only people who support Bradley Manning are traitorous scum. America has no worse enemies than these filthy vermin. No terrorist in Afghanistan hates America as much as do Manning’s supporters, who include the reporters at the New York Times and the Washington Post who go out of their way to portray him sympathetically." [4] In addition to such denunciations, other mouthpieces of the right include Ann Coulter who uses anti-gay slurs to undermine Manning's character. [5] In an atmosphere of political divisions in the U.S., the right has taken the mantle of patriotism to frame supporters of Manning and Wikileaks as enemies of the state and, as claimed by John R, Houk, as Anti-American Dimwits. On the other side of the political spectrum, journalists counter claims that Manning hated his country or aided the enemy by leaking over 700,000 documents and combat videos. Defenders point out that Manning's laptop had no evidence of Manning's sentiments that he hated America or that he is arrogant.[6] In a powerful defense of Manning, Chris Hedges writes that the "military trial of Bradley Manning is a judicial lynching." "The government has effectively muzzled the defense team," Hedges continues, and "The Army private first class is not permitted to argue that he had a moral and legal obligation under international law to make public the war crimes he uncovered. The documents that detail the crimes, torture and killing that Manning revealed, because they are classified, have been barred from discussion in court, effectively removing the fundamental issue of war crimes from the trial. Manning is forbidden by the court to challenge the government’s unverified assertion that he harmed national security."[7] Hedges' challenge is also one advanced by the European parliament that is concerned about human rights violations against Bradley Manning, merely for revealing U.S. war crimes in Iraq and Afghanistan. "We are concerned," the parliament members note "that the US army has charged Bradley Manning with 'aiding the enemy', a capital offense that is punishable by death." They question why Manning has been imprisoned for 17 months and "subjected to prolonged solitary confinement and other abusive treatment tantamount to torture. And we are disappointed that the US government has denied the request of the United Nations special rapporteur on torture to meet privately with Mr Manning in order to conduct an investigation of his treatment by US military authorities.[8]

Known Facts




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