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June 07, 2010

Bradley Manning's Critical Mistake


—Jonathan Schwarz

Posted at June 7, 2010 08:56 AM

Yes indeed. Compare and contrast: "Israeli commando who shot six dead on ship may get ‘medal of valour" at:

Also note that army analyst Bradley Manning comes from Potomac Maryland, which is very near the school of Holton Arms. Maryland is a fine state.

This US military response is nothing new. Chief Warrant Officer Hugh Thompson received much the same treatment after he stopped the My Lai massacre and reported it to his superiors. So it goes.,_Jr.

People better rally to Manning defense or he will spend a very long time in Fort Leavenworth. He may anyway, because the military and other National Security deacons think releasing classified information is much more serious than murder or genocide or probably anything else. It would ruin everything.

Posted by: N E at June 7, 2010 11:40 AM

You guys blew a normal war video (of what happens in war) into a HUGE fiasco. THAT IS WHY this is happening.

And the video shot is pretty lame man, that video was editted and taken out of context with the kids being shot in the van.... first off,

1) Why did they have kids in a van inside a war zone? Did they honestly think kids were supposed to be ANYWHERE near that area? If you see bombs and stuff going off, you should go AWAY from the blasts and not TOWARDS them. I don't care if your grandma is in that area wounded, if the bombs are dropping you GTFO!

This alone should make the US totally safe here... I mean use your brain people! 2 kids in the front seat of a war van... give me a break and watch your kids right!

2) Why were these "cameramen" shot at? No, not because of their camera... but because they were in a huge crowd of people (again, in a known *HOT* war zone Like I said before) -- and some of them in the UNEDITTED VIDEO, show heavy weapons.

Now, if you have a group of guys with potential heavy weapons, heading toward your troops... OH LETS CHECK IF THEY HAVE CAMERAS AND KIDS IN THEIR VAN!

NO!!!! Please use your brain guys.... always look at the good/bad potential of both sides to get a true grasp of the situation at hand!

Posted by: WowUguys at June 7, 2010 12:08 PM

"Yeah Lieutenant, there's gooks all around us. They got there ole ladies and kids with 'em. Its like they live here."

Posted by: Mike Meyer at June 7, 2010 12:23 PM

WowUguys is one of the unapologetic leftys being a parody troll, right?

Posted by: Murfyn at June 7, 2010 12:28 PM

Why is he a lefty? He's obviously right, which means conservative.. apart from being a foolish military friend that gives a shit about the life of other people.

Posted by: lefty at June 7, 2010 12:51 PM


I'll give you a hint why there have been children in the van:
It's not like you can decide 'Hmm, today I'll stay out of war, I'm not in the right mood.'

You ignorant idiot.

Posted by: iamneopunk at June 7, 2010 12:57 PM

"1) Why did they have kids in a van inside a war zone? Did they honestly think kids were supposed to be ANYWHERE near that area? "

This has got to be one of the most horrifyingly stupid posts I've seen. Are americans seriously that fucking stupid? That "warzone" is a town, there are homes and schools, EVERYWHERE. People don't just move because boots happen to be on the ground. Lastly, The van pulled over to HELP, well after the murderous slaughter of the chopper - MILES AWAY. The van wouldn't be privy to the knowledge that a murderer had them in his sights. The guy was doing the right thing, pulling over to help someone who survived and get him to a hospital.

Posted by: WowUguysIsAMoron at June 7, 2010 01:11 PM

If you read interviews and background of the video, the kids lived about two blocks away. Their father had been in the process of driving them to school or an activity when the helicopter shot the first set of people (in a neighborhood which was not a scene of fighting or conflict recently) and so he went over there to pick up the injured.
You have to read the UN Rules of Engagement. It's against the rules to fire upon already injured people to finish them off, or at aid vehicles. You are supposed to take prisoners if possible, and only shoot if someone is actively fighting you.

Posted by: Jill at June 7, 2010 01:16 PM

murfyn & lefty:

What is it about WowUguys' post that makes you think he's conservative, other than the fact that he disagrees with you?

Just sayin'.

Posted by: Alex at June 7, 2010 01:30 PM

My .02:

Even though the group of people ended up being unarmed civilians, there's no doubting that the camera that one of them was holding at one point, peeking around the corner of a building, looked a hell of a lot like an RPG. Moreover, a group of American troops was ambushed earlier that day in the area that the chopper was patrolling. Notice how NOBODY is outside on the streets, with the exception of the one group of people?

Basing off the fact that the camera LOOKED LIKE AN RPG, the Apache opened up on the crowd. Protecting their own asses; I would have done the same thing.

As for the van, they still assumed that the camera was an RPG, therefore it would be logical to assume that this van that came out of nowhere was coming to swoop up the bodies and weapons. The Apache operators had no way of knowing that there were children in the vehicle.

Posted by: Alex at June 7, 2010 01:36 PM

Re: Alex - err, the knee-jerk defense of military power in circumstances so horrific that such a defense is wholly unreasonable? In fact it's so horrifying that I'm more inclined to believe it's an impenetrable attempt at parody, simply because I want to believe there aren't people that callous about murder.

Posted by: saurabh at June 7, 2010 01:41 PM

It's a TrollUGuys. And what makes him/her think we're all guys? Why do I think you're all guys? Because I'm conservative.

Posted by: TrollUGuys at June 7, 2010 01:43 PM

I'm no fan of Robert Gates, but he puts it best:

"People can put out anything they want and not be held accountable. There's no before and no after, just the present...You're looking at a situation through a soda straw and you have no context or perspective."

Posted by: Alex at June 7, 2010 01:45 PM

Im not even going to get into an arument with typical repulsive, amoral, hell bound american pigs, arguing that children blown up by hell fiure missles are at fault for their own deaths. No. Let those festering anal syph sores convict themselves. The big takeaway here is President
Oh,Bumma's persecution of leakers. Go on captain "transparency"! Make me hate you a little more. I was starting to feel like i had been too hard on you.

Posted by: Marc at June 7, 2010 01:54 PM

Lets just say that the camera was an RPG. STILL NO US ground troops around to use it on AND the opperator had been shot. NOTICE how long it took the fighting vehicles to get there and had to be informed of directions several times. This means they were not in danger from that camera(RPG).
I expect medals all around except for the leaker(s) who will go to Ft. Levenworth.

Posted by: Mike Meyer at June 7, 2010 01:56 PM

Nobody said that the children are at fault in any way. And if I'm not mistaken, the children did NOT die, and were transferred to a hospital after it was discovered that they were in the van.

Posted by: Alex at June 7, 2010 01:57 PM

@Mike Meyer: Did you forget about the Apache helicopter that was filming the video?! Could the RPG not be used on the Apache?

Posted by: Alex at June 7, 2010 01:59 PM

Even if they did have an RPG, who cares? We're still in someone else's country, shooting civilians, in order to maintain control over someone else's oil supply. Those people with RPGs firing back at our helicopters are 100% in the right. We do not belong there. We are only there to kill, destroy, torture and steal.

Posted by: saurabh at June 7, 2010 02:37 PM

Jill is on the money, but also consider the content of the video when the van arrives. Despite no sign of weapons, combative activity, etc. you clearly hear the helo crew just itchin' to open up. They've barely got a handle on what's going on and they're begging for someone to "let us shoot". The impact of the video and reason it's caused such a stir is not simply that they open up on the van, it's that they were jumping at the chance to do so, and laughed it off after. If the van is a threat, take it out. If it's not, don't go spoiling for a fight, and don't make a joke out of it.

Posted by: PKD at June 7, 2010 02:44 PM

BREAKING: Helen Thomas resigns after attacking foreign ship, killing 9 aid workers.

Posted by: Why oh why at June 7, 2010 03:22 PM

BREAKING: Update on Emily Henochowicz.....

"U.S. demands IDF probe how American lost eye at West Bank protest"
Emily Henochowicz, 21, an art student in New York, came to Israel six weeks ago as an exchange student at Bezalel Academy of Art and Design in Jerusalem.

ps better late than never! and my apologies for digression...

Posted by: Rupa Shah at June 7, 2010 04:32 PM

I'd take any information by Adrian Lamo and Kevin Poulsen with a grain of salt.

Posted by: call me shill at June 7, 2010 04:35 PM

Regarding Helen Thomas, I find it sad that people in the public eye are constantly forced to retract statements which clearly reflect what they actually think, in order to retain their jobs or their status in the eyes of the Media.

I frankly think Helen Thomas is worth more than the entire rest of the White House Press Corps put together, and that they're not worthy to lick the soles of her shoes.

Posted by: NomadUK at June 7, 2010 04:41 PM

@wowuguys aren't your service required defending piracy and murder on the high seas? I mean that kind of irrefutable logic is in demand right now. Authoratrians, they're all the same.

Posted by: demize! at June 7, 2010 04:46 PM

Well, we'll see...

However, an internal probe by the Border Police indicates that the tear gas projectile hit a wall and subsequently flew at Henochowicz. [...] A statement from the Foreign Ministry said: "The incident is known. We have not received an official request from the Americans on this matter. We are in a very open and effective dialogue with them about the incident.

Hm. Yes, the evidence of nearby walls in the photographs of Henochowicz bleeding profusely after being hit is ... overwhelming.

I'm surprised they haven't claimed that she tripped and fell onto the canister. Women can be so uncoordinated, after all.

Posted by: NomadUK at June 7, 2010 04:47 PM


It took me a while to figure out which article you were referring to; it appears to be the story linked in the main post, which is a republished Wired article by Kevin Poulsen and Kim Zetter.

Which parts of the story are not factual? Do you believe Bradley Manning has not been arrested? Do you think his arrest is for some other action? What specifically should we not trust about this report?

Posted by: Nell at June 7, 2010 05:00 PM

Isn't it amazing that the IDF always has an explanation ready even before an investigation is carried out which exonerates it?
After an investigation, it is 'the victim's fault', next it was a mistake.
It is so so strange that the order of explanations NEVER CHANGES, NO MATTER what the incident!

Posted by: Rupa Shah at June 7, 2010 05:18 PM

Nomad UK and others interested

Things that make me suspicious: Little blurbs like the one below found at

"Editor's note: YidWithLId tipped this story (by his friend Rabbi David Nessenoff) to when it had only a few dozen views on YouTube. It is now a major viral story. For additional insights into Helen Thomas and her views on Israel see the related link below."

Posted by: N E at June 7, 2010 05:30 PM

@Why oh why and NomadUK
This is shocking indeed....
Palin knows who Helen Thomas is! AND, Palin always chooses TRUTH! Wow!I bet she approves of Obama's choice of James R. Clapper, Jr. the truth teller to head the NGIA.

Posted by: Rupa Shah at June 7, 2010 05:37 PM

The same story is published by AP and they mention the same hacker as the source of information. However, the end of the article states, "Army officials say they have apprehended Manning, not arrested him". Franky, I do not know the difference between the two. It is something legal!

ps imho, individuals like Manning deserve medals who leak the horrible wrong doings ordered/committed by the govt. but then, that would not be the continuation of dubya administration!

Posted by: Rupa Shah at June 7, 2010 06:04 PM

To the "You guys blew a normal war video (of what happens in war) into a HUGE fiasco. THAT IS WHY this is happening." person:

So flagrant disregard for the rules of engagement and the killing of reporters is "normal"? That must be hard for Daniel Pearl's wife to hear. But, hey...videotaped beheadings are just "what happens in 'wars'" I guess.

Posted by: the pair at June 7, 2010 06:46 PM

Sorry, I'll include links from now on.
>What specifically should we not trust about this report?

>Adrian Lamo & Kevin Poulson are notorious felons, informers & manipulators. Journalists should take care.
>Allegations in Wired that we have been sent 260,000 classified US embassy cables are, as far as we can tell, incorrect.

It just smells like psyops.
> uses trust as a center of gravity by assuring insiders, leakers, and whistleblowers who pass information to personnel or who post information to the Web site that they will remain anonymous. The identification, exposure, or termination of employment of or legal actions against current or former insiders, leakers, or whistleblowers could damage or destroy this center of gravity and deter others from using to make such information public.

(Thanks for your Honduras coverage.)

Posted by: call me shill at June 7, 2010 06:47 PM

WowUguy: he was transporting his children to their tutor.... do you think ALL of the children in Iraq should have stopped going to school and learning for the duration? It is clear you stopped going to school at a young age, but not every parent would think that is an okay idea.

Posted by: Susan at June 7, 2010 07:22 PM

Gotta love the WH - Helen Thomas speaks her mind and it's reprehensible; an unarmed American citizen is executed in international waters with 4 bullets to the head and it's a regrettable incident that must be investigated. By the Israeli's of course. And the poster is right -- if Manning had only leaned back in his chair, unbuttoned his tuxedo and bragged about waterboarding instead of showing how bloodthirsty this country is when the enemy are Arabs, he'd be a free man today.
Makes ya proud to be a 'merican.

Posted by: Miketherevelator at June 7, 2010 07:56 PM

I'm sorry. I'm a conservative.. To say either of those two journalists had weapons is a joke. Even the man peering around the corner LOOKED TO BE TAKING PHOTOS, not getting ready to fire an RPG. Nothing looked like an RPG. One of the pilots says something about 6 with weapons.. I might see one man with something that might be a weapon. NOTHING ELSE is clear and the whole scene is men milling about probably talking about taking photos of the scene. Clearly this was unjust and was a cover-up. Clearly the van was helping a wounded man and there was NO reason to believe anything else. My heart is pumping with emotion about this.. I fully support our military and taking action against the tyrants of the world. The tyrants here are the US forces. Very sad... making me think twice about supporting military actions in countries far away.

Posted by: kalo at June 7, 2010 08:20 PM

One point though is why the journalist do not have the familiar PRESS flac jackets on that we would normally see. The pilots would have been clued to them having Cameras possibly.. sad..

Posted by: kalo at June 7, 2010 08:24 PM

What part of WAR don't we understand. In WAR, every MAN, WOMAN and CHILD can be a potential enemy. There is no way of knowing. You do the best to protect the innocent, but there is no way of knowing. They don't look any different, act or different. If you are there, you just want to survive and be able to get home. You do the best you can. Mistakes are made.

Posted by: Harry at June 7, 2010 08:32 PM

That's right Harry, and the folks on the other side want the same thing. FACT IS they ain't here in America, on OUR street, Shooting up OUR homes, wives and kids.

Posted by: Mike Meyer at June 7, 2010 08:46 PM

yeah a big mistake was made here. Normally I would support our troops to the end. But this just doesn't make sense. NOTHING about it makes sense. First the people are walking casually they are not sneaking around like there is engagement nearby. They certainly would have heard the Apache above. If they thought they could have come under fire they would have scattered long before! Nothing makes sense about this video. The only think that looks wrong is that the photographers should have had some kind of large lettered PRESS insignia...

Posted by: kalo at June 7, 2010 08:50 PM

kalo: NO mistake, the chopper pilots were just out gunning for somebody. The ONLY mistake was Manning TRUSTING a fellow American to keep his secret, especially some snitch who owed the cops a favor.

Posted by: Mike Meyer at June 7, 2010 08:59 PM

I think he's a conservative because he capitalizes a lot. And Helen Thomas is not senile, she just felt like ending her career with some sizzle,so nuts to Digby and that lady on ABC teevee.

Posted by: grimmy at June 7, 2010 09:41 PM

call me shill

Thanks for the info. That does smell fishy. I had not read about Poulsen and Lamo's past, and the fact that they have previously been convicted and served time makes them vulnerable to intel misuse. There is a big known history of that, and it's presumably just the tip of the iceberg.

Combine that with the military's goal of destroying wikileaks and there are good reasons for skepticism about whatever is reported by them. Presumably whatever is reported will not put Manning in the best light.

Posted by: N E at June 7, 2010 11:34 PM

@callmeshill: Thanks for the follow-up and the information from wikileaks.

And thanks for your appreciation of the Honduras coverage. I wish I had the fortitude to continue it. Death squad activity never stopped, and has actually intensified in the last two months. You probably know that two good places to follow events are Honduras Culture & Politics and Adrienne Pine's (she's in Honduras right now, in fact).

Posted by: Nell at June 8, 2010 01:15 AM

Discussion at teh boings.

Posted by: weaver at June 8, 2010 01:35 AM

Plus, Adrienne Pine isn't just all Honduras all the time, though there can be inter-connectedness, such as Honduran golpista apologist Lanny Davis expressing outrage at Helen Thomas (Pine has a link to a defense of Helen Thomas by Paul Jay of Real News Network). Or such as the Israelis helping the Salvadorean government develop a Model for a Preventive Plan Against Violence from the Municipalities. It's a small world.

Posted by: N E at June 8, 2010 08:17 AM

No matter which side you take in this particular incident, the truth is still: no one wins in the game of war.

And no it's not necessary and yes other things can be done about it (it=whatever is happening that leads people to think they have to go to war).

But I don't expect that will get a lot of agreement at the moment.

Posted by: HE at June 8, 2010 09:45 AM

Thanks, weaver. The boingboing story notes that the Defense Dept. confirmed Manning's arrest, not just detention.

It's difficult to imagine that a deployed, active duty serviceperson would talk to anyone about it if he had been the source of leaks, so I certainly don't rule out entrapment / psyops etc.

Posted by: Nell at June 8, 2010 10:13 AM

Gah. The BoingBoing article includes mention of Barbara Olshansky, a "human rights" lawyer who turned in a soldier named Matthew Diaz who leaked the names of Guantanamo captives to her organization (which had previously had trouble getting those same names from the Bush adminstration). WTF? This seems like scumbaggery of the worst sort - someone helps you out, and you rat on them? Diaz spent 6 months in jail for his efforts (and earned himself a Ridenhour Prize for Truth Telling when he emerged).

Posted by: saurabh at June 8, 2010 06:21 PM

SOMETIMES doing the RIGHT thing comes with a price.

Posted by: Mike Meyer at June 8, 2010 09:12 PM

You know you're doing good work when the trolls feel the need to make an appearance.

P.S. "War" is when two sovereign countries declare so and go at each other. Iraq is not at war; what we have here is the illegal invasion and occupation of another country based upon lies. You can't win an argument when you begin by assuming their lies to be true.

Posted by: Malooga at June 8, 2010 11:21 PM

This is exactly why they fired on the group of people when an RPG was thought to be seen:


Afghan Taliban fires on chopper, slaying 4 GIs

KABUL, Afghanistan - Four American servicemembers were killed Wednesday when their helicopter was shot down by enemy fire in Afghanistan's Helmand province, U.S. military officials told NBC News.

Taliban spokesman Qari Yousef Ahmadi claimed responsibility on behalf of the insurgents, saying militants shot down the helicopter with two rockets.

Helmand provincial government spokesman Daoud Ahmadi said the attack occurred about midday in Sangin province.

Posted by: Alex at June 9, 2010 09:06 AM

Alex: It wasn't an RPG, they WEREN"T fired upon.

Posted by: Mike Meyer at June 9, 2010 11:01 AM

Folks in glass empires shouldn't fly drones.

Afghanistan is a graveyard of colonial ambition.

There's still space for a few thousand more
dead at the US's first memorial to the Long
War -see (There
are spaces for 8K names for both Iraq and

Posted by: Major Variola (ret) at June 9, 2010 01:08 PM