After three years of arduous delays Bradley Manning has finally had his day in court. The documents and videos that he made public to the world revealed thousands of unreported killings and gruesome maimings of civilians throughout Afghanistan and Iraq during the American occupations. Even an attempted attacks on journalists were publicized. Manning’s Cablegate was the single largest disclosure of classified American documents in history. Needless to say, many are interested why Manning would go to such lengths to deface American troops and her allies.
Here is the answer.
Manning’s leaked documents in Cablegate exposed a systematic under reporting of war crimes by Americans in the Afghanistan and Iraq wars. Many of incidents Manning exposed were unreported killings of civilians, surrendering terrorists being shot to pieces, rapes and murders by unchecked local policemen, sadistic torture, and countless other acts of horror. While often these incidents were noted by American troops, the war crimes were only reported internally; legal actions and reprimands were almost never carried out. This transgression resulted in 15,000 unaccounted for deaths of civilians. These malfeasance were not deliberately masterminded nor broadly coordinated. They just happened; its part of war. There has not been a war in history where such travesties have not occurred and it would be pretentious to assume otherwise
The gut-wrenching letdown is these crimes were allowed to go unreported. To be hidden, to be wished away and forgotten.
The United States, backed by its NATO Allies, went into Afghanistan and Iraq to purge corrupt regimes and install unfettered democracies. Yet they allowed widespread killings, just as the preceding governments did. This conceited hypocrisy devalues the liberties and rights the Allied forces espoused. What Afghan or Iraqi would trust the supporters of rapists and murders? The American-backed governments in these states lost hearts and minds whenever these war crimes went unpunished. The global community may not have known about this secret slaughter, but the civilians on the ground did. They were the ones who lost friends and loved ones. They were the ones who justice was denied. They were the ones who sided with jihadists to claim their righteous vengeance.
The United States has to hold itself to a higher standard. It has to pursue the criminals in its ranks and flush their crimes out publicly. It will be hard and painful, but it is right. If the military can show purge itself of its fiendish criminals it can reclaim the virtue it stands for, winning back the support of the Afghans and the Iraqi nations . As the sadists are rooted out there might be even fewer unintended killings. This transformation was the goal of Bradley Manning’s Cablegate. The cost of such a dream will probably be a life sentence in prison for Bradley Manning. I hope his sacrifice will return righteousness to our armies.