News Release

After 1000 Days in Prison, Manning Explains Why he Released “Collateral Murder” Video

Bradley Manning stated at his hearing Thursday: “I believe that if the general public had access to the information, this could spark a domestic debate as to the role of the military and foreign policy in general. … I felt I accomplished something that would allow me to have a clear conscience.” He has been held in prison for just over 1000 days, much of it in solitary confinement.

Liveblogging and tweeting at the proceedings are:

NATHAN FULLER, [email], @nathanLfuller, @SaveBradley
Fuller is with the Bradley Manning Support Network. He liveblogged Manning’s statements yesterday, “updates from Ft. Meade where Bradley Manning to explain guilty plea and WikiLeaks releases.”

KEVIN GOSZTOLA, [email], @kgosztola
Gosztola is co-author of Truth & Consequences: The U.S. vs. Bradley Manning. See on his website dissenter.firedoglake.com several recent pieces including “Huffington Post Live Segment: Manning Contacted Other Outlets Before WikiLeaks,” “The U.S. Press Failed Bradley Manning” and “Bradley Manning Describes ‘Collateral Murder’ Video as ‘War Porn,’” which states: “As part of a 35-page statement read in court, Manning mentioned that a fellow soldier in his division, the Tenth Mountain division, had been discussing a video depicting several individuals being engaged by an air weapons team. …

“The video ‘troubled’ Manning. He conducted research because he wanted to know what had happened. Through a Google search, he found the event by ‘its date and general location.’ Two Reuters employees had been killed.

“He found a story that explained Reuters had requested a copy of the video under the Freedom of Information Act. Reuters wanted the video ‘in order to understand what happened and improve safety practices in combat zones.’ Despite a FOIA request, Manning said CENTCOM replied that they could not give a time frame for considering the request and the video ‘might not exist.’ The request was still being reviewed, but Reuters had received no written response. The fact that CENTCOM would not ‘voluntarily release’ the video ‘troubled’ him ‘further.’

“The attack had happened because the air weapons team had ‘mistakenly identified’ individuals as a ‘threat,’ Manning stated. The van was not a threat but had ‘Good Samaritans.’

“‘Most alarming’ was the ‘bloodlust’ of the air weapons team. ‘They dehumanized the individuals they were engaging.’ He was struck by what the soldiers were saying in the audio. Also, one individual on the ground attempting to crawl to safety was not helped. ‘Instead of calling for medical attention,’ the soldiers asked for the wounded person to pick up weapons so they could fire at this individual. Manning also mentioned how they called the targets ‘dead bastards.'”