Bradley Manning: a martyr for liberty?

The verdict was reached regarding the sentence of Bradley Manning, the marine responsible for the biggest intelligence leak in U.S. military history. Judge Denise Lind, an army colonel, sentenced Manning to 35 years in prison. Manning was facing the possibility of 90 years or more, so in one sense, this punishment was more lenient than it might have been.

Ideally, a man who exposes the vast array of war crimes perpetrated by those in power — in a leak which reveals the authorities to be spineless barbarians — should be allowed to walk. Alas, the powers that be will have none of that. The response to Edward Snowden, the NSA whistleblower, further shows the willingness of the State to suppress dissenting voices by almost any means necessary.

The truly unfortunate part is that a man’s life was essentially stripped for doing the right thing. Because of this, Manning literally fits into the definition of being a martyr — handing your life away for a cause. The equally disappointing thing is what he has become a martyr for: human rights. The most sickening aspect to arise from this is, however, is the fact that some guy’s life is being tossed away for the very thing the leaders of this country take an oath to defend: liberty. They fight these wars; they tax us to death; they spy on us — all in the name of “democracy”?

Is not “democracy” a government filled with representatives that perform the deeds requested by the people? Does not “democracy” require that the people know what their representatives do with their money? Is not the goal of “democracy” to protect the rights of the people, not just in our nation but in others?

I personally like the “democracy” that Bradley Manning represents far better than the one the people on Capitol Hill exemplify, and that’s why I support Bradley Manning, liberty’s latest martyr.

Content published on the Young Americans for Liberty blog is only representative of the opinions and research of the individual authors. It does not necessarily reflect the views, goals, or membership of YAL. 

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