Berkeley votes on naming Bradley Manning a hero

Posted by Emma Woollacott

Berkeley City Council will today vote on whether to name the US Army private suspected of leaking military secrets to Wikileaks, Bradley Manning, a hero.

The resolution, from the city's Peace and Justice Commission, describes the military's treatment of Manning as unjust, and calls on the city to press the military for his release.

It cites Marjorie Cohn, professor of International Human Rights Law at Thomas Jefferson School of Law, as saying: "If Manning did what he is suspected of doing, he should be honored as an American hero for exposing war crimes and, hopefully, ultimately, helping to end this war."

Twenty-three-year-old Manning was arrested in May, accused of leaking the 'Collateral Murder' video. This showed a July 12, 2007 Apache helicopter attack in Baghdad during which eleven Iraqi civilians and Reuters press personnel were killed and at least two children wounded.

Manning's also been named as a 'person of interest' in the investigation of the release of the 'Afghan War Diary' documents, also known as the 'Pentagon Papers II'.
 
He is currently held in military confinement in Quantico, and faces a possible 52 year prison sentence if convicted of the Collateral Murder leak.

The resolution concludes: "If Pfc. Bradley Manning is the source who provided Wikileaks with the 'Collateral Murder' video and/or the 92,000 documents known as 'The Afghan War Diary', that he is a hero, and we thank him for his courage in bringing the truth to the American
people and the people of the world."