After three years in solitary confinement, the trial of U.S. Army PFC Bradley Manning about to hit full-swing. Queerty has compiled a comprehensive “primer” to catch you up in case you haven’t been following the story for the past three years.
Who Is Bradley Manning?
Bradley Manning is an intelligence analyst who has achieved the rank of Private First Class in the United States Army.
Why Is He on Trial?
PFC Manning was arrested for allegedly passing classified material to the website WikiLeaks while stationed in Baghdad, Iraq, including videos of separate airstrikes in both Iraq and Afghanistan and hundreds of thousands of restricted army reports. The
“Collateral Murder” video, as the one set in Iraq is called, depicts a U.S. Attack Helicopter killing 12 civilians and those who attempted to help the wounded.
What Is the Most Serious Charge?
PFC Manning is facing multiple counts, the most serious of which is Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ) Article 104, “Aiding the Enemy,” which is potentially punishable by death.
What Does the Prosecution Think?
Prosecutors are portraying Manning not as a heroic whistleblower, but as a deeply unhappy soldier who craved the fame and notoriety that leaking the classified documents would get him.
What Does the Defense Think?
Manning’s defense team insists that he wasn’t a gloryhound, but a troubled and sensitive soldier that was struggling with his gender identity and was deeply disturbed by the daily realities of life on the ground in Iraq.
Why Are People Protesting For PFC Manning?
After the arrest, Manning was placed in solitary confinement under “Prevention of Injury” status. He was not allowed to speak to other detainees, could only leave his cell for 20 minutes a day, and had to remove his clothing to sleep among other very restrictive rules. There is some speculation that the “Prevention of Injury” status is due to Manning’s perceived instability due to his gender identity issues, and Manning’s treatment was a cause of international concern, even being addressed by President Obama during a White House press conference. There are also people who see the uncovering of multiple war crimes in the videos and documents he released as being in the grand tradition of whistleblowing, and that he should be seen as a hero and not a criminal.
Read the full comprehensive guide to the Manning trial at Queerty.