News & Politics

Listen to Bradley Manning Explain Everything in Leaked Audio

A press freedom organization has published audio allowing Americans to listen to why Bradley Manning leaked thousands of documents.

Private Bradley Manning
Photo Credit: US Army/Wikimedia Commons

Audio of WikiLeaks source Bradley Manning’s statement explaining his actions has been leaked to a press freedom organization, who published it today. For the first time ever, listeners can hear Manning speak in his own words as to why he gave WikiLeaks thousands and thousands of documents about the Iraq and Afghanistan occupations and U.S. foreign policy.

The audio was published by the Freedom of the Press Foundation, a recently formed group. The audio helps to circumvent the extreme secrecy that has surrounded the military trial of Manning, a former U.S. Army intelligence analyst. The U.S. government has barred, video, audio and photographs of the Manning proceedings. It’s unclear who exactly leaked the audio. Listen to Manning speak here, courtesy of BuzzFeed:

“The US government and its military has carefully ensured that people hear about Manning from the government, but do not hear from Manning himself. It is way past time for Manning's voice to be heard,” commented Guardian columnist Glenn Greenwald.

In the audio, Manning explains why he leaked the State Department cables to WikiLeaks. “The more I read, the more I was fascinated with the way that we dealt with other nations and organizations. I also began to think the documented backdoor deals and seemingly criminal activity that didn't seem characteristic of the de facto leader of the free world,” said Manning.

At the trial, Manning also explained why he leaked the famous “Collateral Murder” video to WikiLeaks, which showed U.S. Apache helicopters firing on Iraqi civilians. Watch a video put out by the Freedom of the Press Foundation on the “Collateral Murder” video here.

Manning is facing life in prison for his whistleblowing actions, which exposed nefarious dealings in U.S. foreign policy and the brutality of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. The treatment of Manning in prison, which included stripping him naked and holding him in solitary confinement, has been harshly criticized.

The UN special rapporteur on torture accused the U.S. this month of violating the law in its treatment of Manning. “I conclude that the 11 months under conditions of solitary confinement (regardless of the name given to his regime by the prison authorities) constitutes at a minimum cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment in violation of article 16 of the convention against torture. If the effects in regards to pain and suffering inflicted on Manning were more severe, they could constitute torture,” the rapporteur, Juan Mendez, told the Guardian.

Alex Kane is former World editor at AlterNet. His work has appeared in Mondoweiss, Salon, VICE, the Los Angeles Review of Books and more. Follow him on Twitter @alexbkane.

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