Pfc Bradley and a matter of Loyalty
By Joseph Parish
During the course of your military duties you take an oath to defend the Constitution of the United States and to follow the lawful orders as instructed by your superiors. It is only common American courtesy that you would never release information which may be detrimental to your country let along dangerous and life threatening towards your fellow military members.
Well, that is exactly what has taken place with the WikiLeaks information which has been released to the public. The accumulation of the data being made public has been credited to Pfc. Bradley Manning. Manning has been accused of leaking many thousands of diplomatic cables along with other classified documents to the WikiLeaks website administrator. This cache of over a quarter of a million confidential cables places our diplomatic efforts and our allied friendships in severe peril. It certainly provides a beneficial advantage to the terrorist elements looking to defeat our American and friendly forces in the mid-east.
To me, I simply can not begin to imagine what would be flowing through a young man’s mind as he releases potentially destructive information to the public. He has betrayed the trust placed in him by his branch of military service, the American people who look to him for their safety and support and above all by his fellow soldiers who he has turned his back on. There is simply no excuse which one can come up with to justify what this soldier has done to our nation and our fighting men.
Being a member of the military for 21 years I never envisaged the likes of a situation such as this in the past. During previous times of war providing the enemy with but a little taste of vital classified information has resulted in either life in prison or in some cases death. This is rightfully the way it should be as often times that information is classified not merely to avoid embarrassing moments for our country but because the contained data could reveal vital sources of critical information. This puts those sources in jeopardy and systematically minimizes their safety and well being. In many cases those people are Americans who may be pretending to be a foreign citizen.
Of particular concern in view of the recent Korean problems we are encounter were the memos concerning the eventual collapse of North Korea? It outlined the plans of American and South Korean officials to discuss the possibility of unifying both Koreas in the event of an implosion within the ranks of North Korea. Bribes were even discussed concerning commercial aspects of the deal with China. Who are we to say that this leaked information has not jeopardized the safety of our American forces and the South Korean government as seen in this current situation which is playing out today. The potential is there that the north has already read and has reacted accordingly.
Perhaps the development of corruption and distrust currently exhibited with the Afghan government is directly related to some of these papers being released. Several of them relate to issues involving officials in the foreign government. Who can say with any certainty that these released papers have not influenced the attitudes of these countries?
In view of the less then honorable actions displayed by Pfc Bradley and his show of total disregard for military discipline, procedures and the safety of sensitive nation security matters I feel that should the military decide in favor of capital punish then it is truly justified in this case. How do you stand on this issue? Should the American military institute punish Pfc Brandley to the fullest extent of the law with him possibly paying the ultimate price?
Copyright @2010 Joseph Parish