An Army private jailed for allegedly leaking sensitive military data is a hero and should be freed, according to a resolution under consideration by the Berkeley City Council.
The council is expected to vote Tuesday on whether to declare its support for Pfc. Bradley Manning, who’s suspected of providing WikiLeaks with classified military documents and a video depicting an Army helicopter attack in Baghdad in which 11 civilians were killed.
Manning, 22, currently in the brig in Quantico, Va., faces 52 years in prison if convicted. Manning has not commented on his guilt or innocence.
“If he did what he’s accused of doing, he’s a patriot and should get a medal,” said Bob Meola, the Berkeley peace and justice commissioner who authored the resolution. “I think the war criminals should be the ones prosecuted, not the whistle-blowers.”
The proposed resolution originated from the same commission that declared the Marine Corps “unwanted intruders” in Berkeley in 2008. The council’s ensuing approval – and reversal – ignited some of the city’s most raucous protest in years and prompted more than 25,000 e-mails to City Hall.
This time, however, the commission’s vote was not unanimous. The resolution passed on a 7-3 vote, and it’s likely to be just as contentious when it meets the City Council.
Ummmm. Can we question their patriotism yet?