I Don’t Care About Bradley Manning

No matter how you look at it, he is a traitor. He violated the UCMJ. Although he is free to make ethical arguments as to why he leaked Collateral Murder and the US Embassy cables, the US is fully within its rights to prosecute him.

I’m quite consistent about this: Treason is a punishable offense, no matter where and why it happens. I do not have an issue with the US executing the Rosenbergs or the USSR executing Western spies during the Cold War either. It’s part of the risk you take when you choose to sell out your country for a few shekels. This likewise applies when you do it not for money but for “idealistic” reasons.

I agree that in a perfect world, the fact of Manning (1) releasing it out of ethical, not monetary convictions and (2) giving the entire world access to it, as opposed to foreign hostile intelligence services – unlike, for instance, the Russian KGB traitor, Vasily Mitrokhin – should be a mitigating factor. However, as a sovereign nation, the US has no obligation to take that or international left/liberal opinion into account.

The Assange case is completely different. Here the US is trying to extend its jurisdiction to the entire world, so that an Australian citizen can now be found guilty of “espionage” against the US even if he’d never stepped foot inside it. This is called imperialism, and we are opposed to it. What’s more, the methods used to do it are particularly nauseating and underhanded. The probable plan is to extradite Assange to Sweden, from whence he can be quietly renditioned to the US. All based on incredible and patently false rape accusations, questioning which is going to get you blacklisted and smeared by legions of Guardianistas, PC brigades, concern trolls, and sundry useful idiots of imperialism. It would be infinitely more respectable for the US to just whack him.

That is why I support Assange to the hilt, but don’t care for Manning. It’s a very logical and consistent position, I think, but many don’t see it that way. They view it as anti-American, misogynist, and reactionary. I think it is pro-American, anti-imperialist, and pro-rule of law.

Anatoly Karlin is a transhumanist interested in psychometrics, life extension, UBI, crypto/network states, X risks, and ushering in the Biosingularity.


Inventor of Idiot’s Limbo, the Katechon Hypothesis, and Elite Human Capital.


Apart from writing booksreviewstravel writing, and sundry blogging, I Tweet at @powerfultakes and run a Substack newsletter.


    • ” At the Tokyo War Crimes trial, it was further declared “[A]nyone with knowledge of illegal activity and an opportunity to do something about it is a potential criminal under international law unless the person takes affirmative measures to prevent commission of the crimes.”

  1. The martial tradition demand obedience. All of these rationalizations and reasons for Manning’s receiving leniency are based outright on anti-martial, anti-Traditional, Enlightenment liberal ideology. That includes all of these farcical “laws of war” and “conventions”.

    We’ve lost untold thousands of our finest soldiers and veterans to unspeakable anguish, mental illness, and suicide because we dishonorably and despicably lay the moral accountability for the horrors of war on the men carrying out the orders, insisting that they arrive at a thoughtful, fair, and final moral determination on the orders they receive in the fog of war.

    The guilt belongs squarely on the men who gave orders, and “I was just following orders” is, in my opinion, a complete absolving excuse for absolutely every possible behavior. The whole point of the sworn oath is to sublimate his will and humanity to the sacred initiatic military order, to become an instrument of a transcending will, and any exception to that amounts to the government’s violating its end of the bargain.

    Given that this government and its military are staunchly decadent, anti-traditional, and illegitimate, my position on Bradley Manning is one of utter indifference to whether he’s tortured and hanged or absolved and bedecked with awards. Any attempt to apply Tradition to this context would be an insult to Tradition. The only soldiers who have my sympathy are those too unintelligent or gullible to realize that they’re hapless stooges of a sinister regime exploiting them for profit and power, and Bradley Manning was certainly not one of these. Manning is an arrogant and entitled diva, an Army of One, who willfully decided to betray his country as one big silly gay tantrum.

    I hope Julian Assange remains free and keeps giving them hell.

  2. Not to mention the legal precedent that would be established. Limiting Manning’s punishment to a mere slap on the wrist on account of his high-mindedness would be akin to saying “Don’t worry, guys… you can safely disclose any classified document you want… as long as you don’t get paid for it and/or do it for the benefit of a potentially hostile nation, we’ll just let you off with a warning!”

  3. Below is the oath I took when I enlisted for a period of not very distinguished service,

    “I, XXXXXXXXXX, do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; and that I will obey the orders of the President of the United States and the orders of the officers appointed over me, according to regulations and the Uniform Code of Military Justice. So help me God.”

    Oath the president takes,

    “I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my Ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.”

    Treason defined under the constitution,

    Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying War against them, or in adhering to their Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort. No Person shall be convicted of Treason unless on the Testimony of two Witnesses to the same overt Act, or on Confession in open Court. The Congress shall have Power to declare the Punishment of Treason, but no Attainder of Treason shall work Corruption of Blood, or Forfeiture except during the Life of the Person attainted.

    Clearly, he is not waging war against the US. There is no evidence he had any truck with the enemy. As to giving aid and comfort, that is open to interpretation.

    In the oaths above, it is clearly defense of the Constitution that is primary. No one in the Bush-Obama administration has lifted in a finger to defend the instrument of government. Their extra-constitutional wars have greatly injured my country. So who is treasonous?

    Manning, in his attempt to stop this system of wasteful wars did something patriotic. If his action led to a reflection of the legality of our actions, he would be a hero. Of course, it won’t.

  4. Its like saying if one of hells demons tried to stop torturing souls and absconded, for whatever reason, it should be returned by the angels and tortured. Because treason is a deadly sin. The position seems to belie a hard streak beyond conscience. Assange and almost all of his supporters could not countenance the denouncement of Bradley Manning.

  5. “I think it is pro-American, anti-imperialist, and pro-rule of law”
    How is it anti-imperialist to support the military law of an aggressive empire? You really have a nail in your head with this.