Are you Bradley Manning? That’s the question posed in a newly “viral” youtube video entitled “I Am Bradley Manning” that’s garnered just over half a million views in roughly 6 weeks. The video features a smattering of A-list celebrities, musicians, and activists who proceed to detail the motivations, sacrifice, and plight of the detained 25 year old Army PFC, Bradley Manning. Manning, who admitted to leaking hundreds of thousands of classified diplomatic/military cables to the organization called “Wikileaks” in what’s being hailed as the most substantial leak of classified information in history, is currently awaiting a verdict from a military judge in Ft. Meade, Maryland, following a pre-trial detention period of over 1000 days. In less than 24 hours Manning is expected to receive a verdict on charges that he aided the enemy, for which he could be dealt a life sentence. As the verdict nears, one can’t help but wonder:
Where’s the media!!?
Mere weeks ago America was certifiably captivated by the verdict-watch in the George Zimmerman trial, and before that the Jodi Arias trial. It’s really not necessary to detail how much of a media spectacle these trials were during the weeks and months approaching the verdict, because…you were there! You could probably rattle off your opinion of George Zimmerman, Jodi Arias, or Casey Anthony right now, and it’s doubtful it would be your first time. But, what of Bradley Manning? Do you sympathize with the courageous “whistleblower” or consider him a “mentally unstable” “traitor” with “gender identity issues”? Perhaps the “virality” of the “I Am Bradley Manning” video can shine some light on the public consciousness regarding the Manning trial. If we assumed that every viewer was American, viewed the video only once, AND viewed it with a friend.. that amounts to less than 1% of Americans. I’m aware that a youtube video view-count isn’t an accurate indicator of interest in the Bradley Manning trial, but I’m willing to go out on a limb and say that the majority of my fellow Americans either aren’t really interested in the sacrifice Manning feels he made for his country, and/or the idea of transparency/freedom he believed to be worth risking a potential life sentence in prison, OR simply don’t know who he is. I’ll proceed to speak for the masses who, like me, simply can’t be bothered to give a care about the fate of Bradley Manning.
Here’s some statements from the video that would seem to more accurately reflect American consciousness towards the Bradley Manning trial.
I’M NOT BRADLEY MANNING:
I always do what I’m told by those I perceive to have authority, regardless of whether it’s right or wrong…moral or immoral.
I believe that exposing war crimes, like the indiscriminate slaughter of innocent journalists and children, is less important than maintaining the facade that a nation that preemptively invades/occupies/drones sovereign nations possesses the moral authority to dictate what’s best for others.
I love my country, and would never want to do anything to tarnish its reputation…even if it’s the right thing to do…because I’m a patriot.
I’m not willing to risk my life or liberty to defend the ideals upon which my nation is purported to be based and founded…because I’m a patriot.
Like I just said…I’m not a traitor.
I believe the media, and what they’ve told me about that mentally-unstable, sexually-confused traitor.
Who is Bradley Manning? I’ve never heard of him.
Oh wait..is he in Maroon 5? Oops..no that’s Adam Levine. BTW, did you hear he just got engaged? It’s true, I just heard it on the news.
Bradley Manning? Is he related to George Zimmerman? No? Well, did he kill anyone? No? You say he actually exposed murder? Why would I care about that?
I’m so burdened with responsibility, and debt, that I honestly have little time to make the effort to learn who Bradley Manning is..
Bradley Manning? Yeah, I’ve heard Maddow/Hannity mention him one time. Whatever they said..that’s what I think about him.
Bradley Manning? Yeah..quarterback for the Giants, right?
Bradley Manning? Shut up, bro. *Jäger bombs!!!*
Bradley Manning? Stop. I don’t want to know. I can’t handle the truth.
If you can think of more reasons why you, and the majority of Americans, are not Bradley Manning..feel free to share them!