July 6th, 2010
10:48 AM ET

Military: U.S. soldier to be charged in leak of strike video

[Updated at 11:46 a.m.] The U.S. military said Tuesday it is pressing criminal charges against Pfc. Bradley E. Manning, 22, for allegedly transferring classified data onto his personal computer and adding unauthorized software to a classified computer system.

Manning of Potomac, Maryland, is suspected of leaking a classified 2007 video of an Apache helicopter strike that killed 12 civilians in Baghdad, including two journalists from the Reuters wire service, the military said.

Manning was deployed with the 2nd Brigade, 10th Mountain Division, in Baghdad, Iraq, according to the military.

According to Wired.com, Manning leaked the video to the whistle-blower website WikiLeaks.com, which posted the video in April. Wired.com reported that Manning confessed to the leak in a series of online chats with a former computer hacker.

He allegedly owned up to leaking other items to WikiLeaks, including a classified Army document assessing the threat level of the website, according to the article, as well as State Department cables.

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Filed under: Iraq • Justice • Military • National security • Security Brief
soundoff (782 Responses)
  1. Torran

    People that are stating that these were all sivilians are clearly not looking closely at the video.
    In the beginning of the video you can see the two men with he camera. Of course WE know these are cameras because we have been informed by the story. At :57 of the video they focus on two other men behind them, one carring what appears to be an AK and the other an RPG. At 1:37 of the video just before the cameras view is obscured by the wall you can see someone point what they are carring at the helicopter. Even with the abilty to replay the video repeatedly it is not clear what is being pointed.

    I'm not in favor of this war but the service men did not make this decision. They are there following orders. These service men came upon a group of men some carrying weapons in a combat area and one of them chose to crouch down behind a building and point something at the helicopter. The death of the civillians was unfortunate and I see no reason why the unfortunate situation should be kept quiet. People are also making the assumption that the video was classified because of the cassualties.If this situation was being covered up it could have been made public with out the release of a classified video.

    July 6, 2010 at 12:26 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  2. RZ

    This guy exposed evil actions of his government. They wanna go after him just cuz he doesn't have a heart of stone? The government is not divine where it is immune to mistakes, evil inclinations and desires, etc. I actually wanna know what's going on and not be a dummy who just follows whatever these arrogant, bullying, greedy governments tell me or ask me to believe. I'm sorry I don't trust any government, they're all corrupt! It's funny how these very same conservatives who are saying to turn the other cheek and not question the government won't say so the same for Iran's government and their people questioning their own government rather they would encourage that highly to them. Hypocrites!

    July 6, 2010 at 12:27 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  3. Bushpig61

    This was a case of somebody just wanting to shoot something. All I saw on the one guy was a shoulder strap. I own an AK-47, and to me it didn't look like he was carrying one. Maybe our trigger happy gunners need glasses? I'm all for blowing away terrorists, but mistaking a camera for an AK? Amateurs.

    July 6, 2010 at 12:27 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  4. daveg

    Just remember,these happy killers will come home to become your police officers. Nice.

    July 6, 2010 at 12:27 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  5. Torran

    People that are stating that these were all civilians are clearly not looking closely at the video.
    In the beginning of the video you can see the two men with he camera. Of course WE know these are cameras because we have been informed by the story. At :57 of the video they focus on two other men behind them, one carrying what appears to be an AK and the other an RPG. At 1:37 of the video just before the cameras view is obscured by the wall you can see someone point what they are carrying at the helicopter. Even with the ability to replay the video repeatedly it is not clear what is being pointed.

    I'm not in favor of this war but the service men did not make this decision. They are there following orders. These service men came upon a group of men some carrying weapons in a combat area and one of them chose to crouch down behind a building and point something at the helicopter. The death of the civillians was unfortunate and I see no reason why the unfortunate situation should be kept quiet. People are also making the assumption that the video was classified because of the casualties. If this situation was being covered up it could have been made public without the release of a classified video.

    July 6, 2010 at 12:28 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  6. David

    Simply Distrubing.

    July 6, 2010 at 12:28 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  7. Guardian

    I hope this lowlife dies a violent death in prison. A traitor is the lowest for of human life.

    July 6, 2010 at 12:29 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • asrael

      An A-plus for Passion; for Humanity, not so much...

      July 6, 2010 at 1:28 pm | Report abuse |
  8. daveg

    These guys will come home and become cops.

    July 6, 2010 at 12:29 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  9. Walton George

    Wow, there are actually people on here (most probably who live in America) who are defending the murder of civilians and then the cover-up that follows. They are not only accepting the situation, but they're making excuses for the military's murdering civilians and punishing those who seek to expose the truth. It's funny how we go around telling the world that we are fighting for other people's freedom while we're so easily manipulated into participating in tyranny and genocide.

    July 6, 2010 at 12:30 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • Sheeple

      RPGs and AKs were found at the scene. You can see them in the video. Watch right around 1:06. Striped shirt guy has an AK and the guy next to him as he swings around has a RPG. WikiLeaks selectively edited this video. I wonder why they didn't point a little red arrow at what those two guys were carrying? Because they knew they were weapons but that would totally defeat the point of them leaking the video. I can't believe how stupid some of you people are. Wikileaks, just like any other news agency is going to bend truths so that people watch their channel. This truth has been bent so far it is a flat out lie. These people had weapons, in a no weapon zone, out after curfew, and in an area where ground troops had been engaged all day. All the while the dark colored van had been driving around picking up and dropping off enemy combatants and supplies. Ground troops were the ones who alerted the gunship of a dark colored van seen in the areas where they were engaged. Cry if you want, but you are wrong.

      July 6, 2010 at 1:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • asrael

      Yes, if Sheeple mentions enough times how stupid one is for not seeing what he sees, it must eventually be true.....

      July 6, 2010 at 1:31 pm | Report abuse |
  10. willie

    Legally, i am sure the military has the regulations in place to court martial this soldier. Go for it, i will also like to see the court martial of those in charge of the operation and their extradition to the Iraqi authorities. I am almost certain that in Iraq and Afghanistan we killed more civilians than insurgency. Our Military (and government) is as inept as BP; we lost 3 wars in a row and wasted trillions of dollars while at it.

    July 6, 2010 at 12:30 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  11. Bushpig61

    So instead of prosecuting the gunner, they want to prosecute the whistle blower? Typical government coverup. No, I'm not a liberal, OR a democrat. I love guns, I love shooting, I have a CCW permit, I have an AK and an AR, but I despise amateurs and even worse, those who would defend them.

    July 6, 2010 at 12:30 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  12. fredo

    the nazis murdering women and children in concentration camps were doing their jobs too. Nice way to justify everything in life. It's always somebody elses fault right?

    July 6, 2010 at 12:30 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  13. AFVET

    This situation is jacked up and wrong but for all the people dogging Obama....This happened in 2007.

    July 6, 2010 at 12:30 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  14. Abdul

    Its hard for me to digest what I just saw. It wasn't the killing of innocent civilians, it is the fact that these soldiers begged to do it...as if they were playing some video game. Then when help finally arrives they begged to kill more. Even after all that...the humvee pulls up and rolls over top of an innocent civilian body and their laughing...GOD help us all!!!

    The so called liberators have become the monsters. This video shows the worst of mankind...this is a sad day for all of us and the soldier who leaked this video should be given the Medal of Honor!

    I ask my fellow US citizens where is the accountability? Leaders such as George W. Bush should be forced to watch such videos to see the reality of their actions. Disagree? For one minute imagine that was your children in that van, and all you did was stop past to help your fellow citizen who was hurt and these soldiers begged and laughed while they murdered your family. Not so funny anymore is it!

    July 6, 2010 at 12:30 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • jc

      The first encounter was justified, if you are firing weapons then you should expect to be fired upon. The second encounter not justified but if your scenario of a parent stopping to assist wounded in the middle of the night with his children in the van is correct then the parents are idiots. Sure the children are innocent but we are there trying to clean up a country that is unwilling or unable to do it for themselves. Unfortuantley this is war.

      July 6, 2010 at 12:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • Scott

      @jc Neither the jounalists nor their security detail fired any weapons at any time. I have no idea where you got that idea. If you disagree, please watch the entire, unedited video and point out the exact time at which the firing occured.

      July 6, 2010 at 12:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sheeple

      RPGs and AKs were found at the scene. You can see them in the video. Watch right around 1:06. Striped shirt guy has an AK and the guy next to him as he swings around has a RPG. WikiLeaks selectively edited this video. I wonder why they didn't point a little red arrow at what those two guys were carrying? Because they knew they were weapons but that would totally defeat the point of them leaking the video. I can't believe how stupid some of you people are. Wikileaks, just like any other news agency is going to bend truths so that people watch their channel. This truth has been bent so far it is a flat out lie. These people had weapons, in a no weapon zone, out after curfew, and in an area where ground troops had been engaged all day. All the while the dark colored van had been driving around picking up and dropping off enemy combatants and supplies. Ground troops were the ones who alerted the gunship of a dark colored van seen in the areas where they were engaged. You people are so dumb. I see why we had a retard in the Whitehouse now, because you just believe the first thing you hear as a fact.

      July 6, 2010 at 1:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • asrael

      Sheeple has upped the ante: now those "stupid" commentators with contrary opinions must have voted for Obama.
      The argument becomes ever more convincing....

      July 6, 2010 at 1:39 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Dewight

    should not have been leaked but wowfun to watch

    July 6, 2010 at 12:31 pm | Report abuse | Reply
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