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. Jimmyt01

    Stupid people should not be allowed to breed!

    July 6, 2010 at 12:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • asrael

      ...or to make certain posts...

      July 6, 2010 at 2:00 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Andrew

    At some level the people of america who have set up a goverement for the people and by the people should be allowed to see things like this more often, under this mentality it is our war. If we dont then it allows the military to disregard human rights and many of the checks and balences that have been put in place to stop them. Its war, if they screwed up then they screwed up but the fact that they screwed up and are now going out of thier way to prevent us from knowing about future screw ups is not a good sign

    July 6, 2010 at 12:38 pm | Report abuse |
  3. ryrizzle319

    Its always called collateral damage till it happens to you

    July 6, 2010 at 12:38 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Uhhhmerika

    You are never going to win that war. You know that right? America, the spoiled brat of the world trying to spreads it's ideals. Well, good luck over there. You should have spent more time learning history than thinking with your genitalia. You will eventually go home with your tail between your legs.

    And by the way, those aren't guns you morons, they are holding cameras.

    July 6, 2010 at 12:38 pm | Report abuse |
  5. mslman71

    Here's the new ROE –

    Drop one unarmed soldier into any group of suspected combatants. Have that man politely ask if they intend to shoot anyone. If they say yes, then deploy a NASA official to try and boost their self esteem by providing examples of all the great muslim contributions to the sciences. If this doesn't work, reserve a room for them at a five star hotel and send Dr. Phil to discuss their feelings with them. If that doesn't work, grant them full citizenship in the united states and an honorary pilots license with a 737 signoff. See, peaceful living through compassion.

    July 6, 2010 at 12:38 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Redeye Dog

    Whoever captioned the video lead the viewers to believe that the audio is referring to the camera men when AK-47's are mentioned. In fact, we do not see the AK-47 toting individuals until a bit later in the video-very clearly. It should be noted that there are more than one set of eyes on the engagement area. Each is reporting what they see from their perspective as opposed to what is seen in the video. I have no doubt that there were approximately 5 AK-47 as stated.
    Later in the video, the guy peering around the corner is DEFINITELY toting an RPG with intent to fire.

    This was a valid engagement based on the rules of engagement at the time it occurred. There were friendly forces in the area within engagement distance of the RPG. It certainly is unfortunate that the Reuters camera people were engaged but they took that riisk on their own. Why they were there is unknown in the video.

    The soldier who released this video should be subject to UCMJ action. The battelfield is not fodder for theater. We have soldiers who put their lives on the line repeatedly, every day. Anyone who thinks anything they saw in this video is out of line, they simply do not understand the realities of war. People die.

    It isn't a matter of trying to hide informtion from the public. This leaked video has information which the enemy can use against our own forces. Besides, the information was classified. If the soldier thought that he saw something which was inappropriate, there are appropriate channels where he could have submitted a report.

    The fact is, there was nothing but a successful engagement in this video. Although, it is clear that it was doctored by someone which inserted distracting captions in the video at selected points of the audio. That said, we have no way of knowing here, just how much more detail in the video was doctored.

    It hurts to know that some children were involved but that is standard tactics of the enemy we face. They know that we do have a conscince on the battefield and they exploit it to the greatest extent and consequence possible.

    Support The Troops!! They support you every day!

    July 6, 2010 at 12:39 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Deke

    Soldiers are trained to kill the enemy, and in a war where the enemy dresses in street clothes and uses women and children as suicide bombers, innocent people sometimes get killed – especially if you're viewing events on a screen from thousands of feet in the air. If you don't understand that, better try growing a brain.

    July 6, 2010 at 12:39 pm | Report abuse |
  8. abd

    Annie, I hope you will get killed the exact same way that those civilians were killed, and I hope that everone who is happy about killing those civilians, to face the exact same way of death.

    July 6, 2010 at 12:39 pm | Report abuse |
  9. OBonga Bin Smokin

    If you guys review the VIDEO, yes, you can see 2 guys carrying cameras, but on the same note, there is also 1 with a clearly visible AK47 and there is also another clearly holding a RPG. Carrying CAMERAS is one thing, but carrying weapons is anohter. Sadly it was a conjuction of BOTH. Ive seen this video plenty of times and while I do feel sorry for the deaths of the innocents, this is a WAR, and reporters should know the situation they are getting into and the dangers involved with it especially while filming with INSURGENTS. Its a sad thing to see Civilians trying to lend a helping hand get shot up, but since the help was to aid the ENEMY, they instantly became fair military targets. Even sadder is the fact that an ADULT would aid help with a van full of KIDS in the aftermath of such an attack. WHERE IS THE RESPONSIBILITY in keeping your children out of harms way? These "insurgents" or whatever you want to call them, need to understand that if they want to fight, do so without Running behind Civilians/Villagers/Kids/Moms/Elders after you take your shots!

    July 6, 2010 at 12:40 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Carl in VA

    Gunning down civilians? (questionable at best), then running over their bodies? (clearly evident)... We should have issued self-respect along with body armor*

    July 6, 2010 at 12:40 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Craig

    This man is a whistle blower American hero – why does the government want to cover this war crime up – I say this man is a hero a living saint – you tell me how he has hurt America one damn bit other than to expose a crime. Any of you jerks that think he deserves this are people who want to hide American crimes – a good and just nation admits it's mistakes – not covers them up and certainly not punish the guy who brings the truth out. How dare you America – what have you become. To kill all those civilians and the US wanted to cover this up

    July 6, 2010 at 12:40 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Wolverine

    My problem with the video is the desire and clearance to shoot at a van serving as an ambulance. The people from the van were not seen to be carrying any weapons and were thus not a threat. As to the private, it was not his call to release the video. He could have described the video and who had it to a Congressman or newspaper and let them go after it.

    July 6, 2010 at 12:40 pm | Report abuse |
  13. mike

    Everyone seems to be forgetting that these pilots SAVED US lives. These thrill seeking journalists need to get a life. Why would you stand near insurgents holding an RPG and peering around corners with it? Incredibly stupid, with a very predictable result.

    July 6, 2010 at 12:40 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Pilot Wife

    As the wife of a US Army helicopter pilot, I say shame on the kid who leaked this video. We who sit here and type these comments HAVE NO CLUE what those pilots and soldiers see and the dangers they face day in and day out. They are risking their lives everyday for us and the second that they don't use caution is they day someone dies.

    July 6, 2010 at 12:41 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Cleanse

    It's called war. Some things should just be left unseen. The same and worse atrocities happen in every war. The only difference is that the media has to be up the ass of EVERY single thing that happens in the world now. You want to see it? You got to see it. Whats the matter? War isn't as "pretty" as you thought it would be??? Stupid A$$H%#ES

    July 6, 2010 at 12:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • asrael

      But there's only one of you...

      July 6, 2010 at 2:12 pm | Report abuse |
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