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. Roy Tomkinson

    I've just watched the video; I can't believe this happened; if this is not murder of innocent people, children included; then, what is murder? I am disgusted by it; we, the people of America and Britain need answers. Who gave this order, why did they kill people trying to remove bodies? The soldier who release this should receive a medal not be charged. This wanton bloodshed must be stopped and stopped now.
    Is it little wonder when this is seen around the world, that violence against the West Escalates?
    We are the invaders, going inside their land, we should get out of there, we shouldn't have been there in the first place, God what have we done!

    July 6, 2010 at 11:33 am | Report abuse |
  2. Eric

    I'm not sure what if there was an RPG in the video or not, but if the freepers had their way your right to bear arms would allow them to take an RPG into the local mall right here in the U.S.A.

    July 6, 2010 at 11:33 am | Report abuse |
  3. John

    The big rap on the Germans in WW2 was that nobody spoke up "said anything" about what was going on. Sounds like we don't want anyone to 'speak up" about our war crimes either!

    July 6, 2010 at 11:34 am | Report abuse |
  4. Scott

    I think the kid that leaked the video should receive some sort of whistle blower protection considering he was reporting a crime.

    July 6, 2010 at 11:35 am | Report abuse |
  5. Rick D

    When civilians run with terrorists like this they should expect to be killed along with the terrorists. If they refuse to accept the consequences for hanging with terrorists, it's no one's fault but their own when they end up as collateral damage. Ya pay for your thrills.

    July 6, 2010 at 11:35 am | Report abuse |
  6. katy Heys

    This is war. Terrible stuff like this happens during war. We should either decide exactly what it is we are trying to accomplish and then go in and do it or get out. Surely those photographers knew they could be putting themselves into harms way,not that I don't mourn them. Let's decide what our objective is, and fight this war, no holds barred and then get out. This war is bankrupting us and our reason for fighting this war keeps changing. When did the Taliban become our enemy? This is a war without end.

    July 6, 2010 at 11:35 am | Report abuse |

    This is a massacre, and now the Military want to accuse those poor soldiers? shame on the Pentagon..!!

    July 6, 2010 at 11:35 am | Report abuse |
    • Matt

      Indeed! Just like the hundreds of thousands of innocent men, women and children who have been slaughtered by the Americans in Iraq and Afghanistan for no reason except the thrill they get from killing.

      July 6, 2010 at 11:40 am | Report abuse |
  8. Scott

    I think the kid that leaked the video should receive some sort of whistle blower protection considering he was reporting a crime, government abuses, and a cover up (as proven by the initial official story).

    July 6, 2010 at 11:36 am | Report abuse |
    • PARROT

      I AGREE 100%

      July 6, 2010 at 11:37 am | Report abuse |
    • Joe

      I agree! With what face can we criticize now nations like North Korea or Iran for putting people in jail who want the truth to be heard about abuses?????

      July 6, 2010 at 12:15 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Eric

    There is more to the story. The kid also stole thousands of classified transcripts from US embassies. The kid was going to release a metric crap load of classified information. He was a computer specialist and used his clearance to steal everything he could get his hands on. He also edited the video to remove the parts of the video where the people that did have weapons were shooting at the helicopter. He got caught because the kid was doing it for attention. Not a moral sense of right and wrong. He bragged about what he did to anyone who would listen. One of those people turned him in. A person that is a known and convicted hacker felt the kid was reckless and a danger to everyone he was around and to the US. The kid is a moron with a big mouth that wanted everyone to see him as a hero. There are many more stories with more details on the internet. I am suprised CNN only put up a blurb without more information.

    July 6, 2010 at 11:36 am | Report abuse |
    • Growski

      BS, that is all propaganda put out by the US Government before going public with the fact they are going to prosecute this Soldier. The sad fact here is the US Government is going to prosecute a man for leaking footage of the Incident, but are not going to prosecute the people the killed the innocent civilians in the video. What does this say about America and its morals/ideals... Disgusting!

      July 6, 2010 at 11:49 am | Report abuse |
    • Rick D

      You are correct. The punk should consider himself extremely lucky if he doesn't end up in Leavenworth to be executed for his treason against America.

      July 6, 2010 at 11:50 am | Report abuse |
    • Sofrito

      You must be a personal friend of the kid's since you know all his motives. Or maybe you're just a military plant trying to justify the murders you people commit day in and day out.

      July 6, 2010 at 12:27 pm | Report abuse |
  10. PARROT


    July 6, 2010 at 11:36 am | Report abuse |
  11. Craig Greenwood

    I don't know details of this incident other than having watched the video and read this story, so please don't call me ignorant is these comments. But as a non-military person, I can't tell what they are carrying. Could be an RPG, could be a camera. I don't know what the facts are. I think some folks on here read the text on the video identifying the item(s) as a camera(s) and believe it as truth, but the fact is I personally have no idea what the items were. The story here doesn't seem to be about the guilt (or lack there of) of those on the video. The story is about the leaking of classified information. I can see why this shouldn't be leaked. But at the same time, it seems like this should never be hidden from the public. I go back and forth between warmongering and peacemongering (not a word, but go with me!). Anyway I grow tired of posting comments to these stories because it is always met with everyone calling everyone else an idiot and nobody liking anyone. But, that's what I think.

    July 6, 2010 at 11:37 am | Report abuse |
    • Sofrito

      The military apologists who spend all their time in front of a computer playing video games PRETENDING they're somebody see the sign "AK-47" and assume those signs are there in real life. The helicopter pilot had no idea this guy was packing until AFTER the fact. For all he knew the guy had a loaf of bread in his hand, but it looked like a good mark and he murdered them whole bunch of them. Rationalize it any way you want. The U.S. Military has committed so many atrocities through history, only the military butt-lickers are surprised that this happened. What kind of person straps on a gun and goes across the world to kill strangers for money? Maybe they're called heroes in some trailer parks. Where I'm from, they're cannon fodder, the bottom of the barrel that isn't fit to do anything else in this country.

      July 6, 2010 at 12:31 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Joseph Higgins III

    We should ask – Who decided that this video tape of this massacre should be classified? Why is the whistle blower being punished? Where is the justice in this?

    July 6, 2010 at 11:37 am | Report abuse |
    • Sofrito

      It's classified because it shows the U.S. Military murdering civilians.

      July 6, 2010 at 12:32 pm | Report abuse |
  13. matt28

    Wow they are really going to get mad when they release the Afghanistan version except this one is on a unbelievable scale. That's the world we live in now, and the government can lock up all the people they want but it's still going to get out. Some people just don't like seeing kids killed and if they do then people want some unaccountabilty. Both wars have been disasters, as much as we keep patting ourselves on the back in Iraq after 100,000 civilians or more died after the invasion. And now Iraq still doesn't have a government and there is a car bombing everyday or an assasination of a politician. Glad we did that surge, all that money we spent was well worth it, I am really feeling safe now with no job.

    July 6, 2010 at 11:38 am | Report abuse |
  14. JP of Arlington

    I hope they hang his ass for treason

    July 6, 2010 at 11:38 am | Report abuse |
    • Matt

      Personally I think he was a hero for having the guts to reveal just what kind of trigger-happy trash is in the US military.

      July 6, 2010 at 11:43 am | Report abuse |
    • PARROT


      July 6, 2010 at 11:43 am | Report abuse |
  15. Ofra

    Why don't all ya'll armchair quarterbacks trade places with these soldiers for a few days and see what it's like to have split second to choose life or death.

    July 6, 2010 at 11:38 am | Report abuse |
    • Thaddeus Jude

      Uhm, dude, did you watch the video? What the hell kinda danger were they in? They killed a bunch of people who didn't even have weapons, then they killed more people who were trying to treat them. The people trying to evacuate them certainly posed no threat, as they clearly had no weapons. The first group of people didn't have weapons, though the soldiers thought they did, so they took them as a threat. But that changes nothing. Nobody was in danger here. Split-second decisions are one thing, but that isn't this.

      July 6, 2010 at 11:42 am | Report abuse |
    • Matt

      American soldiers have no right to be there in the first place.

      July 6, 2010 at 11:44 am | Report abuse |
    • Paul

      This is no different then a paranoid SWAT team raiding your family reunion and accidental shooting up your family because they thought your nephew was holding a gun instead of a camera. I'm sure you'd be real sympathetic with the cops especially if they tried to cover it up! These pilots were trigger happy and friendly fire happens but don't cover it up. Just like Pat Tilman, don't cover it up.

      July 6, 2010 at 11:53 am | Report abuse |
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