If you don’t believe that Bradley Manning is an American hero who was tortured at the hands of U.S. Marines at Quantico because he dared to take on the military industrial complex, you are evil, and also a hateful homophobe. And that’s just if you’re Bradley Manning’s dad.
Rawstory’s Monday headline blared:
Interview: Bradley Manning’s father no fan of his son
And here’s Raw’s lede:
The father of the lone soldier accused of turning over massive cache of U.S. secrets to WikiLeaks sometimes refuses to acknowledge to strangers that his son is actually Pfc. Bradley Manning, according to an interview he gave ABC News.
Asked what he would say to his son if he admits guilt, Manning’s father responded: “‘You stupid eff’in idiot. Why would you do something like that?’ And probably more words after that. I’d probably be openly embarrassed at the way I’d been holding up, thinking he’s innocent — and embarrassed that he’d done such a thing.”
Wow, he sometimes doesn’t even acknowledge that Bradley is his son. Well that tantalizing bit prompted a slew of comments in which the Manning faithful explain what Brian Manning’s trouble is:
Cheryl Today 10:14 AM
What a stinking excuse for a father. He SHOULD be embarrassed, but not by his son. What would I do if he were MY son? I’d be very proud of him, whether he did it or not.
Bradley Manning is a hero who is being held illegally and submitted to torture.
rextrek1 Today 09:56 AM in reply to Ninong
wow- nice going asshole dad………ahh you are the poster child for all that Hetero parenting ahhh dad? You know, the kind where your kid doesn’t turn out exactly as you hoped and YOU THROW him AWAY like Garbage…….You don’t deserve to be his father…..even Jeffery Dalhmer’s parents stood by him….and He Killed and ATE people!
Lorn Garvin Today 06:19 AM in reply to dsmith
….and faithfully reported without context here at rawstory.
Obama is doing worse to Manning than Bush did, so now it is time for some damage control by going on the attack. Shameful.
reyreye Today 03:33 AM
Why isn’t daddy concerned that a Congressman from our own constitutionally elected House of Representatives is FORBIDDEN from being able to visit him? That doesn’t set off any alarm bells??
Doesn’t he know that Bush III is President? Has he heard of due process guaranteed a US citizen?
This guy needs to go to father school !!
hourglass1 Yesterday 09:59 PM
with dads like you, who needs indefinite detention, torture and a predetermined military tribunal … your sentiments will find their way back to bradley in his time of need … and add to his certain mental demise …
FORTHI Yesterday 05:06 PM
A teabagger republican that listens to Rush Limbaugh on his lunch hour then to Hannity on the way home where he catches all the crap on Fox. Then he goes to church to show what a good christian he is. Then he doesn’t support a son who has more courage and integrity than he could ever hope to have. Bradley Manning deserves the Presidential Medal of Freedom for exposing dirty secrets to the cleansing light of day instead of the assholes like George Tenet who usually get it His father makes me sick to my stomach.
TampaZeke Yesterday 02:41 PM
I wonder if he had a good relationship with his father before this alleged incident or if he knew that his son was gay before this all came out. He wouldn’t be the first dad to turn his back on a gay son.
Jacques G Yesterday 10:09 AM
Doesn’t matter if this mass of adiposity is Bradley’s father, being a died in the wool homophoe who despises his son for being GAY, this is just another “reason” to hate him. Having parents who hate you for being Gay is all too familiar a situation with Gay kids. I went through the same thing. You could become President, but they would still hate, discredit and disown you. Bradley, you have supporters outside your “family”.
So we get from that small snippet that Brian Manning is a knuckle-dragging Fox News junkie who loves Fascism and hates his son because he’s gay. Um… okay …
But dive into the actual ABC News story Raw is referencing, and you find something quite different [emphases added]:
When people ask Brian Manning if he is related to Pvt. Bradley Manning, he sometimes denies it. The thought that his son could be guilty of leaking classified information to WikiLeaks — including Afghan and Iraq war logs, a quarter of a million State Department cables and two videos — scares the elder Manning.
He hasn’t had a chance to ask his son, who was arrested in May 2010, if he’s guilty — but if he is, Brian Manning was matter-of-fact in what he’d say to his son.
“You f—ing stupid idiot. Why would you do something like that?”
He added, “I would be openly embarrassed at holding up thinking he’s innocent and I’d be embarrassed he’d done such a thing.”
But for now, Brian Manning, who was a naval intelligence officer during the Vietnam War, is sticking by his son and denying reports the two had a fractured relationship.
So despite all the angry commenters in Manning-land, what Brian Manning actually said was that he would be deeply upset, and in fact would be afraid, IF his son turns out to have leaked classified data. Not unlike most people would probably feel in his shoes, he would be upset if it turns out that after having spent all this time defending him and insisting on his innocence, his son turns out to be guilty. I’m not sure why it’s shocking that Brian Manning, a military veteran and former intelligence officer, would not be pleased to find out his son pulled off the biggest leak of classified data in American history (one, by the way, that could very well have gotten people killed – a point often missed in this story.) Military people tend to believe in the oaths they take, and in the agreements they sign to protect the classified information entrusted to them. I’d wager every single active duty or retired (non-disgruntled) military person who’d be willing to talk about this case would say precisely the same thing.
Nowhere in the piece does Manning indicate that the reason he’s embarrassed is because his son is gay. That particular motive is being attributed to him entirely by the Manning faithful, apparently just because they want to.
Watch the entire ABC piece. At no time will you hear Brian Manning indicate that he “hates” his son, let alone that he hates his son because he’s gay. (RawStory doesn’t bother to link to the ABC story, but rather embeds a clipped video from something called Mox News):
Brian Manning has been misunderstood before.
Previous headlines screamed that he “Condemn(ed) Treatment of Imprisoned Son” — whose alleged abuse at the hands of Marines at Quantico the elder Manning apparently only knew this way:
MARTIN SMITH: You decided that you wanted to sit down and talk today because you want to complain publicly about the conditions of his imprisonment.
BRIAN MANNING, father of Pvt. Bradley Manning: Yes.
MARTIN SMITH: And those conditions are?
BRIAN MANNING: Well, he’s being — his clothing is being taken away from him, and he’s being humiliated by having to stand at attention in front of people, male or female that I — as far as I know, you know, that are fully clothed.
MARTIN SMITH: Who tells you that?
BRIAN MANNING: I read it in the statement that was put out by his civilian attorney.
… and despite the fact that in the same interview, Brian Manning said this:
MARTIN SMITH: How many times have you visited him?
BRIAN MANNING: Approximately eight or nine times.
MARTIN SMITH: During those visits, has he ever mentioned any complaint of any kind to you?
BRIAN MANNING: No. I always, you know, am conscientious enough to look him straight in the eyes and ask him a direct question. How are they treating you? Are you sleeping? Is the food OK? And he’s always responded that: Things are just fine.
MARTIN SMITH: How does he look?
BRIAN MANNING: He looks good.
MARTIN SMITH: And he doesn’t complain about being shackled?
BRIAN MANNING: No. He doesn’t complain at all about anything.
MARTIN SMITH: It wouldn’t be surprising for somebody in solitary confinement to be suffering a bit.
BRIAN MANNING: Oh, I’m sure.
MARTIN SMITH: It’s surprising to me that you described him as somebody who’s doing well.
BRIAN MANNING: He comes across to me as doing well.
MARTIN SMITH: He’s in solitary confinement. That’s tremendously difficult, psychologically and physically.
BRIAN MANNING: I understand that.
MARTIN SMITH: So, are you surprised that he’s doing as well as he is?
BRIAN MANNING: I’m happy that he’s doing as well as he is.
MARTIN SMITH: So, is there any reason that Bradley wouldn’t confide in you if things were tough for him there?
BRIAN MANNING: No.
Of course, point that out, and you will be told by Manning supporters that the father is in denial, or lying, or unable to get his son to open up to him because his son knows he’s homophobic and hates him, or they’re both scared of the fascists. For the Manningites, it is only David House, the Manning pre-alleged leak acquaintance and member of a Manning support group, who is the real, true, and definitive source as to “how Bradley is doing.”
Meanwhile, Alternet entirely misses the point of this Guardian piece (which, Guardian pro-Manning sympathies aside, makes it clear that Bradley Manning, who was diagnosed with “adjustment disorder” and whose previous behavioral issues are well documented by Frontline, including occasional violent outbursts such as pulling a knife on his stepmother and hitting a woman military officer in the face — no uproar by the lefties about that kind of violence against a woman, by the way — and throwing chairs at fellow soldiers; should never have been sent to Iraq, let alone trusted with classified data. But in Alternet’s skewed view, the real takeaway is:
…a disturbing story of a “mentally fragile” and unstable young man, prone to sensitive or violent reactions, who worried many but was nonetheless sent to duty in Iraq, and who, while there, had easy access along with his unit to highly sensitive material. The report of his mental and psychological condition also sheds an even harsher light on the isolation and abusive treatment he suffered during his initial imprisonment.
No, actually, the fact that this person is prone to “sensitive” (nice word) or violent reactions” means the Army seriously erred in sending him to the battlefield. And as to his confinement, it turns out that according to the Navy corrections manual, which governs the treatment of U.S. prisoners in Marine detention facilities, persons diagnosed with “adjustment disorder,” as Manning was, are put on Prevention of Injury Order, or sometimes on even more draconian “suicide risk” (which Manning was on for several days in January and at least one day in March) as a matter of routine.
More on that aspect of the story to come.
Related: PBS Frontline website hacked after Wikileaks, Manning story