One of the key talking points against Bradley Manning was how his leaks “put people in danger” and we’ve even seen some of the defenders of his prosecution claim that people had lost lives because of them. In fact, Army Chief of Staff Mike Mullen had directly stated that Manning (and Wikileaks) “might already have on their hands the blood of some young soldier or that of an Afghan family.” Guess what? That was all FUD. As Manning’s sentencing hearing kicked off, a key government witness admitted that there were no deaths that were attributable to those leaks. That came straight from Brig. Gen. Robert Carr, who was in charge of the response to the leaks. Among other things, he also noted that since the names did not appear in Arabic, it was unlikely that our enemies would have figured out who they really were anyway.
The retired general added that some of these contacts could not be found, others had died before the WikiLeaks disclosures, and others had been insurgents rather than cooperators with coalition forces.
Carr acknowledged that none of the names of Iraqi and Afghan contacts appeared in the original Arabic.
To this point, Manning’s military defenders, Maj. Thomas Hurley, asked: “We don’t share an alphabet with either of those countries, do we, Sir?”
“No,” Carr replied.
Hurley also prompted Carr to concede that Iraqi and Afghan nationals tend not to be “not as plugged in” as Westerners.
The report also notes that while, in the past, some have claimed that an Afghani man killed by the Taliban was a result of those leaks “the supposed informant the Taliban claimed to have executed was not in fact named in the leaked materials.” In other words, all the talk of people dying because of his leaks? Not true. Yet why do we trust the government every time there’s a leak when they insist that everyone’s lives are at risk?