Save Bradley. The soldier who leaked the video to Wikileaks?
Sorry. No dice.
People die in war: People kill intentionally in war. All sorts of people die by accident in war. Guilty people die by accident. Innocent people die by accident. Innocent people die because of bad information. Innocent people may die simply because someone used poor judgement. War is dangerous, messy, confusing, frightening, and largely conducted by people who are dehydrated, frightened, under extreme stress, operating largely by instinct and without the time to think, and who are physically and mentally exhausted. Only very silly people think that war is surgical, or manageable, or nice or neat or safe — for anyone at all. And some people are foolish enough to think that soldiers have time to make good judgements. War is scary, dangerous and risky. Thats why people are very cautious of it. And besides that, it’s dangerous for soldiers to behave as if everyone isn’t out to kill them.
As a soldier, you are a voluntary, paid, and willing participant in killing, breaking, destroying life and property. And if you don’t believe in it, then you better not join. Because when you join, you give up your right to have an opinion. That’s how it works. And you’re just trying to steal a paycheck and benefits, or operate as a saboteur if you enter the military without understanding that this is the very purpose and nature of war.
We grant soldiers certain special rights when the enter the military. In particular, we allow them to kill people and destroy property. We allow them to do what we allow no others to do. And in exchange for that special right, they lose the right to have an opinion. Just orders are easy to understand. Unjust orders are not. The problem isn’t just or unjust orders. It’s the very fact that there is nothing just or good about war. It’s just war.
Immoral orders are one thing. Your choice is not to obey them, resign (accept court martial) and let the military court accept it. That’s the method the military has had for centuries. Accidents, bad judgement, stupidity are part and parcel of war. There isn’t any crime in error, any more than war itself is simply terrible.
If you want to leak something, become a journalist. We grant journalists very special rights that we would not grant others. Journalists are more often wrong than write, and create as much bad as good. We simply think the good is worth the bad. If you want to be a journalist, then be one. A journalist’s job is to have a point of view. A soldier’s job is to break stuff and kill people until the other side gives up. Period.
Besides. Telling us that people died by accident, or because someone made an error, or even lost their judgement during a military exercise, is simply stating the obvious. That’s what happens in war. And so the only reason to leak it is to create propaganda for the enemy, and undermine the will of the citizens to support their military.
Supporting the military may be a grand game. No one wants to see sausage made. But when you sign up, that’s what you sing up for. And if you break that confidence, those rules, from the inside, then you’re just thief and a criminal, and you deserve to be punished to the fullest extent possible.
Now assuming that he leaked it because he’s a young, stupid kid who had not motivations other than to show his friends something cool, is very different from having some cause or purpose. One is bad judgement, one is treason. That’s for the military courts to decide.