So sayeth Josh Barro. He is quite right:
Whatever the merits of Manning’s discontent with the U.S. Army, the actions he is accused of taking as a result — leaking reams of secret diplomatic cables mostly unrelated to the Iraq War — were not whistleblowing.
They were detrimental to American security and to the cause of peace in the world. Diplomacy requires discretion, and when the ability of American diplomats to communicate discreetly is undermined, tensions rise.
It’s nice to see that someone is calling Manning out for what he really is; a person who undermined American foreign policy interests and security. And as Barro points out, if Manning wanted to be a responsible whistleblower, he could have gone to a relevant inspector general or to Congress, and told his story. But Manning preferred making a splash over doing the right thing, and he did harm to the United States in the process. The legal predicament in which he finds himself is entirely of his own making.