Bradley Manning received his sentence this morning. The twenty-five year old was found guilty of leaking classified information a few weeks ago, but he was found not guilty on the most serious charge of aiding the enemy. The prosecution want him to receive a 60 year sentence, and he could have gotten up to ninety years maximum. While many of his supporters wanted him to get a lesser sentence, his opponents wanted to see him get the maximum sentence, but neither of those things happened. The judge came back with a ruling of thirty-five years, and she made Manning eligible for parole after a third of his sentence. She also gave him time served which means he could be out in ten years.
I think that this was the perfect ruling since he did not seem to know the seriousness of his actions, and this makes him get punishment without taking away his whole life.While some of my fellow conservatives may think he should have been given a harsher sentence, the fact is that he did not fully understand the consequences of his actions, and that is why the judge gave him the sentence that he received. If he intentionally wanted to hurt U.S. soldiers, I feel that a ninety year sentence, or even the death penalty, would have been appropriate. The fact that he did not have bad motives for releasing the documents shows me that it was the right thing for the judge not to give him the full sentence.
And while this may be controversial to say, I must say that I have much more respect for Manning who stayed around to get his punishment than I do for Edward Snowden. Snowden ran away like a hypocrite, and he showed that he is truly the quint essential American wuss. Bradley Manning may have hurt this country, but he showed that he has the nerve enough to stick around and face a judge. That’s why Manning should not be compared to Snowden. After all, Snowden never served a day in the military, and, when caught, started singing the praises of Hong Kong instead of the U.S.A. That’s why it’s obvious, to me, that while they may have done the same thing that they certainly reacted to their punishment in two completely different manners, one like a man, the other a coward.
But what message does today’s sentence say to Snowden and other future leakers? I feel like it says that the government will no longer put up with its citizens putting the lives of the brave men and women of the military in jeopardy. It says that the government is going to put away anyone who wants to risk the safety of the United States behind bars because our security should be number one. With the anniversary of 9/11 just a few weeks away, it is evident that not making our nation’s security our top priority can have serious consequences, and doing everything to prevent another attack on our troops or our land is crucial to preserving our nation for generations to come. So beware those of you who are thinking of leaking confidential information, beware!
May God Bless America,
The Generation X Conservative