Political Hotsheet
April 22, 2011 4:14 PM

Obama says Bradley Manning "broke the law"

Speaking with supporters at a San Francisco fundraiser Thursday, President Obama said that accused Wikileaks leaker Pfc. Bradley Manning "broke the law," Forbes reports.

Mr. Obama's comments followed an incident earlier on Thursday in which protesters seeking Manning's release from prison interrupted a fundraising speech from the president.

Manning's prolonged detainment has been a source of controversy for the Obama administration for several months. Just this week, the Pentagon transferred Manning to an Army prison in Kansas from the Marine Corps base in Quantico, Va., where he spent nine months in restrictive conditions. Manning faces nearly two dozen charges, including aiding the enemy, but no trial date has been set.

Though Manning has yet to stand trial, Mr. Obama asserted yesterday that he is guilty.

"If you're in the military, and -- I have to abide by certain classified information," Mr. Obama explained to a supporter. "If I was to release stuff, information that I'm not authorized to release, I'm breaking the law. We're a nation of laws. We don't individually make our own decisions about how the laws operate... He broke the law."

The person to whom the president was speaking compared Manning to Daniel Ellsberg, who leaked the Pentagon Papers, a secret Pentagon study related to the Vietnam War.

"It wasn't the same thing," Mr. Obama responded. "What Ellsberg released wasn't classified in the same way."

Ellsberg is among the protesters who were arrested last year for demonstrating against Manning's treatment.

The demonstrations against Manning's detainment spurred one congressman to compare Manning's situation at Quantico to Abu Ghraib and prompted Amnesty International and the British government to voice concerns over his treatment as well.

The Pentagon has said its treatment of Manning has been all legal, and Mr. Obama has supported that assertion.

Officials said this week it moved Manning to the Kansas facility because it is designed for long-term detention. His case could take months, if not years, to be settled because of its complexity, the Associated Press reported.

Tags:
Wikileaks ,
Barack Obama ,
Bradley Manning
Topics:
Obama Administration

Add a Comment See all 68 Comments
by noloyalisti April 26, 2011 6:20 PM EDT
That's what happen when you give up your democracy and let corrupt, greedy giant corporations take over the government and run the country. You will have a lot of embarrassments like having Brad Manning expose you for the evil you are.
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by BigGrizzly55 April 25, 2011 12:03 PM EDT
Leave Obama alone because he knows what a crook looks like, his administration is full of them. In fact, you have to be a crook to be part of the team.
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by mikie36 April 24, 2011 4:08 PM EDT
I think everyone is being a little hard on the president. He made a very human error by not saying "allegedly" in his "broke the law" statement. Sure military prison sucks and they need to speed up his trial but if this kid really did what he's being accused of then he committed TREASON! punishable by death. This is not a circus act, people, this is serious! I don't agree with everything our government does, but we need some solidarity here in America. And what about these wikileaks guys, why aren't they locked up right next to him and awaiting trial themselves!?
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by imnho April 24, 2011 3:25 PM EDT
It would have been better if Obama had refrained from comment. His anger at the release of classified material is understandable. The release of unvetted classified material can be very determental to the security of
the country.
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by alasadiraq April 24, 2011 2:43 PM EDT
I hope that Manning will Sue Obama for making that type of comment!! How dare him saying this, King Obama needs to have his Crown remove, Manning isn't guilty until he faces a jury of his pears, not King Obama!!
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by mecanik-2009 April 24, 2011 2:13 PM EDT
PFC Bradley Manning is a hero to many of us. He showed the courage to expose what he saw as corruption at many levels of our government. Turning over information that compromises a rocket engine or a weapon system is one thing but in this case he only exposed the dirty laundry of our corrupt government, he should be hailed as a hero.
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by brnfream April 24, 2011 1:40 PM EDT
Seems we are more a nation of "lawbreakers", with mr. president, at the top of the list. How could he speak such trash with a straight face. And the AG, Holder!
What phooey!
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by sirmarion-2009 April 24, 2011 12:06 PM EDT
Manning took an oath,as Obama took an oath to uphold the laws,so why is Obama not whinning about the broken laws by the Illegals being here?
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by sirmarion-2009 April 24, 2011 12:03 PM EDT
The illegal Immigrants also broke the law Mr President. Why is it if Saudi Arabia produces more oil the price of gasoline will go down but if we produce more the price will not be affected,according to the Dimocrats?
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by joeyayoub April 24, 2011 11:55 AM EDT
Bradley Manning broke no law. If the media in the USA had anything to do with actually finding out the truth instead of existing for the existing power, they would have asked 'which law?'
Bradley Manning is protected by the 1st Amendment and the US president must serve the constitution, he served an oath. The constitution cannot be bent to serve the disgusting ideology of the 'leaders' of the USA. Barack Obama has already allowed the unlimited detention of individuals even without proof and he has lied about both wars which are nothing less than war crimes. He earns the title of a fascist leader.
Ps: I'm not even American and I know your constitution better than you do apparently
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