Berkeley City Council put off a vote Tuesday night on whether to
bestow hero status on a U.S. soldier who allegedly released
classified information to WikiLeaks.
council members in this famously liberal city said they were
concerned about the way the resolution was written and wanted more
time to investigate. Others said it was premature to hail Pfc.
Bradley Manning as a hero when he has not admitted to being the
source of the leaks. The proposed resolution is the latest in a long
line of provocative political statements by leaders in Berkeley, a
city of 100,000 across the bay from San Francisco that was the
epicenter of the anti-war movement in the Vietnam era. The resolution
proposed by the city’s Peace and Justice Commission praises Manning
for exposing “war crimes” by allegedly leaking a 2007 video
of a laughing U.S. Apache helicopter crew gunning down 11 men in
Baghdad, Iraq, including a Reuters news photographer. Military
investigators also suspect the 22-year-old Army intelligence analyst
downloaded hundreds of thousands of classified Afghan and Iraq war
reports and an untold number of secret U.S. diplomatic cables onto a
Lady Gaga CD and a computer memory stick while stationed in Iraq.
Wikileaks published the war reports earlier this year and began
releasing the cables late last month. “We obviously think
Manning’s a hero,” said Jeff Manning, a project manager for
Courage to Resist, the group that authored the resolution as part of
its mission of supporting anti-war members of the U.S. armed
services. “If he’s going to have a shot at justice in a military
courtroom we have to move more people to think the same way.”

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