On December 5th, The Guardian posted an article entitled, "Bradley Manning team to highlight WikiLeaks suspect's fragile mental state." In the article they focus on three witnesses out of the forty-eight requested by Bradley Manning's lawyer David Coombs: a psychiatrist, a psychologist, and a fellow soldier of Bradley Manning's. They say that these witnesses "are set [to] be used to cast light on Manning's erratic behaviour in the run-up to his arrest." The Guardian also promotes its own documentary on Bradley Manning saying that "Manning's deeply troubled state of mind" was "first revealed in a Guardian documentary."
Today the Bradley Manning Support Network spoke out against this article calling it "misleading" and saying that it was written without seeking clarification from Bradley Manning's lawyer. They continue:
"While there is ample evidence to suggest Bradley Manning was coping with considerable emotional stress while serving in the Iraq War, as do many soldiers, we do not believe that this will play a large role in Coombs’ strategy of fighting the 22 charges against Bradley."
To say David Coombs planned to "highlight" Bradley Manning's mental state was most certainly misleading. With such a small percentage of the requested witnesses speaking on the subject, what caused the Guardian to assume Bradley's defense would focus on this issue? And why would they make such a strong claim without consulting Bradley's legal team?
During a Parliament meeting about Bradley Manning David Leigh said, "I would like to think we would go to the nth degree to protect [whistleblowers], because without them journalists are nothing." Though with the way The Guardian has presented Bradley Manning over the past year–continuously focusing on his sexuality and struggles within the military, rarely discussing any moral reasons that may have led him to allegedly leak military documents–it's difficult to think they care about much else than their own fame and promotion.
[Edit: We mustn't forget David Leigh's infamous tweet, "I like to think that if someone like #bradleymanning had first dealt with me at the #guardian, he wouldn’t now be in jail," which became a meme on Twitter.]