SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — Sacramento-area military veterans had mixed reactions to the Bradley Manning verdict on Tuesday.
Two groups of local veterans were on very different side. In the middle of it all was Army Pvt. Bradley Manning and thousands of top-secret government files.
“He betrayed his men.”
“He deserves the Nobel Peace Prize.”
Manning was found guilty on Tuesday on 17 of 22 charges against him after leaking classified records which he had access to. Those records included highly sensitive information from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
The two-month trial split local military members and supporters.
“Bradley Manning chose to enlighten the American people.”
John Reiger is president of the Veterans For Peace. He maintains that Manning was giving up information the public needed to know, including possible war crimes.
“He decided to let the American people know about these things,” he said. “The only people who put American troops at risk are George Bush and Barack Obama.”
But another veteran sees it differently.
“It’s very apparent that his actions led unfortunately to making things a lot more difficult for our troops.”
Scott Raab is with Move America Forward, a national pro-troop nonprofit. He says while he is relieved Manning was found guilty, he is disappointed the 25-year-old soldier was not found guilty of the most serious charge—aiding the enemy.
“It’s truly shocking to believe that he didn’t aid the people that are trying to hurt us.”