The Freedom of the Press Foundation on Tuesday published a previously unreleased audio recording of Pfc. Bradley Manning’s full court statement, detailing his motivations for leaking a trove of government documents to the anti-secrecy organization WikiLeaks.
“Transparency is vital for an informed public, whether we're talking about the courtroom, Congress, or the executive branch. We hope this release will shine light on the plight of whistleblowers everywhere,” Trevor Timm, co-founder and executive director of the foundation, said in a statement.
In the audio file, Manning can be heard explaining why he released the Apache helicopter video dubbed “Collateral Murder,” the Iraq War Logs, and State Department diplomatic cables.
"At first I did not consider the video very special, as I have viewed countless other war porn type videos depicting combat. However, the recording of audio comments by the aerial weapons team crew and the second engagement in the video of an unarmed bongo truck troubled me ...," Manning said, describing the "Collateral Murder" video.
"It was clear to me that the event happened because the aerial weapons team mistakenly identified Reuters employees as a potential threat and that the people in the bongo truck were merely attempting to assist the wounded. The people in the van were not a threat but merely 'Good Samaritans.' The most alarming aspect of the video to me, however, was the seemly delightful bloodlust they appeared to have."
As of 9 a.m. ET, the Freedom of the Press Foundation website has been taken down due to excessive traffic. In the meantime, readers can listen to an edited clip of Manning’s statement below: