"In December, 2011, I wrote an Op-Ed in the Guardian arguing that if Bradley Manning did what he is accused of doing, then he is a consummate hero, and deserves a medal and our collective gratitude, not decades in prison"
I hope you're following this trial. As important (and a true hero) that Bradley Manning is, what's really on trial here is transparency in government and the fate of people who decide to be whistle blowers when confronted with the situation Bradley Manning discovered he was in.
You might want to recall Daniel Ellsberg and the Pentagon Papers, because that event was remarkably similar to this, yet Ellsberg was treated as a hero in his day and never brought to trial for basically the same reason Bradley Manning is on trial today. Why is this? For some insight, click here. You can also google "ellsberg manning" for much, much more on this subject.
Aside: we should be so appreciative for the Internet! Let's use it to put the pieces together and sort out the terrible situation we're in, the lousy road we're on, and how we're going to solve these problems. I truly believe the heart of the solution is to update our election system with modern capabilities. As a long time computer systems person I can see how it should work, but I would love nothing more than to be bested by an even better solution.
Update: Please see Glenn Greenwald: Why the Obama Administration's Persecution of Bradley Manning Should Terrify Us All By Amy Goodman, Glenn Greenwald