I'm reaching my conclusions based on the commentary and information I have. It has been reported there is evidence Manning supplied Wikileaks with hundreds of thousands of pages of classified diplomatic cables, I believe this is true.
If Manning had nothing to do with the transfer of all those classified diplomatic cables which fell into the hands of Wikileaks, then it is awful what they've done to innocent Manning, truly reprehensible, an atrocity of indescribable perfidy -but we can surmise this isn't the case.
People are eager to defend Manning as some sort of highly responsible individual who came across such evidence of grave misdeeds by his government he indignantly made it all public in an effort to correct the situation.
Now step back and consider this a bit more carefully. If Manning acted outraged over what he found, then he must have intentionally disseminated these classified diplomatic cables, no? If that was the case, then Manning isn't some innocent scapegoat railroaded by the military because of that "collateral murder" video, is he?
Next question has to do with the sheer volume of material divulged. Manning was a "Private" in the army, this is one of the lowest ranks for an enlisted soldier (below Corporal which is subordinate to Sargeant). The military thuroughly tests and evaluates every enlistee to identify all the qualities, skills, knowledge, abilities and education they have so as to better put them to use. They subjected Manning to the same Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery tests they submit all enlistee to and came up with a simple Private with a bureaucratic role processing documents. My guess is that Manning must have shown proficiency in attention to detail and classifying things, if he was good and mechanical things, knew languages, had a fine ear, musical talent, was very strong or had any other aptitude, the army would have put him in a different position.
Now you've got this relatively unskilled and uneducated Private who is quite methodical, has a good eye for detail and good at classifying things and assign him to sort through a huge volume of sensitive diplomatic cables from around the world, and so he does. He must have processed enough of them with adequacy to be left in that position.
You and I (me a fully accredited professor of Law and of International Relations with more than a decade of teaching experience in the faculties of over a dozen universities on 3 continents) and you with all the learning and interest in the subject you may have, read and analyze commentary and documents from Manning's disclosures to reach differing but similar indictments of US foreign policy. Are we pressuming this lowly Private did as well? I admit I've only seen bits and pieces of a few documents, though I have a keen interest and have sought out and searched for more. I've seen reference to close to half a million pages and read that the volume of material is so great it had to be digitally compressed and divided so it could be distributed. I don't think Manning could possibly have read it all, nobody has yet, there is no compendium, no comprehensive summary its a huge document dump. As I've noted, a Spanish periodical has a huge compilation they've gathered just with documents that include the word "Spain", visitors are invited to root through and report what they find (interesting stuff on Repsol's dealings in Libya).
Now reconsider what you think Private Manning's intent was. If it was to make public the evil wrongdoings of the US government or its military, why did he also include this stuff on a Spanish oil company in Libya which has nothing to do with the government or military of the US?
No, Manning acted with recklessness, not animated by some altruistic goal to make public wrongful conduct by the US. He may have wanted attention, maybe was offered money, he couldn't have read everything he disseminated, likely only noted it was "classified" and maybe "diplomatic", this was what his recipient was looking for and Manning obliged dumping hundreds of thousands of embarrassingly candid diplomatic cables. There are no records of assasinations, details of secret renditions, instructions on torture training, accounting for drug smugglings, contraband weapons routes to mercenaries, no, its mostly just lots of frank but embarrassing opinion of other diplomats and issues that preferably would have not been disclosed.
Its all available to the wwhole world now, millions are perusing these secret cables, nobody has come up with that truly shameful "smoking gun", there's a lot more to peruse, maybe eventually someone will find the truly outrageous thing that Private Manning wanted us to know.