If Bradley Manning had blown the bin Laden Operation, would the HamWaldians still be advocating his release? It’s a fair question, because when Manning (allegedly) put those hundred thousand-plus cables on his thumb drive, he certainly had not read them all. In fact, it’s pretty certain Manning had no idea what was in them — and no clue how many potential OPs might get blown by their release.
If he had blown the OP and allowed bin Laden to get away, would he still be a hero?
My answer: Manning was NEVER a hero. He betrayed his oath and his country. He did not do it for any humanitarian principle, but because he was mad about a policy (DADT) that has since been reversed. Manning is no better than Christopher Boyce, Robert Hansen, or Aldrich Ames, three spies who were arrested and convicted in my lifetime. His fate will resemble theirs, and ought to.