not a hollywood plaster cast
claiming to be an iconoclast,
Bradley Manning, the real thing
broke iconic codes of secrecy
that maintain the power of the military

gentle human being, filled with empathy;
humanitarian in the army – anomaly
man of compassion in a killing profession!
Gandhi, satyagrahi, with an AK47 !

having entered the service of his country
en route to further educational opportunity,
he didn’t read the signs at basic training,
almost failing, having to repeat,
taking more than twice as long to complete

persevering and overcoming, he was free
to pursue, outside of violent combat duty,
a backroom military operational speciality –
intelligence analysis of classified information
recommendation of courses of action
to those embedded in conflict situations

collating and processing endless statements
significant acts of military engagement
and counter-measures for conflict management
he became aware
of relentless underhand manipulation,
the barbarity of brutal confrontation:
rules of engagement in abeyance,
blood-lust rampant,
no collateral damage,
only gleeful murder of innocents

believing idealistically
in media exposure to cure insanity,
he Wikileaked the sins of war,
and now must pay, apparently,
for breach of military confidentiality;
in reality,
for naive acceptance
of US military intervention
the means of spreading
democracy and civilization