Bradley Manning was 22 years old when he was arrested. Today he entered his plea in military court after almost three years in US military detention. His long statement was read with composure and, at face value, reflects a person who stands by the logic of what he did.
Manning’s story is well-reported in The Guardian (and this is tangentially important). This 20-minute video is a useful introduction if you are not in a mood to read, but the idea that he was mad rather than rebellious does not stand up for me.
It remains for the USG to prove that Manning endangered national security. In the court of public opinion, I do not think this will be possible.
One way to think about what Manning did, and the significance of it, is to watch this documentary about the US dirty war in Iraq. (It builds on a celebrated New York Times magazine cover story from 2005.)