A group of mostly naked men and other protesters gathered outside the State Department yesterday to decry the treatment of Bradley Manning, who’s been forced to remove his boxers every night lest he kill himself with them. “This is ridiculous,” writes Dana Milbank of the Washington Post. “Doesn’t the Pentagon know that boxers are far less lethal than briefs?” Kidding aside, Manning surely deserves some clothes—but that doesn’t make him the hero these protesters are making him out to be.
“The naked truth is that Manning was neither a hero nor a traitor but a misguided kid flying by the seat of his underpants,” Milbank opines. Manning’s document dump was, according to one transparency advocate, “needlessly provocative,” and irresponsible. Protesters can take solace that Manning’s jailers recently gave him a non-lethal sleeping garment, but they should stop lionizing the guy. “It’s one thing to demand his right to partake of the Fruit of the Loom,” Milbank says. “It’s another thing to make him into a martyr.” (Read more Bradley Manning stories.)