Arthur Silber has written a moving post, "If You Love Martyrs So Much, Then You Be One," about Manning's apology before his court-martial judge. If you are among those who are disappointed in Manning's action, I strongly recommend that you read it. If you understand what Manning did, I also recommend it. Here's a sample:
To express "disappointment" and the like is to confess that you may have grown to adulthood physically, but that you have allowed yourself to become fossilized emotionally in a state one might expect from a pathetically narcissistic, very badly damaged adolescent, with no understanding of how human beings actually live their lives or how societies function. It is also to confess a close to complete ignorance of political matters. It would be sufficiently nauseating if they only wished Manning to become a martyr for whatever cause they think they're serving. But it is beyond obscene that they demand that he willingly climb onto the cross, and drive the nails through his body himself.