Following a fundraising speech on Thursday, President Obama was asked about the case of whistleblower Bradley Manning.

He responded, "I can’t conduct diplomacy on an open source. That’s not how…the world works. If you’re in the military, and -- I have to abide by certain classified information. If I was to release stuff that I’m not authorized to release, I’m breaking the law…We’re a nation of laws. We don’t individually make our own decisions about how the laws operate… He broke the law."

Obama's assumption that Manning is guilty prior to any trial is already drawing legal fire. The hacker group Anonymous was quick to tweet the news. And the blog Firedoglake, which has been sharply critical of Obama, compared it to Richard Nixon's premature assertion of Charles Manson's guilt.

Obama may have been on the defensive concerning Manning, since his remarks followed an incident where a group of protesters had showed up at a fundraiser to sing him a song about Manning's plight.

This video was uploaded to YouTube on April 21, 2011.

Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.