Today Bradley Manning was convicted in a military “show trial” of espionage and theft charges for making available to the public classified documents evidencing US war crimes and bullying of other countries. He could be sentenced to 136 years in prison. The government’s prosecution aimed to make an example of Manning, imprisoning him under harsh conditions, and charging him with “aiding the enemy,” a capital offense, to intimidate others from standing up and speaking out against U.S. war crimes.
We are outraged that Manning was found guilty for reporting widespread, horrific crimes. His action was honorable and correct, as opposed to the action of the U.S. government in committing, justifying and covering up crimes against a whole people:
During the US war on and occupation of Iraq beginning in 2003, the Iraq War Logs published by WikiLeaks detail:
- US Apache gunning down surrendering insurgents,
- Hundreds of civilians gunned down at checkpoints,
- Civilians used as minesweepers by a US soldier,
- US troops handing over detainees to interrogation squad,
- 15,000 new civilian deaths uncovered in leaked files
- Credible reports of detainees killed, tortured and humiliated by US Special Forces, CIA and contractors. Almost NONE of them investigated, much less punished for what became Standard Operating Procedure.
Private Manning, after only a few months in Iraq in 2009, became so alarmed at the content of files he was reading, and at the response of his fellow soldiers who laughed at deaths of Iraqis, that he sought to raise an alarm, thinking that
“if the general public, especially the American public, had access to the information contained within the [Iraq and Afghan War Logs] this could spark a domestic debate on the role of the military and our foreign policy in general as well as it related to Iraq and Afghanistan.”
The government provided no evidence that his revelations hurt any person, and yet he faces a harsh penalty.
The only suitable response from people who care about humanity to the unjust conviction of Bradley Manning is to demand that Bradley Manning be released immediately for his time served, 3+ years, including 10 months in solitary confinement.
He was right to blow the whistle on war crimes. We should follow his lead. During the time his sentence is being considered, we must make a concerted effort to make sure that that hundreds of thousands see Collateral Murder, U.S. military footage of an Apache helicopter attack in Baghdad in 2007 which killed 12 Iraqi civilians. Government prosecutors claim this is “propaganda;” Bradley thinks it must be used to show the truth.
Distribute this video widely. Write Bradley Manning to let him know of your experiences taking this to out widely to people. Show him and the whole world, that people living in this country are blowing the whistle on war crimes and that We Are All Bradley Manning!
Video “providence” of Bradley’s declaration in court.