He's one of America's best.
He risked great personal harm. He did so to expose vital truths.
He's a true American hero. He deserves praise, not prosecution.
In February 2012, Movement of the Icelandic Parliament (MIP) members nominated
him for the Nobel Peace Prize.
They felt compelled to recognize his important contribution to world
peace. They called nominating him a "great honor." They're indebted for
what he did.
He deserves Washington's Presidential Medal of Freedom.
It's awarded "for especially meritorious contributions to (1) the
security or national interests of the United States, or (2) world peace,
or (3) cultural or other significant public or private endeavors."
War criminals often get it. Peacemakers are spurned.
British MP George Galloway said Manning should "be getting a Nobel
Prize instead of being tortured, and what is the British government doing
about this torture of the Welshman, Bradley Manning?”
“What they’re doing is intriguing and plotting with the Swedish
government and the US government to send Julian Assange to join him on
the torture tables and in solitary confinement for the next 50 years."
"And we call ourselves the land of the free."
Paul Craig Roberts called Manning "a window into the American soul."
It reveals "total evil. The US government constitutes Satan's Chosen People.
Nothing else can be said for those who rule and oppress us."
Manning's a latter day Daniel Ellsberg. "I was Bradley Manning of
my day," he said. "I too faced life in prison for exposing classified
government lies and crimes."
Ultimately all charges were dropped. It was "because of criminal
government misconduct" in his case. Manning deserves no less.
Whistleblowers, social justice advocates, and war resisters reflect
America's best. Washington treats them like criminals.
Former Attorney General Ramsey Clark says "Our jails are filled
with saints." Some of America's best and brightest are persecuted and
Law Professor Francis Boyle says US government lawlessness demands
civil resistance. It's lawful, necessary, and right. "US government officials
are the outlaws," he says. Doing the right thing requires challenging
Law Professor Marjorie Cohn calls Manning's heroism "uncommon courage."
He did what he had to do because it's right. He spoke for the second time
publicly. More on that below. His own words confirm "a very brave young
Center for Constitutional Rights President Emeritus Michael Ratner
calls Manning's court martial a "show trial of state secrecy."
The public's right to know is denied. Evidence is kept secret. Transparency
is spurned. So is accountability. Court documents, orders, and off-the
record arguments will decide Manning's fate.
Ratner attends his hearings. He calls them the "theater of the absurd."
They involve lengthy off-the-record conferences. They're secretive and
suppressed. An in-court summary conceals what's most important to explain.
A pre-trial publicity order details what lawyers may or may not
say. "Even the degree to which proceedings (are) kept secret is secret."
Doing so reflects Plato's Cave. People lived chained to a wall.
It was blank. They remained there all their lives. Shadows replaced reality.
The public's right to know reflects allegorical injustice.
Denying transparency violates constitutional and statute law. The
Supreme Court ruled criminal trials must be public. Democracies die behind
Proceedings are rigged to convict. Manning doesn't have a chance.
Expect prosecutors to throw the book at him. Expect hanging judge complicity
to go along.
For heroism above and beyond the call of duty, he faces 22 counts
under America's Espionage Act. He's also accountable under Articles 92
and 124 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ).
They include aiding the enemy. It's a potential capital offense.
Prosecutors said they won't seek the death penalty. Manning faces potential
He was held incommunicado for 10 months. He was subjected to cruel
and inhumane treatment. He was isolated 23 hours a day.
He was allowed outside, alone, shackled, and permitted to walk in
circles. He was returned to his cell the moment he stopped.
He was stripped of all rights. He was denied most other activities.
He was prohibited from exercising in his cell. He was video and visually
monitored 24 hours a day. He was forced to sleep naked.
He was denied a pillow and sheets. He was awakened at night for
being out of full view. He was forced to respond to guard inquiries every
five minutes all day.
He was tortured and abused for doing the right thing. He took everything
America threw at him and stood tall. It doesn't get any better than that.
He'll be remembered as one of America's best. At great personal
risk, he exposed US war crimes. Everyone has a right to know. They include
systematically murdering civilians in cold blood.
It's standard practice. Rules of engagement order combatants to
shoot all military aged men on sight. Drone operators do so indiscriminately.
International, constitutional, US statute and military laws are
violated. Nuremberg standards aren't imposed.
Accountability is long overdue. Pursuing justice more than ever
is vital. Legions of Mannings are needed.
His Support Network provides regular updates. He's denied civil
justice. His military tribunal trial begin June 3.
On February 28, he pleaded guilty to 10 lesser charges. He can withdraw
any of them before trial. He denied 12 greater ones.
He called war logs given WikiLeaks "some of the most important documents
of our time." He chose ones he believed "wouldn't cause harm to the United
He hoped what he did would launch a national debate. It's sorely
needed and much more. He "became depressed with the situation" in Iraq.
America's "obsessed with capturing and killing people," he said.
"Collateral murder" is policy. US helicopter pilots gunned down
innocent civilians. They murdered anyone trying to help them. Shooting
wounded victims was like "a child torturing ants with a magnifying glass,"
He wanted everyone to know. It's their right. Back home on leave,
he contacted the Washington Post and New York Times. He hoped they'd report
what he knew. They published Ellsberg's Pentagon Papers. That was then.
This is now.
They spurned him. They're in lockstep with imperial lawlessness.
They're complicit in suppressing US war crimes. Doing so shares guilt.
Journalism demands truth and full disclosure. Managed news misinformation
substitutes. Fundamental ethical standards are violated.
Exposing high crimes and misdemeanors is verboten. Scoundrel media
editors and commentators are guilty on all counts.
They support wealth, privilege, power and dominance. They oppose
peace, equity and justice. They shame themselves disgracefully. They operate
no other way.
Manning enlisted WikiLeak's help. He had many conversations with
someone called "Nathaniel." He believed it was Julian Assange. No one
pressured him to do anything.
He did what he believed right. He did it on his own. "I take full
responsibility," he said.
Judge Denise Lind presides over his pre-trial hearings. His "naked
plea" waved his Sixth Amendment and Rule of Court Martial (RCM) 707 rights,
she said. They include speedy trial protections.
His plea involved no government agreement. Prosecutors don't have
to prove his admissions. They can use them to pursue greater charges.
Manning read his entire 35-page statement. Judge Lind calls his
motives irrelevant. Doing so denies him whistleblower protections. Obama's
war on them strips them of all rights.
Manning pleaded guilty to unauthorized possession of one classified
army intelligence memo, more than 20 classified CIDNE (Combined Information
Data Network Exchange) Iraq documents, another 30 CIDNE Afghanistan ones,
more than five relating to an Afghanistan Farah province military operation,
and the Collateral Murder video.
He also pleaded guilty to willfully communicating to unauthorized
On February 23, international protests marked his 1,000th day in
prison without trial. Constitutional and Court Martial rights demand speedy
Defense counsel David Combs represents Manning. He said his "statutory
and constitutional speedy trial rights were trampled on with impunity."
Washington made an "absolute mockery" of his Fifth and Sixth Amendment
rights, RCM 707, and Uniform Code of Military Justice Article 10.
Clear evidence shows his due process rights were violated. Judge
Lind can dismiss charges with or without prejudice. Doing so with prevents
Without prejudice permits doing so later. Usually it's done if more
evidence is obtained.
Prosecutors deliberately delayed Manning's trial. It was done to
punish him. It's just cause to dismiss.
Manning's been incarcerated since May 2010. Holding him this long
without trial is unconscionable. Doing so to inflict cruel and inhumane
treatment reveals America's true face.
State terrorism is policy. Crimes of war, against humanity, and
genocide reflect it. So does police state repression. Manning's victimized
for doing the right thing.
Expect kangaroo trial proceedings to mock justice. Dozens of government
witnesses will testify. They'll lie. They'll claim national security was
compromised. Saying so turns truth on its head.
Many witnesses will testify wholly or in part in secret. Doing so
denies the public the right to know. It exposes government contempt for
Combs is prohibited from calling military or government witnesses
able to contradict prosecutor arguments. Trial procedures are rigged to
Manning is guilty by accusation. At issue on what charges and length
of sentencing. Minimally expect it to be longterm. Obama may demand he's
imprisoned for life.
Tyranny reflects today's America. The criminal class in Washington
is bipartisan. Dissent is endangered.
Rule of law principles provide no protections. Police states operate
that way. America is by far the worst. There's no place to hide.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
His new book is titled "Banker Occupation: Waging Financial War
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com and listen to cutting-edge
discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour
on the Progressive Radio Network Thursdays at 10AM US Central time and
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