Let’s Redouble Our Efforts To Save Private Bradley Manning-Make Every Town Square A Bradley Manning Square From Boston To Berkeley-Join Us In Davis Square, Somerville Every Friday-1:00-2:00 PM [Note: Beginning July 4th The Vigil Will Be Every Wednesday From 4:00-5:00 PM ]
Click on the headline to link to a the Private Bradley Manning Petition website page.
The Private Bradley Manning case is headed toward a late fall/early winter trial. Those of us who support his cause should redouble our efforts to secure his freedom. For the past several months there has been a weekly vigil in Greater Boston across from the Davis Square Redline MBTA stop (renamed Bradley Manning Square for the vigil’s duration) in Somerville from 1:00-2:00 PM on Fridays. This vigil has, to say the least, been very sparsely attended. We need to build it up with more supporters present. Please join us when you can. Or better yet if you can’t join us start a Support Bradley Manning weekly vigil in some location in your town whether it is in the Boston area or Berkeley. And please sign the petition for his release. I have placed links to the Manning Network and Manning Square website below.
Bradley Manning Support Network
Manning Square website
The following are remarks that I have been focusing on of late to build support for Bradley Manning’s cause.
Veterans for Peace proudly stands in solidarity with, and defense of, Private Bradley Manning.
We of the anti-war movement were not able to do much to affect the Bush- Obama Iraq War timetable but we can save the one hero of that war, Bradley Manning.
I stand in solidarity with the alleged actions of Private Bradley Manning in bringing to light, just a little light, some of the nefarious war-related doings of this government, under Bush and Obama. If he did such acts they are no crime. No crime at all in my eyes or in the eyes of the vast majority of people who know of the case and of its importance as an individual act of resistance to the unjust and barbaric American-led wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. I sleep just a shade bit easier these days knowing that Private Manning may have exposed what we all knew, or should have known- the Iraq war and the Afghan war justifications rested on a house of cards. American imperialism’s gun-toting house of cards, but cards nevertheless.
I am standing in solidarity with Private Bradley Manning because I am outraged by the treatment meted out to Private Manning, presumably an innocent man, by a government who alleges itself to be some “beacon” of the civilized world. Bradley Manning had been held in solidarity at Quantico and other locales for over 500 days, and has been held without trial for much longer, as the government and its military try to glue a case together. The military, and its henchmen in the Justice Department, have gotten more devious although not smarter since I was a soldier in their crosshairs over forty years ago.
These are more than sufficient reasons to stand in solidarity with Private Manning and will be until the day he is freed by his jailers. And I will continue to stand in proud solidarity with Private Manning until that great day.
Immediate Unconditional Withdrawal of All U.S./Allied Troops And Mercenaries From Afghanistan! Hands Off Iran! Free Bradley Manning Now!
"God knows what happens now. Hopefully worldwide discussion, debates, and reforms...
I want people to see the truth... because without information, you cannot make informed decisions as a public."
—online chat attributed to Army RFC Bradley Manning
Accused Wikileaks Whistleblower Bradley Manning,
a 23-year-old US Army intelligence analyst, is accused of sharing a video of the killing of civilians— including two Reuters journalists—by a US helicopter in Baghdad, Iraq with the Wikileaks website.
He is also charged with blowing the whistle on the Afghan War Diary, the Iraq War Logs, and revealing US diplomatic cables. In short, he's been charged with telling us the truth.
The video and documents have illuminated the true number and cause of civilian casualties in Iraq and Afghanistan, human rights abuses by U.S.-funded contractors and foreign militaries, and the role that spying and brines play in international diplomacy.
Half of every edition of The New York Times has cited one or more of these documents during the past year. The leaks have caused Amnesty International to hail Wikileaks for catalyzing the democratic middle eastern revolutions and changing journalism forever.
What happens now is up to YOU!
Never before in U.S. history has someone been charged with "Aiding the enemy through indirect means" by making information public.
A massive; popular outpouring of support for Bradley Manning is needed to save his life.
We are at a turning point in our nation's history. Will we as a public demand greater transparency and accountability from pur elected leaders? Will we be governed by fear and secrecy? Will we accept endless war fought with our tax dollars? Or, will we demand the right to know the truth—the real foundation of democracy.
Here are some actions you should take now to support Bradley:
» Visitwww.standwithbrad.org to sign the petition. Then join our photo petition at iam.bradleymanning.org
» Join our facebook page, savebradley,
to receive campaign updates, and follow SaveBradley on twitter
» Visitwww.bradleymanning.org and
download our Organizer Toolkit to learn howyou can educate community members, gain media attention, and donate toward Bradley's defense.
The People Have the Right to Know...
Visit wvwv.braclleymaiiniiig.org to learn howyou can take action!
What did WikiLeaks reveal?
"In no case shall information be classified... in order to: conceal violations of law, inefficiency, or administrative error; prevent embarrassment to a person, organization, or agency... or prevent or delay the release of information that does not require protection in the interest of the national security."
—Executive Order 13526, Sec. 7.7. Classification Prohibitions and Limitations
"Is this embarrassing? Yes. Is this awkward? Yes. Consequences for U.S. foreign policy? I think fairly modest."
—Robert Gates, Unites States Secretary of Defense
PFC Bradley Manning is a US Army intelligence specialist who is accused of releasing classified information to WikiLeaks, an organization that he allegedly understood would release portions of the information to news organizations and ultimately to the public.
Was the information that PFC Manning is accused of leaking classified for our protection and national security, as government officials contend? Or do the revelations provide the American public with information that we should have had access to in the first place? Just
what are these revelations? Below are some key facts that PFC Manning is accused of making public.
There is an official policy to ignore torture in Iraq.
The "Iraq War Logs" published by WikiLeaks revealed that thousands of reports of prisoner abuse and torture had been filed against the Iraqi Security Forces. Medical evidence detailed how prisoners had been whipped with heavy cables across the feet, hung from ceiling hooks, suffered holes being bored into their legs with electric drills, urinated upon, and sexually assaulted. These logs also revealed the existence of "Frago 242,"an order implemented in 2004 not to investigate allegations of abuse against the. Iraqi government This order is a direct violation of the UN Convention Against Torture, which was ratified by the United States in 1994. The Convention prohibits the Armed Forces from transferring a detainee to other countries "where there are substantial grounds for believing that he would be in danger of being subjected to torture." According to the State Department's own reports, the U.S. government was already aware that the Iraqi Security Forces engaged in torture (1).
U.S. officials were told to cover up evidence of child abuse by contractors in Afghanistan.
U.S. defense contractors were brought under much tighter supervision after leaked diplomatic cables revealed that they had been complicit in child trafficking activities. DynCorp — a powerful defense contracting firm that claims almost $2 billion per year in revenue from U.S. tax dollars — threw a party for Afghan security recruits featuring boys purchased from child traffickers for entertainment. DynCorp had already faced human trafficking charges before this incident took place. According to the cables, Afghan Interior minister HanifAtmar urged the assistant US ambassadorto"quash"the story.These revelations have been a driving factor behind recent calls for the removal of all U.S. defense contractors from Afghanistan (2).
Guantanamo prison has held mostly innocent people and low-level operatives.
The Guantanamo Files describe how detainees were arrested based on what the New York Times referred to as highly subjective evidence. For example, some poor farmers were captured after they were found wearing a common watch or a jacket that was the same as those also worn by Al Queda operatives. How quickly innocent prisoners were released was heavily dependent on their country of origin. Because the evidence collected against Guantanamo prisoners is not permissible in U.S. courts, the U.S. State Department has offered millions of dollars to other countries to take and try our prisoners. According to a U.S. diplomatic cable written on April 17, 2009, the Association for the Dignity of Spanish Prisoners requested that the National Court indict six former U.S. officials for creating a legal framework that allegedly permitted torture against five Spanish prisoners. However,"Senator Mel Martinez... met Acting FM [Foreign Minister] AngelLossada... on April 15. Martinez... -underscored that the prosecutions would not be understood or accepted in the U.S. and would have an enormous impact on the bilateral relationship"(3).
There is an official tally of civilian deaths in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Even though the Bush and Obama Administrations maintained publicly that there was no official count of civilian casualties, the Iraq and Afghanistan War Logs showed that this claim was false. Between 2004 and 2009, the U.S. government counted a total of 109,000 deaths in Iraq, with 66,081 classified as non-combatants. This means that for every Iraqi death that is classified as a combatant, two innocent men, women or children are also killed (4),
(1)Alex Spillius, "Wikileaks: Iraq War Logs show US ignored torture allega-
tions,"Telegraph, October 22,2010. http://www.telegrapti.co.uk/news/
(2)foreign contractors hired Afghan 'dancing boys; WikiLeaks cable
reveals'guanJian.co.uk, December 2,2010, http://www.guardian.co.tik/
(3) Scott Shane and Benjamin Weiser.The Guatanamo Files: Judging Detainees'Risk, Often With Rawed Evidence'New York Times, April 24,2011, http://www.nytimes.com/2011/04/2S/world/guantanamo-files-flawed-evidence-for-assessing-risk.html;'US embassy cables: Don't pursue Guantanamo criminal case, says Spanish attorney general'guardian.co.uk, December 1,2010, http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/us-embassy-cables-documents/202776.
(4) Iraq War Logs Reveal 15,000 Previously Unlisted Civilian Deaths,' guard-ian.co.uk, October 22,2010, http://www.guardian.co.uk/won'd/2010/ oct/22/true-civilian-body-count-iraq