Friday, August 17, 2012

The Latest From The Private Bradley Manning Support Network-Free Bradley Manning Now! -Update 8/16/12: Assange’s asylum, Bradley’s case and inequality, and West Coast rallies

Click on the headline to link to the Private Bradley Manning Support Network for the latest information on his case and activities on his behalf .
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, Private Bradley Manning. The entry below can serve as a continuing rationale for my (and your) support to this honorable whistleblower.

From the American Left History Blog, March 28, 2012

Why I Am Standing In Solidarity With Private Bradley Manning- A Personal Note From An Ex-Soldier Political Prisoner

Markin comment:

Last year I wrote a little entry in this space in order to motivate my reasons for standing in solidarity with a March 20th rally in support of Private Manning at the Quantico Marine Base in Virginia where he was then being held. I have subsequently repeatedly used that entry, Why I Will Be Standing In Solidarity With Private Bradley Manning At Quantico, Virginia On Sunday March 20th At 2:00 PM- A Personal Note From An Ex-Soldier Political Prisoner, as a I have tried to publicize his case in blogs and other Internet sources, at various rallies, and at marches, most recently at the Veterans For Peace Saint Patrick’s Day Peace Parade in South Boston on March 18th.

In that spirit I have updated, a little, that earlier entry to reflect the changed circumstances over the past year or so. As one would expect when the cause is still the same, Private Bradley Manning's freedom, unfortunately most of the entry is still in the same key. 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.
Of course I will be standing at the front gate to the Fort Meade , Maryland on April 25th because I stand in solidarity with the actions of Private Bradley Manning in bringing to light, just a little light, some of the nefarious doings of this government, Bush-like or Obamian. 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 war in Iraq. I sleep just a shade bit easier these days knowing that Private Manning (or someone) exposed what we all knew, or should have known- the Iraq war and the Afghan war justification rested on a house of cards. American imperialism’s gun-toting house of cards, but cards nevertheless.

Of course I will also be standing at the front gate of Fort Meade, Maryland on April 25th 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.

Now the two reasons above are more than sufficient for my standing at the front gate at Fort Meade on April 25th although they, in themselves, are only the appropriate reasons that any progressive thinking person would need to show up and shout to the high heavens for Private Manning’s freedom. I have an additional reason though, a very pressing personal reason. As mentioned above I too was in the military’s crosshairs as a citizen-soldier during the height of the Vietnam War. I will not go into the details of that episode, this comment after all is about brother soldier Manning, other than that I spent my own time in an Army stockade for, let’s put it this way, working on the principle of “what if they gave a war and nobody came”.

Forty years later I am still working off that principle, and gladly. But here is the real point. During that time I had outside support, outside civilian support, that rallied on several occasions outside the military base where I was confined. Believe me that knowledge helped me get through the tough days inside. So on April 25th I will be just, once again, as I have been able to on too few other occasions over years, paying my dues for that long ago support. You, Brother Manning, are a true winter soldier. We were not able to do much about the course of the Iraq War (and little thus far on Afghanistan) but we can move might and main to save the one real hero of that whole mess.

Private Manning I hope that you will hear us and hear about our rally in your defense outside the gates. Better yet, everybody who reads this piece join us and make sure that he can hear us loud and clear. And let us shout to high heaven against this gross injustice-Free Private Manning Now!

Update 8/16/12: Assange’s asylum, Bradley’s case and inequality, and West Coast rallies

Bradley Manning and Julian Assange

Ecuador grants asylum to Julian Assange. In a statement this morning granting asylum to the WikiLeaks publisher, Ecuadorian FM Ricardo Patino said that Ecuador asked Sweden to agree to question Assange on the condition that it wouldn’t extradite him to the United States. Sweden refused.

In his remarks, Patino said, “[Assange] is victim of political persecution. … If Assange is extradited to U.S., he will not receive a fair trial.” As many have written, such as Glenn Greenwald, one needs only to look at how Bradley Manning has been treated in the U.S. – from solitary confinement, to the unprecedentedly egregious “aiding the enemy” interpretation, to a secretive trial free of public documents – to understand that Assange’s fear is rational and legitimate. As of this posting, Assange remains in the Ecuadorian embassy in London. (Read more…)

‘The Most Disturbing Thing About the Case Against Bradley Manning.’ Jake Blumgart, for the Seattle Stranger, writes that the collective deprivations of Bradley Manning’s rights point to a larger, insidious threat to our civil liberties: that governments will go after the powerless seeking to expose atrocities with an aggressive fervor and at the same time award more and more immunity to the powerful committing far more serious crimes. As we’ve written about, the Army is punishing the messenger while convicted murderers and war criminals get leniency or total impunity.

As Blumgart writes,

“Whether Manning is guilty or not, whether he should be prosecuted or lauded, whether he is a whistle-blower or an indiscriminate dumper of information, it is clear that Manning’s case is an example of a larger trend in American society: The powerless and economically vulnerable are held to punishingly harsh standards, while the rich and powerful get away with a slap on the wrist (if that). Steal $100 of food from the grocery store? You go to jail. Steal $10,000 from your employees through shady employment practices? Worst thing that happens is you might have to pay them back (but probably not).”

In a useful and careful rehashing of Bradley’s case, Blumgart tallies the various injustices against Bradley in what can only be described as a show trial thus far. (Read more…)

Reminder: actions today throughout the West Coast. At 5 PM PT, supporters in Oakland will rally at Oscar Grant Plaza for PFC Bradley Manning. Led by veterans and anti-war activists, the action is part of a set of rallies along the coast, including demonstrations in Los Angeles and Portland as well.

No comments:

Post a Comment