Author Topic: Pardon Private Bradley Manning Stand-Out-Central Square...  (Read 1243 times)

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Offline Riney

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Pardon Private Bradley Manning Stand-Out-Central Square...
« on: March 27, 2013, 00:37:39 AM »
Pardon Private Bradley Manning Stand-Out-Central Square, Cambridge, Wednesdays, 5:00 PM
-Update –March 26, 2013

Let’s Redouble Our Efforts To Free Private Bradley Manning-President Obama Pardon Bradley Manning -Make Every Town Square In America (And The World) A Bradley Manning Square From Boston To Berkeley to Berlin-Join Us In Central Square, Cambridge, Ma. For A Stand-Out For Bradley- Wednesdays From 5:00-6:00 PM

Beginning in September 2011, in order to publicize Private Manning’s case locally, there have been weekly stand-outs (as well as other more ad hoc and sporadic events) in various locations in the Greater Boston area starting in Somerville across from the Davis Square Redline MBTA stop on Friday afternoons and later on Wednesdays. Lately this stand-out has been held each week on Wednesdays from 5:00 to 6:00 PM at Central Square, Cambridge, Ma. (small park at the corner of Massachusetts Avenue and Prospect Street just outside the Redline MBTA stop, renamed Manning Square for the duration of the stand-out) in order to continue to broaden our outreach. Join us there in calling for Private Manning’s freedom. President Obama Pardon Private Manning Now!
Those who have followed the heroic Wikileaks whistle-blower Private Bradley Manning’s case over the past year or so, since about April 2012 when the pre-trial hearings began in earnest, know that last November the defendant offered to plead guilty to a few lesser included charges in his indictment, basically taking legal and political responsibility for the leaks to WikiLeaks that had been the subject of some of the government’s allegations against him. Without getting into the arcane legal maneuvering on this issue the idea was to cut across the government’s pretty solid case against him being the leaker of information and to have the now scheduled for June trial be focused on the substantial question of whether his actions constituted “material aid to terrorism” which could subject Private Manning to life in prison. We noted then that we needed to stay with Bradley on this and make sure people know that what he admitted to was that he disclosed information about American military atrocities in Iraq and Afghanistan and other diplomatic high crime and misdemeanors and only that. We also noted that he was, and is, frankly, in trouble, big trouble, and needs our support more than ever. Especially in light of the following:

After enduring nearly three years of detention, at times under torturous conditions, on February 28, 2013 Bradley Manning confessed that he had provided WikiLeaksa trove of military and diplomatic documents that exposed U.S. imperialist schemes and wartime atrocities. Private Manning’s guilty plea on ten of 22 counts against him could land him in prison for 20 years. A day after Bradley confessed, military prosecutors announced plans to try him on the remaining counts, including “aiding the enemy” and violating the Espionage Act. Trial is expected to begin in early June. If convicted on these charges, Bradley Manning faces life in prison.

In lifting a bit of the veil of secrecy and lies with which the government cover their depredations, Bradley Manning performed a great service to workers and oppressed around the world. All who oppose the imperialist barbarity and machinations revealed in the material he provided must join in demanding his immediate freedom. Also crucially important is the defense of Julian Assange against the vendetta by the U.S., Britain and their cohorts, who are attempting to railroad him to prison by one means or another for his role in running WikiLeaks.

In a 35-page statement he read to the military court after entering his plea (written summary available at the Bradley Manning Support Network and an audio transcript as well), Manning told of his journey from nearly being rejected in basic training to becoming an army intelligence analyst. In that capacity he came across mountains of evidence of U.S. duplicity and war crimes. The materials he provided to WikiLeaks included military logs documenting 120,000 civilian deaths in Iraq and Afghanistan and a formal military policy of covering up torture, rape and murder. A quarter-million diplomatic cables address all manner of lethal operations within U.S. client states, from the “drug war” in Mexico to drone strikes in Yemen. He also released files containing assessments of detainees held at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba. These documents show that the government continued to hold many who, Manning stated, were believed or known to be innocent, as well as “low level foot soldiers that did not have useful intelligence.”

The Pentagon and the Obama Administration declared war against WikiLeaksfollowing the release of a video, now entitled Collateral Murder and widely available, conveyed by Manning, of a 2007 U.S. Apache helicopter airstrike in Iraq that killed at least 12 people, including two Reuters journalists. American forces are then shown firing on a van that pulled up to help the victims. Manning said he was most alarmed by the“bloodlust they appeared to have.” He described how instead of calling for medical attention for a seriously wounded individual trying to crawl to safety, an aerial crew team member “asks for the wounded person to pick up a weapon so that he can have a reason to engage.”

By January 2010, Manning said, he“began to become depressed with the situation that we found ourselves increasingly mired in year after year” and decided to make public many of the documents he had backed up as part of his work as an analyst. Manning first offered the materials to the Washington Post and the New York Times. Not getting anywhere with these pillars of the bourgeois press establishment, in February 2010 he made his first submission to WikiLeaks. He attached a note advising that “this is possibly one of the more significant documents of our time removing the fog of war and revealing the true nature of twenty-first century asymmetric warfare. Have a good day.”

The charge of “aiding the enemy”—i.e., Al Qaeda—is especially ominous. This used to mean things like military sabotage and handing over information on troop movements to a battlefield enemy. In Manning’s case, the prosecution claims that the very act of publicizing U.S. military and diplomatic activities, some of which took place years before, amounted to “indirect” communication with Al Qaeda. Manning told the court that he believed that public access to the information “could spark a domestic debate on the role of the military and our foreign policy in general.” He hoped that this “might cause society to reevaluate the need or even the desire to engage in counterterrorism and counterinsurgency operations that ignore the complex dynamics of the people living in the affected environment everyday.” But by the lights of the imperialists’ war on terror, any exposure of their depredations can be construed as support to the“terrorist” enemy, whoever that might be.

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"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage" Anais Nin .. and yet we must arm ourselves with fear