Author Topic: Our support for transparency advocate Bradley Manning  (Read 1998 times)

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Our support for transparency advocate Bradley Manning
« on: October 15, 2013, 12:38:59 PM »
Our support for transparency advocate Bradley Manning


By the Private Manning Support Network. October 11, 2013.


The fight to free army whistle-blower Bradley Manning continues, and we at the Private Manning Support Network remain committed to respecting Bradley as a real, human being as we enter the post-trial effort to celebrate her moral actions and win her early release.
Now that Manning has begun her 35-year sentence in earnest and chosen to share more of herself publicly with supporters, it may be a good time to reflect on how we, as supporters, should continue to orient our efforts.
The Private Manning Support Network (formerly the Bradley Manning Support Network) has always made every effort to work directly with Bradley, those family members closest with her, and her lawyer, David Coombs. We look forward to having even greater input from her in structuring our campaign going forward.
At times, some have found our messaging too conservative in our commitment to respect Manning’s individuality. Given her limited access to supporters over the past three years, it’s been important to us never to misrepresent Bradley as something she is not, or to put words in her mouth. Only Bradley herself, of course, knows in full the thought process and the hopes behind her decision to release information.
To us–and to hundreds of thousands of supporters–it has always been obvious that her actions in 2010 intersect crucially not only with issues of information transparency but also with a critical discussion about U.S. wars and foreign policy. Since 2010, we have never regretted that decision, and Bradley’s statements to date continue to vindicate our leap of faith:

  • “I initially agreed with these methods and chose to volunteer to help defend my country. It was not until I was in Iraq and reading secret military reports on a daily basis that I started to question the morality of what we were doing. It was at this time I realized in our efforts to meet this risk posed to us by the enemy, we have forgotten our humanity. We consciously elected to devalue human life both in Iraq and Afghanistan.” (letter for presidential pardon)

  • “I believed … this could spark a domestic debate on the role of the military and our foreign policy in general.” (Iraq & Afghan War Logs)

  • “I also believed the detailed analysis of the data … might cause society to reevaluate the need or even the desire to even to engage in counter-terrorism and counterinsurgency operations that ignore the complex dynamics of the people living in the affected environment everyday.” (Iraq & Afghan War Logs)
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Time and again, Pvt Bradley Manning has demonstrated that she is a thoughtful, complex individual who defies blunt labels. And as her recent statements to The Guardian newspaper convey, attempts to define her simply as a “pacifist”–or any other sort of -ist, for that matter–will likely fall short. Bradley has reiterated she is an advocate for more transparency in government, and above all she wishes that the public has more information with which to make their own informed decisions
We continue to fight to bring Bradley home sooner rather than later, in appreciation of her moral actions valuing human life, transparency, information access, and an informed citizenry. We agree emphatically with Bradley that public information and critical discussion is a top-order goal necessary for democracy, and that’s why we’ve supported her all along.
Manning’s disclosures have forwarded the debates around government secrecy, militarism and wars that continue to prove so costly in so many ways. For this selfless public service, we continue our efforts and echo Bradley’s own words of gratitude for all of her supporters:
“I want to thank everybody who has supported me over the last three years. Throughout this long ordeal, your letters of support and encouragement have helped keep me strong. I am forever indebted to those who wrote to me, made a donation to my defense fund, or came to watch a portion of the trial. I would especially like to thank Courage to Resist and the [Private] Manning Support Network for their tireless efforts in raising awareness for my case and providing for my legal representation.”

This was drafted partly as a indirect response to Pvt. Bradley Manning’s letter published in the UK Guardian recently, to which her attorney David Coombs has also publicly responded.
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« Last Edit: October 15, 2013, 12:44:00 PM by isis »