Saturday, 23 February 2013

1000th Day In Prison For Manning

This weekend sees the 1000th day of incarceration for Bradley Manning who faces more than 30 charges, including one of 'aiding the enemy that carries
the death penalty after he passed a trove of diplomatic cables and military reports to WikiLeaks exposing the criminal war actions of the US army in Iraq.
One of the two most shocking revelations he bought to our attention were the chopper video showing US pilots shooting and killing civilians on the streets of Baghdad, an act that was strongly denied by the US military for years until it was finally uncovered.
The second was the evidence that U.S. troops executed at least 10 Iraqi civilians, including a woman in her 70s and a 5-month-old infant, then called in an air strike to destroy the evidence in the Iraqi town of Ishaqi.
The following investigation into the chopper incident resulted in one soldier being exonerated and the other being suspended without pay for a month, the person who revealed this to the world is just about to spent his 1000th day in prison.
As a candidate, Barack Obama said whistle blowers engaged in 'acts of courage and patriotism that should be encouraged rather than stifled' and called for protection to empower them as 'watchdogs of wrongdoing' but as the Manning case shows, the Obama administration is just as fixated with secrecy and covering up its own crimes and intimidating any future whistle blowers and this is what this the oppressive treatment of Manning is all about.
This is designed to send a signal to those in the future who may discover serious wrongdoing committed in secret by the US and show that if they are even considering exposing what they have learned, they only have to look at Manning to see what awaits them.
In a truly just world it would be the chopper pilots and the animals who shot and then tried to cover up the killing of an Iraqi family in their homes sitting in a prison cell, a far greater crime than  revealing the deaths of innocent civilians but the decision has already been made and Bradley Manning is the one who will be convicted.
The Administration and the Army will make an example of him and he will not be released from detention, until he is an old man, if at all, and made to suffer as much as possible in a bid to dissuade similar acts.
America may take a hit to it's public image, it still has not fully recovered from the Bush years of wars and more and more people are waking up to Obama and his similarly deranged foreign policy, but the willingness to prosecute Manning to the fullest extent overrides any rational thoughts while most rational people see Manning as a hero for bringing to light what the awful things his country is denying doing. Things that they would be the first to condemn if their was another nations flag on the leaked files.   
The American public should be thankful that the United States Army has someone with integrity and conscience, willing to put their career and even their life on the line to expose the dangerous, trigger happy cowboys who would shoot a 7 month old Iraqi baby in the head while he slept in his cot.


Anne said...

Thanks for remembering him, Lucy. Hero is an overused word nowadays, but in his case, it fits.

Cheezy said...

Whistle-blowers are always vindicated by time, and Manning will be no different.

Anonymous said...

did he release 3 or 4 specific abuses, or thousands of documents that had 3 or 4 abuses?

also, maybe he couldn't give the data general, but what about a senator. releasing lots of data, the way he released it makes me question is motives. i'm not sure he is a whistle blower, but then i don't have the facts.


Nog said...

First, they're not going to execute him. They may threaten to try and seek the death penalty in order to force a plea bargain, but they aren't going to execute him.

And Manning did what he did to cause trouble. And since when has the occasional ill-disciplined trigger happy soldier been unusual? For every so many soldiers, you're going to get a crazy one who goes and kills a bunch of folks. The existence of the occasional crazy doesn't mean much. If the underlying war is okay, then the crazies are tolerable, if the underlying war is not okay, then who cares about the crazies?

Lucy said...

The existence of the occasional crazy doesn't mean much.

That would depend if you are on the receiving end of an armed crazy. If you are i would guarantee you think it means a lot.

Liber - Latin for "The Free One" said...
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