FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Standing With Private Bradley Manning

by KEVIN ZEESE

The peace movement needs to stand with Bradley Manning and Wikileaks in their efforts to let Americans see the truth about what the military is doing in our name. We can handle the truth! Indeed, we need to hear the truth, not propaganda about how great the U.S. military is performing, in order to be responsible citizens.

The news from Afghanistan and Iraq is not good, but Americans are not even told all the news – especially when it includes abuses, even war crimes, committed by the U.S. military. The U.S. is supposed to have civilian control of the military, as President Obama recently demonstrated when he fired General McChrystal, but the people are supposed to be ultimately in charge in a representative democracy. We need to know the truth in order to do our job as citizens and hold elected officials responsible.

Those who oppose war and militarism need to stand with Bradley Manning, the 22-year old Army private, who believed he saw war crimes being committed by the U.S. military and shared the information so the American public could know what the armed forces were doing. The most famous leak from Manning was the “Collateral Murder” video shared on the Wikileaks.org website. The video he reportedly leaked showed an Apache Helicopter attack by the U.S. military killing a dozen civilians and wounding two children.

Manning allegedly leaked hundreds of thousands of diplomatic cables and emails that have yet to be published. He said that the documents showed horrible “crimes” and his goal in releasing them was to “hopefully [spark] worldwide discussion, debates, and reforms, if not . . . we’re doomed as a species.” His goal was for “people to see the truth… regardless of who they are… because without information, you cannot make informed decisions as a public.”

Now Manning is being held in custody in a prison in Kuwait, without access to private legal counsel facing 52 years in prison. The video he allegedly released started a much-needed discussion about the horrible truth about the killings that U.S. wars entail. He should be a national hero similar to whistle blowers like Daniel Ellsberg who exposed the truth of the Vietnam War. He deserves the support of the American people. Indeed, people like him should be getting medals and promotions, not people like General Stanley McChrysal (Cheney’s Assassin) and James N. Mattis (“sometimes its fun to kill people”).

Thankfully, the peace movement is starting to speak up for Private Manning. We need to see a massive campaign of support for Bradley Manning. Courage to Resist, Veterans Against the War (IVAW), Veterans for Peace and Courage to Resist, along with my organization Voters for Peace, have spoken out in support of Manning. So, people can now take action to support Manning. Here are some options:

– Write President Obama, with copies to to Attorney General Eric Holder and Secretary of Defense Robert Gates calling for the release of Private Manning and allowing him access to civilian legal counsel. Click here to act now.

– Sign the petition at World Can’t Wait in support of Manning. Click here now to act.

– Visit www.BradleyManning.org and sign their petition, write to Manning and let him know you appreciate his courage and doing what you can to release him.

These wars, fought with corporate mercenaries are killing civilians at very high levels and undermining U.S. security. Secrecy allows illegal actions to continue – in our name. The importance of citizens like Manning and organizations like Wikileaks becomes more evident when the behavior of the corporate media is noted. For example, The Washington Post’s David Finkel reportedly had possession of the Apache helicopter video two years ago but never released it to the public. Wars are able to hide behind the protection of a media that is too willing to not report their crimes. This is one example of many of corporate media cover-up that show the need for others to force transparency so the public knows what is being done in its name.

Let President Obama know you want to hear the truth. What is the U.S. military doing? Are prisoners being held without charges? Is torture continuing? How many civilians is the U.S. military killing? All these actions by the U.S. military are undermining our security. They are creating enemies for all of us.

Stand with Private Bradley Manning. Help to work for his release. He is a hero, not a criminal.

WORDS THAT STICK

?

 

Kevin Zeese is an organizer at Popular Resistance.

More articles by:

CounterPunch Magazine

minimag-edit

bernie-the-sandernistas-cover-344x550

zen economics

Weekend Edition
December 02, 2016
Friday - Sunday
John Pilger
The Coming War on China
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: The CIA’s Plots to Kill Castro
Paul Street
The Iron Heel at Home: Force Matters
Pam Martens - Russ Martens
Timberg’s Tale: Washington Post Reporter Spreads Blacklist of Independent Journalist Sites
Andrew Levine
Must We Now Rethink the Hillary Question? Absolutely, Not
Joshua Frank
CounterPunch as Russian Propagandists: the Washington Post’s Shallow Smear
David Rosen
The Return of HUAC?
Rob Urie
Race and Class in Trump’s America
Patrick Cockburn
Why Everything You’ve Read About Syria and Iraq Could be Wrong
Caroline Hurley
Anatomy of a Nationalist
Ayesha Khan
A Muslim Woman’s Reflections on Trump’s Misogyny
Michael Hudson – Steve Keen
Rebel Economists on the Historical Path to a Global Recovery
Russell Mokhiber
Sanders Single Payer and Death by Democrat
Roger Harris
The Triumph of Trump and the Specter of Fascism
Steve Horn
Donald Trump’s Swamp: Meet Ten Potential Energy and Climate Cabinet Picks and the Pickers
Louis Proyect
Deepening Contradictions: Identity Politics and Steelworkers
Ralph Nader
Trump and His Betraying Makeover
Stephen Kimber
The Media’s Abysmal Coverage of Castro’s Death
Dan Bacher
WSPA: The West’s Most Powerful Corporate Lobbying Group
Nile Bowie
Will Trump backpedal on the Trans-Pacific Partnership?
Ron Ridenour
Fidel’s Death Brings Forth Great and Sad Memories
Missy Comley Beattie
By Invitation Only
Fred Gardner
Sword of Damocles: Pot Partisans Fear Trump’s DOJ
Renee Parsons
Obama and Propornot
Dean Baker
Cash and Carrier: Trump and Pence Put on a Show
Jack Rasmus
Taming Trump: From Faux Left to Faux Right Populism
Ron Jacobs
Selling Racism—A Lesson From Pretoria
Julian Vigo
The Hijos of Buenos Aires:  When Identity is Political
Subcomandante Insurgente Galeano
By Way of Prologue: On How We Arrived at the Watchtower and What We Saw from There
Dave Lindorff
Is Trump’s Idea To Fix the ‘Rigged System’ by Appointing Crooks Who’ve Played It?
Aidan O'Brien
Fidel and Spain: A Tale of Right and Wrong
Carol Dansereau
Stop Groveling! How to Thwart Trump and Save the World
Kim Nicolini
Moonlight, The Movie
Evan Jones
Behind GE’s Takeover of Alstom Energy
James A Haught
White Evangelicals are Fading, Powerful, Baffling
Barbara Moroncini
Protests and Their Others
Joseph Natoli
The Winds at Their Backs
Cesar Chelala
Poverty is Not Only an Ignored Word
David Swanson
75 Years of Pearl Harbor Lies
Alex Jensen
The Great Deceleration
Nyla Ali Khan
When Faith is the Legacy of One’s Upbringing
Gilbert Mercier
Trump Win: Paradigm Shift or Status Quo?
Stephen Martin
From ‘Too Big to Fail’ to ‘Too Big to Lie’: the End Game of Corporatist Globalization.
Charles R. Larson
Review: Emma Jane Kirby’s “The Optician of Lampedusa”
David Yearsley
Haydn Seek With Hsu
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail