FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Manning “Apologizes”

Perhaps the most stunning aspect of the Bradley Manning trial was his apology yesterday to the court that, “I am sorry that my actions hurt people…(and) the United States” when, in fact, there is no proof they did either. This show of repentance and contrition offered during the sentencing phase of his trial for feeding WikiLeaks 700,000 military and diplomatic documents is pardonable given that Manning faces 90 years in prison and the price he’s paid for his past honesty and courage has been three years behind bars, during which time he was tortured, humiliated, and hectored as any captive of the medieval Inquisition.

So here is Manning, pleading for forgiveness, confessing the errors of his way, every word out of his mouth undercutting the true reasons for his action, which was that he prayed his leaks would spark “worldwide discussions, debates and reforms.” Yet, who is this idealistic young man from Crescent, Okla., to stand against the likes, say, of a Hillary Clinton, the former Secretary of State who charged Manning’s action “threatens our national security.”

Ms. Clinton, of course, by supporting America’s criminal wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, (for which she will never be asked to apologize in a court of law,) did damage to America that would be unimaginable to PFC Manning, in that the wars she supported have drained the pockets of American taxpayers more effectively than a thousand Las Vegas casinos, and filled the morgues of the Middle East with the remains of a million innocent human beings gunned down by American firepower of the sort that emanated in 2007 from a U.S. Apache helicopter over Baghdad that we would not know about today if PFC Manning had not sent gunsight videotapes of the massacre to WikiLeaks. “There is no evidence that a single US soldier or civilian has been harmed as a result of his leaks,” writes Chase Madar in the August 19-26 issue of The Nation magazine.

Forensic psychiatrist Navy Reserve Captain David Moulton testified, “Manning was under the impression that the information he was giving was going to change the way the world saw the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and future wars, actually,” according to a Reuters account of the trial. As Manning is discovering to his sorrow, that kind of idealism has no place in America today, when the country Abraham Lincoln called “the last, best hope of Earth” has degenerated into a common imperial war machine.

“Defense lawyers seeking a milder sentence rested their case on Wednesday after Manning’s statement,” Reuters reported. “With about a dozen witnesses including Army superiors, mental health professionals and Manning’s own sister, they sought to show Judge Colonel Denise Lind that commanders ignored signs of mental stress.”

In fact, the defense has put forward arguments the judge may well dismiss out of hand, such as Manning’s troubled upbringing, the alcoholism of his parents, his desire to be a member of the opposite sex, the unraveling of a romantic relationship, etc., etc. Pardon me, but that ain’t gonna wash.

No, Bradley Manning is going to do hard time for America’s sins guided by a defense that had no chance from the start of obtaining a fair trial, especially after President Obama prejudicially declared two years ago that Manning “broke the law” when he “dumped” those documents. Obama claimed, “We’re a nation of laws. We don’t let individuals make their own decisions about how the laws operate.” (!!) This from Global Terrorist Number One, a man who has gutted the Constitution by signing the National Defense Authorization Act into law and has empowered himself to kill people in the Middle East, Africa, and elsewhere, without legal warrants or trials.

Obama’s assassinations are based on “suspicions” of a CIA Gestapo that has betrayed democracy at every turn while compiling an ugly record of Ku Klux Klan-style kidnapping, torture and murder Obama chooses to ignore. Sadly, the prosecution of Bradley Manning has come to symbolize the new fascism that has taken over America. When Judge Lind sentences Manning, the nation’s prison population will increase at one stroke from two million to 300 million.

Sherwood Ross is former administrative assistant to the Chicago Department of Water & Sewers and served as public relations director for the Illinois Section of the American Water Works Assn. His views do not necessarily represent those of AWWA. Reach him at sherwoodross10@gmail.com.

More articles by:
September 25, 2018
Kenneth Surin
Fact-Finding Labour’s “Anti-Semitism” Crisis
Charles Pierson
Destroying Yemen as Humanely as Possible
James Rothenberg
Why Not Socialism?
Patrick Cockburn
How Putin Came Out on Top in Syria
John Grant
“Awesome Uncontrollable Male Passion” Meets Its Match
Guy Horton
Burma: Complicity With Evil?
Steve Stallone
Jujitsu Comms
William Blum
Bombing Libya: the Origins of Europe’s Immigration Crisis
John Feffer
There’s a New Crash Coming
Martha Pskowski
“The Emergency Isn’t Over”: the Homeless Commemorate a Year Since the Mexico City Earthquake
Fred Baumgarten
Ten Ways of Looking at Civility
Dean Baker
The Great Financial Crisis: Bernanke and the Bubble
Binoy Kampmark
Parasitic and Irrelevant: The University Vice Chancellor
September 24, 2018
Jonathan Cook
Hiding in Plain Sight: Why We Cannot See the System Destroying Us
Gary Leupp
All the Good News (Ignored by the Trump-Obsessed Media)
Robert Fisk
I Don’t See How a Palestinian State Can Ever Happen
Barry Brown
Pot as Political Speech
Lara Merling
Puerto Rico’s Colonial Legacy and Its Continuing Economic Troubles
Patrick Cockburn
Iraq’s Prime Ministers Come and Go, But the Stalemate Remains
William Blum
The New Iraq WMD: Russian Interference in US Elections
Julian Vigo
The UK’s Snoopers’ Charter Has Been Dealt a Serious Blow
Joseph Matten
Why Did Global Economic Performance Deteriorate in the 1970s?
Zhivko Illeieff
The Millennial Label: Distinguishing Facts from Fiction
Thomas Hon Wing Polin – Gerry Brown
Xinjiang : The New Great Game
Binoy Kampmark
Casting Kavanaugh: The Trump Supreme Court Drama
Max Wilbert
Blue Angels: the Naked Face of Empire
Weekend Edition
September 21, 2018
Friday - Sunday
Alexandra Isfahani-Hammond
Hurricane Florence and 9.7 Million Pigs
Andrew Levine
Israel’s Anti-Semitism Smear Campaign
Paul Street
Laquan McDonald is Being Tried for His Own Racist Murder
Brad Evans
What Does It Mean to Celebrate International Peace Day?
Nick Pemberton
With or Without Kavanaugh, The United States Is Anti-Choice
Jim Kavanagh
“Taxpayer Money” Threatens Medicare-for-All (And Every Other Social Program)
Jonathan Cook
Palestine: The Testbed for Trump’s Plan to Tear up the Rules-Based International Order
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: the Chickenhawks Have Finally Come Back Home to Roost!
David Rosen
As the Capitalist World Turns: From Empire to Imperialism to Globalization?
Jonah Raskin
Green Capitalism Rears Its Head at Global Climate Action Summit
James Munson
On Climate, the Centrists are the Deplorables
Robert Hunziker
Is Paris 2015 Already Underwater?
Arshad Khan
Will There Ever be Justice for Rohingya Muslims?
Jill Richardson
Why Women Don’t Report Sexual Assault
Dave Clennon
A Victory for Historical Accuracy and the Peace Movement: Not One Emmy for Ken Burns and “The Vietnam War”
W. T. Whitney
US Harasses Cuba Amid Mysterious Circumstances
Nathan Kalman-Lamb
Things That Make Sports Fans Uncomfortable
George Capaccio
Iran: “Snapping Back” Sanctions and the Threat of War
Kenneth Surin
Brexit is Coming, But Which Will It Be?
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail