FacebookTwitterRedditEmail

Vets for Peace to Barbara Lee: Support Manning and Assange

Veterans for Peace has issued a press release in support of both Wikileaks founder Julian Assange and former US army intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning, and East Bay Veterans for Peace, Chapter 162, want to talk to Congresswoman Barbara Lee about it. Opponents of US wars have idealized Lee, California’s District 13 Congresswoman, for her antiwar record, and might therefore expect her to defend Manning and Assange for exposing US war crimes.

“Barbara Lee speaks for me” became a popular slogan both in and outside California’s District 13 after she voted against the Patriot Act and the 2001 Authorization for the Use of Military Force (AUMF) in the “War on Terror,” right after 9/11. She has demanded a new AUMF every time the US has started a new war since, and she usually votes against military spending bills, as her constituents demand. However, she recently cast a deciding vote in the House Budget Committee to approve a bill with a $17 billion increase in military spending for next year and another such increase for 2021.

I spoke to Daniel Borgstrom, a member of East Bay Veterans for Peace, Chapter 162.

***

Ann Garrison: Daniel, I understand that you are requesting a meeting with Barbara Lee to talk about Chelsea Manning’s re-arrest and the federal indictment and extradition request for Wikileaks founder Julian Assange.

Daniel Borgstrom: Yes, we are.

AG: And what has her East Bay office said in response?

DB: We submitted our request in writing this week. Then we called her Oakland office to ask how long we might expect to wait for a response, but they couldn’t give us an estimate.

AG: Could you summarize the Veterans for Peace statement in support of Chelsea Manning and Julian Assange?

DB: It says, “What Chelsea Manning released through WikiLeaks was evidence of the routine killing of civilians by US forces in Iraq and Afghanistan, and the routine cover-up of these war crimes. The Iraq War Logs and the Afghan War Diaries also revealed that military and civilian leaders were lying to the US people when they presented rosy assessments of the progress of those wars. If more people had paid attention to these revelations, many thousands of lives could have been saved.”

We also include one of Chelsea Manning’s statements at her court martial:

“I believed if the public, particularly the American public, could see this it could spark a debate on the military and our foreign policy in general as it applied to Iraq and Afghanistan. It might cause society to reconsider the need to engage in counter-terrorism while ignoring the human situation of the people we engaged with every day….I felt I accomplished something that would allow me to have a clear conscience.”

AG: And what else do East Bay Vets for Peace plan to do about this besides talk to Barbara Lee?

DB: Talking to Barbara Lee is our top priority right now, but we also plan to join emergency protests, initiate our own protests, contact our other elected representatives, talk to our friends, and write op-eds and letters to the editor. Defending Chelsea Manning and Julian Assange is as essential to the antiwar movement as opposing US wars in the Middle East, Latin America, Africa, and whichever country the US and NATO bomb, invade, or economically strangle next.

More articles by:

Ann Garrison is an independent journalist who also contributes to the San Francisco Bay View, Global Research, the Black Agenda Report and the Black Star News, and produces radio for KPFA-Berkeley and WBAI-New York City.  In 2014, she was awarded the Victoire Ingabire Umuhoza Democracy and Peace Prize by the Womens International Network for Democracy and Peace.  She can be reached at ann@afrobeatradio.com.

Weekend Edition
July 10, 2020
Friday - Sunday
Lynnette Grey Bull
Trump’s Postcard to America From the Shrine of Hypocrisy
Anthony DiMaggio
Free Speech Fantasies: the Harper’s Letter and the Myth of American Liberalism
David Yearsley
Morricone: Maestro of Music and Image
Jeffrey St. Clair
“I Could Live With That”: How the CIA Made Afghanistan Safe for the Opium Trade
Rob Urie
Democracy and the Illusion of Choice
Paul Street
Imperial Blind Spots and a Question for Obama
Vijay Prashad
The U.S. and UK are a Wrecking Ball Crew Against the Pillars of Internationalism
Melvin Goodman
The Washington Post and Its Cold War Drums
Richard C. Gross
Trump: Reopen Schools (or Else)
Chris Krupp
Public Lands Under Widespread Attack During Pandemic 
Alda Facio
What Coronavirus Teaches Us About Inequality, Discrimination and the Importance of Caring
Eve Ottenberg
Bounty Tales
Andrew Levine
Silver Linings Ahead?
John Kendall Hawkins
FrankenBob: The Self-Made Dylan
Pam Martens - Russ Martens
Deutsche Bank Fined $150 Million for Enabling Jeffrey Epstein; Where’s the Fine Against JPMorgan Chase?
David Rosen
Inequality and the End of the American Dream
Louis Proyect
Harper’s and the Great Cancel Culture Panic
Thom Hartmann
How Billionaires Get Away With Their Big Con
REZA FIYOUZAT
Your 19th COVID Breakdown
Danny Sjursen
Undercover Patriots: Trump, Tulsa, and the Rise of Military Dissent
Charles McKelvey
The Limitations of the New Antiracist Movement
Binoy Kampmark
Netanyahu’s Annexation Drive
Joseph G. Ramsey
An Empire in Points
Kollibri terre Sonnenblume
COVID-19 Denialism is Rooted in the Settler Colonial Mindset
Ramzy Baroud
On Israel’s Bizarre Definitions: The West Bank is Already Annexed
Judith Deutsch
Handling Emergency: A Tale of Two Males
Michael Welton
Getting Back to Socialist Principles: Honneth’s Recipe
Dean Baker
Combating the Political Power of the Rich: Wealth Taxes and Seattle Election Vouchers
Jonah Raskin
Edward Sanders: Poetic Pacifist Up Next
Manuel García, Jr.
Carbon Dioxide Uptake by Vegetation After Emissions Shutoff “Now”
Heidi Peltier
The Camo Economy: How Military Contracting Hides Human Costs and Increases Inequality
Ron Jacobs
Strike!, Fifty Years and Counting
Ellen Taylor
The Dark Side of Science: Shooting Barred Owls as Scapegoats for the Ravages of Big Timber
Sarah Anderson
Shrink Wall Street to Guarantee Good Jobs
Graham Peebles
Prison: Therapeutic Centers Or Academies of Crime?
Zhivko Illeieff
Can We Escape Our Addiction to Social Media?
Clark T. Scott
The Democrat’s Normal Keeps Their (Supposed) Enemies Closer and Closer
Steve Early - Suzanne Gordon
In 2020 Elections: Will Real-Life “Fighting Dems” Prove Irresistible?
David Swanson
Mommy, Where Do Peace Activists Come From?
Christopher Brauchli
Trump the Orator
Gary Leupp
Columbus and the Beginning of the American Way of Life: A Message to Indoctrinate Our Children
John Stanton
Donald J. Trump, Stone Cold Racist
Nicky Reid
The Stonewall Blues (Still Dreaming of a Queer Nation)
Stephen Cooper
A Kingston Reasoning with Legendary Guitarist Earl “Chinna” Smith (The Interview: Part 2)
Hugh Iglarsh
COVID-19’s Coming to Town
FacebookTwitterRedditEmail