Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Release Bradley Manning

Bradley Manning went through the recent trial which began June 3rd with a mainstream media blackout & coverage by alternative media controlled & circumscribed. Our attention was unavoidably eclipsed by the Edward Snowden revelations & odyssey, the Trayvon Martin verdict, momentous events in Egypt, Turkey, & Brazil.

Now our brother Manning is center stage again where his international defense must remain until the sentencing hearing is complete. The army colonel serving as judge has already been promoted to a higher military appeals court. You don’t get that kind of promotion for going easy on insubordinates who defy generals; it comes for playing ball with the Pentagon brass. Only the most credulous expect justice from a US military court.

Because of the international defense campaign, brother Manning was removed from solitary confinement & other treatment considered degrading, harsh, & punitive. Without that international defense, he most certainly would still be facing the death penalty. According to several media reports, he still faces a maximum sentence of up to 136 years in prison for several espionage charges, theft & computer fraud charges, & military infractions.

This unassuming young man is a champion of democratic rights whose most important contribution has been exposing US war criminality for all the world to see. He was found not guilty of espionage act violation for releasing the video “Collateral Murder,” showing a US Apache helicopter firing on unarmed Iraqi civilians, including children (in 2007). But out of all the tens of thousands of documents he released to Wikileaks that video viewed by millions around the world renders the most powerful indictment of US war crimes & is a powerful weapon in opposing war.

We’re living in the barbaric phase of capitalism where justice in the courts, especially in a military court, for political dissidents is unlikely. Bradley Manning will not see the outside of a prison cell unless we mobilize our political energies & beat the drums loudly  in his defense.

As one of his defense lawyers said, "We won the battle, now we need to go win the war.” His sentencing hearing begins tomorrow at 9 am  but we should not delay a moment in mobilizing pressure of every kind demanding “Free Bradley Manning!” We are all Bradley Manning! An injury to one is an injury to all!

(Photo of Washington, DC protest on July 26th by Chip SomodevillaAFP/Getty Images)

No comments:

Post a Comment