Monday, December 27, 2010

Bradley Manning - a prisoner of conscience.

There's no question that Bradley Manning violated military law when he, allegedly, leaked a treasure-trove of documents out into the great interwebs in April of 2010. Caveat emptor - his anonymity was guaranteed. It's not as if we've not seen supposed privacy on the internet stomped on by heavyweights before. The case of Seingenthaler certainly proved that in 2005. The trouble, I think is that reading just Mr. Manning's Wikipedia entry lays out a clear picture of a true American - a constitutionalist seeing the constitution of the US wronged, greatly and systematically, by the very government he was serving. As long as that same government stands in judgment over him, his goose is pretty much cooked, but was he treasonous to the ideas laid out in the US Constitution - I doubt it. Contrary to histrionics by tools like Hillary Clinton & Sarah Palin, Manning's disclosure never put anyone at risk - and honestly, if one soldier died to safeguard the lives of two civilians, that soldier would have done his country good, yet the US does not count that way. Despite empty talk of human rights & equality, hundreds of thousands of dead Iraqi civilians could attest to that - their lives are rarely mentioned in the cloying eulogies for the 4000 (and counting) US service-people dead in that invasion. Yet the true nature of their deaths is rarely discussed. I remember reading death-rolls early on in the invasion, and seeing a staggering number of drug overdoses, drunkards falling into empty pools, and drunk-driving accidents - yet these are now all heroes, while someone who took a truly brave stance and disclosed filmic evidence of the true work of his brethern in Iraq stands ready to be guillotined by a marshal court. Reading Mr. Manning's brief biography on Wikipedia, I suspect he is so brave that he would not take it back were he given the chance, and just that is what makes him Paul Revere ten times over.

Today, in regards to the Wikileaks scandal, all eyes seem to be on Assange, and few on Bradley Manning, the man who made this debacle possible. The world will owe Bradley Manning a debt as great as that owed to another unsung hero in the battle for democracy over corporate corruption, Frank Willis.

Let's hope & work to insure that Manning is not forgotten in the same way.

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