• We are All Bradley Manning: 1000 Days in Jail without a Conviction

    February 25, 2013

    Tags: , ,
    Posted in: Democracy, Iraq

    Bradley Manning, the young army private who allegedly disclosed the Wikileaks files, must be given a fair, open and speedy trial. He has been held over three years, often in solitary and inhumane conditions. He has been convicted of no crime. This is simply and self-evidently wrong.

    The crimes Manning is accused of, a cascading series of offenses all restating that he leaked classified material, hurt no one; the government, in fact, has gone out of its way to declare that it need not show any damage done in its pursuit of the death penalty for Manning. The US Department of State, whose 100,000 leaked cables have been on the internet for over three years, formed then quickly disbanded a “task force” designed to show all the terrible things that resulted from Manning’s alleged disclosures. The Department has since, in response to Freedom of Information Act requests, itself released documents Manning is threatened with the gallows for releasing. No harm has been shown, no lives lost, no American goals thwarted.

    I probably had dinner with Bradley Manning when we were both stationed at Forward Operating Base Hammer in Iraq at the same time (I worked for the Department of State). The office where he allegedly did his dirty work was down the hall from mine, so it is hard to believe we never walked past each other or shared a table in the single cafeteria on base.

    In 2011 as a State Department employee, I linked from my personal blog to a document on the Wikileaks site, a document that may have been provided by Manning. In return for this simple internet link, the State Department took away my security clearance, threatened me with prosecution and stripped me of my career of 24 years as a diplomat, all without any review, due process or opportunity to rebut their silly accusation that I too had disclosed classified material, via a hyperlink. My life changed, with a stroke of a pen, as is said.

    Bradley Manning, convicted of no crime, is in his third year of incarceration. He spent part of the first year in a literal cage in Kuwait, followed by a year or more in custody where he was stripped of his clothing, not allowed contact with any humans besides his jailers and constantly mocked, ridiculed a and taunted, all without any review, due process or opportunity to rebut the accusations against him. With a stroke of a pen, as is said.

    A lot of things happen now in America with the stroke of a pen: innocent people end up on no-fly lists, Occupy organizers have their phone calls and emails monitored, jobs are denied to hard working people after some “background check” fails and in the ultimate, a drone may kill a person. All without any review, due process or opportunity to rebut.

    Our nation was founded on a set of ideas, some dating as far back as the Magna Carta. Chief among those ideas was an overriding principle that the people should be able to live their lives unmolested by their government, and that to ensure that, restraints were written into law that would prevent the government from taking away someone’s privacy, freedom or life arbitrarily. Courts, open and public, would weigh the government’s desire to deprive people of their lives against these broader principles. It was what made America a special place, perhaps the only nation founded on an idea. We have abandoned those concepts. We have failed Bradley Manning and we have failed ourselves.

    I don’t know what Bradley Manning did, and neither do you. A court must decide, in a speedy and open manner because that is what our America is about. Everyday Manning is denied that right—and it was 1000 days as of February 23—we are all denied that right. America is nothing but a sum of its people, and when we deny justice to one we deny it to all. Give Bradley Manning a fair, speedy and open trial for his sake, for our own sake and for this nation’s sake.



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  • Recent Comments

    • pitchfork said...

      1

      Peter said: quote:”The office where he allegedly did his dirty work was down the hall from mine, so it is hard to believe we never walked past each other or shared a table in the single cafeteria on base.” unquote

      Damn Peter, that’s almost a admission of guilt. You were adjacent and sometimes walked right past him…America is nothing but a sum of its people, and when we deny justice to one we deny it to all. and that most surely means you were a co-conspirator..right? After all..your computer was probably ultimately connected to the same network..somewhere along the line. Shoot..even the deep packets were intermingled. right? right. So fess up buddy…before we torture you. :)

      quote:”Our nation was founded on a set of ideas, some dating as far back as the Magna Carta.”

      I object your honor. These so called “ideas” can’t be entered into evidence..because I say so.
      And about that so called Magna Carta..those are just ideas too..written by some madman in England. So, I move for summary dismissal your Honor.

      Ideas..of all the nerve.

      02/25/13 8:26 PM | Comment Link

    • pitchfork said...

      2

      damn…cut and paste can make you look like a complete moron sometimes. Strike…”America is nothing but a sum of its people, and when we deny justice to one we deny it to all.”

      I don’t have a clue how that got pasted.

      Peter…any way an “edit” function can be added?

      02/25/13 8:31 PM | Comment Link

    • Rich Bauer said...

      3

      “Our nation was founded on a set of ideas, some dating as far back as the Magna Carta. Chief among those ideas was an overriding principle that the people should be able to live their lives unmolested by their government…”

      Our nation was founded by slave owners who lived by one overriding principle: power tends to corrupt and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Great men are almost always bad men.

      02/26/13 12:33 AM | Comment Link

    • grouperie said...

      4

      Thank you for publishing this. It is brave. Our country lacks for those of your and Mannings’ ilk.

      The sleeping (complicit in their own anesthetizing) public deserves what is coming – for it is their own indifference and passivity which has allowed evil to prevail.

      I fear for the children.

      02/26/13 3:19 AM | Comment Link

    • meloveconsullongtime said...

      5

      re: “Our nation was founded by slave owners (my gloss: John Adams and Ben Franklin were not slaveowners) who lived by one overriding principle: power tends to corrupt and absolute power corrupts absolutely.”

      Close to the truth, however that quote is an anachronism as it was by Lord Acton, a 19th century English Catholic, actually as part of his rejection of the new doctrine of Papal infallibility (for which he was not excommunicated, the latter doctrine being debatable even within the church.)

      More accurately the majority of America’s founders believed either in some form of the ancient Augustinian doctrine of Man’s essentially flawed nature, anciently called “original sin” although in more modern form simply a recognition of the evidence of history, than man is naturally inclined to do willful evil including lying and exploitation of personal power over others.

      As for “bad men”, I agree they exist in varying degrees, but exactly who has the authority to identify them? Cf (about the Amish): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AcEe0LbP2wY

      02/26/13 2:26 PM | Comment Link

    • Kyzl Orda said...

      6

      Apparently, the war on terror has boiled down to the right to violate the Constitution. Does it apply to Americans? What’s the purpose of this once venerated document in our so-called modern times? Is it the law of the land? What other Americans could be currently detained without due process?

      02/26/13 4:40 PM | Comment Link

    • meloveconsullongtime said...

      7

      “Kyzl Orda said…
      Apparently, the war on terror has boiled down to the right to violate the Constitution.”

      Yes but it’s actually worse than that.

      Rather, what is far worse is that the “war on terror” has boiled down to a repudiation the RULE OF LAW!

      Violating the US Constitution is one thing, but violating the essence of the Rule of Law, is far worse!

      Cf, from transcripts of the trial of the “Boston Massacre” (1770) in which John Adams defended Redcoats as per the Rule of Law:

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Iyrv5emDC1Y

      02/26/13 5:04 PM | Comment Link

    • | Abuse of process: US Army refuses to drop charges against Bradley Manning! | | truthaholics said...

      8

      […] We are All Bradley Manning: 1000 Days in Jail without a Conviction (wemeantwell.com) […]

      02/26/13 5:48 PM | Comment Link

    • Kyzl Orda said...

      9

      Thanks meloveconsullongtime (hereafter, abbreviated to MLCLT lol), i havent seen the series yet and that was a meaningful segment to watch. The atmosphere had to be more tense in those days compared to today, and was moving to watch that the idea was respected that the rule of law applied even to those unpopular or whom we were about to wage war with.

      i’m probably revealing my years here but when i went to catholic school, even for a religious institution in NYC, we were taught the Constitution IS the law of the land. It’s supposed to be our Rule of Law in the US. My understanding is many schools have dropped civic classes and that’s too bad cause we are seeing the impact of that when people here don’t even get the Constitution

      02/26/13 6:03 PM | Comment Link

    • Mitch said...

      10

      I hope they execute him.

      03/1/13 10:04 PM | Comment Link

    • jim hruska said...

      11

      To All,
      Manning recently entered a not guilty plea to the charge of aiding the enemy.
      I assume that AQ is the enemy that he aided since i can find no other. I refuse to consider the Afgh opposition as enemies of The US.
      How did BM aid the enemy that we can’t even define or show any order of battle pertaining to them?
      WE HAVE NEVER FOUGHT A MAJOR BATTLE or stepped foot on a battle field prepared by this entity.
      So again-how did his admitted actions help AQ?
      Did secret prisons, torture , gitmo etc. etc… help the enemy?
      Why not release BM and send him to Equador?
      He’s a harmless critter.
      BTW if i’m wrong on my military analysis then pls tell me about the major battles with AQ. I’m willing to admit that i’m wrong.
      As for Mitch’s cmt.
      I hope that your hatred and violence comes back to bite yo’ ass.
      jim

      03/2/13 3:36 PM | Comment Link

    • Lisa said...

      12

      Looks like Chris Hedges stole your title a few days ago @ Truthdig. (I’ve never liked him.)

      03/9/13 8:20 PM | Comment Link

    • Who Do You Love? | My Blog said...

      13

      […] Manning is finally getting his day in court, after 1,000 days of confinement, often solitary, without any charges. Manning’s case reminds Ranger of that of Lt. William Calley, in an inverse sort of […]

      12/15/13 3:51 PM | Comment Link

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