Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Shoot The Messenger

The Bradley Manning pre-trial hearings have been pretty eye opening. There's been some controversy about whether or not there's been enough coverage or interest in this hearing. Mainly, The New York Times has been accused of ignoring this case.
Whats's more important? Bradley Manning's hearing about the document dump to WikiLeaks, making him a traitor to the United States government, or the fact that one of the most important news sources in this country seems to be ignoring it? Did they also ignore WikiLeaks when it published the State Department cables in 2010?  No, they didn't. 
From what I have been reading, Manning's defense  lawyer has been doing an excellent job of making the jailers at Quantico look like The Dukes Of Hazard are in charge of the brig  Their behavior seems ignorant and brutal..
Manning had been placed on suicide watch, he was stripped of his clothing, made to wear a "suicide smock", kept in solitary confinement in a 8x6 ft cell for 23 hours and 40 minutes a day. Bradley Manning's defense lawyer David Coons asserts that "All logic by anyone who could affect change for Pfc Manning was checked at the door."  Here's another quote from the Officer in charge at Quantico, about a birthday package sent to Private Manning, “The package is being rejected and returned to sender due to the manner in which it was received and also because there was no prior request or knowledge of the package . . . and because we felt like being” obnoxious." It makes you wonder if they could be that controlling and childish, about a birthday package sent to Manning, what the hell else are they capable of? Private Manning was held in solitary confinement from July 2010 to April 2011. The only reason he was transferred to Levenworth was because of an international public outcry and the accusation of torture by the U.N.
Manning has been charged with aiding the enemy. Meaning Al-Quaida., by releasing hundreds of thousands of emails, the content of which were quite embarrassing to the U.S.. These documents showed the U.S. State Department intelligence and workings, regarding Arab governments, setting in motion the "Arab Spring" revolutions, starting with Tunisia, millions of Tunisians read the leaks validating what they knew about the greed and corruption of their leader, president Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali, and his family. The citizens of Tunisia  utilized Facebook to inform others of the luxury and palatial lifestyle of their leaders
It is really important to see the bigger picture in terms of what happened as a result of Bradley Manning's actions. There is a shift in global power, not in the U.S.'s favor. 
Also, information included in the leaks included  the war zones of Afghanistan and Iraq.
Creating even more controversy, revealing evidence of torture and detailing the deaths of Iraqi     
citizens. Meaning that the U.S. military is guilty of war crimes by violating the Geneva Convention of 1864. Article 12 of the Geneva Convention of 1864 states that: 
"...Members of the armed forces and other persons (...) who are wounded or sick, shall be respected and protected in all circumstances. They shall be treated humanely and cared for by the Party to the conflict...Any attempts upon their lives, or violence to their persons, shall be strictly prohibited; in particular, they shall not be murdered or exterminated...". 
To kill a person who is already wounded, and to kill a person who is attempting to provide medical aid and assistance, are, according to the Geneva Convention, war crimes.

When I read this I want to know why Dick Cheney, George Bush, Donald Rumsfeld, among others are not in jail with Manning for war crimes? I guess no one has an answer for that.
There has been some comparison of Of Daniel Ellsberg's Pentagon Papers and the lies he exposed from the LBJ administration onward relating to the Vietnam War. I think the fallout from Manning's leaks is much bigger, and will continue to be, from the revolutions in the Middle East, to the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq and now the revelations of Manning's treatment, revealing abuse of power and corruption world wide. I say he has suffered enough and commute his sentence to time already served. What do you think?


  1. When Private Manning signed the documents that gave him access to classified material - He knew that unlawful disclosure of that material would bring about severe consequences; yet he proceeded to do so anyway. Should the way he was treated at Quantico negate the consequences of his actions? No. If anything there should be charges brought against those at the Marine brig.

    Once Manning has been setenced then the next higher HQ will review tha case and that is where the treatment at Quantico will likely be a cause for lessening the sentence.

    One thing for certain - Private Manning is no hero.


  2. I understand what you are saying Sarge, and that's what President Obama has been asserting, that Private Manning broke the law. I get it.
    His case is so complicated it took me hours to research it.
    To some, he is a hero, to others, he is a traitor. That duality is in essence a divide, just like the conservative, liberal divide in this country. What I am searching for in Private Bradley Manning's case is how the actions of not only Manning, but our own government, issued ramifications of global proportion causing rebellion and revolution, revealing corruption, greed, and suffering, not only in the unjustified abuse in Manning's imprisonment, but the suffering of millions of other's in the Middle East and elsewhere. Ultimately, time will be the judge of Private Manning, no matter his sentence.

    1. I expect ten years and a dishonorable discharge.