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Offline g

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The Soul-Rape of Bradley Manning
« on: June 12, 2013, 05:33:37 AM »
                                           
Bradley Manning is escort 010
Bradley Manning is escort 010

US Army Private Bradley Manning is being persecuted for exposing war crimes committed by the Bush and Obama administrations. Like any criminal, the US government wants its wrongful acts to remain secret; it wishes to make the truth illegal.

On June 3rd, the trial of Manning began. He previously pled guilty to 10 offenses that could collectively bring 20 years in custody, but the military prosecutors were not satisfied. They pursued the capital offense of “aiding the enemy” which can be punished by execution or life imprisonment. This is Obama's warning to anyone else who is tempted to speak truth to power.

WHAT YOU ARE TOLD IS ON TRIAL

Bradley Manning was arrested in May 2010 for passing restricted material to the WikiLeaks site, which is dedicated to the free flow of information. The material included videos of American airstrikes on Baghdad and Afghanistan, as well as hundreds of thousands of diplomatic cables that became known as the Iraq and Afghan War logs.

The American government and military were acutely embarrassed. For example, one video consisted of cockpit gunsight footage from a US helicopter that was involved in the series of July 12, 2007 airstrikes on Baghdad in which an estimated 18 people were killed, including two Reuters war correspondents. The military claimed the dead were armed insurgents, and at least two of them had weapons which is common practice in Iraq. The Pentagon buried the footage by refusing a Freedom of Information request from Reuters. When the video was leaked, it showed an indiscriminate slaughter. Its audio captured the unalloyed joy of the Americans as they killed and an absolute lack of remorse when they realized young children were among the dead.

This video was a turning point for Manning who was shocked by the soldier's remarks. At his pre-trial hearing, he stated of the leaked material, “I felt I had accomplished something that allowed me to have a clear conscience based upon what I had seen and read about and knew were happening in both Iraq and Afghanistan every day.”

The 1971 leak of the Pentagon Papers by Daniel Ellsberg was a turning point in the Vietnam War because it revealed the depth of lies being told by the American government to the American people.  Manning's act was a turning point in the Iraq and Afghan wars but it had far wider impact. For one thing, it was instrumental in sparking the Arab Spring; one diplomatic cable discredited the Tunisian government by verifying the raw corruption of the President and his family.
                                                         MANNING'S UNFORGIVEABLE SIN

Indiscriminate slaughter and the torture of detainees do not disturb the Obama administration; talking about them does. Manning not only talked but he backed everything up with data. For exposing and embarrassing them, government wishes not merely to punish Manning but to crush him utterly so that his example does not inspire others. To do so, it must make transparency into treason.

The accusation of aiding and abetting the enemy is a drastic and dangerous expansion of the Espionage Act.  The exact wording of the charge: “Knowingly giving intelligence to the enemy through indirect means.” Traditionally, direct means have been required; that is, a person directly and intentionally provided intelligence to “the enemy.” The prosecutors now contend  that the transfer can be indirect and unintentional. They argue Manning should have known Al Qaeda could access the information; his intention of revealing a war crime to the world becomes irrelevant. The New York Times observed, “This would turn all government whistle-blowing into treason: a grave threat to both potential sources and American journalism.”
                                           
bradley manning war crimes
bradley manning war crimes

The civil libertarian Glenn Greenwald explained further, “[The new legal theory] would basically mean that any kind of leak now of classified information to newspapers, where your intent is not to aid the Taliban or help them but to expose wrongdoing, is now considered a capital offense and considered aiding and abetting the enemy....And that’s an amazingly broad and expansive definition...”  The expanded theory becomes a de facto gag order, especially in the hands of Obama who has prosecuted more whistleblowers than all previous Presidents combined.

                                       
anonymous bradley manning
anonymous bradley manning

There is no question that Manning broke the law. The fault lies not in Manning but in the military. No person nor organization has the right to force a man to surrender his conscience and mutely watch the slaughter of children. He has an inalienable right to speak the truth. To claim otherwise is to argue that a soldier is literally property, a slave of the military and no longer a man.

In Civil Disobedience, Henry David Thoreau declared, “Must the citizen ever for a moment, or in the least degree, resign his conscience to the legislator? Why has every man a conscience then? I think that we should be men first, and subjects afterward. It is not desirable to cultivate a respect for the law, so much as for the right....Law never made men a whit more just; and, by means of their respect for it, even the well-disposed are daily made the agents of injustice.”  Speaking specifically of soldiers who surrender their conscience, Thoreau continued,  “They have no doubt that it is a damnable business in which they are concerned; they are all peaceably inclined. Now, what are they? Men at all? or small movable forts and magazines, at the service of some unscrupulous man in power? ehold a marine, such a man as an American government can make...a mere shadow and reminiscence of humanity...”

Manning has already spent 1110 days in prison, much of it in solitary confinement and other conditions that human rights organizations call torture. Even for the most military of men, 1110 days and the prospect of 20 years more should be enough punishment for the 'crime' of retaining a conscience.

WHAT THE TRIAL MEANS ABOUT AMERICA

Roger Williams, the Puritan founder of Rhode Island, was America's first revolutionary. He created the American soul by inextricably linking individual liberty with freedom of belief. In the 1640s, Williams argued passionately for “soul liberty” – that is, an individual's conscience should be free from outside interference and control.  “[T]o force the Consciences of the Unwilling is a Soul-rape,” he declared bluntly. Drawing upon Williams, the contemporary American philosopher Martha Nussbaum further defined “soul-rape” as forcing people “to affirm convictions that they may not hold, or to give assent to orthodoxies they don’t support.”

Williams won the argument, and the First Amendment was the ultimate  result. “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press...” The amendment was first in the Bill of Rights because freedom of conscience and speech is the most fundamental of human rights. Around the world, Americans became renowned as a people who bowed their heads and beliefs to no one; they spoke and believed freely. And, so, the world gravitated toward America because of the hunger within human beings to think and decide for themselves. It is a hunger for human dignity.

The persecution of Manning is an attempt to destroy the core of what it means to be American by destroying freedom of conscience and speech.  The police and surveillance state of America wants to control information down to the level of reaching inside people's minds to instill a fear of speaking or deciding for themselves.

Obama is raping the soul of America.
http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/TheDollarVigilanteBlog/~3/zCpYwFIvE7s/the-soul-rape-of-bradley-manning.html :( :icon_study:

Offline DoomerSupport

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Re: The Soul-Rape of Bradley Manning
« Reply #1 on: June 12, 2013, 06:24:25 AM »
One of the reasons I refuse to take American citizenship, even though dual citizenship has some advantages, is what it means to be American:  to be party to indiscriminate human rights abuses every day.

"Why are you here then?" is a common response from the black/white programming of most of the people around me.  The answer is simple: The relationships I built with the people around me as the American Dream became a nightmare.  I arrived on these shores to hear the last echoes of the freedoms your forefathers died for.  Being here means bearing witness to how a once proud people did in fact, go silently into the night.

I will not go silently, instead I choose to down with the humor of a court jester, the only man who can strike a King.  Although I feel kings are much more benevolent than what you choose as leaders.



Offline Surly1

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Re: The Soul-Rape of Bradley Manning
« Reply #2 on: June 12, 2013, 08:36:17 AM »
One of the reasons I refuse to take American citizenship, even though dual citizenship has some advantages, is what it means to be American:  to be party to indiscriminate human rights abuses every day.

"Why are you here then?" is a common response from the black/white programming of most of the people around me.  The answer is simple: The relationships I built with the people around me as the American Dream became a nightmare.  I arrived on these shores to hear the last echoes of the freedoms your forefathers died for.  Being here means bearing witness to how a once proud people did in fact, go silently into the night.

I will not go silently, instead I choose to down with the humor of a court jester, the only man who can strike a King.  Although I feel kings are much more benevolent than what you choose as leaders.

Quote of the day.
"...reprehensible lying communist..."

Offline g

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Taken from Diner Jaded Prole's top notch blog

   Thursday, August 22, 2013
Statement by Bradley Manning After Being Sentanced for Exposing US Crimes

Upon being sentenced to 35 years in prison for exposing war crimes and crimes against humanity that will not be prosecuted much less investigated by the CIA run US, Bradly Manning wrote these words.

"The decisions that I made in 2010 were made out of a concern for my country and the world that we live in. Since the tragic events of 9/11, our country has been at war. We've been at war with an enemy that chooses not to meet us on traditional battlefield, and due to this fact we've had to alter our methods of combating the risks posed to us and our way of life.

I initially agreed with these methods and chose to volunteer to help defend my country. It was not until I was in Iraq and reading secret military reports on a daily basis that I started to question the morality of what we were doing. It was at this time I realized in our efforts to meet this risk posed to us by the enemy, we have forgotten our humanity. We consciously elected to devalue human life both in Iraq and Afghanistan. When we engaged those that we perceived were the enemy, we sometimes killed innocent civilians. Whenever we killed innocent civilians, instead of accepting responsibility for our conduct, we elected to hide behind the veil of national security and classified information in order to avoid any public accountability.

In our zeal to kill the enemy, we internally debated the definition of torture. We held individuals at Guantanamo for years without due process. We inexplicably turned a blind eye to torture and executions by the Iraqi government. And we stomached countless other acts in the name of our war on terror.

Patriotism is often the cry extolled when morally questionable acts are advocated by those in power. When these cries of patriotism drown our any logically based intentions [unclear], it is usually an American soldier that is ordered to carry out some ill-conceived mission.

Our nation has had similar dark moments for the virtues of democracy—the Trail of Tears, the Dred Scott decision, McCarthyism, the Japanese-American internment camps—to name a few. I am confident that many of our actions since 9/11 will one day be viewed in a similar light.

As the late Howard Zinn once said, "There is not a flag large enough to cover the shame of killing innocent people."

I understand that my actions violated the law, and I regret if my actions hurt anyone or harmed the United States. It was never my intention to hurt anyone. I only wanted to help people. When I chose to disclose classified information, I did so out of a love for my country and a sense of duty to others.

If you deny my request for a pardon, I will serve my time knowing that sometimes you have to pay a heavy price to live in a free society. I will gladly pay that price if it means we could have country that is truly conceived in liberty and dedicated to the proposition that all women and men are created equal".

Bradley Manning is a political prisoner who we must strive to have released but his conscience is free. He, unlike the President, the last President, the generals, and many soldiers has chosen to maintain his humanity and not be a part of the greatest death machine in history.

posted by Jaded Prole @ 6:58 AM     bold&italics added by GO, not part of original copy

http://jadedprol.blogspot.com/   :icon_study:

 

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