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Drop All Charges Against Bradley Manning!!

category international | anti-war / imperialism | press release author Thursday February 23, 2012 12:37author by Vetarans for Peace Report this post to the editors

Veterans For Peace Tells US Army: Stop Prosecution of GI Whistleblower

A national organization representing thousands of military veterans is calling on the US Army to abandon court martial proceedings against Private Bradley Manning, the accused Wikileaks whistleblower. The young soldier, who has been imprisoned for 21 months, will be formally arraigned today (Thursday, Feb. 23) at Fort Meade, Maryland. Army prosecutors say they will file 22 charges against PFC Manning, including “aiding the enemy,” a crime that can be punished by the death penalty or life in prison.

“Where is the justice?” asks Gerry Condon, a Board member of Veterans For Peace. “The Army is shirking its duty to punish soldiers who have committed rape and murder. Yet they are trying to destroy the life of Bradley Manning, who has not harmed a hair on a person's head.”

In May 2010, the Army arrested PFC Manning, then 22, in Iraq, where he was working as a low level intelligence analyst. He is accused of leaking classified information, including an Army video that shows US soldiers in Baghdad shooting down unarmed civilians, including two Reuters employees, from an Apache helicopter. The video, dubbed “Collateral Murder,” has been viewed millions of times on YouTube.

Prosecutors have also accused Manning of giving Wikileaks thousands of Army diaries from its occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan. The Army's own reports reveal that the killing of civilians was a regular occurrence and that the Army regularly lied about it.. The diaries also show that the Army was lying to the American people about the progress of the wars in both Iraq and Afghanistan.

“It is not a crime to reveal evidence of war crimes, but it is a crime to cover up evidence of war crimes, as the Army has apparently done,” said Leah Bolger, a former Navy Commander who was recently elected the first woman president of Veterans For Peace. “The American people deserve to know the truth about the wars being waged in our name,” continued Bolger. “Our soldiers should not be asked to die for a lie, and those who tell us the truth should not be the ones being punished.”

Bradley Manning has been confined for 21 months, including 8 months in solitary confinement at the Marine brig at Quantico, Virginia, where reports of his abuse bordering on torture caused an international outcry. Manning is now at another military prison at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, and the Quantico brig has been closed down.. The US government has declined repeated requests by United Nations Special Rapporteur on Torture, Juan Mendez, to interview PFC Manning privately about his treatment.

Private Manning's lawyer, David Coombs, has complained on his blog that most of his requested defense witnesses were denied by the Army judge, while all of the prosecution witnesses were allowed.

“This is a kangaroo court martial,” said Gerry Condon of Veterans For Peace. “It is now obvious that the US Army will not give PFC Manning a fair trial, That is why Veterans For Peace is calling on Army Chief of Staff General Ray Odierno, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, and Commander-In-Chief Barack Obama to drop all the charges against Bradley Manning.”

At its national convention in 2010, Veterans For Peace awarded Bradley Manning for his courage. “If he actually did what he is accused of doing, then he is a hero,” said Mike Ferner, Executive Director of Veterans For Peace.

***Veterans For Peace is a 26-year-old organization whose mission is to abolish war through nonviolent means, and to take care of the needs of veterans and victims of war. For more information, visit www.veteransforpeace.org and www.bradleymanning.org.

author by Ciaron - Giuseepe Conlon House, London Catholic Workerpublication date Thu Feb 23, 2012 12:40author address author phone Report this post to the editors

THURS FEB 23rd. 5pm-6pm *U.S. Embassy/ London *Solidarity Vigil with Bradley Manning as he is Arraigned for Court Martial in U.S.

THURS FEB 23rd. 5pm-6pm
U.S. Embassy/ London
Solidarity Vigil with Bradley Manning as he is Arraigned for Court Martial at Ft. Meade, Maryland, U.S.A.
http://wiseupforbradleymanning.wordpress.com/2012/02/20...n-us/

* If you can make it to this Thursday's solidarity vigil at the U.S. embassy
email ciaronx AT yahoo.com or text 079 392 90576
If you can't make feel free to text the vigil while it is on 079 392 90576
outside uk +44 79 392 90576
sign off name and town eg. "Ciaron, London" and we'll read out ya solidarity text at the vigil.

*Best guess for Bradey's full court martial date is May 2012

*Statement from the US Lawyers Guild for the charges to be dismissed
http://www.nlg.org/news/announcements/national-lawyers-...ning/

**Youtube (3 mins 50 secs) Brad Manning Song
"Almost Gone" by Graham Nash and James Raymond
http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=...pBbQ#!

author by Justin Morahanpublication date Thu Feb 23, 2012 18:24author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Dear Ambassador Rooney

As there was no other link for a direct e-mail on general matters, I am doing two jobs with the one e-mail

1) Letting you know that there is no other way to contact you - a fault of the website

2) I am asking you to request the President to intervene in the Bradley Manning trial to have Bradley released immediately.

Whistle-blowers are an absolute necessity for a democratic and just society. They should be protected by law whenever they expose wrongdoing
Whistle-blowers who expose a war crime, as Bradley has done, should be protected and honoured by any President who believes in a just society. The link [below] shows that war crime clearly in Iraq. Bradley was a witness. Innocent people were mowed down from a United States helicopter and Bradley Manning was a witness to that war crime. He did the right thing and became a whistle-blower. President Obama must release him.

It is shameful that Bradley Manning has been tortured in prison and that the President has broken all rules of fairness by declaring Bradley guilty before his case was heard by a court.

It is also shameful and treacherous that the people of the United States have been unable to see the shocking video that can be seen everywhere else in the world.

I am requesting you to ask President Obama to do the right thing now and release this brave man.

With best personal wishes
Justin Morahan
Human rights activist and pacifist

Related Link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gFS3K_-aOzI&feature=related
author by Guardian Report of Arraignmentpublication date Thu Feb 23, 2012 21:01author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Guardian Report of Arraignment
http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/feb/23/bradley-man...arges

author by Ciaronpublication date Fri Feb 24, 2012 10:02author address author phone Report this post to the editors

25 folks gathered outsde the U.S. embassy in London last evening in solidarity with Bradley Manning.
Those assembled included folks from Anonymous, Catholic Worker, London Guantanomo Campaign, Pay Day, Veterans for Peace, WikiLeaks, Womens Global Strike and a bunch of other backgrounds.

author by report rom courtpublication date Sat Feb 25, 2012 08:58author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Counterpunch Weekend Edition February 24-26, 2012

"Judge, isn’t a soldier required by law to report a war crime?”
The Arraignment of Bradley Manning
by MISSY BEATTIE

Placing my coat and purse on the bench, I heard something like, “No sleeping, no sunglasses, no tampering with gadgets.” I looked up as the soldier continued, “If someone has the urge to sleep, please stand up.”

Then, I saw him, the young hero with pale skin, short hair, and those eyeglasses. He sat nearby, about eight feet from me.

Pfc. Bradley Manning, accused WikiLeaks whistleblower and Nobel Peace Prize nominee, was arraigned at Fort Meade, today, February 23rd.

I was writing yesterday—a piece I almost finished. About Santorum and a Santorum supporter’s suggestion for female contraception—an aspirin placed between two tightly closed knees impossible to pry open for sex. About extremism. I abandoned it.

ARTICLE CONTINUED........
http://www.counterpunch.org/2012/02/24/the-arraignment-...dley/

 
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