Joined up thinking for the Irish Left
Cameron?s Swarm is Europe?s Solution Mon Aug 24, 2015 12:56 | Michael Taft
Who Was Right? The Magic Trick of Austerity Tue Aug 18, 2015 13:28 | Michael Burke
Housing Policy is More Than Pulling Levers Tue Aug 18, 2015 12:06 | Eoin O'Mahony
Return: A Palestinian Memoir Mon Aug 17, 2015 23:01 | Seán Sheehan
August Socialist Voice is Out Now! Mon Aug 17, 2015 22:27 | Communist Party of Ireland
Irish Left Review >>
For lefties too stubborn to quit
Russian contemporary culture and the White Generals 15:01 Sun Aug 30, 2015 | WorldbyStorm
Yet more on Jeremy Corbyn 11:58 Sun Aug 30, 2015 | WorldbyStorm
Sunday Independent Stupid Statement of the Week 09:56 Sun Aug 30, 2015 | guestposter
The water protests ? they haven?t gone away? 17:30 Sat Aug 29, 2015 | WorldbyStorm
Interview with Paul Saba 11:39 Sat Aug 29, 2015 | irishelectionliterature
Cedar Lounge >>
Life should be full of strangeness, like a rich painting
The Financial Crisis:What Have We Learnt? 19:58 Sat Aug 29, 2015
Money in 35,000 Words or Less 21:34 Sat Aug 22, 2015
THE WRATH OF KANE: BANKING CRISES AND POLITICAL POWER 09:32 Fri Jan 30, 2015
ALWAYS THE ARTISTS: WEEK THREE OF THE BANK INQUIRY 23:11 Thu Jan 22, 2015
FIANNA FÁIL AND THE BANK INQUIRY : SOME INITIAL OBSERVATIONS 21:04 Mon Jan 12, 2015
Dublin Opinion >>
Farewell from NWL Sun May 19, 2013 14:00 | namawinelake
Happy 70th Birthday, Michael Sun May 19, 2013 14:00 | namawinelake
Of the Week? Sat May 18, 2013 00:02 | namawinelake
Noonan denies IBRC legal fees loan approval to Paddy McKillen was in breach of E... Fri May 17, 2013 14:23 | namawinelake
Gayle Killilea Dunne asks to be added as notice party in Sean Dunne?s bankruptcy Fri May 17, 2013 12:30 | namawinelake
NAMA Wine Lake >>
Pre-sentence letter to Barack Obama
rights, freedoms and repression |
Thursday August 22, 2013 09:47 by Justin Morahan
sent by e-mail to US Embassy
Below is a letter to President Barack Obama on the occasion of a protest by Colm Roddy and me outside the US Embassy in Dublin, Wednesday 21 July before Whistleblower Bradley Manning was given a horrendous sentence for telling the truth.
Dear President Barack Obama
I write to you, through your Ambassador in Ireland, as the sentencing of a whistleblower, Bradley Manning is imminent. Bradley is a member of the United States Forces of which you, President Obama, are the Commander-in-Chief. What happens in the US Armed Forces is your responsibility.
When there is heinous wrongdoing happening within your army, you bear the ultimate responsibility for that wrongdoing. If a whistleblower reveals the heinous wrongdoing, it is your duty to protect the whistleblower, to shield her or him from harm and, if possible, honour her or him in order to encourage other whistleblowers and to protect the truth.
What happened in the Baghdad "air strikes" of July 12 2007 was heinous in the extreme. I have seen and perused the video at length but even your own official account is chilling to read.
"When the cameraman on the ground aimed his camera in the direction of Bravo Company 2–16, a pilot remarked "He's getting ready to fire". An Apache maneuvered around a building to get a clear field of fire and shot all nine men, killing eight. " (US Central Command release)
We know that subsequently when a van pulled up to take on board an injured civilian, the Apache opened fire on van and helpers and injured civilian, killing three and wounding two children inside the van. The footage of these events and the accompanying dialogue resembles what one might expect from a seriously deranged horror movie. Bradley revealed the truth of these events. Admittedly he did not report them to his superior officer and later regretted that. But why should that make any difference to you, Mr President? The truth was out. You would be glad that you would be able to stop similar outrages by your forces in the future. You would take the necessary steps to prevent any repetition of the evil-doing of July 12 2007. And you would credit Bradley Manning for helping you to take these steps. Because, as Commander-in-Chief, you do not stand over such atrocities.
Or am I wrong? What did you do?
You allowed (or maybe even ordered) Bradley Manning to be arrested and charged with, among other thing, "aiding the enemy" - an offence that could have draw down the barbarous execution of the accused person. You prejudiced his trial by telling a reporter "He broke the law" at a time when he was not declared guilty of breaking any law. In four words you denied him any chance of a fair trial. Yet, you allowed a trial to proceed.
Meanwhile Bradley Manning was kept under lock and key in chains, subjected to nudity, isolation, harassment, sleep-deprivation - all inhuman punishments bordering on torture. Only international protest ended this inhuman treatment of a prisoner not yet tried in any court.
Now he has been found by a military court to be guilty of lesser charges and today the prosecutors are requesting a sixty year sentence! It is another day of infamy for you and the United States.
Unless, that is, you salvage some credibility by pardoning him, after sentence.
That is my request to you today.
With best personal wishes
Justin Morahan, human rights activist, pacifist.