Private Bradley Manning: A victim of the military empire?

Linked on our blogs with The Rutherford Institute, with Bradley Manning Support Network, and with Bradley Manning: Telling the Truth in a Time of Lies. – Published on Intrepid Report, by John W. Whitehead, March 10, 2011.

It is indispensable to our success in this war that those we ask to fight it know that in the discharge of their dangerous responsibilities to their country they are never expected to forget that they are Americans, and the valiant defenders of a sacred idea of how nations should govern their own affairs and their relations with others—even our enemies.”—John McCain, “Torture’s Terrible Toll

Depending on your view of the endless wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and America’s role in them, Pfc. Bradley E. Manning, the 23-year-old Army soldier who is accused of “aiding the enemy” by leaking classified military and diplomatic documents to the anti-secrecy website, WikiLeaks, is either a courageous whistleblower or a traitorous snitch. Manning is alleged to have leaked over 250,000 United States diplomatic cables, as well as footage of an American Apache helicopter airstrike in Baghdad from July 12, 2007, in which 18 people were killed, many of them civilians. Two of those killed were Reuters journalists. If convicted, Manning could face the death penalty … // 

… Which brings us back to Bradley Manning, a young man who hoped to “change something” by exposing what he saw as widespread government corruption. Whether or not Manning is shown to be the source of the leaks, there can be no denying that the information made public by Wikileaks has painted a damning picture of a U.S. government operating in a way that is completely at odds with everything this nation once stood for.

Yet the key here is that Manning, an American citizen entitled to every protection afforded by the U.S. Constitution, has yet to be convicted of anything, which makes his pre-trial incarceration that much more troubling. Moreover, not only does such cruel, unusual and inhumane treatment violate a long list of international human rights treaties, but as Greenwald points out, “[s]ubjecting a detainee like Manning to this level of prolonged cruel and inhumane detention can thus jeopardize the ability of the U.S. to secure extradition for other prisoners, as these conditions are viewed in much of the civilized world as barbaric.” *

In fact, John McCain, who experienced torture and solitary confinement during his imprisonment in Vietnam, noted in a 2005 Newsweek editorial, “We are American, and we hold ourselves to humane standards of treatment of people no matter how evil or terrible they may be. To do otherwise undermines our security, but it also undermines our greatness as a nation. We are not simply any other country. We stand for something more in the world—a moral mission, one of freedom and democracy and human rights at home and abroad . . . It is indispensable to our success in this war that those we ask to fight it know that in the discharge of their dangerous responsibilities to their country they are never expected to forget that they are Americans, and the valiant defenders of a sacred idea of how nations should govern their own affairs and their relations with others—even our enemies.”

Sadly, we in America have conveniently forgotten that we once stood for something more than a warring military empire. Indeed, in our once-stalwart defense of human rights, our adherence to a moral code that was rooted in a respect for human life, and our willingness to lead the world by example through innovation and progress in science and the arts, we were the antithesis of all that America—now the largest international exporter of weapons and war—has come to stand for today. (full text).

  • (About John W. Whitehead: Constitutional attorney and author John W. Whitehead is founder and president of The Rutherford Institute. His new book “The Freedom Wars” (TRI Press) is available online at www.amazon.com. Whitehead can be contacted by e-mail.
  • Information about The Rutherford Institute is available at The Rutherford Institute).

* My comment: Yes, such a group of criminal Officials ** are able to kill also a Julian Assange … (in USA, after extradition to Sweden and then automatically to the US).
** (= normal Officials telling later – like Hitler’s Officials – we only obeyed orders … yes, such humans are criminal in my eyes)
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Link: Big government secrets aren’t really secret, on Intrepid Report, by Preston James, March 10, 2011.

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