Jailed without trial 2+ years for exposing US war crimes
Send New Year Greetings to Bradley Manning – the gay military whistle-blower who exposed US war crimes in Iraq and Afghanistan. He has been held in a US military detention centre without trial for over two and a half years.
His court martial is now scheduled to start next March. He needs our support. Please take a few minutes to send Bradley a New Year Greetings message. He can receive mail at the following address:
Commander, HHC USAG
Attn: PFC Bradley Manning
239 Sheridan Ave, Bldg 417
JBM-HH, VA 22211
Read about mail content restrictions here:
You can also contribute to Bradley’s legal defence fees. Please donate today:
“By the time his court martial begins, Bradley will have spent almost three years in prison: nearly one year of which was in the notorious Quantico marine brig, where he was subjected to extreme deprivations that amounted to pre-conviction punishment. These daily and nightly humiliations were designed to break his spirit – and were tantamount to illegal degrading and inhumane ill-treatment,” said human rights campaigner Peter Tatchell, Director of the Peter Tatchell Foundation.
You can read this Guardian report about the mistreatment Manning suffered at Quantico: http://bit.ly/e0wDcC
Bradley’s lawyer David Coombs recently spoke publicly for the first time. He said:
“Brad’s treatment at Quantico will forever be etched, I believe, in our nation’s history, as a disgraceful moment in time. Not only was it stupid and counterproductive. It was criminal.”
He said Bradley is one of the smartest, most caring young men he’s ever met, and he also talked about Bradley’s future dreams and goals:
“And [Bradley] told me that his dream would be to go to college, go into public service, and perhaps one day, run for public office. And I asked Brad, why would he want to do that? And he said, ‘I want to make a difference. I want to make a difference in this world,’” reported Coombs.
“Please take the time to write to Bradley to show that you are thinking of him and appreciate his efforts to hold US government officials accountable by informing the public about war crimes and other abuses perpetrated by the US administration and military.
“Private Manning, a US military intelligence analyst, was arrested in Iraq following the release by Wikileaks of video footage of a US Apache helicopter attack that gunned down 11 Iraqi civilians in 2007, including two Reuters journalists and men who had gone to the aid of the wounded. Two children were also gravely injured when the US helicopter opened fire on their van. The video records US soldiers laughing and joking at the killings, and also insulting the victims.
The video of the massacre can be seen at: www.collateralmurder.com
“This slaughter had previously been the subject of a cover-up by the US armed forces, which claimed dishonestly that the helicopter had been engaged in combat operations against armed enemy forces.
“It is only (allegedly) thanks to Bradley Manning that we now know the truth about this massacre of innocent civilians – and about the killing of many other civilians in unreported and undocumented incidents.
“Daniel Ellsberg, who leaked the Pentagon Papers in 1971, which exposed US lies and criminality in Vietnam, has hailed Manning as a hero.
“If Bradley did expose these crimes, the man is a hero. He is a defender of democracy and human rights. His actions are based on the principle that citizens have a right to know what the government is doing in their name.
“Instead of court-martialling Bradley, put on trial the people who killed innocent civilians and those who protected them from prosecution.
“Bradley Manning is a true patriot, not a traitor. He reveres the founding ideals of the US and believes in open, honest government accountable to the people. He wants his government to pursue its policies by lawful means that respect human rights.
“At great personal risk, he sought to expose grave crimes that were perpetrated and then hidden by the US government and military. These are the characteristics of a man of conscience, motivated by altruism. Any misjudgements he made in the alleged release of some documents are fair outweighed by the positive good overall. Thanks to Manning we know the truth.
“One aspect of Bradley Manning’s strong commitment to human rights is his active support of LGBT equality. He has participated in Gay Pride marches and campaigned against the ‘Don’t ask, don’t tell’ restrictions on US gay military personnel. In 2008, he attended a rally in New York to oppose attempts to ban same-sex marriage in California.
“Bradley is an all-round human rights hero,” said Mr Tatchell.
According to The Guardian, at Quantico military brig Bradley was kept in solitary confinement 23 hours a day, in a windowless room 12’ x 6’, and shackled hand and foot when he was transferred to a small exercise room where he was only allowed to walk around in a circle. He was fed a daily diet of antidepressant pills which disoriented him, forced to stand naked, forbidden to exercise in his cell, and woken if he attempted to sleep in the daytime. Manning was continually subject to what is called ‘maximum custody’, and also to a so-called ‘prevention of injury’ order, which among other things, deprived him of his clothes at night and also of normal sheets and bedding in favour of a blanket he describes as being like the lead apron used when operating x-ray machines. He was allowed no personal possessions.
This abuse of Manning constituted illegal ‘cruel, inhuman and degrading punishment’, contrary to the UN Convention Against Torture and the 8th Amendment to the US constitution. It has been condemned by many civil liberties and human rights organisations, including Amnesty International.
In April 2011, more than 250 of America’s most eminent legal scholars signed a letter protesting against the mistreatment of Manning during the nine months he was detained at Quantico, arguing that his ‘degrading and inhumane conditions’ were illegal, unconstitutional and could even amount to torture:
PHOTO BELOW: Bradley Manning campaigning for LGBT rights, prior to his arrest.
Click on the image to bring up a high resolution version.