Director's blog

Support Bradley Manning

Last week I joined the Advisory Board of the Bradley Manning Support Network. I sought them out not only because it is a honor to join a Board that includes Medea Benjamin of Code Pink, as well as Daniel Ellsberg of Pentagon Papers fame, and filmmaker Michael Moore, among others, but also because I believe it is imperative for as many people as possible to raise their voices in support of Manning.

Private First Class Manning is accused of being the source of the huge number of secret diplomatic cables, field intelligence reports, and at least one military video published by WikiLeaks. He was held without charge for nine months in the brig at Quantico Marine Corps Base in Virginia, isolated for 23 hours a day in “Maximum Custody and under Prevention of Injury Watch.” I believe that the conditions of his imprisonment, including the Abu Ghraib style humiliation of being forced to strip and surrender his clothing nightly, amounted to torture. Manning’s rights were violated further when President Obama, the military’s commander in chief, declared Manning guilty. Since Manning faces a possible court martial by military officers, all of whom are under Obama’s command, this makes it impossible for him to receive a fair trial.

I have several reasons to aid Private Manning.

The first is my commitment to the concept of Freedom of Information. Bradley Manning has been imprisoned and threatened with death for providing the truth to the American people. In the words of Daniel Ellsberg: “If Bradley Manning did what he’s accused of, then he’s a hero of mine.” The free flow of information is absolutely essential to a functioning democracy. Since 2001, the burgeoning “National Security State” has made it almost impossible for voters to make informed choices.

The people’s right to know what their government is doing has been at the core of my activism for almost four decades. It was no accident that my brother and I chose to sue under the newly toughened Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) when we commenced our campaign to reopen our parents’ case in 1974. Reporters asked if we were worried that the material in the government’s files we sought would point to Julius and Ethel Rosenberg’s guilt rather than their innocence. We answered without hesitation that while we hoped the material would exonerate our parents, the public’s right to know was more important than the vindication of our beliefs. My brother and I spent 10 years of our lives fighting that case in the name of the public’s right to know. The attack on Bradley Manning is an assault upon this right and must be resisted.

Also, I am virtually certain that the cruel and inhumane conditions Manning was subjected to in the Marine Base brig were designed to coerce him into testifying against Julian Assange and the Wikileaks community. In other words, the government wanted Manning to become the David Greenglass of the Wikileaks case. In my parent’s case the government offered David Greenglass a deal in return for falsely testifying that my parents engineered Greenglass’s theft of what the government called “the secret of the Atomic bomb,” even though my parents did not participate in that theft and there was no such secret. Similarly, the government sought to use Manning as a pawn to spark a conspiracy trail against Julian Assange and his associates in order to expand the security state and inflame public fear that hackers threaten our national security.

Finally, it is reported that Bradley Manning may be charged with violating the Espionage Act of 1917, and face the death penalty if he is convicted. That’s the same penalty my parents received for violating that act.

Under such circumstances, how could I stay away! For more information about the Bradley Manning support network go to: http://www.bradleymanning.org/

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Comments

Bradley Manning

Robert, Thank you for joining the Bradley Manning Support Network. The video "Collateral Murder" and the treatment of Bradley Manning illustrate much of what has gone wrong with our country. Rod Driver

Western Mass Benefit for Bradley Manning

Nice article, Robby. I'm sure that fact that so many people are showing their support for Manning is part of what has given him the strength to maintain his moral integrity under such atrocious conditions. Other supporters are organizing a benefit 5K in Greenfield, MA for Manning and other U.S. political prisoners on August 7. All abilities and ages are welcome. FMI: http://www.bradleymanning.org/events/run-for-bradley-manning

Pvt. Bradley Manning

Robert, I agree that we need to support Bradley Manning. He is getting a raw deal which he does not deserve.

Bradley Manning

Keep up the good work!

Bradley Manning

I support what you are doing to help Bradley Manning get justice. What I don't understand is why he was allowed security clearance when he was know to be gay? According to the rules he should have been discharged and this would never have happened. It seems that someone in authority is always breaking rules (even when they are bad rules) and the lower level has to suffer the consequences.

Cynthia Bauman

Bradley Manning

I applaud your decision. What's being done to Bradley Manning is a crime--it is illegal and immoral. BTW, I sent a check to the Julian Assange Defense Fund last December; thought it was lost until SIX MONTHS later, when it was finally cashed. Keep up the good work and keep us informed. I met you and your daughter at a breakfast/book signing in Ocean City, NJ a few years ago. All the best oo both of you..

Bradley Manning

I wasn't familiar with the Rosenberg situation until recently, but I alrady see Bradley as a hero, whatever he has done. Our government is moving in a Fascist direction to a scary degree.

Bradley Manning

It took unfathomable courage for Manning to do what he did. As Thoreau states, when one commits civil disobedience, one should be prepared to pay the consequences. However, the punishment Bradley Manning has endured is far beyond what anyone should have to face, regardless of the "crime." Thank you for supporting him, and the cause of transparency in government!

Support for Bradley Manning

Whether or not Mr. Manning is guilty of something, whether a misdemeanor, or even treason, he has been tortured, for torture it is, by "our" government in a way we identify with the worst administrations of the Earth. The current US government acts like those of Syria, or Russia, or Franco's Spain, or Mubarak's Egypt. We now live in a tyranny of the lowest common denominator of humanity and the rule of law.

Bradley Manning

Thanks for your support of Bradley Manning. He is a patriot in the real sense of the word. I am one not to equate patriotism with militarism. Now even some police departments in the country are being equipped with tanks.

Joining the Board

Many thanks for your decision to get involved in the defense of Bradley Manning.

The only think I can add is this: I can identify with and understand the actions that he is accused of. There but for the grace of God, or chance, go I.

During the Vietnam war I was a enlisted soldier and felt the passions that so many folks in the Vietnam antiwar movement shared: The actions of the United States in Vietnam were absolutely odious and anything that exposed or interfered with the prosecution of that war was justifiable, if not morally obligatory.

I didn't have access to classified documents, so all I got hassled for was passing out antiwar literature and writing for underground newspapers. But had I had the opportunity to do more, I hope I would have had the courage that is ascribed to Bradley...and to Julius.

Andy

Bradley Manning

Robert,

My heart and best wishes extend to you for what you and your brother suffered as children by the loss of your parents. That a nation proclaims human rights and freedom as it wages wars for profit and resources all over the planet and has more incarcerated humans than any nation on earth is hubris beyond measure.

I stand with you in the effort to bring freedom to Bradley Manning, a true patriot and human rights champion. The path is long and seems impossible; but people of conscience must continue their efforts.

Sincerely,
Don Malvin

A Music Video in Support of Bradley Manning

Courage To Resist - A tribute to GI Resistance in 2011 by Vic Sadot in support of Private Bradley Manning and wikileaks for exposing the lies, war crimes, and cover-ups of the corporate empire. Bradley Manning, Nicole Mitchell, Marc Hall, and others give us hope for truth and justice. If they can stand up when already bound up by the military's control over their lives, then we can too! Check out their real life stories of resistance at www(dot)couragetoresist(dot)org

Vic Sadot

Courage To Resist #2 - Music Video in support of Bradley Manning, WikiLeaks, & GI war resisters!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TISIoFBmUFc

Thanks

Thanks Robert for supporting this young man. I hope he is being treated more fairly than he was at his first place of confinement. DorisV Albuquerque, NM

sandrasiqueira01@hotmail.com

My dear

They know I have deep admiration and happiness for you two to see them defend the right to life makes me feel that it really is worth following this line pensamentoonde comseubemmaior this human being, life protection on the part of you that pessoascomo fight and always keep fighting for that cause inherited esyta not have doubts. There are things we sometimes parapessoas who are aobservar seems strange and often drastic, but actually advocates a greater cause, which envisions an entire issue of a future umplantação deideologia curtailed by humans who only have this name but in realidadeandam far from knowing the real meaning of being human, when they decide to decree death only person who sequertêm sure of his real guilt, greed blinds them, leaving them numb my dear, but I feel calm in knowing that you're out there to defend and take the opposite of all persons who may be being placed in this situaçãotão sad as this that the death penalty, fight my dear, do not give up ever, not for revenge but for love of umano be because I'm sure that this teaching you received from a very intense and very affectionate, seique hearts were filled, even the short time together, commuito love, always continue with the strength vosfoi left!

loving hugs Sandrinha

Robert's directorship

I encourage you and your brother to continue the fight against the nat'l security police fascist state. These tryants must be challenged on every front & every turn.

I too want civil servants to be transparent, serve the interests of the people and truthful. I want all crimes reported as they should be & the actors held accountable. What Manning & Assange & his cohorts are doing is in the interest of the people. They are merely the messengers, all the while the real criminals go scot free. Perhaps Manning can confess to the same crimes he is alleged to have exposed.

Another battle that must be waged is to cause a full proper unbiased criminal investigation of the surrounding events of the incident 9/11. We have to hang these perpetrators.

May the Good Lord bless these forays for justice.

I salute you.

Bradley Manning

Hi, Robbie, great that you are supporting Bradley Manning as I agree that this case parallels what happened to your parents and places him in jeopardy. I also agree that he is a hero for getting out the information which got him into trouble and that what has happened to him amounts to torture.

With hard work and solidarity we can stop this kind of action by our government.

Thank you, Mr. Meeropol

As so often happens, the tributaries of progressive values crisscross each other, one stream feeding another. It makes sense that this would be so, since it is a shared struggle. Great to have you on board, Robert.

Bradley Manning

You did the right thing. Even his father has not contacted him. Bradley Manning deserves our support and whatever help we can give him.
You and this organization have the clout to take up his case.

Laeh-Maggie Garfield

When will justice prevail?

Here's the crime: that anyone, Bradley Manning or anyone, is held in prison for so long without getting to trial. Then added to that, the inhumane conditions that are applied. There can be no excuse for such conditions, can only be due to plain cruelty. Knowing Robert Meeropol's high ideals and devotion to justice, it's not a surprise that he joined the Bradley Manning Support Network advisory board.

When will justice prevail?

Here's the crime: that anyone, Bradley Manning or anyone, is held in prison for so long without getting to trial. Then added to that, the inhumane conditions that are applied. There can be no excuse for such conditions, can only be due to plain cruelty. Knowing Robert Meeropol's high ideals and devotion to justice, it's not a surprise that he joined the Bradley Manning Support Network advisory board.

Truth

When Gandhi was released from prison by the British authorities, he said, "For a long time I believed God is truth. Now I believe that truth is God."

Whenever we hide from the truth, we detach ourselves from life itself. Absolute truth is incomprehensible to the human mind; but if we run away from the truth, we are running away from everything that is beautiful.

Tom Kurtz
Bath, Maine

Manning Up

The disconnect between professing moral behavior and actually displaying it has haunted this country since its beginning. When we are reminded of it by a "confused" wet behind the ears kid it is even a greater embarrassment to the arbiters of what's right and just.
Whenever an individual is punished by the justice system to send a message or teach a lesson, that system no longer can call itself just.
It is embarrassment that has the military and intelligence community seeking the head of Pvt. Manning. That such a vast and varied array of information was so readily available to a a lowly clerk is laughable.We now know that there was nothing of real nation security value compromised by his alleged leaking of these documents . Rather what was leaked was a commentary on how dishonest the military and government has been with their own citizens and allies. This explains the vindictiveness and disproportionate cruelty being shown Bradley Manning. While the likes of Scooter Libby and Dick Cheney are walking our streets as free men, it's hard to countenance the harsh treatment of this ultimately heroic young man. Thank you Robert for your courage too. John Cawley

Bradley Manning

Good for you Robert. Bradley certainly needs all of you good folks supporting him. Our Bellingham WA Weekly Peace Vigil has been keeping close watch on the case. Most of us have send individual correspondence to him. Last Friday we passed the hat and sent a substancial $contribution to his support. He is a hero and we must see that he is kept before the public.
Dotty Dale

Bradley Manning

Bradley Manning needs our support for all the reasons you list, Robert. I am pleased that Bradley's support network has such notable people on it--all of you have the courage of true Americans. Thanks for defending him and us.

Sincerely, Lorraine Lee

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