Tyranny American-Style: Pvt. Bradley Manning Is a Hero of Our Age


JBeee
#1
Tuesday 25 January 2011

by: Dave Lindorff

Looks can be deceiving.

When you see photos of Army Specialist Bradley Manning, the fresh, boyish-faced 23-year old private who has spent the last seven months in solitary confinement, first in Kuwait and later at the Marine base at Quantico, VA, enduring the tender mercies of military guards, you don't get the sense that this is someone who could withstand a lot of pressure and physical and mental abuse.

But it turns out he's one tough hombre. Manning, according to his attorney, to a friend who has been allowed to visit him, and to activists who have been demonstrating outside Quantico for his release from this private hell, has been subjected to sleep deprivation, has been barred from exercising in the slightest, and recently was improperly placed by the Quantico base commander on suicide watch--meaning his clothing was removed, and also his reading glasses--as punishment for "disobeying" orders of the guards. (After news of this order, and publicity about it, the commander rescinded it, and was citicized by the Pentagon for allegedly overstepping his authority, an indication that public pressure in this case can help.)

The aim of all this abuse, which is now being investigated by a UN human rights investigator, has been blatantly to crush his spirit, in hopes of getting him to agree to implicate Julian Assange, founder of the WikiLeaks organization, in inducing him to leak the hundreds of thousands of pages of documents, and the visual tapes, of Iraq and Afghan war reports, helicopter murder, and US State Department cables, all of which have been undermining the US war effort and the US diplomatic agenda.

They are failing, because apparently Manning, who reportedly had been troubled by evidence of US war crimes in Iraq that he knew about and had been unable to interest superiors in acting on, is not caving in to the pressure. He is not playing the US government's and military's sick game.

In a story aired yesterday , NBC news Pentagon correspondent Jim Miklaszewski reports that the Pentagon acknowledges that its investigators "have been unable to make any direct connection between" Manning's alleged leaking of the documents in question, and Assange.

That sure puts a big crimp in plans by the White House and the so-called US Justice Department to try and bring up Assange on charges of espionage under the antiquated and thoroughly discredited Espionage Act of 1917--a law famously misused to prosecute, convict and jail Socialist Party leader and presidential candidate Eugene Debs for giving a speech trying to dissuade American men from responding to the government's World War I recruitment campaign.

Pvt. Manning, whatever his fate at the hands of his military overlords, will someday be hailed as one of America's heroes. Confronted by the overwhelming might of the most powerful war machine the world has ever known, and by a government that long ago tossed out any semblance of conscience or morality, he has stood his ground, refusing to lie on the promise of leniency.

What the Obama administration, and President Obama as direct boss of the AG's office and as commander in chief of the military, has been doing in Manning's case--holding him in solitary confinement in a Marine brig, subjecting him to conditions that the world and international and US law recognize as torture, denying him the right to a speedy trial or court-martial on a charge of allegedly leaking secret documents--all in the attempt to wring a false confession out of him--is exactly what was done for years in the Soviet Union under Joseph Stalin.

We Americans of a certain age, myself included, were brought up on stories of the Stalin show-trials, where people would admit to the most ridiculous charges after months of torture and abuse.

How pathetic that now our own government is playing the same depraved game.

And how inspiring, that in Pvt. Manning these criminals have met their match.

Without Manning being willing to claim that Assange lured him or paid him to betray his duty, the government can have no espionage case. Nor can it even try to accuse Assange of theft of government "property," if said information was simply provided to his organization gratuitously, as he has long insisted was the case. (Assange says he didn't even know Manning, and still has no idea whether Manning was even the source of the documents WikiLeaks has been releasing to the consternation of the US and other governments.)

This is, of course, not only a story about the torture and heroic resistance of one low-ranking military person. It is also the story about a truly outrageous and anti-democratic effort by the US government to destroy a legitimate public information outlet--WikiLeaks--and personally destroy or "neutralize" its founder and leader, the Australian journalist Assange.

It was widely reported last year that when Assange and Wikileaks first de-scrambled and released the horrifying video of footage from a US helicopter gunship depicting in graphic detail the slaughter of a group of unarmed Iraqis in Baghdad, including two employees of the news organization Reuters, that the Pentagon had sent its agents "hunting" for him. Later, after WikiLeaks had dumped thousands of pages of military action reports from the Iraq and Afghan Wars, and then began releasing secret State Department cables, the government began a campaign of pressuring banks and the Visa and Mastercard organizations not to process donations to WikiLeaks. The process has largely worked, shutting down most fundraising for WikiLeaks. (You can still donate to support Wikileaks thanks to two banks in Iceland and one in Germany that have not bowed to that pressure. For information go to: www.wikileaks.ch/support.html )

The government also went after the companies, like Amazon, whose servers were putting WikiLeaks on the Internet, which would have shut the document-publishing site down completely, except that hundreds of sites around the world offered their services as mirror sites (including Mayfirst.org, the internet service provider that handles ThisCantBeHappening!), plus a small political party in Switzerland offered their server. (You can go to Wikileaks' site and read the leaked documents first-hand at Wikileaks )

It seems increasingly evident that the US is also behind the current legal travails of Assange, who is currently under house arrest at the home of a supporter in the United Kingdom, where he is fighting extradition to Sweden to face questioning on very suspicious claims of sexual misconduct involving two Swedish women. At least one of the women has links through her brother to US intelligence services, and the attorney they are both using was reportedly involved in assisting the US with the CIA rendition of several Swedish residents, who were subsequently subjected to torture in Africa. As the British feminist organization Women Against Rape has declared, the charges against Assange, and the effort by Swedish authorities to use an Interpol Red Alert and a European warrant to incarcerate Assange are highly suspect. They state on their website: "Women who are fighting for justice for themselves or their children are astounded at the zeal with which Julian Assange has been pursued. Questions need to be asked about the authorities' motivation when men who pose an obvious immediate danger to women and girls are treated more leniently."

These actions, like the torture and prolonged confinement without trial of Pvt. Manning, are all the tactics of a totalitarian state. They are exactly what is done in countries like China, Iran, and Burma.

To have such things done in our own country, which boasts abroad and to young students here at home of our traditions of free speech, of justice and the right to a fair and speedy trial, and of our vaunted First Amendment, with its guarantee of freedom of the press, should appall and outrage every American citizen.
 
Colpy
Conservative
#2
You are SUCH a troll!!!

Oh, poor poor Mr. Manning!

Subjected to such abuse!

It is hilarious! Where do you find these morons??? Guys that compare "suicide watch" to the treatment of prisoners under Stalin.....I suggest this idiot read An American in the Gula g by Alexander Dolgun or One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

Either one would probably be the first book this retard has ever read, that wasn't full of pictures.

Manning is an otherwise insignificant little turd that broke his oath to his country and engaged in the worst kind of treason because he didn't feel loved enough.

As for the complaints of isolation etc, I have a quick solution to the entire problem.....he is in a Marine prison.

Just treat him like everyone else......and put him out into the general prison population.

Problem solved.
 
eh1eh
#3
Hey, I got a great idea, I just thought of it now. real genius. Lets all post in this thread ranting at the ridiculous troll post and keep it alive and then, here's the genius part, we could complain insufferably about how bad the thread is. Fcuking genius. Get to it people.
 
DaSleeper
+1
#4  Top Rated Post
Ann Coulter's view.....Just for you JBeee

BRADLEY MANNING: POSTER BOY FOR 'DON'T ASK, DON'T TELL'
by Ann Coulter
December 1, 2010

The two biggest stories this week are WikiLeaks' continued publication of classified government documents, which did untold damage to America's national security interests, and the Democrats' fanatical determination to repeal "don't ask, don't tell" and allow gays to serve openly in the military.

The mole who allegedly gave WikiLeaks the mountains of secret documents is Pfc. Bradley Manning, Army intelligence analyst and angry gay.

We've heard 1 billion times about the Army translator who just wanted to serve his country, but was cashiered because of whom he loved.

I'll see your Army translator and raise you one Bradley Manning.

According to Bradley's online chats, he was in "an awkward place" both "emotionally and psychologically." So in a snit, he betrayed his country by orchestrating the greatest leak of classified intelligence in U.S. history.

Isn't that in the Army Code of Conduct? You must follow orders at all times. Exceptions will be made for servicemen in an awkward place. Now, who wants a hug? Waitress! Three more apple-tinis!"

According to The New York Times, Bradley sought "moral support" from his "self-described drag queen" boyfriend. Alas, he still felt out of sorts. So why not sell out his country?

In an online chat with a computer hacker, Bradley said he lifted the hundreds of thousands of classified documents by pretending to be listening to a CD labeled "Lady Gaga." Then he acted as if he were singing along with her hit song "Telephone" while frantically downloading classified documents.

I'm not a military man, but I think singing along to Lady Gaga would constitute "telling" under "don't ask, don't tell."

Do you have to actually wear a dress to be captured by the Army's "don't ask, don't tell" dragnet?

What constitutes being "openly" gay now? Bringing a spice rack to basic training? Attending morning drills decked out as a Cher impersonator? Following Anderson Cooper on Twitter?

Also, U.S. military, have you seen a picture of Bradley Manning? The photo I've seen is only from the waist up, but you get the feeling that he's wearing butt-less chaps underneath. He looks like a guy in a soldier costume at the Greenwich Village Halloween parade.

With any luck, Bradley's court-martial will be gayer than a Liza Minelli wedding. It could be the first court-martial in U.S. history to feature ice sculptures and a "Wizard of Oz"-themed gazebo. "Are you going to Bradley's court-martial? I hear Patti LaBelle is going to sing!"

Maybe there's a reason gays have traditionally been kept out of the intelligence services, apart from the fact that closeted gay men are easy to blackmail. Gays have always been suspicious of that rationale and perhaps they're right.

The most damaging spies in British history were the Cambridge Five, also called "the "Magnificent Five": Kim Philby, Guy Burgess, Anthony Blunt, Donald Maclean and John Cairncross. They were highly placed members of British intelligence, all secretly working for the KGB.

The only one who wasn't gay was Philby. Burgess and Blunt were flamboyantly gay. Indeed, the Russians set Burgess up with a boyfriend as soon as he defected to the Soviet Union.

The Magnificent Five's American compatriot Michael Straight was -- ironically -- bisexual, as was Whittaker Chambers, at least during the period that he was a spy. And of course, there's David Brock.

So many Soviet spies were gay that, according to intelligence reporter Phillip Knightley, the Comintern was referred to as "the Homintern." (I would have called it the "Gay G.B.")

Bradley's friends told the Times they suspected "his desperation for acceptance -- or delusions of grandeur" may have prompted his document dump.

Let's check our "Gay Profile at a Glance" and ... let's see ... desperate for acceptance ... delusions of grandeur ... yep, they're both on the gay subset list!

Obviously, the vast majority of gays are loyal Americans -- and witty and stylish to boot! But a small percentage of gays are going to be narcissistic hothouse flowers like Bradley Manning.

Couldn't they just work for JetBlue? America would be a lot safer right now if gays in an "awkward place" psychologically could do no more damage than grabbing a couple of beers and sliding down the emergency chute.

Look at the disaster one gay created under our punishing "don't ask, don't tell" policy. What else awaits America with the overturning of a policy that was probably put there for a reason (apart from being the only thing Bill Clinton ever did that I agreed with)?

Liberals don't care. Their approach is to rip out society's foundations without asking if they serve any purpose.

Why do we have immigration laws? What's with these borders? Why do we have the institution of marriage, anyway? What do we need standardized tests for? Hey, I like Keith Richards -- why not make heroin legal? Let's take a sledgehammer to all these load-bearing walls and just see what happens!

For liberals, gays in the military is a win-win proposition. Either gays in the military works, or it wrecks the military, both of which outcomes they enthusiastically support.

But since you brought up gays in the military, liberals, let's talk about Bradley Manning. He apparently released hundreds of thousands of classified government documents as a result of being a gay man in "an awkward place."

Any discussion of "don't ask, don't tell" should begin with Bradley Manning. Live by the sad anecdote, die by the sad anecdote.
 
Colpy
Conservative
#5
Quote: Originally Posted by eh1eh View Post

Hey, I got a great idea, I just thought of it now. real genius. Lets all post in this thread ranting at the ridiculous troll post and keep it alive and then, here's the genius part, we could complain insufferably about how bad the thread is. Fcuking genius. Get to it people.

I see NO reason to ruin JBee's fun.

Geez!

Spoilsport.



And occasionally I remember why I like Ann Coulter. Relatively, anyway.
 
eh1eh
#6
Quote: Originally Posted by Colpy View Post

I see NO reason to ruin JBee's fun.

Geez!

Spoilsport.



And occasionally I remember why I like Ann Coulter. Relatively, anyway.


Yes well it can be sporting at times.
 
BaalsTears
#7
Somebody who said they wished that NYC and every other goddam American city would be vaporized by nuclear weapons has created quite a stir on a number of American message boards. The first reaction was shock, then denial, then hurt, then anger. Somebody is not exactly a goodwill ambassador for Canada. But at least his honesty is commendable.
 
eh1eh
#8
Quote: Originally Posted by BaalsTears View Post

Somebody who said they wished that NYC and every other goddam American city would be vaporized by nuclear weapons has created quite a stir on a number of American message boards. The first reaction was shock, then denial, then hurt, then anger. Somebody is not exactly a goodwill ambassador for Canada. But at least his honesty is commendable.

You should identify this somebody. That is a retarded statement. Besides, any nuclear action effects the planet so it is a double retard statement.
 
BaalsTears
#9
Quote: Originally Posted by eh1eh View Post

You should identify this somebody. That is a retarded statement. Besides, any nuclear action effects the planet so it is a double retard statement.

If you don't believe me, ask the OP what he thinks should happen to American cities.
 
eh1eh
+1
#10
Quote: Originally Posted by BaalsTears View Post

If you don't believe me, ask the OP what he thinks should happen to American cities.

I have no reason to not believe you. If you are identifying Mr. Jbee as that person then thank you. Not that it tarnishes his reputation here as I find him to be reprehensible and despicable.
 

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