Thursday, July 14, 2011

A Moment for Openness

A Moment for Openness

Even if the government proves its case against Bradley, I submit he will then be shown to have only acted in the tradition of those who honor honesty and openness, and only to have followed the President’s directions when he said, “My Administration is committed to creating an unprecedented level of openness in Government.  Openness will
strengthen our democracy…”  []

How do you reconcile the charges against Bradley with the President’s pledge to openness?  More importantly, how do you reconcile the charges against Bradley, with what we agreed to at Nuremberg?  That agreement, signed by the United States, France, the United Kingdom, and others, made the statement, “Individuals have international duties which transcend the national obligations of obedience.  Therefore citizens have the duty to violate domestic laws to prevent crimes against peace and humanity from occurring.”  [Stop the Next War Now, Benjamin and Evans p.17]

Bradley Manning is not convicted of anything and yet, he has been made to stand at attention, in the nude, every morning; he has been in solitary confinement for 8 months; he has been subject to sensory deprivation and politicians call for his execution. 
As U.S. Department of State spokesperson P.J. Crowley, said the treatment of Bradley Manning "is ridiculous, counterproductive and stupid".
Why not stop our war action now, and change our tactics to a police action?  Instead of worrying about whistleblowers, let’s honor them.  Bradley Manning is giving us the opportunity to be more civilized.  Wouldn’t it be more civilized, and more Constitutional, if someone is doing something illegal, to arrest them instead of shoot them?  Let’s have trials instead of massacres!  Imagine the world wide change of attitude towards our foreign policy.  Imagine the money we would save.  We are spending trillions [Costs of War Project] ( to get a hundred terrorists.  Instead of murdering so many civilians, (8,813 find out where these guys are and arrest them.  Have trials with judges and juries.  And “let us live out the true meaning” of our pledge,   “…and justice for all.”

My experience with Amnesty International showed me that it can be powerful just to write to prisoners of conscience.  It can improve their living conditions and help get them a hearing.  So I’m asking everyone I know to please take a moment and write Bradley Manning.  We have heard that he is getting letters and that he is encouraged by them. And it will make you feel better too. His address is:

Commander, HHC USAG
Attn: PFC Manning
239 Sheridan Ave, Bldg 417
JBM-HH, VA 22211