Thursday, March 10, 2011

I Hate The War

March 29th, Frontline (PBS) airs a report on Bradley Manning. Tonight, The NewsHour (PBS) offered excerpts focusing on Brian Manning, Bradley's father. Who is Bradley?

Monday April 5th, WikiLeaks released US military video of a July 12, 2007 assault in Iraq. 12 people were killed in the assault including two Reuters journalists Namie Noor-Eldeen and Saeed Chmagh. Monday June 7th, the US military announced that they had arrested Bradley Manning and he stood accused of being the leaker of the video. Leila Fadel (Washington Post) reported in August that Manning had been charged -- "two charges under the Uniform Code of Military Justice. The first encompasses four counts of violating Army regulations by transferring classified information to his personal computer between November and May and adding unauthorized software to a classified computer system. The second comprises eight counts of violating federal laws governing the handling of classified information." Manning has been convicted in the public square despite the fact that he's been convicted in no state and has made no public statements -- despite any claims otherwise, he has made no public statements. Manning has been at Quantico in Virginia, under military lock and key, for months. Earlier this month, David S. Cloud (Los Angeles Times) reported that the military has added 22 additional counts to the charges including one that could be seen as "aiding the enemy" which could result in the death penalty if convicted. David E. Coombs is Bradley's attorney and he provided a walk through on Article 104. Like many, Sophie Elmhirst (New Statesman) emphasized the possibility of the death penalty.

Nothing has ever been proven in a court of law. Bradley's not even been allowed to enter a plea. There have been many efforts to prevent him from having his day in court, the better to allow the government to screw him over repeatedly and, maybe, do as much mental damage to him as they did to Jose Padilla?


MARTIN SMITH: Does it surprise you that Bradley had access to this much information?


MARTIN SMITH: And what will you say if it turns out that he leaked these documents?

BRIAN MANNING: I don't know. I mean, I'm not even -- I'm not even letting those thoughts come into my head. I'm thinking positively.

MARTIN SMITH: Is that always easy to do?


MARTIN SMITH: You don't think he had it in him to do this?

BRIAN MANNING: I don't think that the amount and the volume of things and the environment he worked in, no, I don't think so.

MARTIN SMITH: You don't think it's possible he -- he could have had this kind of intent?

BRIAN MANNING: I don't know why he would do that. I -- I really don't.

Again, the report will air on Frontline airs March 29th on most PBS stations (check local listings).

Bradley's father believes his son is innocent. *His* son may be innocent. In the US, you are supposed to be innocent until proven guilty -- and, no, that's not different UCMJ. People who claim it is not only reveal their ignorance of the law, they also fail to grasp that members of the military couldn't take an oath to the Constitution yet operate under a different guiding principle when it came to burden of proof.

Bradley may enter a plea of not guilty. That's always been a possibility. Those 'helpers' who still can't grasp that might want to get honest about who they're trying to help because it's not Bradley. And it's past time they stopped using the young man -- facing very serious charges -- as their political football.

It's over, I'm done writing songs about love
There's a war going on
So I'm holding my gun with a strap and a glove
And I'm writing a song about war
And it goes
Na na na na na na na
I hate the war
Na na na na na na na
I hate the war
Na na na na na na na
I hate the war
Oh oh oh oh
-- "I Hate The War" (written by Greg Goldberg, on The Ballet's Mattachine!)

Last week, ICCC's number of US troops killed in Iraq since the start of the illegal war was 4442. Tonight it is [PDF format warning] 4442 still.

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