Saturday, August 25, 2012

I Hate The War


Bradley Manning (pictured above) remains behind bars.   Monday April 5, 2010, 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 7, 2010, 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 2010 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." In March, 2011, 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. The Article 32 hearing took place in December.  At the start of this year, there was an Article 32 hearing and, February 3rd, it was announced that the government would be moving forward with a court-martial.  Now the court-martial is expected to take place in February of 2013.  Well after the election, for Barack's political livelihood.  Bradley has yet to enter a plea and has neither affirmed that he is the leaker nor denied it. 

He's a political prisoner.  Today a group of protesters demonstrated to demand his release.

The London Sun reports that approximately 40 activists protested outside the US Embassy in London, calling for Bradley's release.  Ben Griffin is quoted stating, "The most significant pieceo f resistance to the ongoing wars in Iraq and Afghanistan came when a young soldier released information that the US and UK governments would rather we did not know about.  Among the files released through WikiLeaks were the Afghan War Diaries which showed the day-to-day ritual killing and torture that had been going on in Afghanistan for years.  Then the Iraq War Logs were released.  As a result of those logs we found out about thousands of people killed in Iraq by US and UK troops that we did not know about."

Huffington Post UK adds:

Among the dozens of protesters were several wearing the V For Vendetta mask that has become associated with the hacking group Anonymous.
Others carried banners saying "Blowing the whistle on war crimes is not a crime" and "Free Assange, Free Manning, End the war".
One demonstrator who gave her name only as Val, from Bedford, said: "Bradley Manning, I think, is a hero.
"If anybody should have got the Nobel Peace Prize it is him."

But there's been no Nobel Peace Prize for him -- War Criminals get Nobel Peace Prizes, not Bradley.  Bradley gets to be held in confinement for over two years and two months now.  He's still not been court-martialed.  I'm not sure Barack Obama understands the Constitution.  It was always a lie that he was a Constitutional professor.  He was a shady lawyer of little accomplishment who padded out his thin resume and thin wallet by lecturing to beginning students about the Constitution.  But it does guarantee the accused a fair and speedy trial.

Two years is not a speedy and fair trial.  Bradley's a political prisoner.  He's this administration's Wen Ho Lee.  If you don't remember Wen Ho Lee, he's a blight on the Clinton administration, an embarrassment, the issue no Clintonista wants to talk of and that the press never wants to explore (because the press didn't question the mistreatment of Wen Ho Lee anymore than they have the mistreatment of Bradley).

If we had a functioning press that really believed in this country, there would be one editorial after another about Bradley and they'd have  titles like "Try Him Or Let Him Go!" 

But the press really isn't about the Constitution or serious issues.  It's about garbage, as much garbage as it can shove down your throat while pretending their putrid stew of gossip and conjecture  matter.  They have no desire to lead, they have no desire to be a guardian for freedoms.  They're cowed.

And that's how Bradley remains in prison.  How and why.

At The New Republic this week, Eliza Gray explored many issues in "How Bradley Manning Became a Gay Martyr:"

Manning’s personal history, in particular, resonates. As a recent biography by journalist Denver Nicks and an extensive profile in New York magazine recount, Manning had an unpleasant childhood. His father was verbally and physically abusive, and his mother struggled with alcoholism. Manning came out of the closet at 13—a brave act in the conservative Oklahoma town where he was raised—and left home at 18.  He later joined the military, but once enlisted, he suffered intense bullying; he was fairly transparent about his sexuality and was beginning to question his gender. The harassment wore on Manning, and he responded with angry outbursts—behavior that prompted superiors to question whether he could be trusted with his security clearance. “To gay people who have faced the kind of hyper-masculine bullying that [Manning] endured in the military,” says Larry Goldsmith, an historian and gay activist, the “details of his case … were recognizable as the experiences of many gay people at schools, at work, and in sports.”
Manning’s gay supporters believe in gay activism that connects the mistreatment of gays, the plight of poor people, and the injustices of war. “War is about traditionally, historically, masculine, gender role approach to resolving conflicts through violence and aggression,” says Goldsmith. “Gay people at one time had a critique of that.” For his supporters, Manning’s radical action is a symbol of the anti-war, anti-establishment values the gay movement used to champion before becoming more narrowly focused on marriage equality and the repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell. “I thought it was a cornerstone of gay sensibility to oppose wars,” Jim Fouratt, a prominent New York City Gay activist who participated at Stonewall, told me. “Manning represents to me that part of the gay spirit.” There is a also a sense, among gay supporters, that Manning does not represent the kind of photo-ready figure that gay activists would like to have at the forefront of their movement. “Manning doesn’t fit into the affluent, we-are-just-like-you vision of gay normalcy,” says Mattilda Bernstein Sycamore, author of Why Are Faggots So Afraid of Faggots? “He’s not the poster boy for the campaign they’ve been running for gays in the military,” says Goldsmith.
But others within the gay community have balked at this association. Mainstream national gay organizations have not offered public support. The Human Rights Campaign did not respond to my request for comment on Manning. The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force and the Gay and Lesbian Alliance for Defamation (GLAAD) politely declined to comment via e-mail.

It's really sad to see so many LGBT organizations refuse to speak up for Bradley and it demonstrates how ineffective they are and why they shouldn't even bother to continue.  They are as pathetic and self-serving as the press.

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!)

The number of US service members the Dept of Defense states died in the Iraq War is [PDF format warning] 4488.

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