Friday, September 07, 2012

Protests in support of Bradley Manning

Yael Chanoff (San Francisco Bay Guardian) reports on the protests yesterday across the US in support of Bradley Manning with a focus on the one in San Francisco where participants included Iraq Veterans Against the War's Joshua Shepherd:

“It’s a process to turn around once you’ve joined the military and committed so much of yourself to this institution,” Shepherd told protesters today.
Shepherd was one of six veterans arrested at Obama campaign headquarters in Oakland Aug. 16. 
After the rally, protesters marched and protested a group watching Obama’s DNC speech.
“I find it hypocritical that Obama promised to protect whistle blowers four years ago,” said David Zebker, a San Francisco CPA who attended march.

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.  Bradley has yet to enter a plea and has neither affirmed that he is the leaker nor denied it.  The court-martial was supposed to begin this month has been postponed until after the election . 

The San Jose Mercury News has a photo essay (by Kristina Sangsahachart) of the San Jose protestWorld Can't Wait's San Francisco chapter notes:

In San Francisco Thursday night, about 80 people met up tonight in the Mission District at a BART (subway) plaza, lofting colorful banners and signs.  We came from different movements – antiwar, Occupy, veterans – and people were feeling fierce.  A short rally brought up speakers from the Bradley Manning Support Network, Courage to Resist, Code Pink, World Can’t Wait, and Veterans for Peace.

Nancy Siesel (Demotix) notes the NYC protest with a photo essay.

On the topic of Iraq Veterans Against the War, they have updated their post on Iraq War veteran Joshua Casteel who died most likely as a result of his exposure to burn pits while serving in Iraq:


Friday September, 7, 2012
Wake and Visitation - Cedar Memorial Funeral Home Chapel (near the flower shop)
4200 First Ave, NE, Cedar Rapids, IA 52402
4:00 – 7:00 pm (Wake 4 – 4:30)

Saturday September 8, 2012
Memorial Service - All Saints Catholic Church, 720 29th Street SE, Cedar Rapids, IA 52403
10:00 am  (Luncheon and celebration of memories following the service)

To make donations online:

Or mail a check to:
Casteel Family
285 34th Street SE
Cedar Rapids, IA 52403

In other veterans news, a lot of self-congratulation on the stage in Charlotte, North Carolina last night, Wednesday night and Thursday night about just how wonderful the current administration supposedly is to veterans.  Guess there wasn't time to note what the federal government announced this week.  Kari Huus (NBC News) reports:

The Department of Veterans Affairs will cover the costs of service dogs to help veterans with impaired vision, hearing or mobility, but will not cover canines assigned for mental disabilities, according to regulations published on Wednesday in the Federal Register.
The VA said that despite many individual veterans’ testimonials that mental health service dogs provide relief from the symptoms of combat-related disabilities such as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), it lacked research substantiating the efficacy of mental health service dogs.

The following community sites -- plus Adam Kokesh, Cindy Sheehan, The World Can't Wait, Susan's On The Edge,  The Pacifica Evening News,  The Diane Rehm Show and NYT's At War -- updated last night and this morning:

The e-mail address for this site is