Monday, July 29, 2013
Bradley Manning is waiting
Bradley Manning (above) is waiting. Thursday the prosecution wrapped up with closing remarks and Friday the defense made their closing argument. What's missing is the verdict. For?
Monday April 5, 2010, WikiLeaks released 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. The court-martial was supposed to begin before the November 2012 election but it was postponed until after the election so that Barack wouldn't have to run on a record of his actual actions. Independent.ie adds, "A court martial is set to be held in June at Ford Meade in Maryland, with supporters treating him as a hero, but opponents describing him as a traitor." February 28th, Bradley admitted he leaked to WikiLeaks. And why.
Bradley Manning: In attempting to conduct counter-terrorism or CT and counter-insurgency COIN operations we became obsessed with capturing and killing human targets on lists and not being suspicious of and avoiding cooperation with our Host Nation partners, and ignoring the second and third order effects of accomplishing short-term goals and missions. I believe that if the general public, especially the American public, had access to the information contained within the CIDNE-I and CIDNE-A tables this could spark a domestic debate on the role of the military and our foreign policy in general as [missed word] as it related to Iraq and Afghanistan.
I also believed the detailed analysis of the data over a long period of time by different sectors of society might cause society to reevaluate the need or even the desire to even to engage in counterterrorism and counterinsurgency operations that ignore the complex dynamics of the people living in the effected environment everyday.
For truth telling, Brad's being punished by the man who fears truth: Barack Obama. A fraud, a fake, a 'brand,' anything but genuine, Barack is all marketing, all facade and, for that reason, must attack each and every whistle-blower. David Delmar (Digital Journal) points out, "President Obama, while ostensibly a liberal advocate of transparency and openness in government, and of the 'courage' and 'patriotism' of whistleblowers who engage in conscientious leaks of classified information, is in reality something very different: a vindictive opponent of the free press willing to target journalists for doing their job and exposing government secrets to the public."
Chelsea J. Carter (CNN) offers this morning that Colonel Denise Lind, the military judge presiding over the court-martial, is expected to announce a verdict that will determine whether he's a disillusioned "idealist" or a "traitor" -- whistle-blowing doesn't enter into CNN's limited scope.
The Bradley Manning Network notes that, after the defense wrapped, "On Friday afternoon, demonstrators marched and blocked the gates of Ft. McNair, Washington D.C., at the office of Maj. Gen. Jeffrey S. Buchanan, Convening Authority for WikiLeaks whistleblower Bradley Manning’s trial. They carried a large painted version of the van from the Collateral Murder video released by Bradley Manning, a 30 foot U.S. Constitution bearing a classified stamp, and both balloons and a 20-foot banner inscribed with the message, 'Maj. Gen. Buchanan, Do the Right Thing. Free Bradley Manning'." This was, RT notes, one protest in a weekend of global protests to show support for Bradley, "London protesters held banners proclaiming “Free Bradley Manning” in Trafalgar Square, although the number of demonstrators was not large. Protests took place in a number of other international cities, including Brussels and Perth, Australia." Allen L. Jasson (MWC News) supports Brad but is less than impressed with his peers in London:
From the Stop The War Coalition (STWC), that grand symphony of cooperation that has spent a decade “building a Movement”, yet has nothing to its credit of ever having stopped a war and has at the same time transformed a following of 2 Million into a dwindling mob of 600 die-hards – NOTHING!
On the STWC website one finds prominent support for Manning’s nomination for a Nobel Peace Prize, a move that might do more to salvage the damaged reputation of an institution that fatally wounded its own credibility by awarding the same prize to a war criminal and has been only partially redeemed by muttered expressions of regret, than for the aid of the beleaguered Bradley Manning in the jaws of the dragon.
In a joint discussion of Snowden and Manning as whistle-blowers these men are in my view degraded by the description of them as “celebrity martyrs” and the article, which by the way ascribes 9/11 falsely, yet again to Bin Laden, dwells more on its perverse satisfaction with the empire shooting itself in the foot by its vindictive pursuit of them than with the plight of these men and the implications of what they have done. As to any expression of support for them the void speaks volumes.
The Socialist Workers Party (SWP), an institution of established, institutionalised, professional activists who abhor the word “Democracy” and whose most passionate commitment typically appears to be the development of their ‘activism CV’, their oratory skills and their list of publications, has from the very beginning seen the Anti-War movement as nothing more than a platform from which to mount a recruitment drive appears to have utterly consumed this coalition and sucked out any taste of life there ever was in it. I believe their involvement and (to some) obvious cynical intent has been the principal cause of the utter and complete failure of this coalition to build on the initial numbers it had in 2003. It is a failure that is unequivocally monumental and shameful by any standard and from any point of view. That a vigorous, innate and spontaneous anti-war consciousness should be so visible on the streets of London at the outset of the 21st Century, yet reduced to dissipation, despair and disillusion in the space of a decade of failure to take effective action brings no credit to the institutions whose time, potentially, had come – and is now gone.
The SWP website, which reflects more self-interest than altruism, makes no mention at all of Manning or Snowden. Yet these two men have each done more than any other individual, group or organisation, perhaps all combined so far in the 21st Century to expose and undermine the sinister aspirations and activities of the psychopaths who own western capitalism. They need our support – now.
Good for Jasson for holding groups accountable. In the US, you can credit World Can't Wait for working its butt off but that's about it of so called 'justice' and 'peace' groups. (I'm not referring to human rights organizations.) At The Progressive, they were fretting over athletes and other nonsense such as praise for Barack Obama. I don't care for Gregg Mitchell but if it weren't for him, The nation would have no Bradley coverage to boast of. Excepting him, you can go down the list of publications (print) and find little coverage at the magazine's websites. You can, however, get a streaming video -- without clicking on it -- decrying Madonna's adoption of children -- a stupid bit of crap that goes to the idiocy of what passes and poses for the left -- she won't adopt "Black children" in the US, we are told. What a bunch of crap.
I'm not a Madonna friend. Ava and I have taken her on repeatedly and heard from mutual friends how furious she is with our comments (and pieces like "TV Review: Confessing to no talent" give her just cause to be furious). I don't like her, I've never pretended to like her, I've snubbed her repeatedly over the decades. So I'm not rushing to defend a friend or even someone I admire. She's one of the most overrated musical acts (I won't call her an "artist") there is.
That said, I have no comment on her mothering. I would not have slammed Josephine Baker for whom she adopted, I have not slammed friends for their adoptions, I'm getting really tired of the self-righteous who know nothing and think they can hide their attacks behind "Black children" in the United States. Oprah Winfrey, for example, can build a school in any country she wants (including the US) and it's not really anyone's business. Even more so when it comes to someone's family. I've noticed that some of the bitchiest commentators on the faux left (as opposed to the real left where many of us are) are really in need of mirrors. And also in need of a big hint: If you're going to be bitchy, be funny. I can be as bitchy as anyone else but when I'm intentionally bitchy, I'm usually trying to provide a little humor. Bitchy and self-righteous do not make for an entertaining mix.
And if you're going to be bitchy about Madonna's family (what a stupid topic to attack someone on), then you better have covered your bases already -- provided coverage on what matters. But the thing about the faux left is that they want to rush right to the candy (bitchy) and forget the vegetables (needed information) that people need. And it's the faux left's repeated rush to 'the candy' that is rotting so much of the left.
Lind could render a verdict as soon as today.
Bonnie notes Isaiah's The World Today Just Nuts "Jobs" and Kat's "Kat's Korner: Ebony Bones' Sonic, Nocturnal Mystery Tour" went up e
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