Saturday, 23 February 2013
the death penalty after he passed a trove of diplomatic cables and military reports to WikiLeaks exposing the criminal war actions of the US army in Iraq.
One of the two most shocking revelations he bought to our attention were the chopper video showing US pilots shooting and killing civilians on the streets of Baghdad, an act that was strongly denied by the US military for years until it was finally uncovered.
The second was the evidence that U.S. troops executed at least 10 Iraqi civilians, including a woman in her 70s and a 5-month-old infant, then called in an air strike to destroy the evidence in the Iraqi town of Ishaqi.
The following investigation into the chopper incident resulted in one soldier being exonerated and the other being suspended without pay for a month, the person who revealed this to the world is just about to spent his 1000th day in prison.
As a candidate, Barack Obama said whistle blowers engaged in 'acts of courage and patriotism that should be encouraged rather than stifled' and called for protection to empower them as 'watchdogs of wrongdoing' but as the Manning case shows, the Obama administration is just as fixated with secrecy and covering up its own crimes and intimidating any future whistle blowers and this is what this the oppressive treatment of Manning is all about.
This is designed to send a signal to those in the future who may discover serious wrongdoing committed in secret by the US and show that if they are even considering exposing what they have learned, they only have to look at Manning to see what awaits them.
In a truly just world it would be the chopper pilots and the animals who shot and then tried to cover up the killing of an Iraqi family in their homes sitting in a prison cell, a far greater crime than revealing the deaths of innocent civilians but the decision has already been made and Bradley Manning is the one who will be convicted.
The Administration and the Army will make an example of him and he will not be released from detention, until he is an old man, if at all, and made to suffer as much as possible in a bid to dissuade similar acts.
America may take a hit to it's public image, it still has not fully recovered from the Bush years of wars and more and more people are waking up to Obama and his similarly deranged foreign policy, but the willingness to prosecute Manning to the fullest extent overrides any rational thoughts while most rational people see Manning as a hero for bringing to light what the awful things his country is denying doing. Things that they would be the first to condemn if their was another nations flag on the leaked files.
The American public should be thankful that the United States Army has someone with integrity and conscience, willing to put their career and even their life on the line to expose the dangerous, trigger happy cowboys who would shoot a 7 month old Iraqi baby in the head while he slept in his cot.