Thinking of Bradley Manning 55


My thoughts today are with Bradley Manning, on trial in the USA. He has been subject to solitary confinement, abuse and humiliation, with the sexual humiliation overtones (being kept naked) which seem to permeate US military culture in so many ways.

The BBC is a disgrace. The reporter on BBC World just questioned “Whether Julian Assange manipulated and controlled an impressionable young man?” There has been absolutely zero direct evidence produced of any meeting or communication between Assange and Manning. There is the hearsay word of a hacker informant, whom someone should point towards a potter’s field. Both Assange and Manning deny any communication – a fact the BBC did not consider worth reporting.

The relationship between Adam Werritty and Matthew Gould was key to the events which led to the resignation of Britain’s defence minister. There is a great deal more evidence for the Gould-Werritty relationship than for the Assange-Manning relationship, yet the BBC refused to carry a single word on Gould-Werritty telling me it was “speculative”. The neo-con agenda at the BBC is something they no longer seek to disguise.


55 thoughts on “Thinking of Bradley Manning

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  • JJB

    Craig,
    Regarding wikileaks and assange, the frame of reference has been firmly cast during the last year, with the very valuable help of the “liberal” section of the media (BBC, Indy and, particularly, the Guardian). Thus, the assumption that Assange is an ex-hacker, self-aggrandising, sexual-harasser, selfish individual is accepted as a more or less proven fact. Ovbiusly, a person with these “morals” can not be trusted with government “secrets”. Ovbiusly, a person with these “morals” will stop at nothing to get what he wants, so it is perfectly reasonable to assume that he lured an “impressionable young man”

    All this saga has been proof definitive (if after the Iraq debacle any was necessary) that MSM outlets so-called progressive are nothing more than the ultimate tool in the propaganda toolbox. Shame on the Guardian, specially. And I pity fellas such as Milne, who clearly have the hearth and head in the right place, but are being exploited to keep the “dissent” fiction

  • Michael Stephenson

    Just as They need a story in the media to drum up support for war. They get it. Transporting radioactive isotopes in with a method almost certain to fail. Rather than say stashed on a container ship. How convenient.
    http://bit.ly/sDZU06
    This was is SO on.

  • Passerby

    I have always felt sorry for that diminutive young man, who tried to do right, and much to his chagrin found out “right” has been long in incarceration. It is really sad that, human beings are being punished for remaining human, and standing up against tyranny, and injustice.

  • Abe Rene

    Whether Assange was involved doesn’t matter, and as a suspect Manning deserves to be treated humanely. But if he betrayed his country’s secrets then he deserves to be punished.

  • Passerby

    Secrets are for criminals and evildoers, in any democratic society there ought not be any tolerance for secrecy. Only transparency can yield freedom and justice. Who is to say what is secret if none know of the nature of the secrets, therefore “if he was” in fact is a throw away remark that is designed to make acceptable the incarceration of anyone who believes duty of care of each citizen is toward their fellow countrymen as well as the whole of humanity and not towards some “special interest group” set as the body of leadership, and decrees thereof.

  • Clark

    The treatment of Bradley Manning is illegal, inhumane and immoral.
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    I believe that the problem of official secrets is basically insoluble. If you’ve ever attempted to adjust the wheel bearings on a bicycle you’ll know what I mean; you can get them too tight, so the wheel slows down from excess friction, or you can set them too loose, and you can feel sideways wobbling of the wheel, but at no point are they perfect. Laws on secrecy are like this; there is no perfect level of secrecy.
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    Material like the US Embassy Cables need the protection of secrecy, as they contain, for instance, names of dissidents who could be harmed by non-US governments. However, secrecy also provides cover for policies and actions that should be subject to public scrutiny. This is why Wikileaks was right to redact names, and why the leaker (Manning or whoever) acted responsibly in releasing to Wikileaks. Outraged bleating from the Neocons is utterly hypocritical, they’re acting as if Wikileaks released the material to, say, China without telling the US.
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    Since there is no perfect degree of secrecy, the best approach I can think of is to maintain secrecy laws, and for whistleblowers to be protected by strong public interest laws, with all such cases held promptly, publicly, in front of a civilian jury, ie the opposite of the treatment of Bradley Manning.

  • anno

    This week the World service/Radio 4 did a program about Islamic groups rising to power after the Arab spring. The Salafi and Muslim Brotherhood are not nice friendly groups sharing tea and leaving worshippers to their own devices. They are both steeped in the culture of personal spying that has become the norm in the UKUSIS created, now expired dictatorships. If you type a four letter word into Google in these countries, expect to get a very close inspection from both state and religious police.
    The fact the BBC was trying to portray them as some kind of equivalent to suburban Methodists in the UK is cause for concern.
    The fact is that the anger at UK foreign policy has reached such dangerous levels that countries like ours cannot even build a nuclear power station without fear of making a target for terrorism and blowing us up like Hiroshima. Alternatively they will force us to become a police state as is happening now in the US. Or alternatively they have to give the Muslims concessions and a portion of self-rule in the form of the inclusion of such religious groups into Middle-Eastern mainstream politics and societies.
    They have changed the tyres and filled up the anti-freeze, ready for another 40 years of dictatorship under economic collaborators. they very strongly underestimate the rage of the Muslim world if they think that casting a few bones to the lions will keep them happy for long.
    Only China has the political cleanness to colonise Africa. and the violence wrought on the Muslim world has castrated us for a considerable period of time. Then, like the Tories, they will make a come-back with an utterly sham coalition with the Salafi and Muslim Brotherhood partners they are now empowering.
    Be warned, these groups are the Nick Cleggs who will revitalise the neo-cons in a few years time. talk about intellectual prostitution. The prostitution of the Muslim intellectuals is far greater than the journalists of this country. Their starting point is phone hacking and spying on personal lives. Where will they be in a few years time? I will tell you. A great deal nastier than the Mubaraks and Gaddafis into whose shoes they have climbed.

  • nuid

    Abe Rene
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    I suggest you read this:
    “No justice for Bradley Manning”
    The US government has made an example of Bradley Manning to prevent others from challenging the American empire.
    http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/opinion/2011/12/2011121693328630608.html
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    Excerpt:
    Indeed, if Manning had merely murdered the nameless, faceless “other”, as his Army colleagues on the notorious Afghan “Kill Team” did, he would not have had his right to a speedy trial blatantly violated. If Manning had intentionally killed unarmed civilians, posed for pictures with their dead bodies and slashed their fingers off as souvenirs, he would not have had his guilt publicly pronounced by his own commander-in-chief, President Barack Obama, months before he so much as saw the inside of a military court. If he had killed poor foreigners instead of exposing their deaths, he might even stand a chance of getting out of prison while still a young man …
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    Had Manning – instead of exposing the crime – been the one pulling the trigger in the US Apache helicopter that in 2007 murdered at least a dozen unarmed people in Baghdad, he wouldn’t be facing any legal consequences for his actions. Had Manning authorised a 2009 missile strike in Yemen that killed 14 women and 21 children, instead of releasing the State Department cable that acknowledges responsibility for the killings, we wouldn’t even know his name.
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    But Manning didn’t kill anybody. Rather, he was outraged by the killing he saw all around him and angered at the complicity of his higher-ups who weren’t prepared to do a damn thing about. So, the system having failed to ensure accountability, Manning took it upon himself to share the inconvenient facts his government was withholding from the world.

  • nuid

    And when you’re finished, read this:
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    “Junkyard Gives Up Secret Accounts of Massacre in Iraq”
    Transcripts of military interviews from the investigation into the Haditha massacre were found at this trailer in a junkyard in Baghdad, which specializes in selling trailers and office supplies left over from American military base closings.
    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/12/15/world/middleeast/united-states-marines-haditha-interviews-found-in-iraq-junkyard.html
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    Bradley Manning will probably be locked up for years while the above mentioned killers walk free. I wonder what “punishment” you believe Manning deserves.

  • Jives

    All these Draconian laws to prevent dissent,whistleblowing and so-called dangers to national security.
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    Ironic then that the people doing the most real damage to the US are their own bankers and politicians..
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    Most conveniently these types seem to be exempt or above the law.

  • Mary

    Assange’s case goes to the Supreme Court in February.
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-16221895
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    Manning’s lawyer is saying that there is bias –
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    Wikileaks: Bradley Manning military hearing begins
    There has been wide criticism of the conditions of Manning’s confinement
    Defence lawyers representing the US Army analyst accused of leaking government secrets have asked the investigating officer to step aside.
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    The request came as Private Bradley Manning, 23, appeared at a military court for the first time.
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    He faces 22 charges of obtaining and distributing government secrets – which he allegedly leaked to anti-secrecy site Wikileaks.
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    The Article 32 hearing will determine whether Pte Manning is to stand trial.
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    The hearing offers the first opportunity for his defence team to present their case since he was arrested in Iraq in May 2010 and placed in military custody.
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    It is taking place under tight security at an army base at Fort Meade, Maryland.
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    As the hearing opened, Pte Manning’s defence team asked for the investigating officer – equivalent to a judge in a civilian court – to withdraw from the case, the BBC’s North America editor Mark Mardell reports from the base.
    ….
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    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-16211977

  • Clanger

    Regarding your comments about the BBC, ditto the Guardian. Rather than boycotting the Guardian, how about flooding their CIF section with pertinent thoughts. I can’t because I’m being “Pre-Moderated”.

  • John Goss

    Telling the truth. What does it mean today?
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    http://iam.bradleymanning.org/post/14174344236
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    Julian Assange and Bradley Manning told the truth. Assange has had trumped up charges brought against him which aim to get him onto US turf, where they would imprison, and, possibly, torture him. Manning, being in the US, was immediately imprisoned, and tortured. They would like him to remain there for life but a little girl in Heidelberg and a lot of others round the world are not going to stop campaigning until he is released. It is likely Manning will spend Christmas in prison again.
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    Dirty lying mouthpieces, like Fox and Werrity, who through a bogus charity went on trips to destabilise the Middle East and promote more land theft from Palestinians on behalf of their Zionist friends, will be free this Christmas and toasting the success of their wars and oil-theft. Then they will cuddle up together for a cosy Hogmanay. A mother teaches her daughter to be honest, to tell the truth, not to steal and other moral lessons. But these are lessons that get you imprisoned. What kind of world do we live in?

  • Abe Rene

    Nuid: “I wonder what “punishment” you believe Manning deserves.”

    I would say: whatever experienced judges decide, possibly after an appeal if there is one.

  • Michael Stephenson

    The United States government betrayed their own people, humanity and the Geneva Convention when they committed war crimes, and those responsible deserve to be punished.
    Manning may have betrayed his Masters but he stood in solidarity with humanity.
    And for that he should be venerated, not punished.

  • John Goss

    Tomorrow there is a demonstration on behalf of Bradley Manning from 2 p.m. outside the US Embassy in London. Unfortunaately I cannot be there for this one.
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    http://wiseupforbradleymanning.wordpress.com/2011/11/30/sat-17th-december-from-2pm-us-embassy-london-rally-for-bradley-manning/
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    Abe Rene, you talk absolute twaddle. Judges do not determine what is right or wrong. They just uphold man-made laws that are perpetually being changed. In England starving children were once hanged for stealing sheep. Judges passed sentence upon them. Stop trying to disrupt genuine protest with your crass interjections.

  • Abe Rene

    John Goss: “..twaddle..”

    I respect the erudition of experienced American judges, especially those in Appeals tribunals who will be mor eeminent still. Manning betrayed his country’s confidence, and therefore should not hope to escape just punishment.

  • Jives

    Abe Rene
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    ” Manning betrayed his country’s confidence, and therefore should not hope to escape just punishment.”
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    Wrong.His trial will decide his innocence or guilt.Evidence hasn’t even been presented yet.

  • wendy

    “The neo-con agenda at the BBC is something they no longer seek to disguise.”
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    the bbc wasnt disguising it nor hiding it .. they were always on board for the ‘crusade’.

  • John Goss

    Abe Rene, Jives is right. Up to now, in the great US judicial system that you so applaud, Bradley Manning has been tortured, deprived of exercise, and abused on “allegations” for eighteen months without being charged. But the US judicial system that you so applaud has held men for much longer than that without trial, tortured and abused them, in its concentration camp, or gulag, at Guantanamo Bay, disgracefully tortured people in Abu Ghraib, which nobody would have know about but for a whistle-blower. You might respect this oppressive judicial system, but that says more about you, than it does about justice.

  • Smeggypants

    Abe Rene: “I respect the erudition of experienced American judges, especially those in Appeals tribunals who will be mor eeminent still. Manning betrayed his country’s confidence, and therefore should not hope to escape just punishment.

    I think you’re confusing his country and the Elite regime that controls it. He may have exposed lies and atrocities committed by the American regime, but he did his country proud.

  • nuid

    “He may have exposed lies and atrocities committed by the American regime, but he did his country proud.”
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    + 1

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