Yesterday, December 17th, was PFC Bradley Manning‘s 25th Birthday, making this his third birthday in prison without trial.
Bradley Manning is accused of releasing information, including the Collateral Murder video which shows a U.S. Apache helicopter crew in Iraq killing unarmed civilians and two Reuters journalists, as well as other information concerning the U.S. military in Iraq and Afghanistan. This information was later published by the web site WikiLeaks and helped to shed light on a number of human rights abuses by the United States and U.S.-paid contractors working in Iraq and Afghanistan. If these allegations are true that Bradley Manning released this information, his only crime was in exposing war criminals.
According to the Bradley Manning Support Network, “The Obama administration has chosen to persecute the whistle-blower rather than prosecute the war criminals who were exposed.” What’s more, Manning’s right to a fair and speedy trial has been completely ignored. Not only has Manning been imprisoned for over three years, he was also subjected to what the U.N. rapporteur on torture, Juan Mendez, called “cruel and inhumane” punishment. During the first 10 months of his imprisonment, Manning was kept in solitary confinement, was denied “meaningful exercise,” social interaction, sunlight, and on many occasions forced to strip down and remain completely naked. All this without even a trial convicting him of any wrong-doing.
Today I urge you to inform yourself about this case. If Bradley Manning did in fact release information exposing these heinous war crimes, he should be treated as a hero. The famous whistle-blower who leaked the 1971 Pentagon Papers, Daniel Ellsberg, has called for the release of Manning and for the government to drop all charges against him. There must be a public outcry and Bradley Manning must know that we support him.
Send Bradley your thoughts and let him know that we are with him in solidarity. Address birthday cards, holiday cards, and notes of encouragement to:
Commander, HHC USAG
Attn: PFC Bradley Manning
239 Sheridan Ave., BLDG 417
JBM-HH, VA 22211
Here’s my birthday note to Bradley:
WE ARE ALL BRADLEY MANNING!