Moral Outrage
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Bradley Manning must hope that people still do give a damn about war crimes

Private First Class Bradley Manning will be required to stand naked for the daily roll call in the US marine base in Quantico, Virginia, where he is being held on multiple charges, including “aiding the enemy”, for his alleged role in the release of tens of thousands of US security files to WikiLeaks.

In solitary confinement, as he has been for the past 10 months, he may wonder how much of his predicament is known to the outside world. In many ways, he has become the forgotten man of the WikiLeaks story, although it is Manning who faces the most severe penalties and Manning who is accused of having leaked the most explosive items passed on to the world through WikiLeaks, notably the “collateral murder” video of an attack on civilians in Iraq in 2007 by a US Apache helicopter.

Manning, like Daniel Ellsberg, is driven by idealism rather than anything more sinister or mercenary.

Bradley Manning must hope that people still do give a damn about war crimes and will continue to do so when he finally comes to trial. The casual taking of life and the hypocrisy that he has exposed are far more serious than the offences of which he has been accused.

Manning’s lawyer, David E Coombs, notes on his website that “the decision to strip PFC Manning of his clothing every night for an indefinite period of time is clearly punitive in nature … There is no justification and there can be no justification for treating a detainee in this degrading and humiliating manner.”

It is clear that Manning is becoming isolated while in custody and may need all the help he can get in the months before his trial. The Bradley Manning Support Network gives details of the rally planned to support him in Quantico on 20 March. It would be a further cruel irony if the man accused of turning the spotlight on shameful behavior should suffer because not enough attention is being paid to his own predicament.

[The Guardian]


One Response to “Bradley Manning must hope that people still do give a damn about war crimes”

  1. […] for the crime of reporting war crimes and criminal behavior even among the highest-ranking military officials in Iraq. And this when in […]

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