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We Are All Bradley Manning: New Video Explains Why

June 7, 2013 in Blogs

By April M. Short, AlterNet

Since it’s the public who benefited from this information, does that make us the enemy? What price will future whistleblowers pay?


Private First Class Bradley Manning is on trial now after releasing information to the public. He has already spent 1,108 days in confinement awaiting trial. The information he shared exposed the unjust detainment of innocent people in Guantanamo Bay detention camp, and served as a catalyst for pro-democracy movements in the Arab world. Instead of the cold, clean images of drone planes soaring and American flags waving that mainstream news outlets project, the information Manning helped release displayed the disturbing, human truth about the US wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Among other crimes, the whistleblower is accused of “aiding the enemy”—a capital offense and his most serious charge. A conviction on this charge would mean life in prison, and a possible death sentence.

Since it’s the public who benefited from this information, does that make us the enemy? What price will future whistleblowers pay? These are the questions posed on the Manning support network website, I Am Bradley Manning. The site is set up in part to promote a new PSA film created by the eponymous group.

The site’s tagline reads, “I am Bradley Manning because I believe the public deserves the truth and whistleblowers deserve a fair trial.”

The video I Am Bradley Manning features big-names including actors Maggie Gyllenhaal, Russell Brand and Peter Sarsgaard; filmmaker Oliver Stone; musicians Tom Morello and Moby; journalists Chris Hedges, Phil Donahue and Matt Taibbi; and author Alice Walker among others, carrying signs to declare they, too, are Bradley Manning. Pentagon Papers whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg tells the camera, “I was Bradley Manning.” The video’s participants call the “aiding the enemy” charge absurd.

The dialogue opens with the question, “When you join the military are you asked to keep any war crimes you might see secret?”

The video proceeds to pose important points that pertain to Manning’s case, including facts like:

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