Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Petition and background on Bradley Manning

Who is Bradley Manning?

In late May 2010, Private First Class Bradley Manning, an intelligence analyst with the US Army in Baghdad, was arrested, suspected of providing the “Collateral Murder” video to Wikileaks. This video was covered widely in the mass media and has been viewed as revealing a war crime.

On June 6, 2010, he was charged with violating the Uniform Code of Military Justice, including eight criminal offenses and four noncriminal violations of Army regulations. The full charge sheet is available at www.bradleymanning.org/3163/charge-sheet-html.

Bradley's arrest was precipitated by an alleged online chat confession to convicted felon and hacker Adrian Lamo. The details about and circumstances around this online chat are unconfirmed and somewhat dubious.

The military held Bradley Manning in Camp Arifjan, Kuwait until late July, 2010, at which time they transferred him to U.S. Marine Corps Base Quantico in Quantico, Virginia. They have continued to hold him there in solitary confinement. If convicted Manning could spend 52 years in prison.

On the 3rd of November, 2010 agents from Homeland Security and the F.B.I. stopped David House, a developer and friend of Bradley, while on his way back into the United States from a short vacation. They seized his laptop and other electronic devices, then proceeded to question him regarding his visits to Manning at Quantico. They did all of this without a warrant or charges.

On the 15th of December Glenn Greenwald published a key article concerning the inhumane conditions of Bradley Manning’s detention at Quantico. Articles and interviews followed confirming Greenwald’s story, including one by David House and a blog entry by Bradley’s lawyer, David E. Coombs.

Coming swiftly behind these articles, the office of Manfred Nowak, United Nations special rapporteur on torture, confirmed that they received an official complaint about Bradley’s situation. Two other United Nations special rapporteurs also released a joint statement meant to “recall a number of international legal principles”, point number three being protection for so-called “whistle blowers” when they release information about wrongdoing.

At the same time several outlets reported that Bradley’s prosecutors were attempting to incriminate Julian Assange, co-founder of Wikileaks, by offering deals to Bradley. It should be noted that the prosecution of whistle blowers is increasing during the Obama administration (ie: Tom Drake, Shamai Leibowitz).

On Martin Luther King Day 2011, Approximately 150 concerned citizens marched to the front gates of Quantico base demanding Bradley's freedom. A couple days later, apparently in retaliation, the brig commander took additional punitive steps toward Bradley. His clothes and his eye glasses were taken from him for a couple days. Within a week this brig commander was replaced by a new one.

Now, at the start of the second decade in the second millennium, Bradley Manning has a growing list of supporters, including famous whistle blowers, Daniel Ellsberg, who leaked the Pentagon Papers in 1971, and Colleen Rowley (a TIME "Person of the Year" for 2002) who retired from the FBI. We hope that you will join us as well, and act in support of justice in this historic time.

To learn more: http://www.bradleymanning.org/

Many of us return to Quantico on March 20th.

And here's the petition for Marylanders only...


Investigate punitive holding conditions of Bradley Manning Petition

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