What would you do, if you had evidence of the criminal acts of murder, cover-ups, and corruption and you knew you were the only person that had the capacity to bring these injustices out into the open? Would you feel it your duty to your fellow human to do the right thing, by exposing the truth, in spite of the personal danger you would face? Or, would you be complicit in those crimes, and try and forget that you ever had the chance to do something about it?
Bradley Manning is nothing but a hero. The consequences of his bravery and honesty have been further-reaching than he had possibly even imagined. The truth of innocent, defenceless civilians and journalists being gunned down in cold blood as if they were mere characters in a video game, may never have been uncovered if it was not for Bradley. You can see it here yourself, if you have not already. When you have watched it, in the knowledge that innocents died and that it was being covered up, ask yourself what you would have done about it, and whether you would be willing to put your life on the line in the name of justice and humanity? You are only able to watch this because Bradley Manning made it possible.
How much of the protests and the reclamation of power by Arabs has been galvanised by the revelations that Manning enabled? What price is he, now paying? I believe that we should all, as global citizens, as people denied the truth, that we should be standing up for Bradley Manning in the way that he has stood up for truth and justice. The price he is paying is appalling and inhumane. He is being tortured, in Quantico and faces the death penalty. He is in solitary confinement for 23hrs a day and is stripped naked and humiliated in an attempt to break him, breaking the Geneva convention. The inhumanity and hypocrisy of the US Government who has the audacity to preach about human rights and democracy is breathtaking, wasn’t Obama supposed to put a stop to this kind of thing? Is it time he handed back the Nobel Peace Prize? Even a US state official described it as ‘stupid and counterproductive’.
It’s not only the US government, but the UK government, that is complicit in this. Bradley Manning is a UK citizen (as you can see here, Amnesty have made an appeal on his behalf: http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/feb/01/bradley-manning-uk-citizen). It is the DUTY of a government to protect it’s citizens, and as Bradley Manning is a UK citizen it is the British government’s responsibility to intervene on his behalf. You have to question the nature of the US-UK ‘Special Relationship’ whereby one allows the other to torture it’s citizens without question, not even bothering with the pretense of responsibility to it’s citizens. Mind you, after Moazzem Baig and the complicity of the UK government, I don’t know why I’m surprised.
On 20th March, the anniversary of the invasion of Iraq, there is going to be a day of international solidarity. (http://www.facebook.com/#!/InternationalFriendsOfBradleyManning) After what Bradley Manning has done for us, I think we should all take it upon ourselves to be outspoken in our support and to stand in solidarity with Bradley, for would any of us have been brave enough to do what he has done?