Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Bradley Manning Supporters At Fort Leavenworth Sticker Up Sign At Main Gate

For more coverage of yesterday's action, see Press TV You.S Desk "People Know Best" article
The most significant political prisoner of our time has been in prison now for three years. Bradley Manning is currently held in the military prison at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas which he returns to between pre-trial hearings at Fort Meade in Maryland.

Manning is in prison for allegedly revealing the truth about U.S. war crimes, including the notorious "Collateral Murder" video showing soldiers shooting down on civilians, including journalists and children, gleefully, in Baghdad. Many believe he is the source of thousands of files on U.S. foreign policy published by Wikileaks. Its founder, Julian Assange, has also been the target of harassment by the U.S. and UK, and is currently holed up at Ecuador's embassy in London battling extradition.

One of the reasons Manning is so significant is that he is all President Obama's political prisoner. Despite the fact that charges had not yet been brought, Obama said on camera of Manning: "He broke the law."  Thus spake judge, jury, and executioner; so much for due process.

We stopped on our cross country journey yesterday to stand with local supporters of Bradley Manning outside Fort Leavenworth's main gate in 108 degree heat. Mark and I agreed that the coldest day on the bridge in Maine was more comfortable than an hour on the pavement outside of Leavenworth.

But it was well worth it for the chance to support Manning, imprisoned for trying to bring a few shreds of truth to the fabulously ignorant U.S. public. (Those who take the time to read blogger Kevin Gosztola can get some real information.)

We also met up with a terrific group of activists from the Kansas City area, part of the Trifecta Resista that includes protesting at Leavenworth and other sites of the galloping militarization of our nation.

Afterwards Marc, Jane, Alan, David, and our family went our for Kansas City-style barbeque and great conversation.  We were honored to join this dedicated group in action yesterday, and the dinner that followed made me wonder why people think peace workers don't have fun. My husband and I agreed: you meet the nicest people doing this work wherever you may find yourself. (Special thanks to CODEPINK Local Coordinator Priti and her friend Jim, who were with us in spirit and had helped organize the action.)

We were especially impressed by activist Marc Saviano's graphic of Manning with PATRIOT underneath his face, and the poster Marc gave us will be shared in a future blog post.
The Trifecta Resistas are gearing up for a Hiroshima and Nagasaki remembrance on August 5 in Kansas City, Missouri that will include testimony from Ann Wright, -- clearly a local she-ro based on our conversations at dinner -- Kathy Kelly, and former Attorney General Ramsey Clark. We'll be back on the bridge in Maine by then, but we'll be thinking of them.

1 comment:

chrisrushlau said...

You mention the "fabulously ignorant" US public. I got back to State Street Congregational (UCC) Church in Portland after my sojourn in Iraq, Germany, and Walter Reed (shrapnel "on, not in, the heart"--reviewing surgeon), back to the choir. I grew up in the UCC but converted, presto change-o, to Catholicism but then had to go on the run when the red tide of Cardinal Ratzinger hove into view. I considered myself an unpaid cleric at State Street. A holy thorn in their side.
So a year or two go by, and they invite an Iranian who works at the university to come talk about Iran. They apparently wanted to know when we should incinerate Iran. So the choir room was packed (unlike the pews--big walk-in crowd) and I mention early on that a Kurdish Iraqi employed by US told me the US goal in Iraq--this was now about 2005 or 2006)--was to create "a weakened state". The Iranian, who just wanted to do a neutral job, said that that theory was in circulation in the region, but then quipped that I should be up there talking. I replied, "They don't want to hear about it." Nobody in the room disagreed, including the pastor. Nobody said a word. He went back to his toils. You tend to remember something like that.
Ignorance isn't easy. Especially fabulous ignorance.
I wonder if the Manning judge is trying to build in some errors to assure him success at appeal. This ruling that no harm has to be shown, if that's what she ruled, and the ruling that the UN rapporteur on torture has no relevant testimony to offer, sound pretty egregious. On the other hand, the US Supreme Court seems quite happy to take the King's shilling. That phrase, meaning being a soldier in the Imperial army, seems to entail not talking about it. Why else to you think they give them the fabulous uniforms?
Every fable has a lesson.
This one's is, don't be the one holding the dynamite when it goes off.