|My CODEPINK sister Janet Weil Sunday, December 9, 2012, San Francisco. I carried a Free Bradley Manning sign at my bridge vigil yesterday, too, in Skowhegan, Maine.|
Now take that number and add to it the cost of keeping Bradley Manning incarcerated for more than 900 days, first in a tiger cage in Kuwait where he passed out from heat exposure and was completely convinced he would die right there; next at the Marine base at Quantico, Virginia where he was kept in solitary confinement for nine months and woken up constantly by guards drawing a paycheck from the U.S. taxpayer, and where the biggest phalanx of every kind of cop imaginable shut down the public highway and arrested a bunch of peacenik grandparents for holding a vigil outside the gates for him; and now at the maximum security prison at Ft. Leavenworth, Kansas. Factor in the cost of flying Manning and his guards back and forth to Ft. Meade in Maryland for his pre-trial hearings. Factor in the whole cost of court martialing Manning for sharing information that was, in some cases, not even classified (his most famous leak, video of Apache helicopter soldiers shooting civilians in Baghdad, was not classified at all). Add it all up.
What would be the point?
My point is that the bottom line of all the economic-speak and legislative-speak around fiscal cliffs and sequestration and discretionary v. mandatory expenditures and entitlements is what they are meant to obfuscate: a budget is a moral document.
We all spend our money on what we value.
An addict spends his money on the drugs to stay high and/or ward off withdrawal symptoms.
The U.S. government spends our money on bombs and drones and stealing other people's land (and airspace) and advertising itself to youth as a job opportunity. On the designed-to-be-endless war on terror.
|Obama's next budget, if Congress enacts it. Source: NationalPriorities.org|
Austerity, here we come.
What to do? Call Congress, Occupy, communicate with your neighbors about the problem, and the need to bring our war dollars home. Write letters to the editor and reach lots of them at the same time. And, if you're anywhere near Maine next weekend, come join a diverse group of concerned citizens to brainstorm more ideas for action December 15, 2012 in Augusta. I'll see you there.