Bradley Manning is arguably one of the most important figures to emerge on the political landscape this century, both to those who admire his ‘bravery’ and to those who despise his ‘treachery’.
Manning has been accused of leaking over 250,000 U.S. State Department diplomatic cables and approximately 500,000 army reports, as well as secret videos of air strikes in Iraq and Afghanistan in which journalists and civilians, mainly women and children, were shown being massacred by the U.S. military.
These leaks have been dubbed Cablegate (referring to the diplomatic cables), and the Iraq War logs and the Afghan War Diary (referring to the army reports). The consequences of these leaked documents has been profound:
by Philip Greaves
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has congratulated Somalia on its transition of government, speaking in Washington-”What has been accomplished has exceeded what many thought was possible. And it’s taken a lot of hard work and a lot of sacrifice, first and foremost from the people of Somalia,”Speaking at the United Nations in New York September 26. “Now we have to help in the next phase for the people of Somalia, and we look forward, on behalf of the United States, to doing everything we can to make it a success.”
The secretary has outlined three key areas the US will continue its support in Somalia, Firstly, Security, “As more areas are liberated from al-Shabaab, the government will need to establish police forces and courts,” Secondly the US will focus on stabilisation, Clinton said- “more than 2 million people in Somalia still need lifesaving humanitarian assistance. Many more face hunger and malnutrition and can’t get basic services, such as clean water and adequate electricity. And the former combatants, who are defecting from al-Shabaab will need to be reintegrated into local communities.” Finally Clinton urged the new Somali government in reforming and constructing “a cabinet of people who will work to promote the interests of the Somali people and respond to their needs and maintain the confidence of international donors so future collaboration can continue.” Clinton emphasized the need to “So we look to the government to build transparent and accountable institutions.” I have a feeling those words may come back to haunt the Secretary of State.
The US air force has released documents under a Freedom of Information Act revealing they investigated one of their own analysts to determine whether she had also released documents to Wikileaks.
One might not be surprised by the investigation, or the suspicion, the analyst was reported to have shown sympathy for Bradley Manning, and had expressed she wanted to leave the air force. The report is detailed and a lot of information on the “subject” were correlated, interviews were held and eventually the air force dropped the case without charge.
By Kevin Zeese
Reports that Bradley Manning is being held nude every night at the Quantico Brig, then forced to stand naked in the hallway while he waits for his clothes, shows the inconsistency of the treatment of Manning with basic American values of due process, fair trial and human dignity.
Here is how his lawyer David Coombs describes his treatment:
“The Brig has stripped PFC Manning of all of his clothing for the past three nights, and they intend to continue this practice indefinitely. Each night, Brig guards force PFC Manning to relinquish all of his clothing. He then lies in a cold jail cell naked until the following morning, when he is required to endure the humiliation of standing naked at attention for the morning roll call. According to Marine spokesperson, First Lieutenant Brian Villiard, the decision to strip him naked every night is for PFC Manning's own protection. Villiard stated that it would be ‘inappropriate’ to explain what prompted these actions ‘because to discuss the details would be a violation of PFC Manning's privacy.’”
It was the worst of times, it was the most apathetic of times. A crazed gunman with an itchy trigger finger eagerly fired on unarmed and innocent civilians. Many died as a result and even children were shot at. How should we respond? What do we want our government to do?
How would we feel if the authorities let Jared Loughner go free? How betrayed would we feel? Would we be so incensed that we would take matters into our own hands? Would we feel that we are now being forced to live by the rule of the jungle?
Fortunately our government is taking action to ensure that Loughner never shoots another person. And our leaders have been addressing issues in order to prevent similar massacres in the future. What our government is doing regarding Loughner is fortunate for us; but how it handles other like situations is not fortunate for all. Our government is not treating all mass murders as being equal. But lets first talk about what happened in Tucson.
by Nozomi Hayase
Recently a Facebook friend featured an unfamiliar flag as his profile picture; a red crescent held in a vivid red background. Then, alternative news headlines emerged about major turmoil in the country of Tunisia. Next thing I knew, my friend was participating in the civil unrest that broke out there. Through the window opened by social media, I began to feel the outrage and intensity experienced by many people on the other side of the world. A quote from the film V for Vendetta came to me; “Remember, remember the fifth of November; the gunpowder, treason, and plot!” The surreal reports and rapidly changing scenery reported by my friend somewhat blurred the line between reality and fiction.
Cross hairs and gun-sights are all the rage in the media these days after the killings in Tucson, with Sarah Palin getting flack for her mindless cross hairs map, to the inflamed calls for illegal assassination of Julian Assange. Could this be a time for a more self-conscious look at the violent undercurrents of our 'civilized' American society? Perhaps each one of us has at some point put someone in our own gun sights after reducing them into the role of an enemy. What responsibility does each of us share for this violent rhetoric and behavior?
The shooting in Tucson was an event that has brought home how deeply violent American culture can be. The American people have drifted into what I term a gun-sight consciousness, one that is extremely narrow and turns others into caricatures, easily targeted with hate and manipulated with fear-based reactions. The 'big guns' US military budget that feeds at least three active wars is sacrosanct, all the while the country is going bankrupt and under no real threat from any nation. This is as senseless as the over-hyped rhetoric of right vs. left when both parties clearly serve the same billionaire masters. Maybe it a good time to wake up and become aware of how we are moving quickly into self-destruction phase through manipulation of irrational fear and outrage.
By Rady Ananda
I’ve uploaded it to my review at TPV: http://www.thepeoplesvoice.org/TPV3/Voices.php/2010/12/19/john-pilger-s-the-war-you-don-t-see-an-i
These days you can’t swing a cat or open your mailbox without being hit by a flood of emails about the memorials, tributes, condolences, and donation sites for the victims of these tragedies that the conspiracy theorists say were created -- not right after the event, but right before the event.
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