The Quantico Command Has Shown It Does Not Respect the Constitution Now They Are Denying Our Freedom of Speech
By Kevin Zeese
As one of the organizers of the non-violent event this Sunday at Quantico in support of Bradley Manning I have been negotiating in good faith with the Marines at Quantico to allow a veteran led flower laying ceremony at the Iwo Jima Monument at the edge of the Marine Base. The monument is open every day of the year except for this Sunday. The Marines are closing it to prevent a veteran led flower laying ceremony.
The disgraceful treatment of Bradley Manning is violating his constitutional rights to Due Process of Law and the Eighth Amendment which forbids cruel and unusual punishment. This young man has not been convicted of anything. He is accused of leaking documents that exposed crimes or misdeeds by the U.S. military and State Department. He was acting as the Constitution urges -- to seek a "More Perfect Union." He should not be prosecuted for this action. President Obama should use this as an opportunity to reconsider the direction of U.S. foreign policy.
Now the Quantico command is showing further disrespect for the Constitution by threatening to deny a veteran led flower laying ceremony to remember the war dead. I have written two memoranda to the Commander at Quantico (see below). In my one conversation with base officials the position of the base was their property rights trump the U.S. Constitution. The Constitution clearly states that our rights should not be abridged.
President Obama needs to step in and correct the command at Quantico. As Commander-in-chief, the President should tell them that the Constitution comes first and order them to allow the flower laying ceremony. Further, Bradley Manning should be removed from Quantico. To begin with, why is a member of the Army at a Marine brig? The Quantico command has shown themselves to be unable to stop torturing Manning and cannot be trusted to properly detain him. His conditions of confinement need to be normalized and his rights protected.
President Obama is the commander-in-chief who has highlighted his experience as a constitutional law professor. He needs to act like the commander in charge of the military and use his power to ensure the Constitution is followed by those who swear to protect it from enemies foreign and domestic. Military veterans are not enemies of the United States, they are people who deserve respect, as do all active citizens.
Please call the White House about this at 202-456-1414 and send them your thoughts along with a link to this article by going to http://www.whitehouse.gov/contact.
First Memorandum to Colonel Daniel J. Choike, Commander Quantico Marine Base, March 16, 2011
Join us this Sunday at 2:00 at the entrance to the Quantico Marine Base. For information visit here.
Colonel Daniel J. Choike
c/o Colonel Thomas V. Johnson
Public Affairs Officer
Via Thomas.V.Email address removed
cc: Lieutenant Patrick G. Aigner