by Marianne Hoynes
Bradley Manning exposed war crimes committed by the USA. In the Collateral Murder video leaked by Manning, the action of the US soldiers in the helicopter that day was a war crime. Just as we expose the war crimes committed by other nations, we have an obligation to expose the war crimes of this nation. It is our obligation of being involved in a representative democracy. It is an obligation of being a free nation. It is just an obligation of our humanity.
Manning worked as an intelligence analyst, and what he saw while working in eastern Baghdad, led him to the conclusion that the American people needed to know what the US military and the US government are responsible for. He leaked the now famous Collateral Murder video footage to Wikileaks.
The people that were gunned down by the US military in this video were two Reuters Journalists, civilians and two small children.
Ethan McCord is a veteran Army specialist of the Iraq war. He can be seen in the Collateral Murder video coming onto the scene after the US air attack, rescuing the two small children, running them to safety, and calling for medical aid. The photographs he took on the scene that day are also now documented in a film called, Incident in New Baghdad, by James Spione. As an eyewitness to this current America and the wars it sanctions, Ethan McCord is an irrefutable truth teller. McCord was boots on the ground, images burned irreparably into his memory; images he must suffer with every day for probably the rest of his life.
Of Bradley Manning, Ethan McCord has this to say. "Whoever revealed this incident is an American hero in my book." He goes on to say that Manning's actions could only have been done out of conscience, as Manning himself describes.
In accordance with the times we live in, the US government is prosecuting Bradley Manning to its fullest extent. Manning has been imprisoned, tortured and isolated for more than one thousand days. The government seeks to imprison this young man for the rest of his life, for the crime of truth telling. The media, and by extension the US public, have been banned from witnessing the legal proceedings brought against Manning. The government decried that the public will have no access to information on Manning's fate until the trial is over and the sentence has been issued. He will be court martialed June 3, 2013.
Ethan McCord explains that Manning is clearly not guilty on the most serious charge levelled against him, aiding and abetting the enemy, which would require the prosecution in an honest trial, to prove that Bradley Manning's intentions were to benefit an enemy. It was made clear before Manning was ever arrested, McCord explains, that Manning never intended harm.
McCord says, "[Manning] was not looking for war crimes, just corruption. As far as [him] placing soldiers in danger, even our government won't say that any more. No one was ever in any more danger than previously. It is the government who placed us in harm's way. War is ugly. Good men become savages. We turn into the monsters in children's closets. Americans don't want to view images like Collateral Murder, because it does not mirror Hollywood's glorified war stories. So Americans close their eyes real tight and chant, keeping safe to help justify their mass consuming habits. The Geneva Convention as we were told, does not apply to the people of Iraq, because they are not a uniformed Army. The Geneva Convention was created to impose upon other nations. It was never intended for America to actually abide by.
But Bradley Manning is a patriot. He is a hero of war. I was on the front line everyday, while he hardly left the FOB, yet this man made more of an impact, and saved more civilians than ANY special forces has ...EVER. All while not firing a single round."
Let us recognize who the real criminals are, and who are the heroes. We must not allow the US government the ability to set these definitions for us. Americans have been so brainwashed to accept war, and not question what our tax money is doing. Certainly the least we could do is witness what we are financing; the deaths of human beings around the world.
As Chris Hedges says, "There is no group inside a country that has greater cognizance of how corrupt a country is, than those that run it".
Please stand for Bradley Manning on Saturday, June 1, 2013 at Fort Meade, MD. He traded his own freedom for our freedom to know. Truth is NOT a crime. There are organized buses going from NJ and PA and from many parts of the USA. Feel free to contact The Central Jersey Coalition Against Endless War (CJCAEW) @ Email address removed . For further information, go to www.againstendlesswar.org or call 732 967-9370.