Bradley Manning spoke truth to power

July 26, 2013
Guests at Green Left Weekly Sydney annual dinner show solidarity with Manning. Photo by Jaroslaw Gasiorek.

US military lead prosecutor Major Ashden Fein summed up his case against Bradley Manning for "aiding the enemy" with these chilling words: "He was not a troubled young soul. He was a determined soldier with the knowledge, ability and desire to harm the United States in its war effort.

"Your honor, he was not a whistleblower, he was traitor."

We totally disagree.

Manning witnessed a terrible crime and he reported it to the people of the world using the most effective available news medium — WikiLeaks.

Even now, after watching the leaked video known as Collateral Murder several times, it still makes me feel sick in the stomach. If this was not a fully televised war crime — a small episode of a much bigger war crime — then I don't know what is.

Manning told the truth that the richest and most powerful state in the world tried to cover up, tried to hide from its citizens.

This makes the US state the traitor and Manning a patriot in the best sense of the word.

This makes Manning a conscientious citizen of the world who spoke truth to power, and now faces many years in jail for doing the right thing.

A world now more militarised than ever before by the far-too-rich and the far-too-powerful, needs more Private Mannings, more Edward Snowdens, more Julian Assanges.

We need more people in these monstrous military machines who will not lean on that infamous Nuremburg defence, “I was only following orders.” We need people who will take the Manning road and speak truth to power.

Green Left Weekly proudly champions the efforts of Manning, WikiLeaks, Assange, Snowden and the many other lesser known, or yet unnamed, speakers of truth to power. We applaud the asylum extended by the government of Ecuador to Assange, and the asylum offered by the government of Venezuela to Snowden.

In these various splendid resistances to the US empire (and all its toadying vassals) is a powerful sentiment of optimism in the prospects of an altogether different world, one based on true liberation, justice and ecological sustainability.

It is a sentiment that has reached out to all corners of the world, bringing the promise of spring — no longer just an “Arab Spring”, it’s now becoming a “Global Spring”.

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