This article was originally published on the website of the ANSWER Coalition (Act Now to Stop War and End Racism).
The ANSWER Coalition salutes the heroic conduct of Private Bradley Manning.
Bradley Manning is facing the possibility of life in prison for exposing the war crimes committed by the U.S. military, its allies and private contractors in Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as releasing a series of diplomatic cables that shed light on the true nature of the relationship between the U.S. government and the other countries of the world. These documents were published by the website Wikileaks. For this service to humanity, he has been imprisoned for nearly three years and subject to cruel and degrading conditions by the U.S. government and military.
In an eloquent statement, Bradley Manning summarized his motivations for releasing this information to the public. "I felt I accomplished something that would allow me to have a clear conscience. ... This was the type of information ... [that] should become public," he said.
Of the 22 outrageous charges he is facing, Manning pled guilty to 10 lesser offenses while maintaining his innocence on the rest, most notably the very serious charge of aiding the enemy.
It is the height of irony and injustice that Bradley Manning has been in prison and will remain in prison, probably for a long time, for exposing war crimes while those who committed war crimes – those in uniform and those who gave the orders – walk free and are celebrated as "great figures."
Manning's statement said he realized that “We were obsessed with capturing and killing human targets on lists” and hoped that if people “could see this [the leaked information] it could spark a debate on the military and our foreign policy in general.”
On the subject of the infamous “collateral murder” video of the cold blooded murder of at least 12 civilians, Manning commented on “the bloodlust they [the helicopter crew] seemed to have, they seemed not to value human life.”
Bradley Manning also exposed the complicity of the corporate media in keeping these war crimes concealed. He revealed that he had first attempted to give the documents to the Washington Post, then the New York Times and finally Politico. For instance, it has just been revealed that the Washington Post, at the request of the U.S. government, concealed the existence of a secret U.S. drone base in Saudi Arabia that was used by the Pentagon to carry out targeted assassinations against U.S. citizens and others.