We knew it would happen, but it is a disgrace nonetheless that Bradley Manning has been sentenced to 35 years in prison. The prosecution are annoyed: They wanted 60 years to show future whistleblowers what will happen to them if they follow in his footsteps. They will be distraught to learn that Manning may only serve an 8-9 year sentence, according to a GITMO chief prosecutor. Manning was responsible for releasing a video of the horrific attack in Iraq, where two Reuters journalists were killed, alongside a number of civilians. This information was kept secret by the US government – and if you watch the video, you will understand why. (Video contains graphic violence and death)
But Manning was also responsible for shedding light on the amount of civilian casualties that took place in the War in Iraq. The “War Logs” record 66,081 civilian deaths out of 109,000 recorded deaths. The whistle blowing resulted in the Iraq Body Count project adding 15,000 civilian deaths to their count, bringing their total to over 150,000, with roughly 80% of those civilians.
Yet Manning is punished for releasing the horrific details of how the USA operates in military engagements. When roughly 80% of deaths in a war are civilians, and we witness the Gung-Ho attitude of the trigger happy Apache gunner in the video above illustrating why the statistic holds, you have to question it and expose it. Manning has been accused of hurting the war effort, but 80% of the targets have been unarmed normal people – not soldiers. That is not war; that is murder.
Manning, Snowden, and Wikileaks are the anti-establishment kicking up the muck which the governments around the world are doing their best to hide away. Who knows what other stories have be brushed to the side in an attempt to save poll ratings or is a threat to the all encompassing national security term? Manning is a hero, and the fact that he has been jailed for exposing the truth should send a chill down every lover of Liberty around the world.
We are a nation of laws. We don’t let individuals make decisions about how the law operates. He [Bradley Manning] broke the law!” – President Obama
The NSA broke privacy laws “thousands of times a year”; the force feeding process in GITMO is illegal in the United States and “almost certainly international law”; and furthermore after demands by Reuters, following the deaths of two of their journalists in the Apache attack in Iraq (video above), the U.S. military concluded that the actions of the soldiers were in accordance with the law of armed conflict and its own “Rules of Engagement”.
Consequently, WikiLeaks has released the classified Rules of Engagement for 2006, 2007 and 2008, revealing these rules before, during, and after the killings.” Collateral Murder
It is incoherent to think that the protection of citizens is enhanced by an overpowering government which spies on your calls, imprisons you without trial, and bombs innocent children with drones – the very same government which uses drones in its own skies.
Yet Obama has a Nobel Peace Prize?
Use of Tor as an internet browser is becoming more common, and escaping the clutches of the State online is becoming easier. Newsrooms are publishing content from different servers around the world to escape overbearing domestic legislation. The State is fighting an uphill battle, and with the likes of Bradley Manning, Edward Snowden and the many more that will follow, States should be aware that their secrets may not be so secretive anymore – and rightly so.
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