Apr 4, 2011
Private First Class Bradley Manning, age 24, was arrested in Kuwait in May 2010 and sent back to the U.S. last July. Since then, he has been imprisoned on the marine base in Quantico, Virginia.
Bradley Manning is supposed to have sent to the Internet site WikiLeaks a video of an army helicopter attack in which eleven Iraqi civilians were killed in cold blood. He is accused of transmitting thousands of reports on Afghanistan to WikiLeaks, reports about battles describing the killing of civilians, about how the army hides it, about collusion with the Afghan war lords, the corruption of local functionaries and the continuation of the U.S. and NATO’s dirty war there.
Manning enlisted in 2007, looking for a stable job. Since he had good computer skills, the army used him as an intelligence analyst. In this way he knew of many atrocities committed by the U.S. in Iraq.
Today he faces a possible life sentence for “divulging military secrets” and “aiding the enemy.” And the military stated that such charges could bring a death sentence.
Amnesty International and others have denounced his current harsh conditions of imprisonment. He’s locked up 23 hours a day in a tiny cell. He is allowed only one hour a day to walk and one hour of television per day. He’s not allowed to work and his hands and feet are handcuffed when he is allowed visitors. He has been stripped naked to go to sleep and during inspection. This situation is all the more revolting as the U.S. Attorney General recently admitted there is no proof that Manning had contact with Julian Assange of WikiLeaks. Meanwhile, Manning rots in prison.
This maneuver will surprise only those who never heard about the execution of Sacco and Vanzetti, the execution of Communists Ethel and Julian Rosenberg, and the 30-year imprisonment of former black militant Mumia Abu-Jamal for a crime he didn’t commit.
The U.S. treats those it considers its enemies exactly as do the dictatorships to whom the U.S. pretends to give lessons in democracy.