We are the local organizing group from Missouri and Kansas organizing support for PFC Bradley Manning while he is imprisoned at the Joint Regional Correction Facility at Coffin Road and 159th Street at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. We have many local members, but we also have participants from both coasts of the USA, Canada, England, the Netherlands, and Australia.
We stand with accused whistle-blower US Army Pfc. Bradley Manning.
A 22-year-old Army intelligence analyst, Pfc. Manning faces decades in prison for allegedly leaking a video of a US helicopter attack that killed at least eleven Iraqi civilians to the website Wikileaks . Among the dead were two working Reuters reporters . Two children were also severely wounded in the attack .
In addition to this “Collateral Murder” video, Pfc. Manning is suspected of leaking the “Afghan War Diaries”—tens of thousands of battlefield reports that explicitly describe civilian deaths and cover-ups, corrupt officials, collusion with warlords, and a failing US/NATO war effort.
“We only know these crimes took place because insiders blew the whistle at great personal risk ... Government whistleblowers are part of a healthy democracy and must be protected from reprisal,” noted Barack Obama while on the campaign trail in 2008. While the President was referring to the Bush Administration’s use of phone companies to illegally spy on Americans, Pfc. Manning’s alleged actions are just as noteworthy. If the military charges against him are accurate, they show that he had a reasonable belief that war crimes were being covered up, and that he took action based on a crisis of conscience .
After nearly a decade of war and occupation waged in our name, it is odd that it apparently fell on a young Army private to provide critical answers to the questions, “What have we purchased with well over a trillion tax dollars and the deaths of hundreds of thousands in Iraq and Afghanistan?” However, history is replete with unlikely heroes.
If Bradley Manning is indeed the source of these materials, the nation owes him our gratitude. We ask Secretary of the Army, the Honorable John M. McHugh, and Chief of Staff of the U.S. Army, General George W. Casey, Jr., to release Pfc. Manning from pre-trial confinement and drop the charges against him.