Bradley Manning sentenced to 35 years for exposing war crimes

 

Summary by The Guardian, August 21, 2013

A quick summary of where things stand:

• A court-martial sentenced Pfc. Bradley Manning to 35 years in prison for leaking government secrets. Manning is to be dishonorably discharged. He loses all pay. He is convicted of six Espionage Act violations. The sentence is expected to be appealed.

Manning, 25, is eligible for parole. He must first serve at least a third of his sentence. He has more than three years’ time served and has been credited 112 days for his “inhuman” treatment in a Quantico brig in 2010-11. In a best-case scenario for Manning, he might be released before he turned 35.

Judge Denise Lind announced the sentence in a hearing that lasted about two minutes. Manning had no visible reaction to the verdict. There were gasps from the crowd. As Manning was led out, supporters shouted “we’ll keep fighting for you, Bradley,” and “you’re our hero.” 

The ACLU, Amnesty International and other rights advocates and Manning supporters decried the verdict. It is unjust for Manning to spend decades in prison when the perpetrators of the wartime atrocities he exposed go free, Manning supporters argue.

It’s “seriously wrong” for a soldier who shared information with the public to be punished “far more harshly than others who tortured prisoners and killed civilians,” the ACLU says in a statement on the Manning sentence:

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A legal system that doesn’t distinguish between leaks to the press in the public interest and treason against the nation will not only produce unjust results, but will deprive the public of critical information that is necessary for democratic accountability. This is a sad day for Bradley Manning, but it’s also a sad day for all Americans who depend on brave whistleblowers and a free press for a fully informed public debate.

Amnesty International called on President Obama to commute the sentence. “Bradley Manning should be shown clemency in recognition of his motives for acting as he did, the treatment he endured in his early pre-trial detention, and the due process shortcomings during his trial,” AI’s Widney Brown said. “The president doesn’t need to wait for this sentence to be appealed to commute it; he can and should do so right now.”

India: Punjab – a report on Jan Myrdal’s talk in Ludhiana

February 12, 2012

“The Political organization has the Central Role in Raising the Consciousness of People”

by Buta Singh, Sanhati

In America, and especially in Europe, the class consciousness of people has taken a downturn and this is the cause for domination of bourgeois ideology and in organizing public opinion for unjust imperialist wars. That is why there is no strong opposition to these wars and aggressions among the people of imperialist countries.”

This was stated by Jan Myrdal, a famous Marxist thinker and literary figure, in a heavily attended program in Punjabi Bhavan in Ludhiana which was held under the chairmanship of Prof. AK Maleri, Prof. Jagmohan Singh, Satnam, Prof. Ajmer Aulakh and Gautam Navlakha. He was introduced by Prof. Jagmohan Singh to the audience as an anti-imperialist activist and literary authority known throughout the world. In his key-note address Myrdal said that the imperialist wars have assumed an important role in the world due to weakened working class movement. He stressed that the people do not gain political consciousness spontaneously rather it is imparted by the political organization of the working class. He said that the Nazis had achieved success in elections by corrupting the consciousness of their people promising them gains in the loot of Europe. The genocides being carried out by the imperialist USA is not a new thing and one should remember that it is built on the mass scale extermination of the Red Indians. It attacks other countries to control them but is careful to not destroy their oil resources and installations and instead destroys their cultural heritages, history and civilizations. Quoting Mao Zedong he said that though the US imperialism is a paper tiger but it has a great capability of inflicting heavy casualties and destruction to maintain its imperialist grip on the people of the world. In spite of great changes in the world system the plunder of wage labour still holds the key to imperialist exploitation though the mental labour has assumed huge proportions. The developing of the war machine has always been an important aspect of imperialism. The struggles like “occupy Wall Street” are important but the they lack the required political perspective and direction as the political organization which can lead the people to victory is not present. He said that the imperialists have succeeded in splitting up the people of Syria, Iraq and other Arab countries on religious and sectarian lines thus sidetracking the struggles of the people and pitching them one against the other. While answering the questions of the audience he stressed that it is duty of the movements in various countries to enact change in the system in accordance with the objective situation prevailing in respective countries and no single center can lead the movements in various countries. While briefing on his meetings with Mao Zedong he said that he was a genius who could creatively apply Marxist theory according to the social conditions and history of China. Gautam Navlakha translated his speech and his answers to the questions raised by the listeners. Continue reading

Time to Destroy the Monsters of War

[Imperialism has brought endless war to every corner of the globe.  Not a day has passed without bombs that blot out the sun and bring rivers of blood, misery, devastation, and death to thousands and millions, in the name of whose “salvation” the wars have scarred and mangled all who stand in the way of capital’s rapacious and malevolent path.  We yearn for the day when such powers will no longer control humanity.  On this Veteran’s Day, when imperialism asks all to salute those who have been pressed to carry the weapons of its wars, we honor the resistance to imperialist war, and those who have pledged and given their lives in the struggles to end the scourge of imperialism. — Frontlines ed.]

Masters of War, by Bob Dylan

Come you masters of war
You that build all the guns
You that build the death planes
You that build the big bombs
You that hide behind walls
You that hide behind desks
I just want you to know
I can see through your masks Continue reading