Three Nobel Peace Prize Winners Say: Bradley Manning Deserves Americans’ Support for Military Whistleblowing

Bradley Manning, long waiting trial and prison for allegedly exposing war crimes, should be honored, not jailed — say Nobel Peace Prize laureates

Thanks to WikiLeaks, US citizens are better informed about wars prosecuted in their name. We owe Manning honour, not jail time

By Desmond Tutu, Mairead Corrigan-Maguire and Adolfo Pérez Esquivel
The Guardian November 16, 2012
Last week, PFC Bradley Manning offered to accept responsibility for releasing classified documents as an act of conscience – not as charged by the US military. As people who have worked for decades against the increased militarization of societies and for international cooperation to end war, we have been deeply dismayed by his treatment. The military under the Obama administration has displayed a desire to over-prosecute whistleblowing with life-in-prison charges including espionage and “aiding the enemy”, a disturbing decision which is no doubt intended to set an example.
We have dedicated our lives to working for peace because we have seen many faces of armed conflict and violence, and we understand that no matter the cause of war, civilians always bear the brunt of the cost. With today’s advanced military technology and the continued ability of business and political elites to filter what information is made public, there exists a great barrier to many citizens being fully aware of the realities and consequences of conflicts in which their country is engaged.
Responsible governance requires fully informed citizens who can question their leadership. For those citizens worldwide who do not have direct, intimate knowledge of war, yet are still affected by rising international tensions and failing economies, WikiLeaks releases attributed to Bradley Manning have provided unparalleled access to important facts. Continue reading

New York: Police program stalking Muslims denounced by whistleblower

NYPD informant who tracked militants quits, denounces police

Police barricade in NYC (Mario Tama, Getty Images)
Police barricade in NYCBy Mark Hosenball, Reuters, October 22, 2012

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – An informant recruited by the New York Police Department to collect information on suspected Islamic militants has quit and denounced his police handlers, according to a law enforcement source familiar with the case.

The informant, a 19-year-old American citizen of Bangladeshi descent, was recruited by the NYPD recently as part of an expansive intelligence-gathering program the department launched after the al Qaeda attacks of September 11, 2001. His assignment was to make contact with suspected Islamic extremists to try to determine if they had any inclinations to engage in violence, the source said.

On October 2, however, the informant, whom the source did not name, posted a message on his personal Facebook page exposing himself as an informant to people he had been in contact with. He declared that he had quit as a police informant.

“I was jus (sic) of pretending to be friends with ya cuz I honestly thought i was fighting terrorism, but let’s be real, it’s all a f…king scheme,” the informant wrote, according to the source. “It was all about the money,” he added.

The source said that the informant was not involved in an investigation that led to the arrest of a Bangladeshi man last week in connection with an alleged scheme to bomb the New York Federal Reserve Bank in Lower Manhattan. Continue reading

Interview with Julian Assange in the Ecuadorian Embassy


August 31, 2012 by thisdayinwikileaks

Uruguayan journalist Jorge Gestoso interviews Julian Assange from within the Ecuadorian Embassy in London.In this extensive interview, originally aired on GamaTV on August 30, they talk about the UK government’s threat to extract Assange from the embassy, the nature of his relationship with the Ecuadorian government, the secret charges drawn up against him by US prosectors and the allegation of sex crimes in Sweden.

“What are you going to say if you have to give your side of the story to the investigation in Sweden?” Gestaso asks Assange.

“The UK courts have admitted that no woman went to a police station in Sweden to complain about me. This is something that the police decided to do,” says Assange.

Originally aired on GamaTV, August 30, 2012.

Original link:
http://www.gamatv.com.ec/index.php/de-frente-con-jorge-gestoso.html
——————————– Continue reading

Memorial Day: While the system glorifies imperialist war, the people remember the victims of their war crimes — Iraq


COLLATERAL MURDER — 14:58
Update: On July 6, 2010, Private Bradley Manning, a 22 year old intelligence analyst with the United
States Army in Baghdad, was charged with disclosing this video (after allegedly speaking to an
unfaithful journalist). The whistleblower behind the Pentagon Papers, Daniel Ellsberg, has called Mr.
Manning a ‘hero’. He is currently imprisoned, facing military court trial. The Apache crew and those behind the cover
up depicted in the video have yet to be charged. To assist Private Manning, please see
bradleymanning.org.

5th April 2010 10:44 EST–Statement from Wikileaks

WikiLeaks has released a classified US military video depicting the indiscriminate slaying of over a dozen people in the Iraqi suburb of New Baghdad — including two
Reuters news staff.

Reuters has been trying to obtain the video through the Freedom of Information Act, without success
since the time of the attack. The video, shot from an Apache helicopter gun-sight, clearly shows the
unprovoked slaying of a wounded Reuters employee and his rescuers. Two young children involved
in the rescue were also seriously wounded. Continue reading

US government blocking information, controlling minds — another whistleblower attacked

AlterNet: “Let’s Fight the Obama Administration’s Crusade to Jail Another Journalist”

By Rory O’Connor, AlterNet
Posted on May 26, 2011, Printed on May 29, 2011

German theologian Martin Niemoller was a staunch anti-Communist who supported Hitler’s rise to power — at first. He later became disillusioned, however, and led a group of German clergymen opposed to Hitler. In 1937 Niemoller was arrested for the crime of “not being enthusiastic enough about the Nazi movement” and later was sent to concentration camps. Rescued in 1945 by the Allies, he became a leading post-war voice of reconciliation for the German people.

Niemoller is most famous for his well-known and frequently quoted statement detailing the dangers of political apathy in the face of repression. Although it described the inactivity of Germans following the Hitler’s rise to power and his violent purging of group after group of German citizens, his statement lives on as a universal description of the dangers of not standing up against tyranny.

The text of the Niemoller’s statement is usually presented as follows:

First they came for the communists,
and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a communist.

Then they came for the trade unionists,
and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a trade unionist.

Then they came for the Jews,
and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a Jew.

Then they came for me
and there was no one left to speak out for me.

I was reminded of Niemoller recently when federal prosecutors issued a subpoena intended to force New York Times reporter James Risen, the author of a book on the Central Intelligence Agency, to testify at the criminal trial of Jeffrey Sterling, a former C.I.A. officer. Continue reading

Is Bradley Manning Being Treated Like a Guantanamo Detainee?

March 4, 2011

By Kevin Gosztola, OpEd News
 

"Free Bradley Manning" demonstration (August 2010)

Manning Stripped Naked for Two Consecutive Nights: Quantico or Abu Ghraib?

Former Pfc. Bradley Manning, the soldier accused of leaking classified information (specifically a video showing U.S. military in Iraq firing on civilians and two journalists), continues to experience intense solitary confinement in the Quantico Marine Brig in Virginia. The accused military whistleblower, whom the army filed 22 additional charges against days ago, has now been stripped naked two nights in a row.

Coombs, Manning’s counsel, reported Manning was stripped naked March 2 of all his clothing and forced to remain in his cell naked for the next seven hours until early in the morning on March 3. He added a wake-up call was sounded at 5:00 am, “Manning was forced to stand naked at the front of his cell,” a Duty Brig Supervisor arrived and Manning “was called to attention,” a detainee count was conducted and afterwards Manning was told to sit on his bed, and minutes later his clothing was returned.


Now, Coombs reports:

The decision to require him to be stripped of all clothing was made by the Brig commander, Chief Warrant Officer-2 Denise Barnes. According to First Lieutenant Brian Villard, a Marine spokesman, the decision was “not punitive” and done in accordance with Brig rules. There can be no conceivable justification for requiring a soldier to surrender all his clothing, remain naked in his cell for seven hours, and then stand at attention the subsequent morning. This treatment is even more degrading considering that PFC Manning is being monitored — both by direct observation and by video — at all times. The defense was informed by Brig officials that the decision to strip PFC Manning of all his clothing was made without consulting any of the Brig’s mental health providers.

Continue reading

Glenn Greenwald: Bradley Manning Hit With New Charges in WikiLeaks Case, Includes “Aiding the Enemy”


Mar 3, 2011

DemocracyNow.org –
The U.S. Army has filed an 22 additional charges against Army Private Bradley Manning, who is alleged to have illegally downloaded hundreds of thousands of classified U.S. military and State Department documents that were then publicly released by WikiLeaks. One of the new charges, “aiding the enemy,” could carry a death sentence. Democracy Now! interviews Glenn Greenwald, constitutional law attorney and legal blogger for Salon.com. “Although the charging document does not say who the ‘enemy is,’ there’s only two possibilities,” Greenwald says. “Either they mean Wikileaks … or any kind of leak now of classified information to newspapers where your intent is not to aid the Taliban, but expose wrongdoing.”

Al-Jazeera: WikiLeaks Releases US State Department Cables

Never in their wildest nightmares could politicians, bankers, dissidents, world leaders and government officials have imagined that their confidences would be thus distributed

Sunday 28 November 2010

 

    How secret is “secret?” That is the first question posed by the publication today of material derived from the leak of a quarter of a million US state department cables  in the Guardian and a number of other newspapers. Much of the material is certainly very private. When people around the world tell sensitive things to American diplomats they do so in the expectation that there is a high degree of implicit confidentiality about the conversations. But “private” is not the same as “secret”. It now transpires that these confidences were posted on a US government intranet, SIPDIS, for a very wide distribution among diplomatic, government and military circles. They may have been marked “secret” but all secrets are relative: there are around 3 million Americans cleared to read material thus classified. Continue reading

Support Rallies for Bradley Manning, soldier charged in WikiLeaks case

Seattle

Oakland

Rallies planned for soldier charged in WikiLeaks case

By the CNN Wire Staff
September 17, 2010

(CNN) — Supporters of Bradley Manning will rally in several cities Friday to urge the U.S. government to drop charges against the soldier accused of leaking an Iraq war video to the WikiLeaks website. Organizers say demonstrations will occur in about 19 cities, including New York, Los Angeles and Toronto.

Manning, an Army intelligence analyst, is being held at a Quantico, Virginia, detention facility. He is charged with leaking an airstrike video that the whistleblower website WikiLeaks published in April.

Manning, 22, has been charged with illegally transferring classified data onto his personal computer and adding unauthorized software to a classified computer system in connection with the leaking of a video of a helicopter attack in Iraq in 2007. He has also been charged with communicating, transmitting and delivering national defense information to an unauthorized source and disclosing classified information concerning the national defense with reason to believe that the information could cause injury to the United States.  Those charges are in connection to the leak of the same video.

The 2007 footage shows an Apache helicopter gunship attack that killed a dozen Iraqi civilians, including two Reuters journalists.

NYTimes: View is Bleaker than Official Portrayal of War in Afghanistan

July 25, 2010

A six-year archive of classified military documents made public on Sunday offers an unvarnished, ground-level picture of the war in Afghanistan that is in many respects more grim than the official portrayal.

The secret documents, released on the Internet by an organization called WikiLeaks, are a daily diary of an American-led force often starved for resources and attention as it struggled against an insurgency that grew larger, better coordinated and more deadly each year.

The New York Times, the British newspaper The Guardian and the German magazine Der Spiegel were given access to the voluminous records several weeks ago on the condition that they not report on the material before Sunday. Continue reading

Doubts Grow in British Whistle-blower “Suicide”

Dr. David Kelly

By Alex Newman

June 30, 2010

New American” —  New revelations in the suspicious “suicide” death of whistle-blower Dr. David Kelly point even more strongly to the possibility of murder and a subsequent cover-up, according to an explosive investigation by the British newspaper Daily Mail.
David Kelly served as a United Nations weapons-of-mass-destruction inspector in Iraq and as a scientist for the United Kingdom’s Ministry of Defense. He was widely considered the world’s foremost expert in chemical and biological weapons, even serving as a proof reader on the British government’s intelligence report about Iraqi WMDs. He disagreed with some of the claims and told his superiors, but was ignored.

Seven years ago, a strange saga began when Kelly sparked a massive scandal. He leaked details of the government’s WMD lies — used to justify invading Iraq — to various journalists. His identity was eventually revealed as the source, and Parliament called him to testify for an investigation it was conducting into the explosive allegations. Then, before he could reveal even more devastating secrets, he turned up dead.

The government, led by Prime Minister Tony Blair, immediately quashed the regular coroner’s inquest — a legal requirement in cases like this. Instead, it set up a much weaker “inquiry,” headed by Lord Hutton, into the untimely death.

 

But as soon as the “investigation” concluded that Kelly’s demise was a “suicide” caused by a self-inflicted knife wound, the media began picking the story apart, pointing out inconsistencies and asking tough questions that still have not been answered satisfactorily — if they were addressed at all. The inquiry has been labeled a “whitewash” and a “cover-up” by numerous media outlets, investigators, doctors, and researchers.

The two paramedics who were at the scene of Kelly’s body went public with their belief that a severed artery was not the cause of death, as the official report had claimed. “I just think it is incredibly unlikely that he died from the wrist wound we saw,” paramedic Vanessa Hunt told the British press. “There just wasn’t a lot of blood. When someone cuts an artery, whether accidentally or intentionally, the blood pumps everywhere.” The other paramedic offered a similar analysis.

A team of concerned scientists and doctors also banded together to form the “Kelly Investigation Group.” They, too, believed there were serious deficiencies in the inquiry, saying the official conclusion was “highly improbable.”

“Arteries in the wrist are of matchstick thickness and severing them does not lead to life-threatening blood loss,” three members of the group, all medical specialists, wrote in a letter to the Guardian newspaper calling for the inquest to be re-opened. “To have died from haemorrhage [sic], Dr Kelly would have had to lose about five pints of blood — it is unlikely that he would have lost more than a pint.”

The team also noted that the alleged amount of pain pills Kelly was said to have ingested would not have contributed to his death. Only a part of one tablet was actually found in his stomach.

Adding more doubt to the official story, documents obtained through a Freedom of Information request showed there were no finger prints on the knife Kelly supposedly used to kill himself.

“Someone who wanted to kill themselves wouldn’t go to the lengths of wiping the knife clean of fingerprints,” said British Minister of Parliament and current Transportation Secretary Norman Baker, who wrote a book about Kelly claiming he was killed because he might reveal more about the lies used in the run-up to the invasion of Iraq. “It is just very suspicious. It is one of the things that makes me think Dr. Kelly was murdered. The case should be re-opened.”

A police spokesperson acknowledged the lack of fingerprints, but said it  “does not change the official explanation.”

Suspicions in the case grew even more after it was revealed earlier this year that documents in the official investigation had been secretly classified by the British government for an astonishing 70 years, an unprecedented move that fanned the flames of skepticism. All medical, scientific, and photographic records were totally sealed by Lord Hutton, including the post mortem.

“This inexplicable secrecy can excite only suspicion that the authorities have something very bad indeed to hide,” noted Melanie Phillips in a report for the Daily Mail. “I myself have met people familiar with the shadowy world in which Dr Kelly moved who are certain he was murdered.” Another Daily Mail article reported that the legal basis for the gag order “has baffled experts accustomed to such matters.”

Researchers have raised countless problems with the “official” story — too many to go over in detail in one article. But some of the new information collected by the Daily Mail in a more recent article entitled “Dr David Kelly: The damning new evidence that points to a cover-up by Tony Blair’s government” is worth recounting.

“Our new revelations include the ambiguous nature of the wording on Dr Kelly’s death certificate; the existence of an anonymous letter which says his colleagues were warned to stay away from his funeral; and an extraordinary claim that the wallpaper at Dr Kelly’s home was stripped by police in the hours after he was reported missing – but before his body was found,” the paper reported, noting that its “rigorous and thorough investigation” had “turned up evidence which raises still more disturbing questions.”

The death certificate, only recently obtained, used peculiar wording in the box meant for entering the place of death. Instead of naming it, the certificate said Kelly was “found dead” at Harrowdown Hill. Experts say the wording alone is enough to open another investigation, especially since there are numerous other irregularities involving the location of Kelly’s body (like heat-sensing helicopters that, based on the official story, should have found the body when flying over).

The death certificate also states that a coroner’s inquest was performed. But it wasn’t. It also lacks a doctor’s or coroner’s signature, something all death certificates in the U.K. are required to have.

“This death certificate is evidence of a failure properly to examine the cause of Dr Kelly’s death. It is evidence of a pre-judgment of the issue. In a coroner’s inquest the cause of death would not be registered until the whole inquiry had been completed. As we see here, the cause of death was registered before the Hutton Inquiry had finished,” said former coroner and law expert Dr. Michael Powers QC, who aims to have a thorough investigation conducted.

“This is remarkable,” he told the paper. “To my mind it is evidence that the inquiry into Dr Kelly’s death was window-dressing because the conclusion had already been determined.”

On top of the Hutton Inquiry’s many obvious shortcomings, a letter received last month by one of the doctors involved in the Kelly Investigation Group claims Kelly’s colleagues were warned not to attend his funeral. Kelly’s widow also said police came to the house and tore off wallpaper, possibly searching for listening devices, shortly after Kelly was reported missing, but prior to the discovery of his body. Authorities refuse to comment on the allegation.

The doctors investigating the suspicious death said “concern about Dr Kelly’s death will continue to deepen until a full coroner’s inquest is heard,” the Daily Mail reported, adding that if such an inquest is performed, Tony Blair might well be expected to testify about why he “went to such lengths to avoid the normal, rigorous and respected course of this country’s law.”

Concluding, the paper noted that Blair’s reputation, as well as the reputation of the British legal system, will continue to suffer until a proper investigation is conducted, which “is the only way the whole truth about the Kelly affair, however uncomfortable, will emerge.”

Now, after all these years, there are hints that the truth may finally come out. The new British Attorney General announced earlier this month that he is considering re-opening the investigation. Meanwhile, the new Justice Secretary is reportedly contemplating releasing some of the records in the case that currently remain classified. Whether it will happen has been a matter of intense speculation in the British press, but if these crucial questions are ever to be resolved, a proper investigation is a must.

ust.

Wikileak Case Echoes Pentagon Papers

Daniel Ellsberg's release of the Pentagon Papers in 1971 broke through the official lies "justifying" the Vietnam war

consortiumnews.com

By Coleen Rowley and Robert Parry
June 15, 2010

Almost four decades after Defense Department insider Daniel Ellsberg leaked the Pentagon Papers – thus exposing the lies that led the United States into the Vietnam War – another courageous “national security leaker” has stepped forward and now is facing retaliation similar to what the U.S. government tried to inflict on Ellsberg.

Army Intelligence Specialist Bradley Manning is alleged to have turned over a large volume of classified material about the Iraq and Afghanistan wars to Wikileaks.org, including the recently posted U.S. military video showing American helicopters gunning down two Reuters journalists and about 10 other Iraqi men in 2007. Two children were also injured.

The 22-year-old Manning was turned in by a convicted computer hacker named Adrian Lamo, who befriended Manning over the Internet and then betrayed him, supposedly out of concern that disclosure of the classified material might put U.S. military personnel in danger. Manning is now in U.S. military custody in Kuwait awaiting charges.

Though there are historic parallels between the actions of Manning today and those of Ellsberg in 1971, a major difference is the attitude of the mainstream U.S. news media, which then fought to publish Ellsberg’s secret history but now is behaving more like what former CIA analyst Ray McGovern calls the “fawning corporate media” or FCM. Continue reading

ICH writer challenges Wired Mag’s “outing” of whistleblower Bradley Manning

Ex-hacker Adrian Lamo and Wired Magazine "outed" Manning and have assisted US govt. suppression of WikiLeaks

“Leaking This Information is the Act of a Hero”

By Mike Gogulski

Information Clearing House

June 15, 2010

“Bradley Manning” — How sad it is to see the climate in the United States today — the majority is still lock-step in line with the military-industrial complex that President Eisenhower warned us about so many decades ago. I want to make the following points:

1) First and foremost, there needs to be more discussion about the potentially enormous ethics violations that seem to have been committed at Wired Magazine. Everyone knows Kevin Poulsen & Adrian Lamo are friends. It is obvious they worked their target, Bradley Manning, for days — in co-operation with the FBI and US Army CID. This hearkens back to COINTELPRO tactics. How likely is it that Lamo worked entirely on his own with no involvement from Poulsen, who only found out about it all after-the-fact, in time to “break the story” for Wired?

There is no disclosure provided in the original article and it is written as if Poulsen wasn’t involved at all. Could it really be that, in pursuit of breaking a big story, Wired magazine staff helped set up a situation where the FBI/USACID got to use proxy interrogators, who misled a suspect into believing that he was only answering questions from someone he could trust, instead of federal/military law enforcement, without any Constitutional protections in place? This needs to be more critically examined. Continue reading