On June 1, Dan Rodricks interviewed U.S. Sen. Ben Cardin about a number of issues including Bradley Manning and the
During the Rodricks interview, Cardin blamed the Palestinians for a lack of a peace deal. He claimed an agreement could easily be reached. Of course, he made no mention of the Palestinian demand to stop building settlements before any negotiation takes place. Blaming the victim is a sad statement from a
Activists Converge on
Base, Demand Fair Trial for Manning Kansas
Monday 6 June 2011
Activists marched on Saturday, June 4, to protest the treatment of Pfc. Bradley Manning. (Photo
Activists from across the country converged outside of
The event is the first large-scale protest to be held outside of the base since he was transferred there from the US Marine Corps Base in
For activists at the protest, Manning has become both a symbol of all that is right with whistleblowing and all that is wrong with the federal government.
"Due process and the assumption of innocence are principles we soldiers are sworn to defend, but PFC Bradley Manning has already been declared guilty by our Commander in Chief and subjected to unlawful pretrial punishment," said William Stewart-Starks in a statement, one of the Kansas organizers of Saturday's events, as well as the plains regional coordinator for Iraq Veterans Against the War.
To his supporters at the protest, if Manning is not innocent, then he is certainly a hero. "The information Bradley Manning is accused of releasing should have been in the public domain. Whoever revealed it is an American hero," said Jeff Paterson, who also spoke at the rally on behalf of the Bradley Manning Support Network, in a press release. "Our leaders in
The notion that the government is at fault was echoed by organizer
Public activism in support of Manning has not been uncommon since Manning first burst into the news. In fact, when Manning was arrested more than a year ago on May 26, 2010, activists and organizations leaped to his defense. The Support Network for instance, is, according to its web site, "dedicated to securing due process and a public trial for PFC Manning - and to eventually winning his freedom."
Paterson of Courage to Resist cites, in a Support Network press release, the relentless pressure by activists following allegations of torture at
But David Coombs, Manning's attorney, reinforced in a recent statement that the government has not been working in Manning's favor - but against it. On the Support Network's web site, Coombs emphasized that he and his defense team did not learn of Manning's transfer from the government, but through the news. "The defense was not officially notified of PFC Manning's pending move until twenty minutes before the Pentagon's press briefing. This is despite the fact that the Pentagon has 'been thinking about this for a while,'" he wrote on April 19, only a day before the transfer.
James Russell is a Truthout assistant editor.
Donations can be sent to the
"The master class has always declared the wars; the subject class has always fought the battles. The master class has had all to gain and nothing to lose, while the subject class has had nothing to gain and everything to lose--especially their lives." Eugene Victor Debs