Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Free Bradley Manning

The US Army private who is charged with somehow obtaining hundreds of thousands of classified documents and videos has apparently been held in solitary confinement for seven months... far longer than most of the documents have even been released.

If he is indeed guilty, I do not know his motives. (How does an Army private gain access to so much classified information anyway???)  What I do know is that someone exposed a rather ugly underbelly of our nation's international relations and our illegal wars, and therefore embarrassed some high-level politicos.  It's this kind of situation that I thought Barack Obama would rectify by assuring us that his policy of transparency is fulfilled.  Instead, I hear no word from our President while this Army fellow languishes in prison as if he were already a convicted criminal.

Tonight my heart and mind goes out to Manning, and my prayers, such as they are, intone a plea for a more humane treatment of this person who may have helped to make public things that we the people should have been made aware of already.  Solitary confinement is not deserved.  Scorn should be reserved for those who would fashion a story to tell us that is not reality.  Thanks should go to anyone who risks their own personal freedom to bring the truth to us all.

Yes, there are probably times where secrecy by our state is warranted.  From what I've read and heard about the Wikileaks document dump, this is not one of those times.  The only people who have been harmed are the alleged leaker himself, and certain heads of states.  Embarrassment does not equal real harm.

Free Bradley Manning, or at least treat him like an American soldier, a human being, who has yet to be convicted of any crime.
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