Friday, July 09, 2010

Hands off WikiLeaks!

Defend PFC Bradley Manning!

On July 6, the U.S. military announced that charges have been filed against Private First Class Bradley Manning for allegedly leaking classified material – in particular providing the (in)famous “Collateral Murder” video to the investigative website WikiLeaks. PFC Manning, a military intelligence analyst, has been held since some time toward the end of May by the U.S. Central Command at a military base in Kuwait. The video shows U.S. helicopter gunships cold-bloodedly gunning down two reporters and other civilians, first aid responders and children in Baghdad in 2007. Its release provoked a storm of outrage worldwide, and it has by now been seen by millions of viewers on the Internet. The “hacker” who fingered Private Manning to the Army brass, Adrian Lamo, also alleges that Manning claimed to have passed on video of a massacre of some 125 civilians by U.S. forces near Garani, Afghanistan in May 2009.

The Pentagon claims that in addition, Manning released some 150,000 State Department cables. WikiLeaks denies that it has the diplomatic cables, but says it is preparing to release the video of the Garani massacre (for background on this case of mass murder, see our article, “Defeat U.S. War on Afghanistan and Iraq,” The Internationalist No. 30, November-December 2009). While refusing on principle to name its sources or confirm whether Manning is one, WikiLeaks has retained U.S. civilian lawyers for him. However, the military has not allowed them to contact their client. Manning’s friends and the government informant Lamo say that he was suffering a crisis of conscience over the conduct of the U.S. war, read “horrifying” contents of secret U.S. diplomatic correspondence, and wanted to spark “debate” and “reform.”

[Read the complete article at the Internationalist Group site]

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