One Thousand Days When One is Too Many
Think of that, count it off . . . 1,000 days; that is how long Bradley Manning has been incarcerated without a trial.
Even though he has been incarcerated for nearly three years most Americans have no idea what he did, why he did it or how he has been mistreated coming from the commander-in-chief to the courtroom at Fort Meade.The mass media has made sure to keep Americans ignorant about what is going on and why it is important. But many do see through the misinformation and are standing with Brad. We take action because like Brad, we want the truth to be told, the truth to be known and understood so we can improve the country.
In more than 55 cities this weekend and around the world, people will rally, hold forums, protest – take whatever action they can to lift the veil and expose the truth. Join them or create your own.What are some of the truths? There are so many. In this short newsletter, we want to focus on one – Hillary Clinton. She is the most popular woman in the world, according to polls. If she wants the presidency, the media tells us, it is hers. Yet, what do the Wikileaks documents which whistleblower Bradley Manning released show us? They show us she is not fit to be president and rather than being admired, she should be prosecuted. That will sound extreme to the ears of Americans who have had the truth hidden from them, but it is a factual statement.
The U.S. houses the United Nations. This gives the U.S. great opportunity to spy on UN diplomats when they come to New York for meetings. It is against the law to spy on diplomats when they come to such meetings. But, the Wikileaks documents show that in 2009 Hillary Clinton ordered that foreign diplomats be spied on. She even ordered US diplomats to obtain DNA data, biometric data, iris scans and fingerprints as well as credit card and frequent flier numbers and so much more. Her orders, sent to 30 embassies, were fulfilling the request of the CIA for all sorts of information. The General Secretary, Ban Kai Moon (who was also spied on) called Clinton in for a meeting about this violation of law. Did this get any media attention in the US? Were there calls for an investigation or a special prosecutor? No. Inside the US Empire there was silence from the mass media and political elite.When the Arab Spring in Egypt was on the verge of success, what role did Clinton play? She urged support for Omar Suleiman. Then Manning’s Wikileaks documents exposed who Suleiman was. Suleiman was the man who did the dirty work for the authoritarian dictator of Egypt, Hosni Mubarak. Not only did he do Mubarak's dirty work, but he was the go-to guy for Israel in dealing with Egypt, making all sorts of dealsthat allowed the abuse of Palestinians. He was the one who did the dirty work for the US Empire. He was the CIA liaison for the source of the misinformation campaign on WMDs in Iraq and people targeted by the US were renditioned to the torturous abuse of Omar Suleiman. But Clinton, who certainly knew all this, called on Suleiman to investigate Egypt’s violence and thought he’d be the perfect replacement for Mubarak. When this all came out in Egypt, not much was said about it in the US but Clinton’s pick, Suleiman, was no longer a viable candidate.Clinton announced last week that she will be doing public speaking after she rests from her arduous job as Secretary of State. No doubt she will reap the pay-off for her years of hard work for the transnational corporations for whom US foreign policy is designed. The Wikileaks documents again show the truth of that fact. Of course, the American people are told we go to war for democracy, protection of human rights and the rights of woman in Afghanistan. Sadly, the mass media says these things over and over so Americans learn to believe them, even though the Wikileaks documents show US foreign policy is of, by and for big corporations.Anyone who has followed the Manning case has seen his mistreatment by the government from his initial incarceration to his abusive prosecution. Under military law, Manning was supposed to be arraigned within 120 days of his arrest but it took well over 600 days to do so.During that 600 days Manning was driven to near suicide. First he was kept in abusive conditions in Kuwait: kept awake at night and only sleeping during the day, his cell searched regularly, torn apart by guards and he was kept away from other prisoners. Manning thought he was going to die in an 8 by 8 animal cage in Kuwait.
He rejoiced when he was being put on a plane, not knowing where he was going, but knowing it was better than where he was. When he landed at BWI airport, he was so happy to be in the United States – to be home. But, he soon learned things would not get better as he was held in solitary confinement for nine more months at the abusive Quantico Marine Base, where every five minutes he was required to respond to the question, "Are you alright?", and throughout the day not allowed to lie down or sit leaning against the wall in his cell. These are only two examples of many abuses he suffered.
No one else will ever suffer at the Quantico brig because it is now being closed, no doubt in part due to the notoriety Manning supporters heaped on the base with repeated protests until Manning was released and finally treated appropriately.
That’s right, activists made a difference. It was after our final protest where dozens were arrested and paramilitary units, helicopters and horses were turned against us that he was put in appropriate pre-trial confinement. Occupy, veterans and other activists have consistently supported Manning. We are in solidarity because we all want transparent and peaceful government.
That is why what we do this weekend makes a difference. 1,000 days. It needs to be memorialized, forced into the consciousness of Americans misled by mass media propaganda that prefers to focus on Manning's sexuality rather than the facts contained in the documents he released.
Really, that is the essence of it. Manning took on the heart of American corporatocracy – the Empire. The media cannot even let us know how big the national security state really is, always understating the real annual cost of our $1.3 trillion security state; never acknowledging that the US has more than 1200 bases and outposts around the world. In fact, no one in the media or political class ever even acknowledges that the US is an Empire.
It is almost amusing because it is so absurd. We live in the largest Empire in world history but the media, political class and the plutocrats behind them never acknowledge the US is an Empire.That is why Manning has been mistreated from the initial release of the “Collateral Murder Video” showing the U.S. military killing journalists and others in Iraq, Manning became a target of the Empire. He has lifted the veil so the truth can be seen. And, no doubt it will. As the U.S. Empire fades, as all empires do, people will examine the Wikileaks documents and be amazed at what they contain—a daily history of the Empire’s military and diplomatic corps. That treasure trove will show a very corrupt, abusive and violent empire. Manning will be on the right side of history and so will those of you who stand with Brad.
Let’s make his 1,000 days in prison something all Americans are aware of by joining on of the events this weekend and if there is no event in your area, create one. Go to your local paper and ask them to report on Manning, the Wikileaks documents and to start a discussion about US Empire. Manning said in chat logs that he hoped to start a debate in the US so we could improve the country. Let’s use this weekend to help make that a reality.
Kevin Zeese JD and Margaret Flowers MD co-host Clearing the FOG on We Act Radio 1480 AM Washington, DC and on Economic Democracy Media, co-direct It's Our Economy and are organizers of the Occupation of Washington, DC. Their twitters are @KBZeese and @MFlowers8. Zeese is a member of the Steering Committee of the Bradley Manning Support Network.
This article is based on a weekly newsletter by Occupy Washington, DC. You can sign up to receive it free here.