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‘Sometimes You Have to Pay a Heavy Price to Live in a Free Society’ August 24, 2013

Posted by rogerhollander in Criminal Justice, LGBT, Whistle-blowing, Wikileaks.
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1 comment so far


Roger’s note: We need to get used to calling her Chelsea and using the female pronouns.  She is the same person as the one we have been calling Bradley Manning all this time.  This statement of hers shows us the real Chelsea/Bradley Manning, someone of whom we can continue to be proud, a far cry from the “disturbed” soldier portrayed before the judge during the sentencing hearing.  I can imagine the sniggers amongst the idiots of the right about the transgender nature of Chelsea Manning.  Recently I came across this quote from Charles Bukowski: “The problem with the world is that the intelligent people are full of doubt while the stupid ones are full of confidence.”  Although this is a sweeping generalization, I see some truth to it.  Note how the quote works by replacing the words “intelligent people” with “middle class liberals” and the words “stupid ones” with “bigoted tea party.”

The following is a rush transcript by Common Dreams of the statement made by Pfc. Bradley Manning* as read by David Coombs at a press conference on Wednesday following the announcement of his 35-year prison sentence by a military court:

The decisions that I made in 2010 were made out of a concern for my country and the world that we live in. Since the tragic events of 9/11, our country has been at war. We’ve been at war with an enemy that chooses not to meet us on a traditional battlefield, and due to this fact we’ve had to alter our methods of combating the risks posed to us and our way of life.


Manning invoked that late Howard Zinn, quoting, “There is not a flag large enough to cover the shame of killing innocent people”

I initially agreed with these methods and chose to volunteer to help defend my country. It was not until I was in Iraq and reading secret military reports on a daily basis that I started to question the morality of what we were doing. It was at this time I realized in our efforts to meet this risk posed to us by the enemy, we have forgotten our humanity. We consciously elected to devalue human life both in Iraq and Afghanistan. When we engaged those that we perceived were the enemy, we sometimes killed innocent civilians. Whenever we killed innocent civilians, instead of accepting responsibility for our conduct, we elected to hide behind the veil of national security and classified information in order to avoid any public accountability.

In our zeal to kill the enemy, we internally debated the definition of torture. We held individuals at Guantanamo for years without due process. We inexplicably turned a blind eye to torture and executions by the Iraqi government. And we stomached countless other acts in the name of our war on terror.

Patriotism is often the cry extolled when morally questionable acts are advocated by those in power. When these cries of patriotism drown our any logically based intentions [unclear], it is usually an American soldier that is ordered to carry out some ill-conceived mission.

Our nation has had similar dark moments for the virtues of democracy—the Trail of Tears, the Dred Scott decision, McCarthyism, the Japanese-American internment camps—to name a few. I am confident that many of our actions since 9/11 will one day be viewed in a similar light.

As the late Howard Zinn once said, “There is not a flag large enough to cover the shame of killing innocent people.”

I understand that my actions violated the law, and I regret if my actions hurt anyone or harmed the United States. It was never my intention to hurt anyone. I only wanted to help people. When I chose to disclose classified information, I did so out of a love for my country and a sense of duty to others.

If you deny my request for a pardon, I will serve my time knowing that sometimes you have to pay a heavy price to live in a free society. I will gladly pay that price if it means we could have country that is truly conceived in liberty and dedicated to the proposition that all women and men are created equal.

*(Subsequent to this statement on the following day, Manning announced, via legal counsel, the desire to be regarded as a woman and to be called Chelsea, a request Common Dreams intends to honor moving forward.)

Lawyer: Treatment of Bradley Manning ‘Should Shock the Conscience’ of the Court July 20, 2012

Posted by rogerhollander in Civil Liberties, Constitution, Criminal Justice.
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Published on Thursday, July 19, 2012 by Common Dreams


– Common Dreams staff

The mistreatment Bradley Manning experienced at the US Marine Corps Brig in Quantico, Virginia “should shock the conscience of this court,” Manning’s lawyer said Thursday at a pre-trial hearing.

(photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images) 24-year-old Manning, who faces 22 charges, was held in solitary confinement from July 2010 to April 2011.

David Coombs, Manning’s lawyer, said Manning’s treatment was “unlawful,” and that the blanket he had there was basically “a large piece of sand paper.”

On Thursday the judge also denied a request from the defense to have United Nations torture investigator Juan Mendez testify, saying it was irrelevant as Mendez had not visited Manning at Quantico. Mendez had, in fact, attempted to but was refused an unmonitored visit. In a 14-month investigation into the Manning, Mendez accused the U.S. government of harsh treatment of Bradley Manning that may amount to torture


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  • philiphoko 12 comments collapsed CollapseExpand

    A brave soldier of freedom, tortured by the ghouls of war.

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  • Chris Randolph 11 comments collapsed CollapseExpand

    Obama’s prisoner we should remember. One word from the White House, not needing any congressional input, would automatically improve his treatment.

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  • philiphoko 1 comment collapsed CollapseExpand

    Obama is the Ghoul in Chief. His breath is rot, his words, polished vomit, his vision, shifting curtains of blood.

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  • julea bacall 9 comments collapsed CollapseExpand

    I voted for Obama and I really want to know what’s up with him on this. Will he give us a statement? This cannot happen in this country and us turn a blind eye. The killing of Journalists by Americans cannot happen without our outcry. The killing of Pat Tillman by his own troop cannot happen without Outcry. Pres. Obama….Whats up???

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  • nwcitizen 1 comment collapsed CollapseExpand

    If I recall correctly, Obama has already delcared Bradley Manning guilty. This was before any charges were brought.

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  • RedRavenSounds 1 comment collapsed CollapseExpand

    Look what they did to the guys who protested Vietnam – They were accused of mutiny!! They were held at the Presidio in San Francisco.
    Watch ‘Sir no Sir” If you threaten the 1% – They bring hell down on your head – Bradley will be remembered some day as the hero he is, just like the guys held at the Presidio are recognized as the heroes they are.

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  • Alfred_Germany 1 comment collapsed CollapseExpand

    Until Obama’s zionist masters are brought to trial, don’t expect anything to get any better. Zionist crimes agains the American People go back a way’s, for example:
    remember the USS Liberty and the many US soldiers who died on it by Israeli air attack in June 1967! It was done to hide Israel’s attack plans on the neighboring countries who had no soldiers in position to attack Israel!

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  • G_Orez 4 comments collapsed CollapseExpand

    Not only did Obama declare Bradley Manning “guilty,” also he was asked about the treatment he was receiving before he was transferred from Quantico:

    President Obama tells us that he’s asked the Pentagon whether the conditions of confinement of Bradley Manning,
    the soldier charged with leaking state secrets, “are appropriate and
    are meeting our basic standards. They assure me that they are.”


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  • rwe2late 2 comments collapsed CollapseExpand

    there’s more:

    After State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley criticized Manning’s conditions of confinement, the White House forced him to resign. Crowley had said the restrictions were “ridiculous, counterproductive and stupid.”

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  • G_Orez 1 comment collapsed CollapseExpand

    I remember that as well.

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  • 4:20 Express 1 comment collapsed CollapseExpand

    Oblahblah already made a statement over a year ago. He declared Bradley Manning guilty.

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  • ArtBrennan 2 comments collapsed CollapseExpand

    I’m a veteran and retired superior court judge from NH. Manning’s pre-trial imprisonment and torture are aimed at getting him to plead guilty to lesser charges. So far, he has managed to withstand his abusers and force this thing to the show trial that it is bound to be. No doubt, in the interest of “national security” (which has nothing to do with the security of the people of the US and everything to do with the military industrial complex), the evidence that would help Manning and enlighten the rest of us will be excluded by the court. Only if we have a judge with the integrity and courage of Judge William Byrne, who freed Daniel Ellsberg, will justice be done for Manning and the people of the US and the world. We should all do our best to be there for this young Manning and show the world and Manning where we stand!

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  • Mercury Whisper 1 comment collapsed CollapseExpand

    Absolutely Correct ArtBrennan..America really must get calmly to common ground on this one.. everyone cannot be a movie star !! At least theymust control their individual egos and get the job done UNITE WITH CALM LOVING STRENGTH .This is the force that changes the status quo.Not the screaming.!

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  • mapczar 2 comments collapsed CollapseExpand

    No it would not shock me. Some of our servicemen are nothing more than thugs in uniform that follow orders and act in a predictable way. As military service turns more and more to the political right you will see more and more behavior that would shock ordinary Americans, such as Manning. He made an oath to defend the constitution against all enemies, foreign and domestic, and he meant it as few are prepared to do. In the service to your country, you might be placed in a position to sacrifice your life but you may also be asked to sacrifice less — such as a career or your freedom. Bradley Manning knows what I am talking about. Giving your life may be an act of physical courage. His sacrifice was one of moral courage which I believe is much more rare in today’s military or among our elected officials. We need more Bradley Mannings, especially in high places.

    You have my life-long salute sir.Full disclosure: former LCDR, USN

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  • 4:20 Express 1 comment collapsed CollapseExpand

    Under the Uniform Military Code of Justice, and the Geneva Convention, a soldier is required to report acts of war crimes.

    Bradley Manning was doing his duty as a soldier and should be given a medal and a promotion, not drumhead justice.

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  • NR16020 1 comment collapsed CollapseExpand

    It is for actions such as these that I hate the U.S. military.
    We could slash their budget by half and still be the strongest in the world, while having hundreds of billions of dollars more to spend on the good things, such as infrastructure and helping the less fortunate and therefore making America a MUCH better place.
    Why are such a high percentage of American citizens so cowardly that they think if we slash the military budget by half, we would not be safe??
    Those who don’t want to substantially cut the military budget and foreign bases are a bunch of cowards and bullies.

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  • minitrue 1 comment collapsed CollapseExpand

    Sadly, show trials are nothing new. In the CCCP, people were often tortured to the point of confessing to anything they were accused of. Then they were allowed to “confess” to their crimes in show trials, implicating anyone they were told to, with the promise that if they didn’t, the torture chambers awaited them.

    I don’t think Bradley has the chance of a snowball in a blast furnace, unless they cook up a deal to use him to get Julian.

    Next, it will be Room 101.

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  • Shantiananda 1 comment collapsed CollapseExpand

    Mr. Manning: A very brave, patriotic and honorable soldier, being made an example, by an evil, cowardly, kangaroo government court, to discourage any other brave, patriotic and honorable soldiers from following in his footsteps.

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  • karl 1 comment collapsed CollapseExpand

    Yes the Nazis like to torture people.

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  • michiganwoman1 comment collapsed CollapseExpand

    US torture.

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  • Elizabeth H 1 comment collapsed CollapseExpand

    That latest decision from the judge doesn’t bode well, but I’m miserably not surprised. Every veteran I’ve ever talked to about this case knows Manning doesn’t stand a chance, and unfortunately some have no sympathy. They think he should have waited till he got out to do any leaking. One laughed at the level of information. He’d been privy to Top Security info, and was amazed at the tame stuff that Manning leaked. Well, let’s push that idea further, my man. What have you got? Any possibility you could do something with it? Ahhh, he wasn’t the type to do any such thing as to save some of that info and get himself martyred.

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  • Scott_ffolliott 1 comment collapsed CollapseExpand

    “But it will be transformed. All the present systems will be transformed. People are not fools. I remember your President Lincoln saying that you can’t fool all of the people all of the time.
    Their common sense, their instinct for decency and justice, will bring them together. Don’t scoff! It has happened before. It can happen again, on a much larger scale. And when it does, the rulers of society, with all their wealth, with all their armies, will be helpless to prevent it. Their servants will refuse to serve, their soldiers will disobey orders.”

    from Howard Zinn’s play Marx in Soho

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  • DoileWrague 1 comment collapsed CollapseExpand

    Hey, he’s guilty right? Didn’t the “Commander In Chief” say so? Obama could order him killed tomorrow!. He could order him tied to a big goddam stake out in the middle of a field and damn-well drone-hit!, So Manning better shut up and take what’s coming to him! Obama’s being kind, generous and lenient toward Manning and he’s not even grateful!

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  • Eyepublius 5 comments collapsed CollapseExpand

    I doubt that Bradley Manning was “tortured” or even came close to torture. I am sure he was on a very close suicide watch.

    Torture: that was left up the those in the previous “torture kept us safe” team (read: Bush-Cheney-Yoo-Addington-Gonzales-Rice-Rumsfeld-Bybee, and a few others).

    — Dan Francis (Watertown, NY – near Fort Drum) and former Marine Corps interrogator (1stLt., USMC (Ret.)

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  • Elizabeth H 2 comments collapsed CollapseExpand

    Are you kidding? You are kidding, right? They were using classic no-touch torture techniques on him. Drugging him (on “antidepressants” they said vaguely, many of which now are combined with neuroleptics, just like they gave the dissidents of yore in the USSR). Solitary. Waking him constantly “to see if he was OK”). Making him strip naked and stand to attention for all to see. Calling it suicide watch even though the prison psych experts reported that he wasn’t suicidal.

    I guess you’re one of those “no blood, no blame” types, or you’d better get better at your irony act, because it’s not coming through with any force, and many on these threads couldn’t see irony even if it were fashioned by Mark Twain.

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  • BackStory 1 comment collapsed CollapseExpand

    You should see what they do to a normal regular person in the military if they are on ‘profile’ as a suicide watch. It’s called LOS (line of sight). You are placed somewhere where someone can watch you at any time, this could be in a really noisy game room (so you can’t sleep) or at a lone desk in a lone room with nothing to look at or read and no place to rest (so you can’t sleep) or in a janitor’s closet in a dilapidated building at the unused end of a military base with an armed guard standing outside (I guess so the can shoot you if you decide to try to kill yourself). THIS is what the call suicide prevention in the military. If you ain’t useful, you are as good as dead to the MIC. It’s all collateral damage and you know how much we care about that.

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  • Chris Herz 1 comment collapsed CollapseExpand

    No country ever hold political prisoners. Always there are some other “charges” used to cover the panic of corrupt authorities at having their crimes outed. And torture . . The mere idea is impossible in the USSA.

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  • 4:20 Express 1 comment collapsed CollapseExpand

    You obviously don’t understand psychological torture. As I understand, Bradley Manning was keot confined in a cell, naked, under a bright light, for 23 hours a day. At “night” he was awoken every 20 mins or so to be asked if he was ok.

    If you don’t think experiencing those conditions, for 11 months nonstop, is torture, I’d suggest you give it a try.

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  • Caleb Abell 3 comments collapsed CollapseExpand

    It’s always heartwarming to see a Judge … a man who has dedicated his life to justice … stand up for what’s right and demonstrate his personal honor and integrity in what is probably the most important case he will ever try.

    All those in the legal profession no doubt respect him for the jurist and man he is. His parents, wife and children should be proud of him. I’m sure he is just a reflection of the men and women of quality and honor who sit on the bench across this proud land.

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  • G_Orez 2 comments collapsed CollapseExpand

    Army Col. Denise Lind,
    presiding over a pretrial hearing at Fort Meade, agreed with
    prosecutors that the extent of any damage is irrelevant to the 22
    charges against Pfc. Bradley Manning.


    This particular man is a she… 

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  • Caleb Abell 1 comment collapsed CollapseExpand

    “This particular man is a she…”

    My error. Too bad, I hoped the female professionals would improve the profession. I was naive.

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  • bsidegumbo 1 comment collapsed CollapseExpand

    Come join Courage to Resist and Bradley Manning Support Committee to protest Obama at Fox Theater this coming Monday, July 23rd at 3 PM. It’s right near 19th St. BART Station.

    “They hide the truth from the American people, protect corporate criminals and punish the truth tellers. And will continue their assault on demopcracy here and around the world until the American people stop them.”

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  • Mercury Whisper 1 comment collapsed CollapseExpand

    Is it not about time for citizens to arrest these satanic people whom think they have a right to treat people any way they like ?who really are these people? the President was voted by the people for the people!! all that progresive rhetoric Ha! to really enslave a nation? it is the most shameful constant invasion on the collective soul of humanity..Get smart now OWS its surely time to retaliate ..the Law is manipulated to suit those disgusting people whom you voted in to lead you to a happier expression and born human right dignity and freedom to love ..grow and have education .. health care across the board not enslave you to fear and mistreatment ..That has you yelling on the streets.you are the power!! Bradley is the unfortunate soul to show you just how twisted your government,police force and military relly are.Bradley will be free..tou could always storm the Pentegon? The White House? after all . 🙂

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  • gloria quinones 1 comment collapsed CollapseExpand

    Obama: The New Manchurian Candidate???

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  • HenryWallace2012 1 comment collapsed CollapseExpand

    The West invented torture! It started in Western Europe. Secret trials in ancient Germany were of the type that people had no right to confront accusers and would always be found guilty and executed often in the most brutal manner. A little history.

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