June 1: Rally for Bradley Manning at Fort Meade
By exposing the truth, Bradley Manning helped end a war based on lies. Join us June 1, 2013 to rally in support of Bradley Manning at Fort Meade.
A still from the Collateral Murder video which exposed the murder of two Reuters journalists
This week, pundits across the political spectrum are searching for meaning in the tenth anniversary of the United States’ invasion of Iraq. The decade-long campaign of bombings and occupation left hundreds of thousands of Iraqis dead and millions wounded, displaced, or scarred. Justified with lies about biological and chemical weapons that never existed, the senseless war cost U.S. tax-payers more than 3 trillion dollars, and far more in blood and shame. Tens of thousands of US soldiers were wounded or killed, and to this day, $490 billion is owed to veterans.
Many credit President Obama with the decision to withdraw U.S. troops from Iraq, and almost none mention the fact that it was cables provided by Bradley Manning and published by WikiLeaks that made Obama’s attempt to keep troops there past the 2011 deadline impossible. As CNN reported in October of that year,
[Iraq and U.S.] negotiations were strained following WikiLeaks’ release of a diplomatic cable that alleged Iraqi civilians, including children, were killed in a 2006 raid by American troops rather than in an airstrike as the U.S. military initially reported.
Obama had wanted to keep troops beyond President Bush’s 2011 deadline, but required the condition that all U.S. soldiers be guaranteed legal immunity for their actions. Upon reading the WikiLeaks-released cables, the Iraqi government refused.
By revealing the hidden realities of the Iraq War, Pfc. Bradley Manning achieved his noble goal of sparking domestic debate, and he helped begin the end of an aggressive, violent, and counterproductive war.
Rally at Fort Meade, June 1.
Here are a few of WikiLeaks’ revelations about the U.S war in Iraq:
- 15,000 more Iraqi civilians had been killed than were reported in any other count
- U.S. soldiers were formally commanded not to investigate reports of torture committed by the Iraqi Federal Police with whom they cooperated
- The American occupation of Iraq has failed to stabilize the widespread violence and corruption that has escalated following the destruction of Iraq’s infrastructure
Embarrassed by the exposure of its failures, the military is seeking to make an example of Bradley Manning, and for this reason we must thank, support, and defend him. The government has chosen to pursue all 22 counts, amounting to a life sentence without parole, against Bradley when his court-martial trial finally begins on June 3.
We’re calling on supporters to descend in droves to Ft. Meade, MD, on June 1, 2013. President Obama and Gen. Martin Dempsey have already deemed Bradley guilty, pressuring Judge Denise Lind to follow suit, making it impossible for Bradley to receive a fair trial. The military court has failed to repudiate Bradley’s unlawful torture and the violation of his right to a speedy trial. It has significantly hindered the defense’s ability to discuss both Bradley’s motive to expose wrongdoing and the fact that no harm has come from WikiLeaks’ publications. So we must support Bradley both inside and outside the courtroom. We must express our outrage at the government’s attempts to send this generation’s Daniel Ellsberg to jail for life. Bradley Manning put his life and liberty on the line to inform his fellow Americans about a disturbing war’s darkest secrets, and on June 1, we must return the favor.
Learn more about organizing a van or bus to Ft. Meade — grants are available.
If you can’t make it to Fort Meade, organize a solidarity event in your own community.