Shameful Exploitation of Bradley Manning
by Robert Scheer
by Robert Scheer: Let
Them Eat Keller
Keep an American
soldier locked up naked in a cage and driven half mad while deprived
of all basic rights, and you will be instantly condemned as a barbaric
terrorist. Unless the jailer is an authorized agent of the U.S.
government, in which case even treatment approaching torture will
go largely unnoticed. Certainly if a likable constitutional law
professor happens to be president, all such assaults on human dignity
will easily pass muster.
interned like some wild animal in that cage in Kuwait, Pfc. Bradley
Manning was transferred to the Quantico, Va., Marine base and further
subjected to conditions that his lawyer termed criminal.
Not all that far from the White House, and yet our ever-enlightened
president seems not to have noticed that this soldier, whose alleged
criminal offense is that he attempted to inform the public of crimes
committed in its name, has been held in an environment clearly created
to destroy his very sense of self.
lawyer, David Coombs, a lieutenant colonel in the Army reserves
and a veteran of 12 years of active duty, put it: Brads
treatment at Quantico will forever be etched into our nations
history as a disgraceful moment in time. Coombs warned that
the most serious charge facing his client, aiding the enemy,
is a scary proposition designed to silence a lot
of critics of our government.
Who is that
enemy other than the public that came to be informed
about the true nature of the U.S. wars in Iraq and Afghanistan by
news reports based on a trove of documents allegedly made available
to the WikiLeaks website by Manning? The documents were labeled
secret, but as the many important news reports based on them revealed,
they contained information that an enlightened public had a need
and right to know.
Yet for too
many in the mainstream media, led by the example of the editors
of The New York Times, the recent military courtroom proceedings
where Mannings lawyer finally got to document the governments
attempt to destroy his client were largely a nonevent. Conveniently
so, given that the Times and other major news outlets that were
thrilled to exploit the information that Manning uncovered are deeply
afraid of being associated with the brave whistle-blower himself.
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