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For those of you not up to date with the Bradley Manning issue he is the guy being stored away by the Americans accused of being the Whistle Blower on the Afghan war diaries.
Initially a common duality is raised in the attempt to find someone guilty whether they are guilty or not. A bit like the old ducking chair for Witches. The question becomes "Are they guilty or not?" The process of establishing this will likely destroy their life - but there is a trick. If you establish they are guilty the point is often missed that they might be "guilty" of doing something right. Whoever released the controversial material ("Collateral Murder") the fact remains that the video is clearly evidence of a crime. The US Defence department has never suggested the evidence is false, in fact they have confirmed it is genuine. They have never denied that there were Reuters journalists murdered, in fact they have confirmed what they call "collateral damage". But the focus of attention is firmly on the messenger and not the message.
When organised crime threatens witnesses in trials it is regarded as a serious crime in itself. Basically they are threatening more pain and destruction if someone dares to expose the pain and destruction that they are already guilty of causing. Even the President of America, Barack Obama, has apparently implied that, Julian Assange, a leading member of the publisher of the material should be assassinated. So the focus of attention goes to the idea that someone has committed a crime and the person in the chair is perceived as "causing" all this dreadful distress. But if anything is wrong it is what has been revealed and not the "witness". Perjury is considered a serious crime because it perverts the course of justice. There is no suggestion that any of this material is false. There is no suggestion of clandestine deception. There is no denial of the evidence. And to maintain the focus of attention on the "act of telling the truth" as if this is a crime is to evade the real question of what was going on in the first place. It is not legal to carry out illegal actions because you were "ordered" to do it. There couldn't even be a question about the "witness'" behaviour without establishing if the "crime" they are exposing is true or false. In this case there is no denial that the crime was committed.
So the whole thing is a farce. Arguing about whether Joe Blogs should have revealed evidence of a crime is a distraction. But then that is what the American administration is doing.
RELEASE BRADLEY MANNING and anyone else you are using to "blame" for your own crimes.
It is seriously irrelevant "who" released the material. So "grow up", "act like a man" (and all that other manipulative crap) and face your own responsibilities "Mr American Government". (For the less intelligent amongst you the words in quotes in the previous sentence are satirical!)
It is a crime to hold Bradley Manning in solitary confinement, in a foreign country, without trial, for an extended period, so release him now and investigate the Government for their part in the Middle East War Crimes. Oh, and whilst you are at it try investigating them for deceiving the American people, misappropriation of tax payers money and a heap of illegal activity in America as well.Update (2 Sep 2010): There is a web site called Courage to Resist at www.couragetoresist.org which has donated money for legal expenses for Bradley Manning. It appears to be an organisation committed to supporting people particularly who have got themselves involved in the American War machine and want out. It is definitely worth a browse. RELATED LINKS: