Friday, 11 March 2011

Bradley Manning - The Forgotten Man

Bradley Manning is a 22 year old Army intelligence analyst , not a person I know personally but he spent his schooldays down the road from me in Pembrokeshire. He went to school in Tasker Milward where he is remembered for his integrity and intelligence. His mum, aunts and uncles still live in Pembrokeshire.
I personally believe him to be one of the bravest people of our time, it is being alleged that he released information to Wikileaks of abuse and corruptibilty in the army and governments. Barak Obama himself has said that whistleblowers themselves have an important part to play in democratic societies.
One of the videos he allegedly shared contained images of a US helicopter attack that killed 11 innocent civilians in Baghdad, Iraq. The Army, however  soon covered up this evidence of a war crime and somehow declared it "justified". Now they brand the exposing of this and their part in a massacre criminal. They have also accused Bradley of having shared documentation of similar atrocities ( " Collateral Murder" ) in Afghanistan.
Bradley has been identified as a person of interest regarding the release of  90,000 battlefield reports describing civilian deaths inflicted by occupation forces in Afghanistan, collusion with warlords, corruption, and an unvarnished view of a decade-long war. But still no actual charges have been made against him.
Instead of being lauded he has since been persecuted and hung out to dry.

Since these things have happened things have got far worse for Bradley as the Independant Newspaper and the News Statesman has reported. Beneath the U.S's veneer is the brutal treatment he has recieved. He has now been locked up for 8 months, kept in solitary confinement for 23 hours every day, kept in a prison cell 6 feet wide and 12 feet high, ritually forced to spend days naked, simply because he embarressed the US army, and shown the world how lax their security is that a 22 year old could access all their information and simply download it onto his ipad or memory stick. Does any human deserve such humiliation, especially in a country where their is so much talk of freedom in other peoples lands. Is this the world that we live in now, I believe that instead of being treated like a common criminal we should be showing him gratitude, and he should be rewarded for bringing these abuses of military and governmental power to our attention. God knows what will happen to Julian Assanges if the Americans get their hands on him. Bradley's health is now beginning to deteriorate, he has become withdrawn and catatonic , feels persecuted and is now barely able to communicate.Is this how America treats its heroes. Mistreated and abused ! For humanities sake we must challenge this, e.mail your M.P, your AssemblyMember, Congreessman, Barak Obama himself, sign online petitions, anything. We simply can't afford to forget this honourable man..


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