Monday, September 13, 2010

“Free Bradley Manning!”

We the undersigned call for the immediate release of US Army private first class Bradley Manning, incarcerated as of 18 June 2010.

Media accounts state that Mr. Manning was arrested in late May for allegedly leaking the video of US Apache helicopter pilots killing innocent people and seriously wounding two children in Baghdad, including those who arrived to help the wounded. The video was released by WikiLeaks under the name “Collateral Murder” ( Pfc. Manning is also identified by the Defense Department as a “person of interest” in the investigation into WikiLeaks’ obtaining 90,000 battlefield reports describing thousands of civilian deaths inflicted by occupation forces in Afghanistan, collusion with warlords, corruption and an unvarnished view of our decade-long war.

If these allegations are untrue, we call upon the U.S. Department of Defense to release Mr. Manning immediately.

If these allegations ARE true, we ALSO call upon the U.S. Department of Defense to release Mr. Manning immediately.

The leaked video, released by WikiLeaks under the title “Collateral Murder,” clearly shows that official statements from the multinational force in Baghdad that “there is no question that Coalition forces were clearly engaged in combat operations against a hostile force” were blatantly false. The leaker of this video blew the whistle on two crimes: the murder of civilians and an official coverup. Exposing these crimes was a moral and legal obligation and a service to the international community. The leaker deserves our respect and thanks — not prosecution.

We express our support for Mr. Manning in any case, and our admiration for his courage if he is, in fact, the person who disclosed the information. As in the cases of Daniel Ellsberg, W. Mark Felt, Frank Serpico and countless other whistleblowers before, government demands for secrecy must yield to public knowledge and justice when government crime and corruption are being kept hidden. If the United States government demands to use our tax dollars and our own children to fight this war, then we must demand full disclosure of the facts, no matter how unsettling. We demand that the government stop the misinformation and we honor heroes who fight for transparency.

Free Bradley Manning!

San Diego Coalition for Peace & Justice (SDCPJ)
San Diego Alliance for Marriage Equality (SAME)
Activist San Diego
San Diego Branch of The International Socialist Organization (ISO)
Green Party of San Diego County
San Diego Pride at Work
Progressive Democrats of America Metro San Diego Chapter (PDA)
Democracy for America San Diego Meetup
San Diego Chapter of Veterans for Peace (VFP)
Vietnam Veterans Against the War San Diego (VVAW)
The San Diego Puppet Insurgency
Zenger’s Newsmagazine

EDITOR’S NOTE: On Sunday, September 19, from noon to 4 p.m. outside Horton Plaza at Fourth and Broadway downtown, there will be a solidarity rally in support of Bradley Manning. Speakers will include Thomas Jefferson School of Law professor and former National Lawyers’ Guild president Marjorie Cohn. There will also be a presentation of the “Collateral Murder” video and discussion at the Activist San Diego general meeting Monday, September 20, 7 p.m., at the Joyce Beers Community Center, 4065 Vermont Street in Hillcrest (in the Uptown District mall between Terra and Aladdin restaurants). For more information, visit