I am Bradley Manning…Today the Fate of this Whistleblower Gets Decided

Bradley Manning

Bradley Manning

Today a military judge will decide the fate of whistle-blower Bradley Manning. He’s been locked up and tortured for the past 3 years..The ruling is predicted to have far-reaching impact on all sectors of society from journalists on down to folks who publish and post up information on-line.. All that needs to happen is some government official declaring what ever information you have as a threat to national security.

Now on the surface that may seem like common sense and in the age of us, the US being engaged in a long-lasting War on Terror, keeping things secret may be a price we all have to pay. The problem is that so much of our military and other institutions fighting these wars are privately owned companies who have a financial stake in the actions they take and not necessarily our collective freedom. This unprecedented partnership has led to severe abuses of power.

This shooting of Reuters news reporter Namir Noor-Elden and her driver Saeed Chmagh being shot at by the Apache a helicopter and a family with their kids is the type of info Manning brought to light..This is the type of atrocities being done in our name.. Not to mention we were in Iraq where this took place because of deliberate lies and misleading information, designed to make companies like Halliburton lots of money..

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=25EWUUBjPMo

The information that Bradley gave to the public has been a catalyst for pro-democracy movements in the Arab world, exposed the unjust detainment of innocent people at Guantanamo Bay, shown us the true human cost of our wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and changed journalism forever.

There is no evidence that anyone died as a result of the leaked information, yet Bradley faces life in prison or possibly death. The greatest charge against him is that of “aiding the enemy,” a capital offense. As the public who benefited from this information, does that make us the enemy? What price will future whistleblowers pay?

http://vimeo.com/68700092

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Reporting Live from the DNC in Charlotte Day 2: Michelle Obama Rips It

There’s lots to say about whats going down here in Charlotte at the DNC. There are scores of protests… key word ‘scores’. More people are up in arms and stomping the pavement then they were in Tampa Bay..

Yesterday alone, there was a huge protest and counter protest at Planned Parenthood. There was a big march bringing attention to the plight of prisoner Bradley Manning. While people were kicking up dust about this man who they consider a hero and ultimate whistle blower, my co-host Mark Bebawi was inside the Convention Center, talking to delegates about Manning’s plight and was astonished to see how oblivious folks inside were to him. many didn’t know who he was, others didn’t care. the few that did know him touted the party line that he should be locked away.

There was a big Occupy March against Capitalism.. There was a March against the War led by War Veterans. There is a separate conference featuring progressive Democrats where you’d see everyone from Jesse Jackson to Keith Ellison to former congressman Alan Grayson to Raul M. Grijalva. All this has been happening in the pouring rain

There was a march and demonstration around the plight of undocumented students…where people should note, that as the DNC celebrated the rise of Latino politicians like keynote speaker San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro who gave a rousing speech that led to folks giving a standing ovation, outside the doors of the convention in front of the entrance, 10 undocumented students were arrested. Actress Rosario Dawson stood with the crowd as this went down in support. She held up a big sign that said Undocumented.  Will they be deported? We don’t know..

As all this was going down outside, many were getting into the speeches and there were some really good ones. Many liked what Newark mayor Cory Booker had to say.. Massachusetts Governor Duval Patrick got people fired up.. But where people went absolutely nuts and where it was unbridled pandemonium was when First Lady Michele Obama hit the stage. Her speech was one for the ages.. People didn’t just hear her they felt her. They felt her in a big way..I heard over and over again that Michele’s speech took folks back to 2008 when folks were excited about the possibility of making history with the election of the country’s first Black president.

Michele Obama left folks feeling proud.. For women who have felt been under assault by weeks of rhetoric on the campaign trail about ‘legitimate rape’ policies of GOP, Michele was a welcome breath of fresh air. For Black women she was a source of pride, someone who erased all the nasty stereotypes and bad images constantly being hawked and elevated in the form of shows like Basketball Wives and other Reality shows on network TV.. In fact one sister a radio personality, SkyyHook tweeted ‘Ladies, this is what a REAL wife looks like.. No Fighting, No Throwing chairs or Jumping on tables… Class and humility’.. That tweet was generously passed around.

I don’t wanna go on too long about Michele Obama, but I must because her speech was a really big deal for the thousands here in Charlotte. She got people fired up and for the moment, she got folks forgetting the concerns and criticisms people have raised about her husband’s policies.

For the moment folks forgot about drone strikes, and the continuation of Bush war policies.. For the moment people forgot about record number foreclosures, mass deportations and the cozy relationship he has with Goldman Sachs and other Wall Street entities…That’s how energetic and impactful that speech was.. People wanna feel good at the end of the day. People wanna believe at the end of the day.. Michele Obama made that happen last night.

There’s lots more to say about the DNC here in Charlotte including how diverse it is which is a good thing and a much welcome contrast to what we experienced in Tampa Bay. It’s also very disorganized and in many ways just straight up janky, but we’ll save that for another report. In the meantime the word of the day is Michele.. Will Barack Obama be able to move people in the same way?? We’ll see on Thursday..

 

Michael Moore: Why I’m Posting Bail Money for Julian Assange

Filmmaker Michael Moore is putting his money where his mouth is and putting up bail money to help WikiLeaks co-founder Julian Assange post bail..it’s interesting to note the amount of negative information that has been put out about Assange, so much so that many are calling his character into question to the point its hard to know what to believe.

On one hand no one with a conscience wants to dismiss anything like the rape he’s accused of committing, at the same time we know the types of propaganda that is routinely used on folks who have stood up to our government in the past via Cointel_Pro. The Black Panthers, American Indian Movement, Chicano Movement, Anti-War Movement etc..They and so many more were victim to massive disinformation campaigns that have lasted 40 years after the fact. A lot of the dis-information  was so convincing that it led to people being killed , imprisoned and ostracized. Are we seeing that being played out before our very eyes with Julian Assange and Wikileaks?

One thing is certain, his character has become just as much of a conversation as the information he put out. And maybe that’s the plan-create enough of a distractions and doubt that we stop looking at what’s really in those documents. Even more important is noting if it’s happening to Julian Assange  and Wikileaks it can happen to any one of us should we decide to take a firm, public stand on issues that put us in opposition to those in power. That should have us all concerned. Put the words ‘top secret’, ‘national security threat’ or ‘war on terror’ around any activity or document and we seem to allow all sorts suppression without blinking an eye.

In short we better pay close attention to all aspects of Wikileaks and how things unfolds and make sure no one involved suddenly disappears.

Bradley Manning

Lastly, it seems like  hardly anyone is talking about Bradley Manning the soldier who supposedly got Assange the documents in the first place. I know the city of Berkeley, Ca is holding a city council vote tonite to see if Manning should be considered a hero, but other than that we don’t hear too much. If you notice we don’t hear too much about the court proceedings going on at Ft Hood involving Maj. Nidal Hasan who was the gun man in last years massacre.  We should be looking closely to see why we have such egregious acts being committed by our men in uniform.

-Davey D-

Why I’m Posting Bail Money for Julian Assange

http://www.michaelmoore.com/words/mike-friends-blog/why-im-posting-bail-money

Yesterday, in the Westminster Magistrates Court in London, the lawyers for WikiLeaks co-founder Julian Assange presented to the judge a document from me stating that I have put up $20,000 of my own money to help bail Mr. Assange out of jail.

Furthermore, I am publicly offering the assistance of my website, my servers, my domain names and anything else I can do to keep WikiLeaks alive and thriving as it continues its work to expose the crimes that were concocted in secret and carried out in our name and with our tax dollars.

We were taken to war in Iraq on a lie. Hundreds of thousands are now dead. Just imagine if the men who planned this war crime back in 2002 had had a WikiLeaks to deal with. They might not have been able to pull it off. The only reason they thought they could get away with it was because they had a guaranteed cloak of secrecy. That guarantee has now been ripped from them, and I hope they are never able to operate in secret again.

So why is WikiLeaks, after performing such an important public service, under such vicious attack? Because they have outed and embarrassed those who have covered up the truth. The assault on them has been over the top:

**Sen. Joe Lieberman says WikiLeaks “has violated the Espionage Act.”

**The New Yorker‘s George Packer calls Assange “super-secretive, thin-skinned, [and] megalomaniacal.”

**Sarah Palin claims he’s “an anti-American operative with blood on his hands” whom we should pursue “with the same urgency we pursue al Qaeda and Taliban leaders.”

**Democrat Bob Beckel (Walter Mondale’s 1984 campaign manager) said about Assange on Fox: “A dead man can’t leak stuff … there’s only one way to do it: illegally shoot the son of a bitch.”

**Republican Mary Matalin says “he’s a psychopath, a sociopath … He’s a terrorist.”

**Rep. Peter A. King calls WikiLeaks a “terrorist organization.”

And indeed they are! They exist to terrorize the liars and warmongers who have brought ruin to our nation and to others. Perhaps the next war won’t be so easy because the tables have been turned — and now it’s Big Brother who’s being watched … by us!

Julian Assange

WikiLeaks deserves our thanks for shining a huge spotlight on all this. But some in the corporate-owned press have dismissed the importance of WikiLeaks (“they’ve released little that’s new!”) or have painted them as simple anarchists (“WikiLeaks just releases everything without any editorial control!”). WikiLeaks exists, in part, because the mainstream media has failed to live up to its responsibility. The corporate owners have decimated newsrooms, making it impossible for good journalists to do their job. There’s no time or money anymore for investigative journalism. Simply put, investors don’t want those stories exposed. They like their secrets kept … as secrets.

I ask you to imagine how much different our world would be if WikiLeaks had existed 10 years ago. Take a look at thisphoto. That’s Mr. Bush about to be handed a “secret” document on August 6th, 2001. Its heading read: “Bin Ladin Determined To Strike in US.” And on those pages it said the FBI had discovered “patterns of suspicious activity in this country consistent with preparations for hijackings.” Mr. Bush decided to ignore it and went fishing for the next four weeks.

But if that document had been leaked, how would you or I have reacted? What would Congress or the FAA have done? Was there not a greater chance that someone, somewhere would have done something if all of us knew about bin Laden’s impending attack using hijacked planes?

But back then only a few people had access to that document. Because the secret was kept, a flight school instructor in San Diego who noticed that two Saudi students took no interest in takeoffs or landings, did nothing. Had he read about the bin Laden threat in the paper, might he have called the FBI? (Please read this essay by former FBI Agent Coleen Rowley, Time’s 2002 co-Person of the Year, about her belief that had WikiLeaks been around in 2001, 9/11 might have been prevented.)

Or what if the public in 2003 had been able to read “secret” memos from Dick Cheney as he pressured the CIA to give him the “facts” he wanted in order to build his false case for war? If a WikiLeaks had revealed at that time that there were, in fact, no weapons of mass destruction, do you think that the war would have been launched — or rather, wouldn’t there have been calls for Cheney’s arrest?

Openness, transparency — these are among the few weapons the citizenry has to protect itself from the powerful and the corrupt. What if within days of August 4th, 1964 — after the Pentagon had made up the lie that our ship was attacked by the North Vietnamese in the Gulf of Tonkin — there had been a WikiLeaks to tell the American people that the whole thing was made up? I guess 58,000 of our soldiers (and 2 million Vietnamese) might be alive today.

Instead, secrets killed them.

For those of you who think it’s wrong to support Julian Assange because of the sexual assault allegations he’s being held for, all I ask is that you not be naive about how the government works when it decides to go after its prey. Please — never, ever believe the “official story.” And regardless of Assange’s guilt or innocence (see the strange nature of the allegations here), this man has the right to have bail posted and to defend himself. I have joined with filmmakers Ken Loach and John Pilger and writer Jemima Khan in putting up the bail money — and we hope the judge will accept this and grant his release today.

Might WikiLeaks cause some unintended harm to diplomatic negotiations and U.S. interests around the world? Perhaps. But that’s the price you pay when you and your government take us into a war based on a lie. Your punishment for misbehaving is that someone has to turn on all the lights in the room so that we can see what you’re up to. You simply can’t be trusted. So every cable, every email you write is now fair game. Sorry, but you brought this upon yourself. No one can hide from the truth now. No one can plot the next Big Lie if they know that they might be exposed.

And that is the best thing that WikiLeaks has done. WikiLeaks, God bless them, will save lives as a result of their actions. And any of you who join me in supporting them are committing a true act of patriotism. Period.

I stand today in absentia with Julian Assange in London and I ask the judge to grant him his release. I am willing to guarantee his return to court with the bail money I have wired to said court. I will not allow this injustice to continue unchallenged.

P.S. You can read the statement I filed today in the London court here.

P.P.S. If you’re reading this in London, please go support Julian Assange and WikiLeaks at a demonstration at 1 PM today, Tuesday the 14th, in front of the Westminster court.

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