Help us continue important advocacy work for PFC Bradley Manning
Dear friends of Bradley Manning,
Today we are bringing you a special appeal for support, because we know that in order to win Bradley’s case in a military court we must first win his case in the court of public opinion.
We are working to harness broad-based grassroots support for the accused WikiLeaks whistleblower in the United States, combined with international pressure. Our aim is to make it difficult — even embarrassing — for the United States government to continue their persecution of Bradley Manning.
Key to this strategy is our media outreach effort. Unfortunately, we may be forced to scale back that effort, only for lack of funds. We’re posting today to ask you to support our continued media outreach effort. This effort provides us with media professionals who educate reporters about Bradley Manning and WikiLeaks, so that Americans can learn the truth – and not just what the government wants them to hear.
The Challenges – Bradley’s Name Smeared by Mainstream Media
From the earliest days of the Bradley Manning campaign, the mainstream media has painted a false portrait of Bradley. Bradley is a young working class man who overcame great challenges in his life. If Bradley did what he is accused of, he is a hero who risked everything for justice and transparency, to help make our country live up to its best ideals.
But too often the mainstream media has ignored the truths revealed by the WikiLeaks cables. Instead, they focused their stories on Bradley’s sexual history and working-class childhood. The articles about him were filled with gossip, not insights into U.S. foreign policy. And few journalists covered the prolonged solitary confinement Bradley was suffering — conditions which have been likened to torture.
The Solution – a Small Team Dedicated to Educating the Media about Bradley Manning
At the urging of Bradley supporters, the Bradley Manning Support Network helped to fund an initial media advocacy effort in February of this year. The goal was to educate reporters about Bradley Manning and WikiLeaks. It also gave our network a voice – so that reporters would be able to get both sides of the story, not just the government’s interpretation.
We saw almost immediate results. Stories about Bradley were more balanced, and included discussions with people who knew him in real life. Reporters were asking government officials about Bradley during press conferences. And there was so much media coverage of Bradley’s unlawful solitary confinement that the government was forced to move him to better conditions.
It’s not a fluke. Everyday Americans are learning that Bradley Manning is an American hero with simple roots and a commitment to transparency in government. The tides are turning – and the government’s war on whistleblowers is coming to an end.
Will You Help Us Keep the Media Advocacy Work?
Donations to the Bradley Manning campaign have dwindled. While at the outset there was a fund specific to the media advocacy for Bradley, the Support Network has had to absorb this expense for several months.
We’ve reached out to major donors to help cover the costs, but so far no one has stepped forward to ensure this effort continues.
Our organizational costs are minimal. We pay hard costs – like postage, website maintenance, and t-shirts – as well as the salaries of two part-time employees. While we sometimes have other costs (like a video or part-time help for big projects), our operating costs are remarkably low because we are mostly volunteers. Our only major expenses are Bradley’s legal fees and the media advocacy campaign.
If you believe that a commitment to Bradley means a commitment throughout his trial, then please help us continue the media effort that has been so fundamental to changing the public’s view of Bradley Manning.
Covering the costs of the media advocacy work for September and October will necessitate us raising $16,000. As a network, we’ve previously raised over ten times that much, so we know this is possible. But we need you. Will you donate today to help us win Bradley’s case in the court of public opinion?
Thank you for standing with us,
Rainey Reitman and Jeff Paterson
— Bradley Manning Support Network