Second anniversary of the Afghan war diaries. Take action July 25th!
On July 25th update your Facebook and Twitter profile pictures with a message to “Free Bradley Manning”.
By the Bradley Manning Support Network. July 22, 2012.
This Wednesday, July 25, marks the two-year anniversary of the release of “The Afghan War Diary.” This collection of military documents stands in stark contrast to the government’s public statements on the war in Afghanistan — a war characterized by overwhelming civilian casualties and a culture of secrecy far exceeding what’s needed to protect U.S. troops. Even though the Bush and Obama Administrations maintained publicly that there was no official count of civilian casualties, the Afghan War Diary and related documents expose this claim as false.
Meanwhile, none have paid a price for these revelations more than Pfc. Bradley Manning, the 24-year old soldier accused of making documents public through the popular whistle-blower website, WikiLeaks.
Forced to endure torturous conditions described for the first year of captivity, Manning now approaches 800 days in brig, despite military code ensuring his right to a speedy trial. Despite the government’s own admission that there was no substantive damage, Manning faces life in prison for allegedly sharing information about a controversial war the American public is asked to co-sign, politically, financially, and morally.
Accountability and transparency are the hallmarks of a democratic society—qualities that transcend partisanship or divisive notions of right and left, liberal and conservative. The American public deserved access to this information from the get go, and Bradley Manning should be freed without charges immediately as a whistle-blower whose trial has been rife with procedural, legal and human rights violations.
MORE ABOUT THE AFGHAN WAR DIARY AND ASSOCIATED LEAKS
This collection of some 90,000 (all classified as “secret” or lower) military documents dated 2004-2009 illustrates a grim picture of U.S. involvement in Afghanistan. Standing in stark contrast to the government’s public statements, the reality of war as documented here is characterized by overwhelming civilian casualties, doubts about allies in the region, and a culture of secrecy far exceeding what’s needed to protect U.S. troops.
The chief editors of three of the world’s most respected newspapers (Der Spiegel, New York Times, Guardian) were “unanimous in their belief that there is a justified public interest in the material.” Meanwhile, the U.S. government has since sought to persecute the perceived sources of the leak, despite finding no substantive damage or harm was caused by the release of the information.
While WikiLeaks raised the ire of U.S. officials by publishing The Afghan War Diary, few have paid a price for the leak quite like Pfc. Bradley Manning, the 24-year old soldier accused of passing the select documents to the popular whistle-blower website.
Forced to endure torturous conditions described as “cruel and inhumane” (UN Special Rapporteur on Torture Juan Mendez) for the first year of captivity, Manning now approaches 800 days in brig, despite military code ensuring his right to a speedy trial. He faces life in prison for allegedly sharing information about a controversial war the American public is asked to co-sign, politically, financially, and morally.
Even though the Bush and Obama Administrations maintained publicly that there was no official count of civilian casualties, the Iraq and Afghanistan War Logs showed that this claim was false. Between 2004 and 2009, the U.S. government counted a total of 109,000 deaths in Iraq, with 66,081 classified as non-combatants. This means two innocent men, women or children murdered for every single death classified as an enemy combatant. Sadly, the portrait offered in the Afghan War Diary is not much better.
Read more about the truths revealed in these and related leaks below and visit www.bradleymanning.org to find out how YOU can help demand justice for Bradley and accountability from our leaders!
New York Times
New York Times on civilian casualties