To defend Bradley Manning, we must educate the public about WikiLeaks
In order to undo any confusion that may have been caused by recent media reports, the Bradley Manning Support Network has written the following open letter clarifying our position in regards to the whistle-blower website WikiLeaks.
An open letter on why the Bradley Manning Support Network works to combat misinformation about WikiLeaks in the court of public opinion
By the Bradley Manning Support Network Steering Committee. August 3, 2012.
The Bradley Manning Support Network is singularly devoted to freeing heroic whistle-blower PFC Bradley Manning and countering the military’s secretive and aggressive efforts to lock him in jail for life. We’re exceptionally proud to have accepted the responsibility of ensuring Bradley gets the fully funded legal defense of his choosing. That has been an incredible challenge as his trial drags on for over two years. We are thankful to the many individuals and organizations that have worked to raise awareness around Bradley Manning’s plight, including the whistle-blower website WikiLeaks. And we’re also proud of our role in advocating for WikiLeaks in the public discourse, as educating the public about WikiLeaks is a fundamental part of ensuring Bradley’s actions are understood.
The Bradley Manning Support Network is organizationally separate from WikiLeaks, but we share common goals of promoting transparency and government accountability. The defense of Bradley Manning is the defense of whistle-blowing, of holding government to account, and of countering massive state secrecy. It is clear to us that, through their fearless publication history, WikiLeaks has made incalculable contributions to the public discourse.
We’re deeply grateful to WikiLeaks, not only for their groundbreaking work in advancing government transparency, but also for their vital help in bringing attention to Bradley’s case and cause. Through public advocacy in media interviews and online, Julian Assange and others associated with WikiLeaks have raised both funds and awareness for the preeminent whistle-blower of our generation. We are particularly appreciative of these efforts given the obstacles WikiLeaks has faced over the last few years. Despite threats of assassination and prosecution to Julian Assange, and despite a crippling financial blockade, WikiLeaks has been steadfast in keeping Bradley’s plight at the fore.
Our mission is to free Bradley Manning, ensure he receives top-notch legal counsel and a fair trial, and work to educate the public about Bradley’s situation. Our mission complements WikiLeaks’ work of promoting government accountability and an informed electorate. We cannot allow the government to operate in total secrecy, and we cannot allow the government to commit war crimes with impunity. We must stand up to egregious secrecy, torture, and war crimes with support for the whistle-blowers who expose them. We are proud to stand by WikiLeaks in fighting for government transparency and justice for Bradley.
Gerry Condon, Bob Meola, Jeff Paterson, Rainey Reitman, Kevin Zeese
Bradley Manning Support Network Steering Committee