Update 5/9/12: Bradley as scapegoat, a play for Bradley in Chicago, and a Collateral Murder painting
Bradley Manning is the “wrong target.” In an op-ed for the Star Phoenix, Nathan Holowatay argues that Manning should be rewarded for his alleged actions, and it’s those he exposed who should be on trial:
This is a case of “shooting the messenger,” and the need for the U.S. to find a scapegoat for its failure to safeguard classified information.
What the leak exposes should be a greater shock to Americans than the fact that a lowly soldier gained access to secret documents and leaked them. There is no evidence that any harm has come to individuals because of the leak, although many thousands have died in American military action in the Middle East based on the false premises that WikiLeaks brought to light.
As Manning is a mere intelligence analyst, it’s easy for the military to aggressively overcharge with little political fallout. We should push back against this crackdown of whistle-blowers whenever we can. (Read more…)
“I am Bradley Manning” play opens in Chicago tonight. Running from tonight through Sunday, May 13, in DePaul University’s Theatre School in Chicago, the play, entitled “I am Bradley Manning,”
“investigates in two radically different spheres: questions of civic and ethical responsibility in our global community and how massive an impact a solitary action can have on the world at large.”
Artist Graham Hnatiuk is auctioning off a painting for Bradley Manning. The painting incorporates various aspects of the ‘Collateral Murder’ video, from the chaos brought about by airstrikes to the facelessness of its victims. All proceeds of the auction will directly to Bradley Manning’s defense fund, which covers lawyer David Coombs’ legal fees. Hnatiuk’s artist statement explains his support for Bradley:
Criminalizing whistle blowing is contrary to the functions of democracy. Bradley Manning (as well as several others indicted under the Espionage Act in the past two years) dared to uphold the values that Western Democracies are supposedly founded on. For this they are prosecuted. Modern-day discourse is full of ephemeral threats to our “freedom,” while whistleblowers are prosecuted unprecedently under the Obama Administration, and peaceful protests against corporate influence in politics are met by militarized police forces and biased media. When we are complacent is when our true freedoms will erode without resistence, until there is nothing left to fight for. We are forgetting what matters. We are forgetting what is important.
The statement provides more detail of the painting’s origins and more on Hnatiuk’s advocacy. (Read more…)
The National Press Club agrees it’s absurd to keep heavily publicized WikiLeaks documents classified. The Press Club panel was held on May 1, featuring:
“James Risen of The New York Times, James Bamford, author of “The Puzzle Palace,” and Matthew Miller, a former spokesman for the Justice Department discuss[ing] the Obama administration’s crusade against leaks of government secrets – and against some of the journalists who report them.”
The panel answers a question from State Department WikiLeaks supporter Peter van Buren, explaining that it makes no sense to keep widely publicized documents classified, comparing the surrealism of the logic to “Alice in Wonderland.”