Update 7/25/12: Kevin Gosztola marks the Afghan War Diary’s anniversary, Oakland protests for Bradley
Kevin Gosztola marks the two-year anniversary of the Afghan War Diary. Two years ago, as we’ve commemorated, WikiLeaks released the Afghan War Diary, a massive collection of source documents from the war in Afghanistan. The documents reveal previously uncounted civilian deaths and scores of abuses kept secret:
Nothing may have changed as a result of the release, but that is no reason to suggest the logs should have never been made public. A clear military record of the Afghanistan War from 2004-2009 was made available to people making it possible for citizens all over the globe to see the reality of war, including war crimes and other abuses that were taking place. Also, as this anniversary is marked, scientists at Edinburgh University in Scotland believe the data in the logs can predict attacks by “insurgents” in Afghanistan. They’ve apparently developed software that can “predict long-term trends in the most volatile parts of the country.” As this shows, transparency is not valuable initially but can continue to produce dividends weeks, months and years later.
He continues, arguing the person who released these documents was right to put them in the public sphere:
Finally, Pfc. Bradley Manning, the soldier alleged to have released the military reports on Afghanistan, has been in pre-trial confinement for nearly eight hundred days and is in the midst of a court martial. The US government accuses him of “stealing, purloining or knowingly converting” these records for his use. He is charged with “prejudicing” the “good order and discipline in the armed forces” and bringing ”discredit upon the armed forces.” It is one of twenty-two charges he faces for allegedly releasing the “Collateral Murder” video, both the Afghanistan and Iraq war logs, the US State Embassy cables, the Guantanamo Files, etc, to WikiLeaks.
If “good order” includes policies that enable task force teams which carry out state-sanctioned murder, then, yes, Manning has “prejudiced” and brought “discredit” to the military. If “good order” includes the ability to have military teams operate like death squads, then, yes, Manning—if he released the war logs—is guilty.
As we’ve long discussed, none of those whose crimes were exposed by these releases has been put on trial. Instead, the person who brought to light grave abuses is put on trial himself. (Read more…)
Bay Area protests at Obama fundraiser include calls for Bradley Manning’s freedom. In a demonstration outside of President Obama’s fundraiser in Oakland, CA, largely marked by rallies for medical marijuana and against our wars abroad, many called for the president to free Bradley Manning. Many remember Obama’s campaign promise to protect whistle-blowers and demand he live up to that promise. Obama, for his part, has declared Bradley guilty before he even came to trial, illegally prejudicing the proceedings. (Read more…)