Raging Against Apathy.

Saturday 1402  – 14.09.2013.

If you are new to my blog take a look at my About page here

In a time of Universal deceit telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act.

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 Several times on this blog I have written about Chelsea ( legally still Bradley) Manning and I make no apology for another short post about her now.

You can see my other posts by clicking on the following post titles –

1000 Days Without Trial – America’s Shame.  and  My 100th post – Maybe the end?

In my 100th post I wrote about the White House Petition which had been started by Amnesty International and  PardonBradletmanning.org to ask for clemency for Manning. It had been started on 20th August and I had been expecting that it would very quickly reach the 100,000 signatures apparently needed to elicit a statement from Obama himself but to my surprise this is not the case and at time of writing only 24,373 had signed

Here’s what  the petition says –

“we petition the Obama administration to:

Restore the United States’ human rights record and grant clemency to Pvt. Bradley Manning!

The prosecution of Bradley Manning starkly contrasts to the US govt’s repeated failure to deliver justice for serious human rights violations committed during counter-terror operations of the past decade.

Manning, who released classified information exposing potential breaches of international humanitarian law by US forces, was sentenced in military court on Aug 21st to 35 yrs in prison.

Manning’s severe sentence contrasts with the leniency given those responsible for torture and other types of grave human rights violations he revealed.

To reduce this blight on the US human rights record, President Obama should grant Manning clemency for time served, protect whistleblowers, and provide accountability for crimes like those Manning exposed.

AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL

PARDON.BRADLEYMANNING.ORG

Here is a link to the petition again and it needs to be signed by the 20th Sept so very little time 😦

 https://petitions.whitehouse.gov/petition/restore-united-states%E2%80%99-human-rights-record-and-grant-clemency-pvt-bradley-manning/L7zHZv4r 

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Martin LUIther KIng - OUr lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter. I was shocked and dismayed to find so few people had signed the petition and couldn’t quite fathom why. I had thought that the American public would be happy to show support for Manning who after all has given up her freedom for the truth.

The reasons I have seen for not signing have been –

“Petitions don’t make any difference”

“Um, Obama is the criminal. Fuck petitioning the criminals.”

“Chelsea deserves freedom but a White House A/C…?’  I don’t think so…that’s the shit she’s sitting in prison over….”

“Sorry. I do not wish to create a White House Account to sign in.”

Very depressing that people would not give up a little of themselves. The whitehouse account just requires a name and email address. That’s all and if the US government want that they can get it in about 5 mins from a number of sources.. the paranoia is frankly ridiculous !

be this guyA reminder of what Manning has said in her letter to Obama asking for clemency.

If you deny my request for a pardon, I will serve my time knowing that sometimes you have to pay a heavy price to live in a free society. I will gladly pay that price if it means we could have a country that is truly conceived in liberty and dedicated to the proposition that all women and men are created equal.”

To counter my disapointment at lack of support for the White House petition I have done some research to make myself a little saner; as you know injustice drives me CRAZY!

Here are positve things being done to continue to highlight Mannings case and you can help too.. Why not write to Chelsea offering your support? I have. The address can be found here

http://www.bradleymanning.org/take-action

or below where you will see that 4,210 have volunteered to serve part of Mannings sentence for her.

http://www.credomobilize.com/petitions/how-much-time-would-you-serve-for-bradley-manning

My faith in Human nature is a little restored 🙂

If you are interested in learning more, below are some links where you can read about what the world now knows because Chelsea Manning sacrificed her freedom. If you read them you might better understand why the American Government wants to make an example of  and punish her.

http://www.bradleymanning.org/learn-more/what-did-wikileaks-reveal 

http://www.worldcantwait.net/index.php/wikileaks/8351-because-of-bradley-manning?key=0 

and the collateral Murder videos.

http://www.collateralmurder.com/

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 As ever I welcome your thoughts.

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Saturday girl signing off.

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You can find my photography blog Photomania here 

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My 100th post – Maybe the end?

Saturday 1405  – 24.08.2013.

Please read to the end.. thank you

If you are new to my blog take a look at my About page here

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Howard Zinn quote

This is my 100th Post, I know that doesn’t tally with the number of Saturdays I have left but that’s because I’ve done the odd extra posts too and possibly because I can’t count, but WordPress tells me it’s my 100th so who am I to argue. During the week I was thinking that this might be my last post but the jury is still out on that.

I’m not a natural writer and this takes up a lot of my time. As you may have guessed, if you’ve been following for a while, I often like to post about subjects usually that have got my blood boiling and which I need to research first. Writing has started to feel like homework and a chore!

As most of you know I also have a photography blog and if this is to be my last post on here it won’t affect Photomania; I will still be posting on there. 

Anyway to the 100th post – I have been thinking all week about the outcome of the trial of Private Manning and feeling dismay at his 35 year sentence, though I had suspected it would be even longer than that.

This is not the first time I have written about Pte Manning, back on the 23rd February, I wrote a post called 1000 days without Trial – America’s Shame and you can read that post by clicking on the name. 

I have long been a supporter of Manning because I believe that governments and in this case the American government in particular, should be telling the truth about the wars they are waging around the world, should be accountable when its armed forces are committing war crimes and should bring perpetrators to trial.

Bradley manning facing prison for informing the public about what it's government is doing  2 things made me angry this week  –

The first was, as I mentioned, the 35 year sentence which I believe is wholly unjust.

An example of why I think that – In November 2005 in Haditha in Iraq,  24 unarmed Iraqi men, women and children were killed by a group of US Marines. They were shot multiple times at close range.. A cover up began immediately, those charged ALL had the case against them dropped except one Staff Sgt. Frank Wuterich who , following a plea deal, was convicted of just one count of negligent dereliction of duty despite substantial evidence against him.. He did not serve a SINGLE DAY of time..but just got a reduction in pay and rank.. 

As Pentagon Papers whistle-blower Daniel Ellsberg said “The only person prosecuted for the crimes and abuses uncovered in the WikiLeaks’ releases is the person who exposed them,” “That alone proves the injustice of one more day in prison for Bradley Manning.”   

Daniel Ellsberg is absolutely correct.. 

Bradley Manning is being punished for being an idealist and believing that what he did would make a difference to the atrocious US foreign policy..  The world is sadly very short of idealists..

The 2nd thing that made me angry was the way the BBC and other major news outlets have been treating the Manning Case. They have written/spoken more about it in the few days since Manning has announced to the world, what the transgender community have known for a long time, that he feels that he has always been a she and wishes to be known as Chelsea from now on.

The blatant inference in the media has been that it was only because Chelsea Manning was transgender and “troubled” that she leaked the information. It has felt like a smear campaign and has piled on yet more injustice.

The media should have been concentrating on those who committed abuses at every level, under cover of war, because THAT’S what’s important here, not what gender Manning is.

As you may know  Chelsea Manning will be writing to the American President Obama asking for a Pardon.  I make no apology for including the full text as read by Manning’s defense attorney David Coombs, which I found profoundly moving. 

“The decisions that I made in 2010 were made out of a concern for my country and the world that we live in. Since the tragic events of 9/11, our country has been at war. We’ve been at war with an enemy that chooses not to meet us on any traditional battlefield, and due to this fact we’ve had to alter our methods of combating the risks posed to us and our way of life.

I initially agreed with these methods and chose to volunteer to help defend my country. It was not until I was in Iraq and reading secret military reports on a daily basis that I started to question the morality of what we were doing. It was at this time I realized that (in) our efforts to meet the risk posed to us by the enemy, we have forgotten our humanity. We consciously elected to devalue human life both in Iraq and Afghanistan. When we engaged those that we perceived were the enemy, we sometimes killed innocent civilians. Whenever we killed innocent civilians, instead of accepting responsibility for our conduct, we elected to hide behind the veil of national security and classified information in order to avoid any public accountability. 

In our zeal to kill the enemy, we internally debated the definition of torture. We held individuals at Guantanamo for years without due process. We inexplicably turned a blind eye to torture and executions by the Iraqi government. And we stomached countless other acts in the name of our war on terror.Patriotism is often the cry extolled when morally questionable acts are advocated by those in power. When these cries of patriotism drown out any logically based dissension, it is usually the American soldier that is given the order to carry out some ill-conceived mission.Our nation has had similar dark moments for the virtues of democracy — the Trail of Tears, the Dred Scott decision, McCarthyism, and the Japanese-American internment camps — to mention a few. I am confident that many of the actions since 9/11 will one day be viewed in a similar light.As the late Howard Zinn once said, “There is not a flag large enough to cover the shame of killing innocent people.”

I understand that my actions violated the law; I regret if my actions hurt anyone or harmed the United States. It was never my intent to hurt anyone. I only wanted to help people. When I chose to disclose classified information, I did so out of a love for my country and a sense of duty to others.If you deny my request for a pardon, I will serve my time knowing that sometimes you have to pay a heavy price to live in a free society. I will gladly pay that price if it means we could have a country that is truly conceived in liberty and dedicated to the proposition that all women and men are created equal. “

Remember in 2008 how Obama said he was going to protect Whistleblowers 

“Often the best source of information about waste, fraud, and abuse in government is an existing government employee committed to public integrity and willing to speak out. Such acts of courage and patriotism, which can sometimes save lives and often save taxpayer dollars, should be encouraged rather than stifled as they have been during the Bush administration.”

Such hypocrisy !

If you care about whistleblowers, who put their life on the line to ensure the rest of us get the truth about what our governments are doing, then please join me in signing this White House petition started by Amnesty International and the Pardon.Bradleymanning Org asking for clemency for Manning. You don’t have to be in America to sign it but it does take a few mins.

 https://petitions.whitehouse.gov/petition/restore-united-states%E2%80%99-human-rights-record-and-grant-clemency-pvt-bradley-manning/L7zHZv4r

As ever I welcome your thoughts.

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Saturday girl signing off. So is this my last post?  Only time and my energies will tell.

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You can find my photography blog Photomania here 

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