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Social Commentary from the C-Suite to Main Street℠

A Blog by Gary Wright II

A Crisis of Conscience - Soldier Heroes Bradley Manning and Ethan McCord

Tuesday, March 15th, 2011

If you believe in the principles of justice - I need your help. If you in any way care for humanity - I need your help. If you believe in protecting the innocent - I need your help. If you support our troops - I need your help! I am not asking for money or anything difficult from you. I only ask that you seek out the truth, and have the courage to stand up for the truth wherever and whenever it is perverted by the ignorant.

By now, many of you have probably heard of Bradley Manning, the soldier who has been held in solitary confinement for allegedly leaking evidence of war crimes to WikiLeaks.org. Many have labeled Manning a traitor - which is dead wrong!

Let me break it down for you: Murder is a serious crime, but in some rare instances - murder is completely justified (self-defense, etc.). Is releasing classified information a serious crime? Of course it is, but it is in the interest of justice to examine the circumstances surrounding the crime.

The information published by WikiLeaks is clear and irrefutable evidence of war crimes committed by our country. I say "our country" because these war crimes were condoned and authorized by our Presidents (Bush and yes, Obama) all the way down to the troops fighting on the front lines. As citizens, we are also guilty if we sit idlely by as these crimes take place. For many years, we have suspected our government was guilty of many things. Through WikiLeaks, we now have solid proof of these crimes. It is captured on video and through documents generated by the criminals themselves. The biggest tool our government had was called "plausible deniability" - but that crutch has now been taken away. It is pretty hard to deny doing something when the act is well documented by your own two hands. They can no longer deny the atrocities that have taken place in the name of freedom and democracy. With the proof now in hand, it is time for the international community to hold these war criminals responsible for their actions.

One of the videos posted by WikiLeaks shows the deliberate murder of a dozen innocent Iraqis by two Apache helicopters. Bradley Manning has been accused of releasing this video. Why have we allowed Manning to be abused and imprisoned without a trial - yet the perpetrators of these murders have went undisciplined? Why? Because if we went after all of those guilty of war crimes, there would be few left in our military! We can not blame the kids risking their ass and following orders. It is the officers and leaders who give these orders that should bear most of the blame. I wish that the murders caught on tape were a rare occurance, but any soldier who's been over there will tell you it happens every day. EVERY DAY!!!

There are thousands of documents posted on WikiLeaks, but I ask that you please take time to watch just two videos that are posted on CollateralMurder.com. First, watch the video of the murders and listen carefully to the words and tone of those carrying out these murders. Secondly, watch the video of soldier Ethan McCord who tells his first-hand account of what happened that day. The videos are very disturbing, but not nearly as disturbing as knowing our government sees these acts as doing "business as usual."

I am a veteran and I support our troops, but I will not tolerate those who are systematically destroying the honor that goes with serving our country. The time for justice to be served is NOW. The mistreatment of Manning has finally captured worldwide attention. Two events happened this week that change the game going forward. Congressmen Kucinich has demanded to meet with Manning in person and see how he is really being treated. The Defense Secretary Robert Gates passed the buck to the head of the Army, who assured the Congressman that the treatment of Manning is perfectly legal. Kucinich has still not been allowed to meet with him. The other event occurred when State Department spokesman PJ Crowley held a discussion with students at MIT. He was asked about the Manning case and Crowley said that his treatment was "ridiculous and counterproductive and stupid." The White House immediately applied pressure to Crowley and he resigned on Sunday. How have these events changed the game? Because Secretary Gates and President Obama have been forced to acknowledge the accusations of the mistreatment of Manning. By not taking action to stop it, they are now a party to it. They will not be able to deny knowledge of his abuse in the future and can now be held accountable for his treatment.

So what can we do to help? This weekend there will be marches held in Washington, D.C. and at the gates of the Quantico base in Virginia where Manning is being held. For details visit BradleyManning.org

To learn more, you can also scroll through my blog for the numerous entries I've written about Manning and WikiLeaks: http://blog.Gary-Wright.com

I hope you will take the time to review the evidence for yourself. Watch the videos and then tell me: Is Manning a traitor or a hero?

Best regards,

-- Gary Wright II


I've written several blog entries on this topic. To read more, visit our page devoted to PFC Bradley Manning .

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