Mission & Name
US Foreign Policy (Dr. El-Najjar's Articles)
Bradley Manning: An American Hero
By Stephen Lendman
Al-Jazeerah, CCUN, August 8, 2010
Manning, of course, is the courageous Army intelligence
analyst turned whistleblower, who admitted leaking:
classified United States diplomatic cables and video of a (US) airstrike
in Afghanistan that killed 97 civilians last year," and
"explosive (39 minute) video of an American helicopter attack in Baghdad
that left 12 people dead, including two employees of the Reuters news
agency" - "collateral murder" he felt obligated to expose.
him in trouble. On June 7, the military in Iraq arrested him, saying:
"The Department of Defense takes the management of classified information
very seriously because it affects our national security, the lives of our
soldiers, and our operations abroad."
Defense Secretary Robert
Gates called the leak "potentially dramatic and grievously harmful....The
battlefield consequences of the release of these documents are potentially
severe and dangerous for our troops, our allies and Afghan partners, and
may well damage our relationships and reputation in that part of the
world. Intelligence sources and methods, as well as military tactics,
techniques and procedures, will become known to our adversaries."
Unmentioned was the following:
-- our attack, invasion and
occupation are illegal under US and international law;
crimes, including murder, torture, and targeted assassinations happen
-- civilian men, women, and children are willfully
-- since October 2001, millions of Afghans have been
killed, injured or displaced, their country perhaps the most hellish
anyway, devastated by decades of war, deep poverty, depravation, and
unimaginable human suffering, mostly caused by America;
same holds for Iraq, Pakistan, and nations where Washington wages proxy
-- our presence and imperial aims cause harm, not
Manning or WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, exposing truths the public
has a right and need to know.
They deserve praise, not
prosecutions, compliments, not condemnation, and accolades, not
accusations. They're heros, risking personal harm to disclose disturbing
truths, what government and media reports suppress, sanitize and distort,
letting warlords plunder lawlessly so war profiteers can cash in,
Americans the worse off for it.
In his August 4 Anti-Empire Report
William Blum asked:
"So please tell me again: What's the war
about?" Lies, of course, about 9/11 and leaders repeating them, Obama for
one last August 17 saying:
"But we must never forget this is not a
war of choice. This is a war of necessity. Those who attacked America on
9/11 are plotting to do so again. If left unchecked, the Taliban
insurgency will mean an even larger safe haven from which Al Qaeda would
plot to kill more Americans."
On July 28, 2010, he lied again,
saying: "the region from which the 9/11 attacks were waged and other
attacks against the United States and our friends and allies have been
Rubbish according to Blum, saying:
that out of the tens of thousands of people the United States and its NATO
front have killed in Afghanistan not one has been identified as having had
anything to do with the events of September 11, 2001."
'war of necessity' that draws the United States to Afghanistan is the need
for protected oil and gas pipelines from the Caspian Sea area, (and)
establishment of military bases (there), making it easier to watch and
pressure next-door Iran (besides being a land-based aircraft carrier to
target Russia and China). What more could any respectable imperialist
nation desire? Oh, did I mention that the
military-industrial-security-intelligence complex and its shareholders"
will profit handsomely.
In 1996, America helped the Taliban gain
power, funneling military aid through Pakistan's ISI (Inter-Services
Intelligence). Oil was the hidden agenda, Taliban representatives visiting
Unocal in Houston in December 1997 to negotiate a trans-Afghan pipeline
from the oil rich Caspian area. It was nearly agreed, the kicker being
America's refusal to extend recognition, a small courtesy to avoid war,
occupation, and a deepening unwinnable quagmire.
On December 14,
1997, London's Daily Telegraph reported:
"the US government, which
in the past has branded the Taliban's policies against women and children
'despicable,' appears anxious to please the fundamentalists to clinch the
lucrative pipeline contract."
On December 4, 1997, a BBC
correspondent said "the proposal to build a pipeline across Afghanistan is
part of an international scramble to profit from developing the rich
energy resources of the Caspian Sea."
By recognizing the Taliban
government, it would have been built and today's quagmire avoided. Perhaps
America's graveyard also, no invader ever occupying Afghanistan
successfully, not the Soviets or British, the UK government suffering its
greatest ever slaughter and defeat in 1842, losing 16,000 soldiers and
civilians, except one man, historians believing Afghans let him live to
recount the horror. As a result, Britain withdrew all its personnel and
left, a lesson now forgotten, about 9,500 UK troops deployed with
Americans and other NATO forces.
Afghanistan President Hamid
Karzai was a former Unocal adviser when pipeline negotiations took place.
He was also a CIA asset. Unocal claimed it abandoned the pipeline project.
Secret talks, however, continued up to a few months before 9/11, Taliban
representatives visiting the State Department, CIA, and National Security
Council. They even had a Queens, New York diplomatic office, and US
officials visited Taliban ones in Islamabad.
The French newspaper
Le Figaro also quoted Arab specialist Antoine Sfeir, saying CIA operatives
met with bin Laden (a CIA asset in the 1980s) and maintained contact with
him until his training camp was attacked in 1998.
line between enemies and friends is their willingness or reluctance to
obey - do what we say or we'll boycott or bomb you, a threat with teeth,
revealed by Manning and WikiLeaks.
Revealing Disturbing Truths Is
Held initially in Kuwait, a July 29 Baghdad Pentagon press
"US Army officials transferred PFC Bradley Manning
from the Theater Field Confinement Facility in Kuwait to the Marine Corps
Base Quantico Brig in Quantico, Virginia, on July 29. (He) remains in
pretrial confinement pending an Article 32 investigation (like a grand
jury or preliminary hearing) into the charges preferred against him on
"The criminal investigation remains open....findings and
recommendations (will determine) whether to recommend (if) the case (will)
be referred to trial by court-martial." For sure, that's what's planned,
the Pentagon and Obama administration to throw the book at him or worse
unless somehow their plans are derailed.
On August 2, Congressman
Mike Rogers (R. MI) told Michigan radio station WHMI that Manning should
be executed, saying:
"He release(d) this information to a third
party who they say will make the determination that there's nothing
harmful in it, while we know for a fact that there will be people that
will likely be killed because of this information being disclosed. That's
pretty serious. If they don't charge him with treason, they ought to
charge him with murder."
Asked if he should be punished by death,
Rogers said: "Yes, and I would support it 100 percent."
Charges Against Manning
In early July, the Pentagon charged him
with four noncriminal offenses, and eight violations of federal criminal
law, including one count of violating the 1917 Espionage Act, accessed
through the following link:
Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ) charges included:
eight violations of federal criminal law, including unauthorized computer
access and transmitting classified information to an unauthorized third
-- four noncriminal Army regulations violations,
governing the handling of classified information and computers.
convicted on all charges, he faces up to 52 years in prison.
Bradley Manning Support Network
Access it for information about
Manning through the following link:
Its purpose is to:
-- "Harness the outrage felt by millions
(viewing) the 'Collateral Murder' video into a coordinated defense of
-- Raise awareness" about his arrest, charges and likely
-- "Coordinate" efforts to support him;
"Collect funds (for a) high-quality" defense;
supporters with accurate, updated information as the" pretrial hearing and
likely trial progress; and
-- "Provide prisoner support for (him)
throughout his imprisonment."
Connected with Assange, he's more
vulnerable, a 2008 classified Counterintelligence Center report placing
WikiLeaks on "the list of enemies threatening the security of the United
States," discussing ways to destroy its reputation and effectiveness,
"Web sites such as WikiLeaks.org have trust as their most
important center of gravity by protecting the anonymity and identity of
the insider, leaker, or whistleblower. Successful identification,
prosecution, termination of employment, and exposure of persons leaking
the information by the governments and businesses affected by information
posted to WikiLeaks.org would damage and potentially destroy this center
of gravity and deter others from taking similar actions."
Manning in custody and facing trial, score one for the Pentagon, expected
to exploit his case to the fullest to set an example and deter others.
He'll likely be convicted and imprisoned, not executed as Congressman
Law Professor Francis Boyle "believe(s) a treason
charge wo(n't) stick (because) Congress has not declared war." The best
outcome for military resisters he helped defend was to "get them off of
prison time, out of the military, or else minimum time served." He and
others also got Amnesty International to designate Capt. Dr. Huett Vaughn,
Staff Sgt. Mejia, and Lt. Ehren Watada Prisoners of Conscience (POC).
Watada was the first commissioned officer refusing to deploy to Iraq,
saying: "as an officer of honor and integrity, (he could not participate
in a war that was) manifestly illegal....morally wrong (and) a horrible
breach of American law."
As a result, he faced court-martial, a
possible dishonorable discharge, forfeiture of all pay and allowances, and
seven years in prison, but got off thanks to Boyle and others. Before his
Article 32 hearing, he publicly called the war illegal. Not wanting that
revealed in testimony, the presiding judge declared a mistrial. He'd lost
control, knew Watada was right, and had to suppress the truth to avoid an
acquittal possibility on constitutional grounds.
also illegal, Boyle explaining that Congress never declared war. The UN
Security never authorized it under Article 51, and the Taliban never
"attacked the United States or authorized or approved such an attack." In
public testimony, FBI Director Robert Mueller, and CIA's then Deputy
Director John McLaughlin admitted finding no link between the Taliban and
Nonetheless, the Bush administration preemptively attacked
in violation of US and international law. Obama is a war criminal pursuing
and escalating it, expanding it cross border into Pakistan, and continuing
the Iraq conflict and occupation.
American forces may refuse to
serve, citing US and international law, including Army Field Manual (FM)
27 - 10, incorporating the Nuremberg Principles, Judgment and Charter and
The Law of Land Warfare (1956).
FM's paragraph 498 states that any
person, military or civilian, who commits a crime under international law
is responsible for it and may be punished. Paragraph 499 defines a war
crime. Paragraph 500 refers to a conspiracy, attempts to commit it and
complicity with respect to international crimes. Paragraph 509 denies the
defense of superior orders in the commission of a crime, and paragraph 510
denies the defense of an "act of state" to absolve them.
provisions apply to all US military and civilian personnel, including top
commanders, the Secretary of Defense, his subordinates, and the President
and Vice President. Boyle calls resisting lawlessness "our Nuremberg
moment." Those refusing them and exposing crimes should be praised, not
Manning provided evidence and may denounce the war's
illegality, perhaps using it as a defense. He found crimes, needing to be
exposed, acting honorably and heroically doing it as did WikiLeaks by
publishing them anonymously.
In edited chat logs posted by
Wired.com, Manning admitted "want(ing) people to see the
truth....regardless of who they are....because without information, you
cannot make informed decisions...." He never considered selling it to
foreign powers or anyone, saying: "information should be free....it
belongs in the public domain....if it's out in the open....it should be a
public good," exposing crimes and corruption to generate "worldwide
discussion, debates, and reforms."
That's honor, not espionage or
treason, Manning saying:
"Everywhere there's a US post, there's a
diplomatic scandal (to) be revealed. World-wide anarchy in CVS format.
It's Climategate with a global scope, and breathtaking depth. It's
beautiful and horrifying. (The documents describe) almost criminal
political back dealings. (They belong) in the public domain, and not on
some server stored in a dark corner in Washington, DC (or the Pentagon.
Our government is involved in) incredible things, awful things."
He exposed cold-blooded civilian murders, the public unaware that Pentagon
rules-of-engagement (ROEs) target them like combatants in every warfare
theater. Waging permanent wars of aggression, America acts lawlessly and
recklessly. The public has a right to know. Manning and Assange are heros,
deserving plaudits for their courage.
A Final Note
Sunday, August 8, a public rally will be held outside the Quantico, VA
Marine base, supporting Manning. War criminals remain free uncharged.
Manning, an American hero, faces 52 years in prison for exposing their
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can
be reached at
email@example.com. Also visit his blog site at
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