Below is pasted a comment I just left on the site for the lawyer who is defending PFC Bradley Manning. I posted it here, in case anyone wants to read of probable injustice.
(Comment posted here:
(...and PFC Manning's story can be found here:
But there's more involved here. MUCH more.
Brad is accused of being the person who gave the files to WikiLeaks that are what started the current revolutions in the Middle East. For example, one of those files is a video that can be found on YouTube. Search for "collateral murder". (There are many files, but this one is dramatic - and points to questions about WHY these files were being kept hidden...)
I don't know if this is what really got The Revolutions started, or even if PFC Manning is the one who gave it to WikiLeaks. Having looked at "collateral murder", I don't even know if the soldiers involved were actually doing anything wrong. I was not in their shoes and I do not have their experience, so I leave it up to others to judge them.
The actual spark that started the current firestorm all over North Africa and Western Asia is the fruit vendor from the streets of Tunisia who set himself on fire ( http://www.iol.co.za/news/africa/tunisian-man-sets-himself-alight-1.1007235
), which started protests in Tunis, then in Libya, Bahrain, Egypt, Oman, Saudi Arabia, etc., etc.
History is fascinating, once you move it out of a stuffy classroom and away from boring tests about names and date. If reports are true, then this is what happened:
Brad gave files to WikiLeaks that show corruption and unfairness in a LOT of different countries, lots of people from all over the World read this stuff, Mr. Bouazizi gets treated unfairly in Tunis and self-imolates in front of the main police station, riots and protests erupt, people coordinate on Facebook and Twitter in a LOT of different countries and start bringing down Dictators and Tyrants and they CHANGE the unfairness where they live.
This is Big. This is World-Changing. I've been reading websites about revolution, tweets from people who are being hunted by tyrants, and watching videos of the dead and dying for WEEKS now. All of the arrows lead back to PFC Manning, who sits in the Quantico Brig accused of treason.
If this is how it all really worked, then Brad _might_ just be "The Man Who Changed The World As We Know It Today"...
If PFC Manning did, in fact, give someone classified files then that's a treasonous act. If, however, those files were covered up in an attempt to prevent the US Army from being seen in the act of making a mistake in Iraq - then it may be deemed an act of Freedom, and Humanity, and Courage.
Have the strength to say "I don't know", people. Yes, the treatment of having clothing removed from his cell and person is wrong, but that MAY be justified by a legitimate rule in that particular prison. It seems, on the face of it, to be a stupid way to treat a soldier who is supposed to be "innocent until proven guilty", but we don't know the circumstances that prompted these actions. For now, it's up to Court Martial Specialist David Coombs to determine these facts and expose those who violate the rules.
PFC Manning has an excellent defense, here. It's become too commonplace in today's world that one is often "Guilty until you prove your innocence", and you may not receive any real fairness from the court unless you have expensive lawyers... but the media attention alone is enough to ensure that, at least in this case, the Army will need to justify it's actions. ALL of it's actions. To the World and to the US President, now, and not just to the court.
We ARE the World. We are watching. We will continue to watch. If PFC Manning is NOT absolved of criminal guilt, then we may end up seeing riots here in the Free states of the USA. The files given to WikiLeaks are credited with the spur that started the Revolutions we see today in countries all over the Middle East. There is a bigger picture here, which is that a "treasonable act" today could easily be pardoned by Obama and declared a "Nobel Prize-worthy act" tomorrow.
If PFC Manning's actions ARE what created the movements which create Democracy all over the Middle East... then yes, the man stands with the American Founding Fathers in his courage to defy current authority and do what is right. In this climate of Information Technology, this case of doing what's right could very well have changed the World we live in, for all us, and likely for the better.
If, however, the Court of Military Justice finds that he merely committed treason then he may be imprisoned and/or put to death. And if that happens, it's up to all of us to discover and tell the Truth. In fact, it's up to all of us to find and tell the Truth regardless of what happens to Brad.
Keep finding information. Keep searching out the Truth. Then make sure you tell the truth to everyone who will listen. Make sure every person in the World with a computer and a modem know the name of PFC Bradley Manning, the Truth behind the actions of the US Army, the Truth behind WikiLeaks and what they do.
Eventually we will have all the facts, and THEN we will know the Truth. Until then... we do not know. And that's why we need to keep looking, and watching, and telling, and we will not stop until the Truth is known.
(And it's my opinion that PFC Manning will be Free and hailed as a true Hero of the World once the Truth is known. We will see...)