By Jeff Paterson, Courage to Resist
“God knows what happens now. Hopefully worldwide discussion, debates, and reforms… I want people to see the truth… because without information, you cannot make informed decisions as a public.” That’s an excerpt from an online conversation the FBI attributes to 23 year-old Bradley Manning. Over 50 supporters marched to support Bradley this morning in the 2011 SF Pride Parade.
International human rights campaigner Peter Tatchell recently hailed Bradley a “gay hero” for his known commitment to equal human rights.
Tatchell writes: Bradley Manning is openly gay. He has participated in Pride marches and campaigned against the “Don’t ask, don’t tell” restrictions on gay military personnel. In 2008, he attended a rally in New York to oppose attempts to ban same-sex marriage in California. Manning is also a humanist and a man with a conscience. When he discovered human rights violations by the US armed forces and duplicity by the US government, he was shocked and distressed. He became disillusioned with his country’s foreign and military policy; believing it was betraying the US ideals of democracy and human rights.
For telling us all the truth about the human cost of our own wars, Bradley Manning now faces life in prison or the death penalty. Never before in the history of the U.S. has someone been charged with “Aiding the enemy through indirect means” by making information public. If Americans do not take action now to support Bradley, the outcome of Bradley’s trial could set a chilling precedent for the future of whistleblowers and government accountability.
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