Let's keep the river of truth flowing!
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effective grassroots organization. Let’s make a positive
Bradley Manning and other soldiers who stand up for truth. Donate online.
By Rebecca Solnit and David Solnit. July 14, 2011
There’s a small lake shaped like a wishbone you’ve probably never
heard of near the Canadian border that’s considered to be the headwaters
of the Mississippi River. The river flows 2,340 miles from this point
to the Gulf of Mexico, gathering in more waters as it becomes the great
artery that drains and waters and sometimes floods the heart of our
continent. Headwaters are often like that, a little-known spring or
lake in an obscure place, the places where even the biggest rivers
2011 is a revolutionary year all over the world from Tunisa to Spain,
from Wisconsin to the feminist revolt in France and the rising dissent
in China. Much of the Arab world is in revolt. Think of revolution as a
great river of popular power and hope washing away repression and
injustice. One young man’s passion for truth and willingness to take a
personal risk fed this river most of all. Which is to say that—if he is
the WikiLeaks whistle-blower—Bradley Manning (pictured above) can be
considered the headwaters of the river called Revolution. For that he
has spent 400 days in prison without a day in court yet. Most of these
days were spent in solitary confinement and inhumane conditions.
an online chat Bradley Manning allegedly said, “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.” He was motivated by the highest ideals
of democracy and truth.
The hundreds of thousands of government
documents on US wars and diplomatic relations that he allegedly leaked
provide ordinary citizens and popular movements, human rights and
environmental activists, journalists and readers, with crucial
information about the real state of our world. Knowledge is power, and
thanks to this release the power is ours. A great headwaters of truth
was undammed last year, and from it flows this revolutionary river. It
cannot be re-dammed, but the government of the United States has
inflicted cruel and unusual punishment on the alleged source, the
23-year-old soldier named Bradley Manning.
Before he was elected,
candidate Barack Obama said of whistle blowers that “their acts of
courage and patriotism, which can sometimes save lives and often save
taxpayer dollars, should be encouraged rather than stifled.” Now, “the
Obama Administration is proving more aggressive than the Bush
administration in seeking to punish unauthorized leaks,” wrote The New
York Times last month.
The government calls him a traitor.
Daniel Ellsberg, whose own leak of the Pentagon Papers helped end the
Vietnam War and bring down a president, calls him a hero. In a widely
circulated essay last week from Tomdispatch.com, civil rights lawyer
Chase Madar argued that he deserves a presidential Medal of Freedom
because he has given the “foreign policy elite” public supervision;
because the WikiLeaks disclosures have helped spark democratic
revolutions across the Middle East, “accomplishing what Operation Iraqi
Freedom never could”; and exposing “the pathological over-classification
of America’s public documents.” Madar concludes, “At immense personal
cost, Bradley Manning has upheld a great American tradition of
transparency in statecraft and for that he should be an American hero,
not an American felon.” He’s a hero around the world.
WikiLeaks whistle-blower’s work is done, but ours is just beginning.
Bradley Manning needs your voice for truth and justice. For supporters
of Courage to Resist like you, this also means your donation, because
defending this champion of truth and making his story known costs
money. We need to make the cost of “shooting the messenger” and
punishing the hero too high.
Five years ago, Courage to Resist
initiated the campaign to support Lt. Ehren Watada, the first U.S.
officer to refuse deployment to the Iraq War, which he understood to be
illegal. The Government intended to make an example of Lt. Watada by
putting him away in prison for many years in order to deter other
soldiers from standing up. Instead, a well organized political and
legal support campaign kept Lt. Watada from spending a single day in
jail. This sent a clear message to other soldiers: If you stand up,
there will be support for you. Now Courage to Resist is leading the
campaign to support this brave truth-teller as the hub of the Bradley
Manning Support Network.
join us in supporting Courage to Resist’s work—an amazingly effective
grassroots organization. Let’s make a positive example of Bradley
Manning and other soldiers who stand up for truth. Let’s keep the river
of truth flowing!
Rebecca Solnit & David Solnit
p.s. We hope you’re able to become a monthly sustainer, or are able
to make a larger-than-you-first-thought contribution, so that together
we can continue to build support not only for Bradley Manning, but other
military war objectors as well.