December 8, 2012
“The immoral use of force is the source of man’s political problems. Sadly, many religious groups, secular organizations, and psychopathic authoritarians endorse government initiated force to change the world. Even when the desired goals are well-intentioned – or especially when well-intentioned – the results are dismal. The good results sought never materialize. The new problems created require even more government force as a solution. The net result is institutionalizing government initiated violence and morally justifying it on humanitarian grounds.” [ Paul.house.gov.]
However, that was not Ron Paul’s final speech on the floor of Congress! Paul gave two more speeches, on Friday Nov. 16th. In his Statement opposing HR 6156, the Russia and Moldova Jackson-Vanik Repeal and Sergei Magnitsky Rule of Law Accountability Act of 2012 (November 16, 2012), Paul stated, in part,
“…By attaching the so-called “Magnitsky” bill to the Jackson-Vanik repeal, Congress will direct the State Department to draw up a list of Russians it believes are responsible for human rights abuses. These people will be denied entry into the United States and have their assets seized by the US government. The implications of this reckless move are stunning….
…If Congress really is concerned about the human rights of prisoners, perhaps they might take a look at the terrible treatment of US Army Private Bradley Manning while incarcerated and awaiting trial. Last year Amnesty International wrote to then-Defense Secretary Robert Gates that Manning’s “inhumane” treatment while in custody “undermines the United States’ commitment to the principle of the presumption of innocence.” Congress remains silent.
… When it comes to human rights, the United States should most definitely lead the world by its own example. On that measure, we still have a lot of work to do.”
PBS has a lot of good information on Manning’s history, including a collection of 20 photos throughout his life and a timeline. Frontline conducted an interview with his father Brian Manning, who raised Bradley in Oklahoma. Manning said his son was “spoiled rotten” after he returned from his high school years in Wales with his mother. According to his father, Bradley was not able to pay his bills or carry his own weight. Brian recounted that he told his son “If you get into a place at Army, you know, you’re going to have three square meals a day; you’re going to have a place to sleep and a roof over your head. And as long as you follow the path, you know, it’s all you have to do” … “You don’t have a place to live. You’re camping at your aunt’s house. You don’t have any transportation. You’re working at a dead-end job, and you’re looking at going to a community college that you won’t even have transportation to and from. What’s your plan?”
PBS also interviewed Bradley’s friend Jordan Davis whom he met in kindergarden and described Manning as “Patriotic. Always supportive of the military”, with a tendency to be “opinionated”, “a little bit smarmy”, and sometimes “came off as arrogant”. He further describes Manning as a capitalist and athiest, although at one time said he still considered himself to be Roman Catholic. Davis adds that “in the 2000 elections, he was very pro-[Sen.] John McCain.”
On 3/29/06, Manning’s stepmom called 911 on Bradley and told police that he pulled a knife on her. Audio of that 911 call is available here. The police report can be seen here. The 911 call was made at 4:13PM, police arrived at 4:20PM and listed the “incident under control” at 5:44pm. Manning was not arrested.
In 2010 Manning allegedly told a computer hacker “If you had free reign over classified networks for long periods of time – and you saw incredible things, awful things – things that belonged in the public domain, and not on some server stored in a dark room in Washington, D.C. – what would you do?”
The eggregious, inhumane and sadistic way Manning was treated in captivity in the aftermath of his arrest is nothing short of brutal torture, as indicated even in mainstream news accounts. The Guardian has a detailed account in Bradley Manning: how keeping himself sane was taken as proof of madness. [Also see Bradley Manning Gets No Love From The New York Times.]
Paul Craig Roberts, who served in the Reagan Administration, wrote Bradley Manning: A Window Into The American Soul (12/3/12) and states
“Bradley Manning, a member of the US military, complied with his oath of office, with the US Military Code, with the Nuremberg standards set by the US government, with the strictures expressed by the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff during the George W, Bush administration, and with his own conscience. Manning, allegedly (we will never know), released to WikiLeaks the video of the US military murdering two journalists and a dozen innocent people walking down a street. http://www.truthdig.com/avbooth/item/video_shows_murder_of_journalists_and_iraqi _civilians_20100405/ After the murder of these people by the US military playing video games with live people, a father with two young children stopped his van to help the survivors crawling in the street. The US military, due to either blood-lust, incompetence, or total evil, killed the father and sent high caliber bullets into the bodies of the two small children. The murderers then blame the father for bringing children into the combat zone created by the incompetence or evil of the US troops, who obviously get their jollies from murdering people. TV cameras are claimed to be weapons and justifications for murdering 15 people. Subsequently, a few people, whom the video shows to be unarmed, walk into a building. The US troops claim the unarmed people have weapons and RPGs and send three hellfire missiles into the building. The US troops then report that all the “targets” are dead. Any real patriotic American who saw this video would be compelled to release it. If Manning released it to Wikeleaks, then Manning is the most morally responsible American alive. What has Manning’s moral conscience cost him? It has cost Manning 900 days held incommunicado illegally by the US government. President John F. Kennedy’s presidency lasted 1,000 days. Manning was held and tortured for almost the entire length of Camelot. And the US government has got away with it. Americans don’t care. It is not them. They are too stupid to understand that once law is gone, they can be next. In their desire to punish Manning, US military and civilian authorities failed to realize that the lesson for soldiers is that crimes against humanity will not be punished, but those who reveal the crimes will be punished.”
Jeff Paterson of the Bradley Manning Support Network points out that a horrible photograph circulating on the internet alleged to be Manning post-captivity is not: This is not a photo of PFC Bradley Manning (8/14/12) It was previously reported by drumsnwhistles.com a year prior: Meet the “Other” (Kenneth) Bradley Manning(3/18/11)