We jointly hosted a meeting with Wales Council for International Affairs last night, 16 April. The main speaker was whistleblower Craig Murray, with a short introduction by photojournalist Guy Smallman whose photos from Afghanistan are currently on display at Cardiff Central Library (16-24 April, 2nd Floor by the lifts) along with information about Bradley Manning.
Guy has been to Afghanistan on numerous occasions, visiting and photographing places and events that are largely ignored by mainstream western journalists. On 4 May 2009, NATO bombed the village of Granai in Afghanistan and admitted to killing at most 25 civilians during the attack. The Afghan government, the International Red Cross and other organisations concluded that over 140 were killed, all non-combatants. Guy visited the village two weeks after the bombing. He was shown 70 fresh graves, some holding entire families and at the end of the graveyard a single mass grave, 30 metres long where the villagers said they had buried 54 people together. The reason for this mass grave, contrary to Muslim custom, is that these people were at the centre of the attack and were reduced to a mass of body parts. Guy asked how the villagers could be sure that there were 54 bodies. The answer was grim: We don’t know for sure, but we buried 54 heads.
At the same time that he is alleged to have passed the Collateral Murder video to WikiLeaks, Bradley Manning apparently also handed over an encrypted film of the cockpit footage from the Granai attack. WikiLeaks is reported to be working on decrypting this so it can be put in the public domain. One day, we may get to see the footage of this attack and the evidence of what really happened.
Craig began his talk by saying that he was humbled to speak at an event for Bradley Manning: “I lost my job but I didn’t lose my liberty.” He commented on Bradley Manning’s mistreatment at the hands of the US and the way this was aimed at isolating him from any support, for example the restriction on correspondence while he was in Quantico as well as the harassment of those publicly supporting him, such as Pentagon Papers whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg, who was arrested at a demo for Bradley Manning.
Read the full report here.