Update: Marking the anniversary in Wales
Wednesday 25 July is the second Anniversary of the release by WikiLeaks of the Afghan War Diaries.
These diaries provided indisputable evidence about the real nature of the futile and bloody ongoing conflict in Afghanistan. Yet, two years later:
- The war in Afghanistan continues.
- The death toll continues to rise.
- Bradley Manning remains in pretrial detention
- Julian Assange of WikiLeaks has sought sanctuary in the Ecuadorian Embassy in fear of his life if extradited to the US (via Sweden or directly from Britain)
Call for action on 25 July
The Bradley Manning Support Network has issued a call-out for action everywhere to mark this anniversary.
This collection of military documents stands in stark contrast to the [US] government’s public statements on the war in Afghanistan — a war characterized by overwhelming civilian casualties and a culture of secrecy far exceeding what’s needed to protect U.S. troops. Even though the Bush and Obama Administrations maintained publicly that there was no official count of civilian casualties, the Afghan War Diary and related documents expose this claim as false.
Meanwhile, none have paid a price for these revelations more than Pfc. Bradley Manning, the 24-year old soldier accused of making documents public through the popular whistle-blower website, WikiLeaks.
Forced to endure torturous conditions described for the first year of captivity, Manning now approaches 800 days in brig, despite military code ensuring his right to a speedy trial. Despite the government’s own admission that there was no substantive damage, Manning faces life in prison for allegedly sharing information about a controversial war the American public is asked to co-sign, politically, financially, and morally. [aided and abetted by Britain amongst others].
Accountability and transparency are the hallmarks of a democratic society—qualities that transcend partisanship or divisive notions of right and left, liberal and conservative. The American public deserved access to this information from the get go, and Bradley Manning should be freed without charges immediately as a whistle-blower whose trial has been rife with procedural, legal and human rights violations.
Read the rest of the article with suggestions for action at bradleymanning.org.