NEW NEW! *another* POSTER from Somerset Bean!!
Especially produced for the actions on SATURDAY 23RD FEBRUARY, it is available to download for printing (see links below)
TEXT READS (IN READING ORDER L to R then down!):
62 DAYS in a cage in a dark tent in Kuwait
“I just thought I was going to die in that cage.
And that’s how I saw it – an animal cage…”
265 DAYS in maximum security solitary confinement at Quantico, Virginia, USA.
Over 23 hours a day isolated in a 6 x 8 foot cell with ‘shakedowns’, wake-ups, 24 hour a day surveillance in bright light (even on the toilet), chains, deprivation, betrayal, interrogation, forced nudity, and denied meaningful exercise, social interaction and sunlight.
“The most entertaining thing in my cell was the mirror. You can interact with yourself.
I spent a lot of time with it…”
THE LARGER QUOTE top right hand side then reads:
“I want people to see the truth because without information, you cannot make informed decisions as a public.”
On-line chat attributed to Army PFC Bradley Manning
1000 DAYS IMPRISONED WITHOUT TRIAL
Accused WikiLeaks whistleblower, Bradley Manning, a 25 [actually it says 24, but he’s now 25] year old Army Intelligence Analyst, is accused of sharing a video showing the killing of civilians – including two Reuters journalists – by a US helicopter in Baghdad, Iraq, with the WikiLeaks website.
He is also charged with blowing the whistle on the Afghan War Diary, the Iraq War Logs, and revealing US diplomatic cables.
In short, he’s been charged with telling us the truth.
The video and documents have illuminated the true number and cause of civilian casualties in Iraq and Afghanistan, human rights abuses by US funded contractors and foreign militaries, and the role that spying and bribes play in International diplomacy.
DOWNLOAD FOR PRINTING etc
You can download this poster for your FEB23: 1000 DAYS TOO LONG! FREE BRAD! event/gathering/stand out/photo-op, or whatever you do to join in the day of action.
Don’t forget there are a whole host of other Brad quotable quotes gathered together in the chat logs – see ‘In his own words’ for a reminder of where Brad was coming from.
Remind yourself why HE is NOT the person who should be in prison awaiting a trial in which the prosecutors, who seek to have imprisoned for life, have charged him with ‘Aiding the Enemy’ for telling you and me all that stuff we really NEED TO KNOW.
Here’s just a few examples to remind us, mainly taken from http://bradleymanning.org
TRUTHS GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS HOPED YOU’D NEVER KNOW:
NOT A VERY GOOD SECRET
2.5 million people had access to the classified information released by Wikileaks. That’s not a very good secret, but Bradley Manning now faces life in prison or the death penalty for releasing it.
Here are some of the possible reasons they didn’t want the rest of us in the know.
The government knew that most Guantanamo prisoners were either innocent or just low-level operatives. Shoddy CIA evidence collection at Guantanamo has cost millions and bred anti-American sentiment abroad. The Guantanamo Files describe how detainees were captured based on highly subjective evidence. How quickly they were released was heavily dependent on their country of origin.
See this latest post from Andy Worthington for latest update on Guantanamo and then note this important work –The Complete Guantánamo Files, described by the author as ‘a 70-part, million-word series drawing on files released by WikiLeaks in April 2011’
PRESSURISING OTHER GOVTS TO DROP PROSECUTIONS AGAINST TORTURERS
The U.S. pressured Spanish courts to drop investigations of torture at Gitmo. According to a U.S. diplomatic cable written on April 17, 2009, the Association for the Dignity of Spanish Prisoners requested that the National Court indict six former U.S. officials for creating a legal framework that allegedly permitted torture against five Spanish prisoners. However,
“Senator Mel Martinez… met Acting FM [Foreign Minister] Angel Lossada… on April 15. Martinez… underscored that the prosecutions would not be understood or accepted in the U.S. and would have an enormous impact on the bilateral relationship”
U.S. officials put strong, continued pressure on Germany not to pursue charges against CIA officers involved in the extraordinary rendition of a German citizen.
In January 2007, a German court issued arrest warrants for 13 CIA agents related to their rendition of a German citizen of Lebanese descent to Afghanistan, where he was tortured. The case against the agents was later dropped.
Diplomatic cables written in the interim period shed some light on the reasons why.
According to one German Justice Ministry (BMJ) official addressing concerns from the U.S. Ambassador, international arrest warrants could only be issued once the ministry had evaluated their legal soundness and “foreign policy implications” on a case-by-case basis.
Another BMJ official assured the embassy that the cases would not be “handled as routine” and that any investigation would require a green light from Berlin.
JUST LIKE THEY TRIED WITH ITALY
And they’re still up to this now – viz a case in the news very recently – Italy’s prosecution of those involved in rendition and torture – where the 23 charged CIA agents had to be convicted in their absence because
the US (first under Bush and then Obama) pressured the Italian government to suppress extradition requests issued by Italian courts to compel those CIA agents to travel to Italy to stand trial. Glenn Greenwald
WE DON’T DO BODY COUNTS – CONCEALING NOS OF CIVILIAN DEATHS
Gen. Tommy Franks famously told reporters in 2002,
“We don’t do body counts.”
Yet the Iraq War Logs and Afghan War Diary reveal that the military does track casualties. In most cases the military did not conduct a thorough investigation into Afghani civilian deaths. Instead, they offered victims’ families up to US$2400.
The Iraq War Logs, which span the period from January 1, 2004 to December 31, 2009, show 109,000 total deaths. Of those, a staggering 66,081 – two-thirds – were civilians –15,000 of whom were not acknowledged or reported anywhere previously.
See how how the project Iraq Body Count has used and is using the Iraq War Logs to verify nos. and draw conclusions about deaths.
In a leaked cable from the U.S. delegation to NATO, it is stated that,
“Norway’s ambassador emphasized the need to avoid a public debate about the reporting of the number of [Afghani] civilians killed,”
and the cable went on to state that
“U.N. employees themselves in Kabul doubt the method [of tracking casualties] that is used”
ARAB SPRING: HOW THE TUNISIAN ACTIVISTS BENEFITED
The U.S. government had documented Tunisian government human rights violations against its own people, but continued providing aid to Tunisia on the basis of being an ally in the war against “terrorism.” About Tunisia, the U.S. Ambassador wrote,
“Tunisia is a police state, with little freedom of expression or association, and serious human rights problems.”
Nevertheless, he recommended the U.S. continued funding Tunisia’s military.
HAPPY TO HAND PRISONERS OVER TO TORTURE
The U.S. Military violated the U.N. Convention Against Torture by turning prisoners over to the new Iraqi Security Forces, an organization which, according to the State Dept’s own reports, has frequently perpetrated prisoner torture. The Convention, which was ratified by the U.S. in 1994, forbids signatories from transferring a detainee to other countries
“where there are substantial grounds for believing that he would be in danger of being subjected to torture.”
The Iraq War Logs describe thousands of reports of prisoner torture filed against the Iraqi Security Forces, hundreds of which include medical evidence.
Methods of torture described include prisoners whipped with heavy cables across the feet, hung from ceiling hooks, having holes bored into their legs with electric drills, urinated upon, and sexually assaulted.
A US military order issued in 2004 – frago 242 – directed U.S. troops NOT to investigate these allegations.
BRAD’S EPIPHANY RELATES TO THIS
Remember that, from the chat logs (see para 16), we learned that this rounding up of Iraqis (some at least of whom were merely engaged in non violent political activity) and handing them over to be tortured by the Iraqi Police, was a turning point for Brad.
After he reported up the chain of command about some wrongful arrests, that some prisoners were just handing out ‘a benign political critique’ on the new Iraqi government’s corruption ‘titled: Where did the money go?’, his superior told him to ‘shut up and find MORE detainees’. He says in the chat logs:
Everything started slipping after that. I saw things differently.
And think of how many people had access to exactly the same information that Brad did, and yet, apparently, it was ONLY him that thought it worth blowing the whistle on it all. That’s why we call him a PEACE HERO!
and then there’s:
GOVERNMENTAL CONTRACTORS GETTING AWAY WITH SEX TRAFFICKING
U.S. taxpayer dollars helped support child trafficking when government contractor DnCorp threw a party for Afghan security recruits featuring boys purchased from pimps
for entertainment. “Bacha bazi,” or “boy play,” is a practice in which young boys are dressed up in women’s clothing, forced to dance for powerful men, and then sold for sex to the highest bidder. DynCorp was linked to child sex trafficking charges before this incident occurred.
U.S. defense contractors were brought under much tighter supervision after leaked diplomatic cables revealed that they had been complicit in child trafficking activities and the revelations have been a driving factor behind calls for the removal of all U.S. defense contractors from Afghanistan
LIES AND COLLUSION WITH YEMEN OVER AIR STRIKES/DRONES
Since December 2009, President Obama has authorized a secret drone bombing campaign in Yemen.
A year later, WikiLeaks revealed that Yemen’s President Saleh had agreed that his regime would “continue saying the bombs are ours, not yours.” The U.S. State Department endorsed an occasion when the Yemeni government lied to its people about U.S. participation in air strikes in December 2009 that resulted in civilian casualties.
“We’ll continue saying the bombs are ours, not yours,”
Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh told General David Petraeus in January, 2010.
Saleh said, “mistakes had been made” in the earlier strikes, lamented the use of U.S. cruise missiles that were “not very accurate,” and welcomed the use of precision-guided bombs instead. Yemen’s Prime Minister also joked about how his President had “lied” to the parliament about the strikes.
These drone strikes have killed large numbers of civilians. One of the strikes that occurred shortly before the cable in question was written had killed 55 people, 41 of whom were classified as civilians (21 of these were children) according to a report by Amnesty International. This US military operation in Yemen, which persists to this day, has not been officially acknowledged by the US government.
CORRUPTION AND BRIBERY ON CLIMATE
The U.S. Government offered handouts to third-world countries in order to buy signatories for the adopted version of the Copenhagen Climate Accords, which holds the U.S. to lower standards than every other industrialized nation, including India, China and
U.S. diplomatic cables show the U.S. offered aid unrelated to climate issues to individual countries, persuading developing countries to break with regional bargaining groups and agree to the Accord.
AND MORE including:
Known Egyptian torturers received training from the FBI in Quantico, Virginia.
The State Department authorized the theft of the UN Secretary General’s DNA.
The Japanese and U.S. Governments had been warned about the seismic threat at Fukushima.
The State Department backed corporate opposition to a Haitian minimum wage law.
And the leaks continue to inform, illuminate and assist all who seek justice and truth.
PERMITTED AS COURT EVIDENCE FOR THE FIRST TIME: RULING JULY 2012
In another recent example,the Chagos islanders, booted out of their home between 1965 and 1973 by the British authorities in order to allow the US to establish an airbase on Diego Garcia, were recently permitted by the Judge to use a relevant US/UK exchange from Cablegate in court as evidence in their on-going battle to get their home back.
This is why we’re doing this, why we’re protesting Brad’s imprisonment – the imprisonment of the whistleblower – the one who we should be thanking – the one who hoped that the leaks would lead to
worldwide discussions, debates and reforms….
BACK AND FRONT OF AN UPDATED INFO SHEET TO PRINT FOR GIVING OUT (incl. chatlog extracts) – can be colour or black and white:
FEB23: 1000 DAYS TOO LONG! FREE BRAD!
KEEP CHECKING UPDATES HERE
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Say it together people! On Feb23!