LEAKED AUDIO OF BRAD’S MOMENTOUS STATEMENT IN COURT
Recording courtesy of Buzzfeed
Here is the full audio of the mindbending statement Bradley Manning gave in court on Thursday 28th February, which in the absence of any proper response from USG to requests for a due amount of transparency, has been leaked from the courtroom (or media room) by someone (THANK YOU, SOMEONE!) and given to the Freedom of the Press Foundation to make public.
THIS IS AN ENHANCED (‘INCREASED’) AUDIO FROM JON GOLD ON YOU TUBE
and this, from @karwalski, is brilliant as well, because it’s easier to listen to/hear, and so really helpful, though it’s not Brad’s own voice.
All these taken together with the following transcripts make a fantastic resource and a great historic record. Thanks so much to all of you! Fab!
Transcripts, which followed the reading of the statement in court, were published by Alexa O’Brien (see end of linked post and also here) , Nathan Fuller & Mike Mckee, and, redacted, after David Coombs got permission from the court to publish it, linked to from his blog – here.
Clark Stoeckley – pls donate here to thank Clark for his FREE and WONDERFUL visual coverage of the court martial and to help with expenses
Read about the background to the leak of the audio &c in FotPF’s post here: ‘Freedom of the Press Foundation publishes leaked audio of Bradley Manning’s statement’ and see also here for more info.
The news has been reported on widely (US outlets) and here from Raf Sanchez (who was in court when Brad gave the statement) for the Daily Telegraph.
THANK YOU, BRAD!
Just had to include this amazing tribute from Afghanistan – ‘Bradley Manning: hero of suffering Afghans’ and ‘Bradley – people of Afghanistan love you’. I hope he gets to hear about this one!
Bradley’s momentous statement should leave no-one in any doubt of the moral and political agency motivating his immense gift to us – #ThankManning indeed – here is awe…
BRAD’S STATEMENT BROKEN DOWN INTO DIGESTIBLE SECTIONS
Excerpt 1: Motive in releasing war logs
SEE http://wp.me/P1rtyw-1hV for transcript
Excerpt 2: Contacting media outlets
SEE http://wp.me/P1rtyw-1i0 for transcript
Excerpt 3: Using Tor to submit documents to Wikileaks
SEE http://wp.me/P1rtyw-1i2 for transcript
Excerpt 4: Manning’s reaction when he found the Apache helicopter video
SEE http://wp.me/P1rtyw-1i6 for transcript
Excerpt 5: On reporting that Iraqi detainees did nothing wrong
SEE http://wp.me/P1rtyw-1i8 for transcript
Excerpt 6: Motives in releasing cables
SEE http://wp.me/P1rtyw-1ia for transcript
Excerpt 7: Assessing sensitivity diplomatic cables
SEE http://wp.me/P1rtyw-1ic for transcript
Taken from this FotPF post – ‘Help spread Bradley Manning’s words across the Internet’
some thoughts follow –
WHERE DID IT BEGIN?
But let’s just backtrack ten years to what started this, because, when people like NYT Bill Keller write dispusting the cohesion in Bradley’s action, we need to remember that what Brad did was a defined RESPONSE, not a random act initiated by him apropos of nothing much demanding action – Bradley Manning DID NOT START THIS….
reel back to:
FEB 15TH 2003: DON’T ATTACK IRAQ!
Last month (15th February) we marked 10 years since the largest ever demonstrations in the history of the world, when millions of people in over 800 cities worldwide said with one voice: ‘Don’t Attack Iraq!’ The march in London alone is estimated to have been 2,000,000 strong.
MARCH 19TH 2003: LIES, LIES & WAR
This month, on 19/20th March 2013, we will also mark the 10 year anniversary of the invasion which started that war the peoples of the world so emphatically opposed.
And this probably tells us all we need to know about the utter sham of our ‘democratic’ societies. Because, instead of heeding us, the vested interests and lawless powers that run things pressed ahead with their pre-ordained programme of lies and manipulation, to drag all of us, against our expressed wishes, into an invasion of Iraq and a war which was surely as illegal and immoral as ever war was.
The cynicism with which the justifications were trotted out, seem, even more in hindsight than at the time, like the last rattle of any integrity in our public life.
ACCOUNTABILITY – A DEMOCRATIC MODEL DISCARDED – BURIED IN THE RUBBLE OF EVERLASTING WAR
And, as we were launched into what was to prove a perpetual war of terror, an even greater separation set in between the governors and the governed in our western ‘democratic’ societies, as accountability slipped away and disappeared, buried under the supposed ubiquitous threat from ‘terrorists’ and ‘insurgents’.
Which everything else came to be defined by.
And which became the bottom line of the relationship, having disastrous consequences for justice, truth and civil liberties.
BRADLEY MANNING WAS IN WALES
When the Iraq war began, Bradley Manning was 15 and at this school in Haverfordwest, his ‘maternal home town’, in Wales.
When he left school, he returned to the US, where his father lived and where he had spent his earlier childhood, and, eventually, being particularly gifted with computers, he joined the US Military as an Intelligence Analyst.
THEN IN THE US MILITARY
Bradley Manning thought he could serve his country – schoolfriends describe him as patriotic; he thought he could benefit the Iraqi people – he is reported as saying that he believed he could make a difference by his effective work; and he also was looking to get himself the college education he wanted – this last a reason many young soldiers sign up for military service.
The young Bradley Manning was NOT, at the age of 19, looking for trouble when he joined up nor when at the age of 21, he was deployed to Iraq….but he was there and he did see things that, as he told us on that Thursday in court (and as the chat logs had already made clear), he could not just ignore.
AN HONOURABLE GUY, BUT WHAT ABOUT ALL THE OTHERS?
For Bradley Manning was an honourable guy, Bradley Manning knew right from wrong, and Bradley Manning had a compassionate heart and a vibrant conscience.
All these things are well attested to by friends, by what we know of his life, by his own words, by the two occasions now we have now heard him testify in person, and by the actual fact of the leaks.
Did you ever ask yourself why the rest of those 2.5 million people who all had access to the information Bradley is accused of leaking….didn’t?
Complicit in inflicting immense suffering on people, in destroying lives and breaking hearts, in holding people down, keeping them in poverty, slavery and despair?
Why almost without exception, they were seemingly not morally mature or responsible enough to take significant action opposing all that injustice?
And there are, of course, a few notable exceptions…..and these few whistleblowers have all, like Brad, been relentlessly pursued to prosecution, and accused of being traitors by their fellow citizens.
But these people are exceptions – the vast majority failed entirely to react to the evidence before them.
What does that say about the state we’re in?
It’s not an easy thing to do. To step right out against all prevailing norms, with all the odds crushingly weighted against your two pennorth making any difference at all. Why bother?
WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE – WHO IS BRADLEY MANNING?
Most people probably don’t believe in themselves, in their judgment, in humanity, and in their ability to change things, as much as Bradley Manning, and probably most people simply wouldn’t have the guts to step out of that kind of deeply scored line and take the risk of having the guns turned round on them.
Probably most people’s conscience is more jaded and most people’s hope more or less restricted to the narrow sphere of their own welfare.
And maybe most people just don’t see so very clearly to the heart of things.
And don’t realise that inaction is as much a position as action – Brad calls it apathy and appears to see it as something he must not allow to get the upper hand in his consideration of what to do.
we’re human… and we’re killing ourselves… and no-one seems to see that… and it bothers me
apathy is far worse than the active participation
I prefer a painful truth over any blissful fantasy.
Reminding some of us of this:
Washing one’s hands of the conflict between the powerful and the powerless means to side with the powerful, not to be neutral.
‘SENSE OF MISSION’ WAS ALWAYS OBVIOUS
Embedded in the chat logs we already had, there is (contrary to what Bill Keller is suggesting) a strong sense of mission; a sense of Brad’s being in the position where he faces a moral imperative; where he realises that it is he who must take this action – a clear sense of calling.
Julian Assange describes such moments like this:
‘Usually the whistleblowers that approach us do so when they have a moment of moral clarity……that moment of moral clarity should be seized….that moment of courage…..should be seized and used…..’
And we learn more from the Feb 23 statement about this, that it is obviously a sense which Bradley weighs and tests, which in this process does not dissipate, only becomes clearer and more definite as he considers his response.
And the statement clarifying his actions which you can hear above, does just that – it clarifies. And it does give some new information. But it is consistent with what we already knew, and to anyone interested enough to have looked into the chat logs and other evidence that was previously available to us, it isn’t, in the main, a surprise.
SOMEONE TO BE GRATEFUL FOR
And it really is such a nonsense, such a ludicrous insult to Brad’s very obvious intelligence to say that his statement attaches a retrospective meaning which he has formulated only through the body of support he has attracted since his imprisonment, as Nathan Fuller and Kevin Gosztola point out in their rebuttals to that NYT editorial.
There are people among us for whom we have to be very grateful indeed (and Bradley Manning is being revealed as one of them), who, seemingly, just cannot bear to be other than truly and honestly humanitarian; they care passionately and practically about justice and truth and instead of just focusing on self protection, they care enough about the future we have as people together on this planet to expose themselves to jeopardy.
i cant separate myself from others i feel connected to everybody… like they were distant family
i… care? >sigh<
And his moral clarity is not contaminated by the sophistry that rejects real hope. Here is a moment when Brad contemplates the possibility that nothing will change:
and god knows what happens now
hopefully worldwide discussion, debates, and reforms if not… then we’re doomed as a species
i will officially give up on the society we have if nothing happens…
But, although he considers this, you can see it’s not his default – because his default is plainly optimistic, belief, hope – all those acute states of being that define a mindset the polar opposite of cynicism…apathy…the paralysis of a lazy pragmatism.
i want people to see the truth… regardless of who they are…
because without information, you cannot make informed decisions as a public
if i knew then, what i knew now… kind of thing… or maybe im just young, naive, and stupid…
im hoping for the former
it cant be the latter because if it is… were fucking screwed (as a society) and i dont want to believe that we’re screwed
well, it SHOULD be better
AN APPROPRIATE RESPONSE TO AN ‘INAPPROPRIATE’ SITUATION
Bradley Manning was sent out to an illegal, pointless and immoral war, soon recognised it for what it was, and bravely took steps that he believed would make a difference to the madness he was seeing; to make an impact on
the situation we were mired in
He describes the “sense of relief” he felt after he transferred the first documents to WikiLeaks in January 2010.
“I felt that I had accomplished something that would allow me to have a clear conscience about something I knew was happening in Iraq and Afghanistan every day.
At that time I believed, and I still believe, that these tables (the Afghan War Diary and the Iraq War Logs) are two of the most significant documents of our time.
Apparently that belief, that seal on his actions has not left him – in the words of the title of Chase Madar’s book, we are witnessing the historic and pivotal Passion of Bradley Manning.
POEM FROM LAST SUMMER
FREE: BRADLEY MANNING “apathy…. apathy is far worse than the active participation I prefer a painful truth over any blissful fantasy” I did hesitate I saw myself turned into the face of it overtaken and buried wrapped into it stuff had happened before but choices, even as they absorb us, call us by Name and the fit here was tight apposite; Me, incorrigibly the bearer of burdens, the means, the method, and a life-for-death channel to clean water On the other hand there was Apathy that most far reaching of all contributions its fine dust slipping through soothing fingers sealing the world over smothering the grieving giving cover to the grievous and making Cataclysm a Ministry And there in the desert this was so clear to me: we were all very thirsty For now you will interpret me through the rising cloud of the deluge, seize at falling fragments (debris) tearing me, frustrating me. But in the end that just won’t wash like this will I’m telling you – I’ve been fighting with my life in the depths of it, yet I can’t envy you; I can’t do what you do; I was ever gripped by the defining option And look, I’m the catalyst, right? I’m still in this reaction wooing it, winning it, bringing it on, and when all’s said and done I’m coming on through it intact vw june 2012