Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Action Alert: Bradley Manning Support Network

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Call To Action!
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Editorial  Comment: The following e-mail was forwarded to me from my VVAW brother Mutt, of the San Diego chapter of VVAW.  As a result I contacted Ms Reitman and asked her permission to post it up here on VetSpeak.org, inasmuch as Bradley is presently at the center of the national conversation on our involvement in Afghanistan.  
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This infamy results from his alleged actions in possibly having released Top Secret data to Wiki-leaks.  Actions that are seen either as an act of treason, or as an act of heroic patriotism, depending on one’s political perspective or political party allegiance.  Like so much else in America today, it is a seemingly outrageous act that is being used for political rallying purposes by both sides, rather than attempting to determine the truth of the matter through critical analysis of the facts, or hard evidence. 
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Our immediate concern is with Bradley’s  personal welfare while in custody, and the gravity of his current legal predicament.  Neither side is privy to all of the facts at this point in time.  It is not out of the realm of possibilities that Bradley is being played for a patsy in a cover up of a bigger conspiracy…I still remember the ol' two Lee Harvey Oswalds theory.  Tail waggin’ the dog?  Truth will out.  
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However, in the meantime, the fact remains; Bradley is a soldier, and even in a military Court Martial would have to be proven guilty based on consideration of all of the “truths” of the case, from both perspectives.  The best insurance that the light of truth will be kept on the proceedings is a widespread network of monitors.  As a soldier and as an American, Bradley is entitled to the best defense that he can muster to his case.  It is in that spirit that we are posting this call for support for Bradley.
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Date: August 14, 2010 5:19:16 PM PDT
Subject: Bradley Manning Support Network - San Diego
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Hi there,
My name is Loraine and I'm serving on the steering committee for the Bradley Manning Support Network, www.bradleymanning.org.  We're working to raise awareness and support for Bradley Manning, an intelligence analyst facing a court martial and up to 52 years in prison on charges of leaking classified materials that showed American soldiers killing Reuters journalists.  The video in question was published by WikiLeaks and can be viewed at www.collateralmurder.com
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A number of peace organizations have begun collaborating with our network, most notably Courage to Resist (couragetoresist.org) which has partnered with us to host a defense fund.  We've generated lots of interest on the Internet and in different parts of the country already.   Now, I am hoping that each of you reads this will actively join with us in the building of a nationwide grassroots support network for Bradley.  A network that speaks truth to power.  Together, in one strong voice.
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Peace,
Loraine Reitman
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Help change the world - Support Bradley Manning
www.bradleymanning.org
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www.VetSpeak.org
                                        

Saturday, September 04, 2010

Iraq & Afghanistan: One Veteran's Perspective on Guilt and Complacency...

America’s Guilt: What I Do Know and 
Do Not Know About it...
Although many blindly deny the treachery, many others see it clearly, but there has been no credible effort to take a stand against it.
By Rafe Pilgrim

I know that our government knows things about 9-11 it has not told us, including actions of its own devising.

I know that the invasion of Afghanistan was wrong, motivated by the lure of its natural resources, as well as its position to accommodate routing yet more resources from the Caspian basin to a port accessible to special interests, all enhanced by politicians both servile and mad, ambitious generals, the monster investment-bankers and the wide range of greed merchants who profit from war, and the power freaks and perverts who lust for it.

I know that the invasion of Iraq was wrong, it was motivated by madness, perhaps more than even by greed.

I know that the resulting slaughter of a million innocents will indict American history and character forever.

I know that the use of depleted uranium is wrong and will haunt hospitals from Los Angeles to Fallujah and beyond for generations.

I know that Bush and Cheney lied.

I know that Colin Powell and Condoleezza Rice lied, seduced by the lures of the white power-structure, rather than to stand as examples of integrity and courage of their race and for America.

I know that Barak Obama made the same choice in performing his role as a more articulate but translucent Bush, upping the stakes in Afghanistan, and answering to the same white power-meisters.

I know that our Congress has also chosen complicity with power, or at best has simply fallen into political cowardice rather than to risk standing for the right thing.

I know that the "surge" is wrong, motivated by a last desperate grasp for Afghanistan's resources, or simply to delay the exposure of the lies that promoted the initial treachery.

I know that supporting Israel's treachery against the Palestinians with arms, funds and political posturing is wrong.

I know that denying the United Nations the honest support of the world's most powerful nation is wrong and harmful not only to peace but to the full range of humanitarian endeavors.

I know that the Department of Homeland Security is a clone of the Gestapo that "protected" the Heimatland.

I know that Guantanamo is wrong, along with trials of kidnapped minors by military tribunals.

I know that torture is abominably wrong, and that water-boarding is such despite its promotion by a sitting Vice President of the United States and endorsed by legal experts of our Justice Department.

I know that "extreme rendition" is a euphemism for international kidnapping to do the torture elsewhere and perhaps by more expert practitioners.

I know that the Patriot Act is an “official” excuse to violate of our constitutional guarantees and a license to intimidate and abuse American citizens with impunity.

I know that government tracking and eavesdropping on our phone calls and email is wrong.

I know that American Christians now hide within the stone walls of their churches rather than to walk and speak out as would Christ to oppose the treachery and to stop the slaughter.

I know that once friendly peoples of the world now disrespect and despise Americans for the treachery done in the name of our country.

Perhaps most difficult for this Veteran to digest is that I know that every one of our soldiers who died and will die in Iraq and Afghanistan is another wasted life resulting from our government's treachery.

I know there is a large segment of the U.S. population who "Support Our Troops," believing the propaganda that they are somehow defending America against "terrorism" in those deserts eight or nine thousand miles from our coast, or saving Christianity from the Muslim threat to its existence, and that it is heroic for a soldier to be blown to pieces by an IED or picked off by a ragtag sniper defending his own village.

I know that there is another large segment of Americans who really just don't care about all this, don't wish to listen, talk or be bothered by it. They've got "more important" things to do.

I know that there is yet another segment of Americans who are disturbed by the treacherous eternal wars, and who churn out emails to each other, write items such as this on the web, carry signs on street corners, attend weekend protests on the Mall, and join "activist" organizations that -- after nine years of soliciting contributions -- have accomplished nothing beyond promoting their continued organizational existence.

Neither this segment nor its organizations have ever measured up to the inconveniences and discomforts, and accepted the risks to their personal safety, such as are required to convince our government these treacherous wars must end,  and that our Bill of Rights must be restored. (These "activist" orgs' idea of action is to invite you to "our next annual meeting," and of course to solicit contributions. What is perhaps the largest of them advised me that my proposal for a specific meaningful action "...would interfere with our primary objective, which is to refine our organization." And this after five years of our slaughterous wars against Afghanistan and Iraq!

I know there are those other few precious individuals who have tried to galvanize the citizenry to demand decency of our government, but have failed to garner the required massive support to endure the hardships required for any chance of success. Bless them -- but the treachery proceeds.

What I do not know is why and how so many semi-intelligent, half-decent citizens have avoided the truth or claimed otherwise, and how they abide this evil and treacherous state of affairs, and how they can rise and prepare for each new day of it by looking into their morning mirrors without being overcome with well earned guilt and remorse regarding their complacency.

.....Very truly and most sadly,
Rafe Pilgrim