Tag Archive: anti-war

‘I am Chelsea Manning,’ says jailed soldier formerly known as Bradley

 

From The GuardianBradley Manning

The US soldier who was sentenced as Bradley Manning on Wednesday plans to undergo hormone therapy and has asked to be recognised as a woman.

In a statement on Thursday Manning said she would like to be known as Chelsea E Manning and be referred to by female pronouns.

“As I transition into this next phase of my life, I want everyone to know the real me,” she wrote.

“I am Chelsea Manning. I am a female. Given the way that I feel, and have felt since childhood, I want to begin hormone therapy as soon as possible. I hope that you will support me in this transition.” (more…)

Manning sentenced to 35 years; eligible for parole after 8 years

22manning3-articleInlineFrom the New York Times:

A military judge on Wednesday sentenced Pfc. Bradley Manning to 35 years in prison for providing more than 700,000 government files to WikiLeaks, a gigantic leak that lifted the veil on military and diplomatic activities around the world.

Patrick Semansky/Associated Press

Pfc. Bradley Manning was escorted into a courthouse for sentencing on Wednesday in Fort Meade, Md.

The sentence is the longest ever handed down in a case involving a leak of United States government information to be reported to the public. Private Manning will apparently be eligible for parole in slightly more than eight years.

In a two-minute hearing on Wednesday morning, the judge, Army Col. Denise R. Lind, also said that Private Manning would be reduced in rank from private first class to E1, a lower rank of private and the lowest rank in the military. She said he would forfeit all pay and would be dishonorably discharged. She did not impose a fine. (more…)

Iraq War Resister Kimberly Rivera sentenced to 14 months

kimandmario250From Courage to Resist:

On Monday afternoon, during a court-martial hearing at Fort Carson, Colorado, Kimberly Rivera was sentenced to 14 months in military prison and a dishonorable discharge after publicly expressing her conscientious objection to the Iraq War while in Canada. Under the terms of a pre-trial agreement, she will serve 10 months of that sentence. (Photo: Mario and Kim Rivera moments before Kim was taken away in chains. She is currently in the local county jail awaiting transfer to a military prison.)

Private First Class Kimberly Rivera deployed to Iraq in 2006 and sought asylum in Canada in 2007 because she decided she could no longer be complicit in the war. A mother of four young children—including two who were born in Canada—she was forced back to the United States of America by the Conservative government after receiving a negative decision on her pre-removal risk assessment. A Federal Court judge denied her request for a stay of removal, finding the possibility of her arrest and detention in the U.S. to be “speculative.” Rivera was arrested three days later, on September 20, 2012, as she presented herself at the U.S. border.

“Kim is being punished for her beliefs and for her comments to the press while she was in Canada,” said James M. Branum, the defense attorney who represented Rivera during the court-martial proceedings. “Because she spoke out against the Iraq War, Kim’s sentence is harsher than the punishment given to 94 percent of deserters who are not punished but administratively discharged. In the closing arguments, the prosecutor argued that the judge needed to give PFC Rivera a harsh sentence to send a message to the other war resisters in Canada and their supporters.” (more…)

‘Nintendo Medal’ for Military Drone Pilots

ht_new_medal_dm_130306_wblogFrom Earth First! Newswire

by Russ McSpadden

The U.S. has a growing corps of cyber-warriors and drone pilots who target human populations with bomb strapped drones. Now  the Pentagon is commending their all-too-real virtual combat with a new medal.Last month, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta approved the military’s first new combat medal in nearly a century. The Distinguished Warfare Medal is bestowed to  individuals in recognition of “extraordinary contributions” to combat operations conducted from afar.

In the military hierarchy of honor, the new ‘lethal gamer’ medal is the eighth highest award behind the Medal of Honor.

Some are calling it the “Chair-borne Medal,” “the Nintendo Medal,” “the Purple Buttocks,” and the “Distant Warfare Medal,” demeaning the computer-based iWarriors because they are not exposed to imminent mortal danger like traditional combat soldiers. A growing alliance of veterans groups and politicians are lobbying the Pentagon and President Obama to downgrade the award, which is ahead of the Bronze Star and Purple Heart in terms of distinction.

Regardless of the kerfuffle over the proper accolades for the military’s deadly computer nerd-core, little argument has been put forward questioning the ethics of bestowing an honorary trinket on a group of techno-assassins that spy on and bomb suspected terrorists, American citizens, wedding parties and children from the comfort of a computer screen.

Read more on techno-monstrosities in McSpadden’s “The Early History of the Robot Wars” Part 1 and Part 2