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

Military judge rules Bradley Manning was illegally treated, awards 112 days credit

manningAt Bradley Manning’s hearing in Fort Meade today, Judge Lind awarded 112 days credit off of any future prison sentence awarded due to the abuse Manning suffered in Quantico—little to keep the military from torturing next American soldier awaiting controversial trial. Earlier, the parties argued government motions to preclude evidence of core precepts of Bradley Manning’s defense.

By Nathan Fuller, Bradley Manning Support Network. January 8, 2013.

After more than two weeks of intense litigation by Bradley Manning’s defense, and hearing how Quantico brig staff blatantly disregarded Navy Rules, military Judge Denise Lind has confirmed that Bradley was punished unlawfully before trial by awarding 112 days credit. Instead of awarding 10-for-1 credit (or dismissing the charges altogether), which would severely reprimand the military and significantly impact Bradley’s potential sentence, Judge Lind gave 1-to-1 credit for selected portions of his Quantico confinement. (more…)

Courtroom notes, Bradley Manning’s motions hearing: October 17, 2012

From Bradley Manning Support Network

Bradley Manning returned to Ft. Meade today for another motions hearing. Judge Lind will rule tomorrow on the defense motion to compel witnesses in the next hearing and on whether an author made Collateral Murder’s contents public at least a year before Bradley’s arrest. (more…)

Dead Gitmo Prisoner’s Tragic Letter About Why He Gave Up on Life

Dead Gitmo Prisoner’s Tragic Letter About Why He Gave Up on Life

Adnan Latif suffered at the hands of the US government in ways that most people can’t begin to comprehend.

From Alternet.org

Adnan Latif was found dead in his cell on September 10th, 2012, just a day before the eleventh anniversary of 9/11. He was 32. Latif, a Yemeni citizen, had been detained at Guantanamo Bay for over a decade, despite a 2010 court ruling that ordered the Obama administration to “take all necessary and appropriate diplomatic steps to facilitate Latif’s release forthwith,” due to lack of evidence that he had committed any crime. He suffered at the hands of the US government in ways that most people can’t begin to comprehend, and his death should be a reminder that the national shame that is Guantanamo Bay lives on and now enjoys bipartisan support. (more…)

Manning’s torturous confinement controlled by top military Lt. General at the Pentagon

From Bradley Manning Support Network

By Kevin Zeese. September 4, 2012.

Then-Lt. Gen. George Flynn, who reportedly directed PFC Bradley Manning’s illegal pretrial confinement conditions.Every time I attend a Bradley Manning hearing the prosecutors show their outrageous disrespect for the law, demonstrate they cannot be trusted and that this prosecution should not proceed.

Beginning on November 27, the defense will argue a long-delayed motion to dismiss for unlawful pretrial punishment.  In a moment of high drama, Bradley is likely to testify about his nine months in solitary confinement during the argument of this motion.

Prosecutors Are Caught Hiding More than One Thousand Emails about Manning’s Confinement

The most recent reason for the delay in the hearing was the government was caught hiding 1,374 emails relevant to the confinement of Bradley Manning. (more…)

Hundreds rally at Obama campaign offices for Bradley, veterans arrested

By the Bradley Manning Support Network

In a coordinated set of actions, Bradley Manning supporters–led by veterans including Scott Olsen–rallied at and occupied Obama campaign offices on the West Coast yesterday, twelve arrested

Six veterans and activists in Oakland, and six more in Portland, OR, were arrested Thursday night at Obama campaign offices for occupying the spaces in solidarity with accused WikiLeaks whistle-blower PFC Bradley Manning. Dozens of veterans and anti-war demonstrators coordinated a West Coast set of actions that also included protests in Los Angeles, Las Vegas, and Seattle. (more…)

Defense Motion Describes Bradley Manning’s “Unlawful Pretrial Punishment” in Solitary Confinement

From Solitary Watch

David E. Coombs, attorney for accused Wikileaker Bradley Manning, has made public a motion“to dismiss all charges owing to the unlawful pretrial punishment to which PFC Manning was subjected while at Marine Corps Base, Quantico.” Manning spent close to nine months in solitary confinement in the Brig at Quantico, from July 2010 to April 2011, before being transferred into less restrictive conditions at Fort Leavenworth.

Manning was held in conditions that were denounced as “cruel, inhuman, and degrading treatment” by UN Special Rapporteur on Torture Juan Mendez. His lawyer is now arguing that they were also in “flagrant violation” of military code. Keep in mind that Manning had not–and still has not–been convicted of any crime, nor had he been accused of any disciplinary violations while in custody.

According to the motion, as summarzied on Coombs’s website, “a decision had been made early on at Quantico to keep PFC Manning in MAX Custody and in Prevention of Injury (POI) status — in effect, the functional equivalent of solitary confinement.” The motion further argues that “Multiple psychiatrists at the Quantico Brig recommended for almost nine months that PFC Manning be downgraded from POI status.  The psychiatrists informed Quantico Brig officials that PFC Manning’s POI status was not warranted because he did not present a risk to himself and that the POI status was actually causing PFC Manning psychological harm.  The psychiatrists’ recommendations were outright ignored by Quantico officials.”

The defense claims it has documents that “reveal that the senior Brig officer who ordered PFC Manning to be held in MAX and in POI was receiving his marching orders from a three-star general. They also reveal that everyone at Quantico was complicit in the unlawful pretrial punishment, from senior officers to enlisted marines.”

Many aspects of Bradley Manning’s conditions of confinement at Quantico will sound familiar to the tens of thousands of American prisoners who have spent time in solitary confinement in supermax prisons and Special Housing Units. Additional restrictions were put in place supposedly because he was at risk of harming himself, though they in fact seem only to have added to his torture. (more…)