Write a letter supporting PVT Manning’s request for clemency!
Under the Uniform Code of Military Justice, Convening Authorities are granted the power to reduce or eliminate a convicted soldier’s sentence. They use this power when they feel the court martial failed to deliver justice. As Commanding General of the Military District of Washington, Major General Jeffrey S. Buchanan is the only other individual besides President Obama with the power to ameliorate WikiLeaks whistle-blower PVT Manning’s sentence in the immediate future.
We are now requesting letters from professors, law experts, human rights advocates, politicians, artists, veterans, and concerned citizens urging Maj. Gen. Buchanan to reduce PVT Manning’s sentence. These letters will be submitted as part of an application for clemency from PVT Manning’s legal defense. These letters, once completed, should be sent to [email protected]
There are some important guidelines you should follow to ensure we’re able to use your letter:
- Your letter should be approximately 1 page long.
- It should be composed on personalized letterhead -you can create this yourself (here are templates and some tips for doing that).
- The letters must be printed, signed, then scanned (so that they have the signature) in PDF format.
- Pvt Manning’s recently announced that her preferred name is Chelsea, and that folks should use female pronouns. However, she also understands that for efforts such as these, it is most effective for supporters to use her legal name and military rank, “Pvt. Bradley E. Manning”, along with male pronouns.
- The letter should focus on your support for PVT Manning, and especially why you believe justice will be served if PVT Manning’s sentence is reduced. The letter should NOT be anti-military and/or anti-Buchanan, as this will be unlikely to help.
- A suggested message: “Pvt. Manning has been punished enough for violating military regulations in the course of being true to his conscience. I urge you to use your authority as Convening Authority to reduce Pvt. Manning’s sentence to time served.” Beyond that general message, feel free to personalize the details as to why you believe PVT Manning deserves clemency.
- Here is an example letter, written by Jeff Paterson of Courage to Resist and the Pvt. Manning Support Network (yes, you can plagiarize).
- These letters will be formally submitted to Gen. Buchanan by Pvt. Manning’s attorney David Coombs as part of a larger clemency packet.
- Please send your letter to [email protected] as soon as possible. We will review these letters prior to forwarding them to PVT Manning’s legal defense, and may request that you make changes if necessary.
Courage to Resist, the organization sponsoring the Private Manning Support Network, has successfully convinced Convening Authorities to reduce the sentences of conscientious objectors in the past (see the cases of Travis Bishop and Cliff Cornell). PVT Manning is unjustly imprisoned because the things she witnessed in the Iraq War compelled her to follow her conscience. Now, through creating compelling and personal letters, it is time to call upon Maj. Gen. Buchanan to honor his conscience in turn.