An appeal from Daniel Ellsberg


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During the Vietnam War I worked in the Pentagon under Robert McNamara. In Vietnam, my background as a Marine officer allowed me to walk with the troops in combat and see the war up close. What I found was a costly, immoral war that could not be allowed to continue.

My decision to reveal the top secret Pentagon Papers to the American public was an act of conscience. These documents showed that we were in a destructive, wrongful war, and that we had entered that war under false pretenses. My hope was that, armed with this truth, the American people could act to end that war.

Today, a young soldier named Bradley Manning faces trial for a similar act of conscience, and he needs our help. In releasing documents and videos to the anti-secrecy website WikiLeaks, PFC Manning made an enormously positive impact on world events. He revealed the terrifying misdeeds by American and coalition forces, such as the 2007 Baghdad airstrike that targeted and killed at least 12 Iraqi civilians. He opened a new pathway for truth and justice to reach the world, perhaps preventing the next unjust war from ever beginning. He even helped inspire a new, global movement for openness and democracy, ringing out from Tahrir Square to Wall Street. To me, and many others, Bradley is a hero.

Yet, for his courage, Bradley faces life in prison — much like I did 40 years ago. And just as I was arrested and called a “traitor” by President Nixon, Bradley’s charges include an accusation of “aiding the enemy,” even though there is no evidence that any individual was endangered by his disclosures. Bradley, now 25 years old, is far too young, and has too much to offer this country to spend the rest of his life in prison. He needs our support.

That support has worked already. In March of 2011, I proudly got arrested along with 35 others at the Quantico Marine Base while Bradley was being held there in solitary confinement. Bradley had spent nine months in conditions considered torture by the UN. However, shortly after our protest, with your help, Bradley was transferred to much more humane conditions in Fort Leavenworth, Kansas.

Americans who care about the future of our country need to be involved in Bradley’s defense. The defining issues of the 21st century, including the transparency and accountability of our government, are at stake. I believe history is on the side of those who seek to reveal the truth, not on the side of those who seek to conceal it. But, as my example shows, there are those in government who rely on crimes and secrets, who will seek to punish him and dissuade others from offering truth to the American people. Mercifully, the Vietnam War did end, and many consider the release of the Pentagon Papers to have helped. With your assistance, Bradley’s impact can be even greater.

Help us continue to cover 100%
of Bradley’s legal fees! Donate today.

The Bradley Manning Support Network has been key in coordinating nationwide support efforts for Bradley’s defense, raising hundreds of thousands of dollars from thousands of people. We need money to support ongoing grassroots efforts—including rallies, petitions, and ads. Most importantly, however, we need to continue fully funding Bradley’s legal defense efforts—including possible appeals, all the way up to the US Supreme Court, if need be.

The future of truth-telling is at stake, and a young man’s selfless, heroic act of patriotism deserves our support.

P.S. If you are one of the 18,000 friends who have already given to Bradley’s Defense Fund, thank you. On the eve of this historic trial, I’m asking you now to please give once more, and to give whatever you can. Your commitment, your creativity, and your energy remain vital, but right now, we need money as well. This is a crucial time in shaping support and public discourse in favor of Bradley.

The Bradley Manning Defense Fund, hosted by Courage to Resist in collaboration with the Bradley Manning Support Network, is responsible for 100% of Bradley’s legal expenses. Courage to Resist is a program of the Alliance for Global Justice (AfGJ), a non-profi t organization under Section 501(c)(3) of the IRS Code. Donations are tax-deductible. For more information, contact Courage to Resist at 510-488-3559.

Help us continue to cover 100%
of Bradley’s legal fees! Donate today.

10 thoughts on “An appeal from Daniel Ellsberg

  1. The real crime, or crimes, rather, are those committed by these two administrations and their military services. This is an appeal to the Americans in them to work for true justice.

  2. Bradley is a true hero, as are all who are working on his behalf (on ALL our behalf) to protect human rights and free expression, and to foster honor, peace, and justice.

  3. 10 USC § 904 – Art. 104 Aiding the enemy: Clearly in (2) it says “holds any intercourse with the enemy” [sic] therefore (2) definitely does not apply leaving (1). A closer examination reveals that only the first word in the description of Art. 104 (1) may apply, that being “aids”. Pfc. Bradley Manning acts are not consistent with “aiding” and a closer examination of relevantly material of his or Osama Bin-Ladens corespondents, have a lacking of converging abstract thoughts of creativity. Otherwise the two were in separate worlds of fantasy and fiction.

  4. ***Why I Will Be Standing In Solidarity With Private Bradley Manning At Fort Meade Maryland On Saturday June 1st At 1:00PM- A Personal Note From An Ex-Soldier Political Prisoner

    From The Pen Of Frank Jackman

    A couple of years ago (2011) I wrote a little entry in this space in order to motivate my reasons for standing in solidarity with a March 20th rally in support of Private Bradley Manning at the Quantico Marine Base in Virginia where he was then being held. I have subsequently repeatedly used that entry, Why I Will Be Standing In Solidarity With Private Bradley Manning At Quantico, Virginia On Sunday March 20th At 2:00 PM- A Personal Note From An Ex-Soldier Political Prisoner, as a I have tried to publicize his case in blogs and other Internet sources, at various rallies, and at marches, most recently at the Veterans For Peace Saint Patrick’s Day Peace Parade in South Boston on March 17th.

    After I received information from the Bradley Manning Support Network about the latest efforts on Private Manning’s behalf, an International Day Of Solidarity on June 1st at Fort Meade, Maryland as he prepares for his June 3rd trial date scheduled for April 24th and 25th in Washington and Fort Meade respectively I decided that I would travel south to stand once again in proximate solidarity with Brother Manning at Fort Meade. As one would expect when the cause is still the same, Bradley Manning’s freedom, unfortunately most of the entry is still in the same key. And will be until the day he is freed by his jailers. And I will continue to stand in proud solidarity with Brother Manning until that great day.
    Of course I will be standing at the front gate to the Fort Meade , Maryland on April 25th because I stand in solidarity with the actions of Private Bradley Manning in bringing to light, just a little light, some of the nefarious doings of this government, Bush-like or Obamian. If he did such acts they are no crime. No crime at all in my eyes or in the eyes of the vast majority of people who know of the case and of its importance as an individual act of resistance to the unjust and barbaric American-led war in Iraq. I sleep just a shade bit easier these days knowing that Private Manning (or someone) exposed what we all knew, or should have known- the Iraq war and the Afghan war justification rested on a house of cards. American imperialism’s gun-toting house of cards, but cards nevertheless.

    Of course I will also be standing at the front gate of Fort Meade, Maryland on April 25th because I am outraged by the treatment meted out to Private Manning, presumably an innocent man, by a government who alleges itself to be some “beacon” of the civilized world. Bradley Manning had been held in solidarity at Quantico and other locales for over 500 days, and has been held without trial for much longer, as the government and its military try to glue a case together. The military, and its henchmen in the Justice Department, have gotten more devious although not smarter since I was a soldier in their crosshairs over forty years ago.
    Now the two reasons above are more than sufficient for my standing at the front gate at Fort Meade on April 25th although they, in themselves, are only the appropriate reasons that any progressive thinking person would need to show up and shout to the high heavens for Private Manning’s freedom. I have an additional reason though, a very pressing personal reason. As mentioned above I too was in the military’s crosshairs as a citizen-soldier during the height of the Vietnam War. I will not go into the details of that episode, this comment after all is about brother soldier Manning, other than that I spent my own time in an Army stockade for, let’s put it this way, working on the principle of “what if they gave a war and nobody came”.

    Forty years later I am still working off that principle, and gladly. But here is the real point. During that time I had outside support, outside civilian support, that rallied on several occasions outside the military base where I was confined. Believe me that knowledge helped me get through the tough days inside. So on April 25th I will be just, once again, as I have been able to on too few other occasions over years, paying my dues for that long ago support. You, Brother Manning, are a true winter soldier. We were not able to do much about the course of the Iraq War (and little thus far on Afghanistan) but we can move might and main to save the one real hero of that whole mess.

    Private Manning I hope that you will hear us and hear about our rally in your defense outside the gates. Better yet, everybody who reads this piece join us and make sure that he can hear us loud and clear. And let us shout to high heaven against this gross injustice-Free Private Bradley Manning Now!

  5. This aiding the enemy charge is like throwing rocks at the side of a barn. Ya the barn is big and if your real close I guess you couldn’t miss so-to-say.

  6. Proving with out doubt, Osama constructed or had an advancement of any specific operational intentions is not likely. A widely scattered charge being shouldered on to Pfc. Bradley Manning is more to like abuse of the process of justice. Arguments made with abstract dialects are easily distortable to make a sound defensive rebuttal questionably unachievable and furthermore, a realistic operational planning followed though with actions directly attributable to State Department archived documents probably never materialized for substantiated proof. Widely scattered is at best the charge’s evidence of “aiding the enemy” to take into a courtroom to fish for a Minnow.

  7. The prosecution wants to use assumptions to convict Pfc Bradley Manning of “aiding”. More like reckless courtroom driving than justice to me.

  8. Bradley Manning didn’t provide anything to any of the known enemies of USA, unless Julian Assange and Wikileaks were classified as such since before Cablegate! He gave information to the publisher which did editing. How the prosecution is going to prove that Bradley Manning knew how the documents will be released by Wikileaks and newspapers? Julian Assange said that they edited the documents before releasing them to make sure nobody is hurt. It was not Wikileaks’ fault that their adversary released to unlocking code in his book!

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