European Parliamentarians call on President Obama to free Bradley Manning

Open Letter from Members of the European Parliament
to President Barack Obama and US Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel

Pfc. Bradley Manning (photo credit: Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

Pfc. Bradley Manning (photo credit: Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

As Members of the European Parliament, who were elected to represent our constituents throughout Europe, we are writing to express our concerns about the ongoing persecution of Bradley Manning, the young U.S. soldier who released classified information revealing evidence of human rights abuses and apparent war crimes in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The U.S. Army has charged Private First Class Manning with 21 different crimes, including ‘Aiding the Enemy’; a capital charge. To convict a person who leaked information to the media of “Aiding the Enemy” would set a terrible precedent. Although we understand the US government is not seeking the death penalty for Bradley Manning, there would be nothing to stop this from happening in future cases.  As it is, PFC Manning faces the possibility of life in prison without parole, recently rejected as “inhuman and degrading treatment” by the European Court of Human Rights.

On July 2nd , Army prosecutors closed their arguments in the case without having provided any real evidence that Bradley Manning aided the enemy, or that he intended to do so. In his defense against those charges to which he pleaded not guilty, PFC Manning was not permitted to bring any evidence of motivation. And in a statement calling on the court to allow a ‘public interest’ defense, Amnesty International said that this was ‘disturbing…as he has said he reasonably believed he was exposing human rights and humanitarian law violations.  Moreover, the prosecution provided no evidence that PFC Manning caused harm to U.S. national security or to US and NATO troops.

We agree with Amnesty International that the U.S. government should immediately drop the most serious charges against PFC Bradley Manning, and that to charge Bradley Manning with ‘aiding the enemy’ is ‘ludicrous’ – a ‘travesty of justice’ which ‘makes a mockery of the US military court system’.

“We’ve now seen the evidence presented by both sides, and it’s abundantly clear that the charge of ‘aiding the enemy’ has no basis,” said Widney Brown, Senior Director for International Law and Policy at Amnesty International.  “The prosecution should also take a long, hard look at its entire case and move to drop all other charges that aren’t supported by the evidence presented.” 

Rather than causing harm, Bradley Manning’s release to WikiLeaks of the Iraq War Logs and the Afghan War Diaries shone much needed light on those occupations, revealing, amongst other abuses, the routine killing of civilians. The bleak picture painted by these war diaries contrasts greatly with the rosy progress reports being provided to the public by military and political leaders. PFC Manning has said he felt that if the American public had access to this information, this could ‘spark a domestic debate’ on American foreign policy ‘as it related to Iraq and Afghanistan’. Far from being a traitor, Bradley Manning had the best interests of his country in mind. 

The Iraqi people continue to suffer the consequences of this war, even after the withdrawal of foreign troops, with millions of homeless refugees and the resumption of sectarian violence. Meanwhile, eleven and a half years after the U.S invaded Afghanistan, that nation has yet to form a functioning democracy or to free itself from the Taliban and fundamentalist warlords. 

Bradley Manning:  ‘I felt that we were risking so much for people that seemed unwilling to co-operate with us, leading to frustration and anger on both sides. I began to become depressed with the situation that we found ourselves increasingly mired in year after year.’

Bradley Manning was witness to the wrongdoing of the U.S. military.  He says this ‘troubled’ and ‘disturbed’ him. But instead of ‘passing by on the other side’ like so many others, he acted in accordance with international law and with a strong commitment to truth, transparency and democracy. He wrote at the time that he hoped his actions would lead to “worldwide discussion, debates, and reforms.” 

Bradley Manning also released information about the men who continue to be wrongly held in indefinite detention at the U.S. prison at Guantanamo, Cuba.  Over one hundred of these prisoners have been carrying out a long, indefinite hunger strike, and 45 of them are being force-fed by U.S. soldiers.  This intolerable situation continues to undermine U.S. claims to promote freedom and democracy, compromising the standing of the US in the world and diminishing US moral authority.

Bradley Manning’s courageous action, for which he has three times been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize, was an inspiration to others, including Edward Snowden, who recently revealed massive U.S. government surveillance in the U.S. and also against European governments and citizens. 

We are concerned that the U.S. administration’s war on whistleblowers such as Edward Snowden and Bradley Manning is a deterrent to the process of democracy in both the United States and Europe. 

We hereby urge you to end the persecution of Bradley Manning, a young gay man who has been imprisoned for over three years, including ten months in solitary confinement, under conditions that the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture Juan Mendez deemed “cruel and abusive.”  Bradley Manning has already suffered too much, and he should be freed as soon as humanly possible.

Signed,

Marisa Matias, Member of the European Parliament, Portugal
Christian Engström, Member of the European Parliament, Sweden
Ana Maria Gomes, Member of the European Parliament, Portugal 

Gabi Zimmer, Member of the European Parliament, Germany 
Paul Murphy,  Member of the European Parliament, Ireland 

Sabine Wils, Member of the European Parliament, Germany

Jacky Henin, Member of the European Parliament, France
Alda Sousa, Member of the European Parliament, Portugal
Martina Anderson, Member of the European Parliament, Ireland
Nikola Vuljanić, Member of the European Parliament, Kroatia
Sabine Lösing, Member of the European Parliament, Germany
Lothar Bisky, Member of the European Parliament, Germany
Helmut Scholz, Member of the European Parliament, Germany 

Willy Meyer, Member of the European Parliament, Spain

Mikael Gustafsson, Member of the European Parliament, Sweden

Marie-Christine Vergiat, Member of the European Parliament, France

Patrick Le Hyaric, Member of the European Parliament, France 

91 thoughts on “European Parliamentarians call on President Obama to free Bradley Manning

  1. A fine letter, and I hope the US government will listen. I’m upset that none of my representatives from the UK have signed this letter, though.

  2. This letter makes me happy to know that people of those high positions care about this topic but I just am not hopeful.I think the u.s has an agenda and theu dont ley any one get in the way of that.they may string people along with empty promises for the future but in the end they are never divertet from doing whayever the hell they set out to do.

    • A member of the European Parliament is not a very high position, I’m afraid. And these particular members belong to minority parties(left-wing/green). Nice gesture anyway.

  3. My admiration for these members of the European Parliament is boundless. It’s not easy standing up to a bully like the U.S. The fact that all of you are so courageous fill me with hope for our struggling world. Bless you all!

  4. And they should now also grant Edward Snowdon humanitarian asylum until the American government sets Bradley free AND changes its policy towards whistleblowers and secrecy.

    Such a shame that no politician from the Netherlands is in this list.

    • Same here. I really wished our government would speak out more on such issues.

      But I’m glad to see some other politicians have spoken out.

        • So Gordon Jones you are suggesting that it would be a better alternative to not speak out for and on behalf of those who were once employed by a government that is engaging in unconstitutional activities and hiding it from the public? The Obama administration has declared a behind-the-scenes war on Snowden with it’s political power and weight. Bradley Manning is clearly being made an example of to prevent other servicemen from walking the same path. Disgusting when considering whats happening today.

          • I am an american and am deeply disturbed by what the current administration is doing in regards to manning and snowden. I am greatly moved that their are people in the EU willing to stand up and speak out in the best traditions of our founding fathers about corruption and abuse of authority.

  5. Totally shocked – and ashamed – that there is no United Kingdom signature on this open letter. At the end of the day, Pfc. Bradley Manning could, if he wanted to, claim British citizenship through his mother, who I believe is Welsh.

  6. Dear Members of EU Parliament, I am pleasantly surprised to read about your humane, democratic and truly political gesture. I am proud of all you! And I am sad that there is no signature from Slovenian MPE…

      • The whole matter is atrocious.
        If B M is not set free It surely demonstrates that there is real evil out there and that no true freedom or democracy exists any longer. Which leaves us with two choices…we continue to sit by quietly and watch or take action and deal with the leaders responsible for these crimes against humanity.US government army are the real criminals!I am meeting more people from the US..who detest their country now and are moving away who can blame them,it has become a mad place to be.

    • Wholeheartedly agree! What else can we do to help free Bradley Manning and people like him, while creating a better, more peaceful world?

  7. Why is there no signature from a Dutch European Parliament member?
    Go wake one up if need be, all European Union members need to show their support
    For this worthy case of Bradley Manning as a person , as a ally of civilized society, in which one does not shoot one s journalists…and get away with it unnoticed!!

  8. I feel greatly encouraged by these signatures and the people who have across the globe supported ‘Right against Might’ – Were Bradley Manning to be convicted of the serious crimes attributed to him by the American Military Tribunal which appears to represent many flaws on a legal and human rights basis, I for one, as many people around the globe, would have no shadow of a doubt as to US intentions as a power that does not represent JUSTICE…………….

    • I voted twice for Barrack Obama, and I hope that he will step in as Commander in Chief, to set this very honest and wrongly accused young man free, not only for Bradley Manning’s sake, but for the sake of Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness and TRUE democracy, which requires an informed public and a free press.
      President Barrack Obama, please do the right thing, because you have the power to make a difference here.

  9. I agree with what others have submitted. Let’s see if President Obama will step up to the plate and do the right thing, with calm courage. Bradley Manning behaved courageously. Let’s see if President Obama will.

  10. If he was not in the war,how does he know the situations that lead to any of his so called war crimes. I am not saying that there are not such crimes but it seems that there are way to many people on the side of the enemies not our solders. You go and fight first then complain about these crimes. Was he there as a witness?

  11. Bradley Manning is a great American hero in the eyes of many fellow Americans. We are puzzled as to why our transparency touting government would prosecute this man. He did not violate his agreement to not “aid the enemy”. FREE BRADLEY MANNING!!!!

  12. Freedom for American Hero, Mr. Bradley Manning! Freedom!

    Below are Mossad criminals who are must be in jail!
    The Israeli Mossad agents of Verint and Narus have committed terrorist and other criminal actions in the USA. We found out that they have been involved in organizing 9/11 false flag terrorist attack, as well. For example, the founder and former chairman of Verint, a Mossad officer, Kobi Alexander, is wanted by the FBI on nearly three dozen charges of fraud, theft, lying, bribery, murders, money laundering and other crimes, including involvement in organizing a 9/11 false flag attack. Mossad Agent Alexander has closely connected to Odigo, the Israeli messaging system that was used to warn Israelis on 9/11, 2001 to stay away from the World Trade Center. Two other Mossad comrades of Mr. Kobi Alexander: Chief Financial Officer David Kreinberg and former General Counsel William F. Sorin are already in jail found guilty for many criminal actions committed in the USA. According to the video testimonies of honest NSA agents, two Israeli firms, Narus and Verint, are involved in wiretapping AT&T and Verizon for the NSA and these two companies have provided to NSA their criminal Mossad software UNIT 8200, by which the Israeli criminals are stealing all of the information from US citizens and companies.

    Also, Los Gatos residents-Californians have helped me to find shocking information that a founder of Verint, Jacob (Kobi) Alexander has connections with Mr. Amit Yoran– the Israeli national “Cyber Czar,” having served as Director of the Department of Homeland Security’s National Cyber Security Division, being appointed by President George W. Bush in September 2003.

    Mr. Yoran previously served as the Director of Vulnerability Programs for the Department of Defense’s Computer Emergency Response Team and in support of the Assistant Secretary of Defense’s Office. The shocking information that we have found is that Mr. Amit Yoran and his brother reportedly grew up in Pound Ridge, New York during the 1970s and 1980s. However, the heads of the Jewish community told AFP that they had never seen or heard of him or his family. One said that she had conducted a survey of the Jews living in the small village of Pound Ridge in the 1970s, and she would have remembered if a wealthy Israeli family named Yoran had been found. Ms. Elad, a university professor said, “Mr. Amit Yoran has a distinctive Israeli accent – not what you would expect for a guy who grew up in a posh Yankee village.”

    Who is Mr. Amit Yoran, who having served as Director of the US Department of Homeland Security’s National Cyber Security Division, as the Director of Vulnerability Programs for the US Department of Defense’s Computer Emergency Response Team, and as a supporter of the Assistant Secretary of US Defense’s Office? What is a real name of Mr.Yoran? What kind of an intelligence agency Mr. Yoran has served?

    For instance, according to the information our wonderful residents and I have found, in June 2005, Yoran joined the board of directors of Guardium, Inc., another Mossad-spawned “provider of database security solutions” based in Waltham, Massachusetts, which is linked with Ptech, an apparent Mossad “cut out” computer security company linked with the 9/11 attacks.” The Mossad start-up firms usually have short lives before they are acquired for exaggerated sums of money by a larger company, enriching their Israeli owners in the process and integrating the Israeli directors and their Mossad-produced software into the parent company. RSA, for example, an older security software company, acquired an Israeli-run security software company, named Cyota, at the end of 2005 for $145 million. In January 2005, Cyota, “the leading provider of online security and anti-fraud solutions for financial institutions” had announced that “security expert” Amit Yoran, had joined the company’s board of directors. Who is Mr. Yoran?

  13. where is the source of this information ??? I would like to see the entire document from it's original source, thank you... on said:

    I would like to see the source for the original document… where can it be found ???

  14. I would hope that world wide pressure on Barrack Obama would help him defend truth; however knowing the type of politician he is leaves me with a desperate feeling. Free Bradley Manning. Obama man up!

  15. Thank God humanity has turned a corner and is willing to stand-up for the right to live in freedom from fear of persecution.

  16. Will Barack Obama stand up for freedom, or will his mind stay inside the fear based box of authoritarian suppression of inconvenient truths?

    He looks like change, he sounds like change, ?

    Bradley Manning, whatever his personal flaws, did the right thing, and did a service to all Americans and the world.

  17. Tomorrow we once again we will hear “A sad day for –”
    Obama`s retirement will no doubt be involved in doing a Blair/Carter “memoir” and in it describing his “innermost regret”.
    However, the pressure from Congress/Lockheed Martin,media and similar ilk was otherwise too much for him and the job paid well anyway.

  18. To see this happen in a “civalised” country and supported by Obama, a leader who I thought was a “saviour” for good, makes me want to cry for the future of the world. x

  19. I still wonder how serious death thread Obama would get if he lets Manning go. I think the military commanders or other top CIA folks WILL organise that.
    I really believe Obama is just a straw puppet with only very little powers. Sadly.

  20. Yesterday I posted a message how proud I was of EU MPs (since I am an European supporting BM). But oddly, you did not approve it. Best regards, Urska

  21. President Kennedy spoke about the ultimate damage that secrets and secret societies can do. A few months later, he was assassinated. Was this the last leader of the free world to openly speak his mind? Could the military or the corporate world have THAT much power? I don’t know; but for what I’m seeing here, it is quite obvious that “someone” is trying to make an example of Mr. Manning (and Mr. Snowden)so as to quell those unintended leaks by outside sources (such as journalists).

  22. I and many people here in the US agree totally. But many are apathetic and do not understand the future implications of this misbehaviour by our government. We appreciate all the help waking them up we can get. Many thanks to these EU parliamentarians.

  23. There has never been a president in US history even fractionally as hostile to whistleblowers as Obama. Hoping that Obama will be moved by appeals from saner heads on this issue is like hoping a rapist can be gently persuaded to stop mid crime. He’s getting his jollies right now at his victims’ expense, can’t be bothered with nuance or moral probity.

    Covering up governmental wrongdoing and protecting war criminals and criminal bankers in fact seems to be this administrations absolute highest priority.

  24. It is lot of relief for people who empathize with Bradley Manning. He was just protecting a value that most of the religions teach – truth.

  25. There is a big difference between a traitor in war and a humanitarian who risks his professional and even physical life for the defence of law and order, especially for human rights, and for democracy. We have had many examples in recent history of people blindly following orders, no matter how cruel, inhuman and outright criminal; and we have seen what that leads to. There were some isolated cases of Bradley Mannings then, and we celebrate them today as heros. If, as I believe, Bradley Manning’s motivations were humanitarian, he was and is a hero, not a criminal.

  26. It will take no less than a Presidential Pardon (or a Revolution) to rescue Pfc. Bradley Manning from a lifetime in prison.

    I believe We The People owe him that much.

  27. PFC Manning should not be on trial, instead the world court should issue arrest warrants for the real perpetrators going all the way back to Bush, Cheney, and Rumsfield and inclusive up to today. Peace is no war and war is no peace.

  28. Very good initative.
    I am very pleased to see swedish Pirate Party MEP Christan E on the list.

    Naurally a whistleblower should be immune to the charge of breaking secrecy as long as the thing exposed is criminal.

  29. Apparently, exposing crimes is considered far worse than actually committing them.

    It cannot go on like this. Hopefully more people will speak out. What a terrifying reality this is.

  30. Bradley Manning should never have been put on trial. The war criminals he exposed should be put on trial. I agree, mr. John Goss. Barrack Obama is a big dissapointment. He never deserved the Nobel price for peace.

  31. A prayer to help you stay centered when you’re stressed or scared:

    “Dear God,

    My mind and heart are racing with thoughts and images of worst-case-scenarios and I am stressed! Please intervene and hold me tightly like a loving parent comforting an upset child. Please calm my mind and restore my inner peace.

    Please help me to think clearly and to connect with your divine wisdom and creative and miraculous solutions to this situation. Please help me to know that everything is okay and will be okay . . . especially when I approach the situation with your guidance. Amen.”

    ~ prayer by Doreen Virtue

  32. Manning betrayed his oath, brothers and sisters in battle ans well as his country. I find no positive qualities in this vile coward.

  33. Kurt Sperry summed it up really well already.

    It is a great shame that there is not much space for genuine protection of humanitarian interests when this is in conflict with the US ‘high political interests’.

  34. I also want to thank the European Parliamentarians and the other Europeans who here are giving encouragement to us Americans who stand with Bradley Manning and the dictates of common civilized decency. You give us hope that with your help we will finally prevail in bringing our country back to its senses.

  35. As an Ex-Brit I am disappointed in there not being anyone from the UK on that list. But not surprised. The USA is always supported by the British government, correctly or incorrectly. It is wonderful to see the list of folk who have taken the noble step to say the right things when they must know how much the USA can hurt them. This is very troubling. We call ourselves a democracy and a free country but this shows otherwise. Thanks so much to them all.

  36. To my understanding, was Barack Obama’s Nobel Peace Prize rescinded? In 2012? If it were not, it should be. Obama has the mentality of a shady, conniving criminal and this honour-less Administration reflects Barack Obama’s thinking.

  37. Unfortunately, as we have so many times before, sought to right the wrongs of nations against its population. We are good at calling out these governments we lack the resolve to administer those same rule to ourselves. Trying to save face against saving the innocent has become an American mainstay in today politics. We would be much more highly regarded in the worlds court if we were to apply the rules that were written over 230 years ago. I ask as a patriot, who loves his country and comes from a family of American patriots. Right this wrong. How long will it be before “we the people” fear to sleep at night for fear of disappearing.

  38. The European Union’s version of human rights and democract makes the US look poorly. When will the US own up and accept responsibility. Trying to manipulate the law because they got exposed being the perputrators and the terrorists they’ve accused other countries of being. isn’t always the the case the accuser is the accused. All eyes are on the US to see if it can truly walk its democratic talk. Barack Obama is the Commander in Chief let it not be in name only. I don’t have to go out and fight a war to know it’s devestating impact that’s pretty much clear to see when scores of these soldiers return home broken men. War of any kond leaves no one unscathed. The US needs to stop being a country full of pride and start beong a country of humanity. Thank you to those members who signed this letter speaks volumes of your committment to humanity.

  39. I Have Little Hope for The USA When Telling The Truth Puts You in Jail for Life…? Free Bradley Manning…!

    I rarely ask anyone to make a call when it involves the government but in this case someone answered the phone, listened & said the message would be given to the Major General…, I am suggesting you take time to do this…, & ask others. State you are requesting Major General Buchanan reduce Manning’s sentence to time served…,

    Major General Buchanan.
    Email: [email protected] …,&/or call 202.685.2817.

  40. I’m really thankful that some, even if few, raise their voice to show compassion and civil courage. Not to let the US or any other country, quiet the voices of democracy. Way too much decisions and crimes against humanity and democracy is hidden behind the “save the country’s interest and too be hold secret from the people”, this is eroding the civil society. I am Bradley Manning!

  41. It is a shame that Euoropean parliamentarians legitimates criminal actions by terrorists. The suspect has revealed topsecret US defense information, and that is fine, according to these parliamentarians! You are blinded by your feelings for one guy trying to play a hero. What should be accepted next time? 900.000 topsecret documents is also ok when next terorist leaks informaion? I understand Europe do not care about defense as much as US do, but you must respect other countries internal legal justice.

  42. I am British and I will be writing to the British European Parliament asking why they have not signed the letter I think It’s disgusting why isn’t the people who committed these war crimes on trial FREE BRADLEY MANNING

  43. As a French, i CHEER for the 3 MP’s from France, and all the others who followed their heart and conscience.
    Maybe British MPs and Govt are too much under the thumb of the US, to even dare… Besides, they are too busy keeping the jugular of their own citizens under the thumb of their own police, and welcoming with open arms fracking and Monsanto.

  44. The wrong people are in jail…He will never get out unless the citizens of the US wake up and put the murdering government in jail.

  45. I doubt the US government will listen, they got found out……so they are hitting back and making Private Manning a scape goat. I’m ashamed but not surprised to see that the UK signatories are not there. Way to go Britain.

    • Go away jones,your comments do not add to the discussion they just display your unenlightenment to truth and bravery. Manning had a moral and legal responsibility to get the truth out to the masses to inform them of what was being done under their names, and in hope that changes would be made.

  46. I created a petition asking President Obama to pardon Edward Manning. It is on We the People, a feature on WhiteHouse.gov. If this petition gets 100,000 signatures by August 31, 2013, the Obama Administration will issue an official response.

    You can view and sign the petition here:

    http://wh.gov/lrWOh

    Here is the text of this petition:

    Pardon Bradley Manning

    Whereas Nuremberg taught the world that “just following orders”
    is no justification for morally questionable actions;

    and, whereas Bradley Manning acted to expose morally questionable actions
    conducted by the United States–actions that turn the United States into
    something she should never become;

    and, whereas by exposing these morally questionable actions we now have a
    better chance to redeem the soul of America;

    we urge you, Mr. President, to grant Bradley Manning full pardon.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *