Update 11/29/11: Feds withholding evidence re. Bradley, WikiLeaks & Guantanamo, environmentalists add support
What has WikiLeaks revealed? Andy Worthington highlights the importance of the WikiLeaked documents, in particular the Guantánamo files, a series of Detainee Assessment briefs, about the prisoners being kept there. He writes, “we all owe a great debt to whoever it was who leaked them”. What was learned? For one, the administration knew most of the prisoners at Guantánamo were innocent, they were “detained because the Bush administration arrogantly disregarded the Geneva Conventions, and its tried and tested methods for screening prisoners seized in wartime to make sure that civilians had not been swept up with soldiers.” Worthington argues that the Bush administrations war policies worked not to keep enemies off the battlefield, but rather to detain innocents to obtain “actionable intelligence”. Prisoners were even detained at random, to then be submitted to “torture, coercion, and bribery” where they would falsely incriminate themselves. These war crimes, now well documented thanks to WikiLeaks and whoever leaked them, reveal how important it is for the public to know the truth, and to pressure the government to change. Read more.
How much damage have the leaked documents caused? Plenty, if the U.S.’s brutal treatment of Bradley Manning was an accurate measure. But Kim Zetter, writing for Wired, reports that Bradley Manning’s lawyer is “seeking to question the severity of the leak by requesting the government’s own internal damage assessments that reportedly contradict statements that Manning irreparably damaged national security.” Unfortunately the defense has accused the government of having stonewalled their efforts to access this information.
David E. Coombs, Bradley’s attorney, will also bring into question the credibility of the known hacker,
convicted criminal, and key prosecution witness Adrian Lamo, who first accused Bradley Manning of
having leaked the files. Lamo gained brief fame last year when he released, to Wired magazine, a chat
transcript he claims was between him and Bradley Manning. Read more.
The leaked documents were mostly damaging to the governments credibility. Unless pressuring the government to stop commiting war crimes is a security threat, no one has been killed or hurt as a result of the leaked documents. The documents reveal serious war crimes, systemic abuse of innocent detainees, improper rules of engagement, and purposeful deceipt. Ann Wright investigates further what WikiLeaks revealed in a past column, “Instead of attacking WikiLeaks, fix what it exposed”.
Yesterday, OccupyLondon protesters rallied in support of Bradley during the U.S. Ambassador’s visit to the UK. According to an article on Ekklesia.co.uk, one supporter by the name of Natalia James eloquently summarized the group’s position:
We do not know if Bradley is guilty of what he is accused of but, if he is, he is a true hero. Holding public institutions and governments responsible for their actions is a vital part of the fight for real democracy and few figures exemplify that more than Bradley Manning, who has managed to achieve that even while being in prison. That is why Bradley’s cause is so important to us here at Occupy London.
Also on Monday, the Rainforest Action Network took a step forward in supporting the Bradley Manning Support Network. A blog post by BMSN organizer Emma Cape published on their site, is entitled “Why Environmentalists Should Stand With Accused Whistleblower US Army PFC Bradley Manning. This is the first environmental group, after climate activist Tim DeChristopher, to endorse our effort. The article cites 10 major environmental crimes that were released by WikiLeaks, linking back to the original news articles covering these issues. Check it out here.
Last week, people marched in San Francisco in support of Bradley Manning and the announcement of his Pretrial Hearing date. You can find more photos from the event here.