Major General Buchanan:
Sir, you have the power to do the right thing and make sure that Bradley Manning is commended for his actions, not thrown in jail for the rest of his life.
Manning exposed war crimes. Whether or not those war crimes were confidential should have no bearing in this instance. “If you see something, say something” is plastered on every bus and train that I ride every day. As civilians, if we see something dangerous or wrong, we are asked to speak up and do our civil service for our fellow citizens. Bradley Manning saw something and he spoke up, even in the face of his own danger. What, I ask you, is the difference between Manning speaking up for justice and safety, and an everyday citizen doing just that? The crimes that Manning exposed have not put us in danger. The war crimes that were committed put us in danger. Grave danger. The world already knows what atrocities the U.S. is committing around the globe. People with family members and friends that were victims of drone attacks or other atrocities like the Collateral Murder Video that Manning released are already aware of crimes being committed in the name of the United States. But the people of the United States have been ignorant to these issues for too long. Bradley Manning changed that when he brought these documents to light.
Bradley Manning has forced us to confront our own failings in the global war on terror. He has sparked a much needed debate around the world on what actions are acceptable during war-time. He has shown us the true cost of war – shown us that it is not the clean and surgical war that many of those in power would have us believe. War is bloody. War is dirty. These are things Manning has forced us to talk about. Without an informed public, without debate, democracy cannot function. A secretive and covert government cannot be held accountable, and a government that is not held accountable to the people will eventually sicken and die.
Manning is a hero. That is clear. The question is, Major General Buchanan, are you a hero or a coward? Stand up for the right thing. Stand on the right side of history. Free Bradley Manning.
Citizen of the World
I am Bradley Manning.