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16 Dec, 2011 22:26

‘Manning will go down as a hero in American history’

Bradley Manning, the soldier accused of providing WikiLeaks with thousands of sensitive US documents, was doing the right thing and is being unjustly treated by the Pentagon, believes Brian Becker, director of the anti-war coalition, ANSWER.

Becker says if it is true that Manning was the one who released the documents, he will be considered a hero in US history. “He took a stand as obviously willing to pay a very difficult price, possibly life in prison, possibly the death sentence, for exposing a criminal war.”“In fact, Bradley Manning had an obligation to reveal that this country was carrying out criminal activities,” the director of the anti-war coalition told RT.Becker claims that Private Manning is receiving an unfair trial and doubts the whole idea of justice in this case.“Military justice is to justice, as military music is to music. And we know that Bradley Manning has been held wrongly. He’s been held in solitary confinement, he’s been prejudged by the military and by the media. He has been stripped naked and forced into solitary confinement, that’s a kind of torture.”“And yet Bradley Manning, who exposed the Pentagon’s actions, exposed the Bush administration’s actions, is being treated as if he is the one who should be punished. That’s turning justice upside down. It’s ‘Alice-in-Wonderland’ kind of reality, and it’s a great miscarriage of justice,” Becker stated.Becker insists that by carrying out this trial the Pentagon is sending a threatening message to all whistleblowers. “They are the 700-pound gorilla, they want to send a message to all other whistleblowers ‘If you dare speak up, or speak out, or reveal our crimes –we will punish you.’”

‘The American people need to know what’s going on’

Ray McGovern, former CIA officer, told RT that the charges against Manning are “laughable.” “There has been no indication of serious damage to US personnel or those who cooperate with the United States,” he explained. “What the damage is, is the revelation of things that the American people should know about.” McGovern says Manning wanted this to lead to a discussion and some reconsideration of the kind of policies that he had witnessed.Speaking to RT, Seton Motley, president of lessgovernment.org, criticized Manning saying: “Just because you don't like the country's foreign policy, doesn't mean that you can out it to the planet.”However, McGovern insists that “there are gradations of values here. And that’s what Bradley Manning saw. He saw the torture, he saw the other abuses, he saw the feckless war and said: ‘The American people need to know what’s going on so they can make more enlightened decisions’.”“I applaud Bradley Manning,” he concluded.

Kevin Zeese from the Bradley Manning Support Network says his supporters do not think Manning is a traitor.“He didn’t sell documents to foreign enemies. He didn’t profit from them,” Zeese told RT. “What he allegedly gave to media were low-level documents, low security. In fact they should not have been classified documents at all.”“This trial is an embarrassment to the US military and the United States. It shows a great deal of fear of the truth. And fear of the truth is what’s driving this prosecution,” he said.

Jayel Aheram, an anti-war activist and Iraq War veteran from California, believes one cannot expect justice to be in line with US foreign policy.“If you do things that are in line with US foreign policy, you will not see any sort of justice. But if you challenge this machine – that’s what we can see with Bradley Manning – the heavy hand of the American government will slam down on you,” he told RT.