We're All Bradley Manning

Stephen Lendman

On June 3, trial proceedings began. They'll last well into summer. What's ongoing reflects much more than Manning alone. We're all in this together. Freedom in America is on trial. Post-9/11, it's been on the chopping block for elimination. Convicting Manning of anything compromises what too important to lose. He deserves praise, not prosecution. His fate is ours. That's what's fundamentally at stake. Everyone stands to win or lose with him.

In his February plea statement, he said

[he wanted to] "spark a domestic debate on the role of the military and our foreign policy in general as it related to Iraq and Afghanistan." [Americans have a right to know the] "true costs of war," he stressed. He called war logs given WikiLeaks "some of the most important documents of our time." [He chose ones he believed] "wouldn't cause harm to the United States." [Washington's] "obsessed with capturing and killing people," [he said.]

He was sickened by the "Collateral Murder" video he saw. US helicopter pilots gunned down innocent civilians. They murdered anyone trying to help them. Manning called doing so "bloodlust." He exposed lawlessness. He reflects justifiable resistance.

The individual vs. the collective in the Matrix

Jon Rappoport

In the 1950s, before television had numbed minds and turned them into jelly, there was a growing sense of: the Individual versus the Corporate State. Something needed to be done. People were fitting into slots. They were surrendering their lives in increasing numbers. They were carving away their own idiosyncrasies and their independent ideas. Collectivism wasn’t merely a Soviet paradigm. It was spreading like a fungus at every level of American life. It might fly a political banner here and there, but on the whole it was a social phenomenon and nightmare.

Television then added fuel to the fire. Under the control of psyops experts, it became, as the 1950s droned on, the facile barrel of a weapon: “What’s important is the group, the family, peers. Conform. Give in. Bathe in the great belonging…”

Recognize that every message television imparts is a proxy, a fabrication, a simulacrum, an imitation of life one step removed. It isn’t people talking in a park or on a street corner or in a saloon or a barber shop or a meeting hall or a church.

It’s happening on a screen, and that makes it both fake and more real than real. Therefore, the argument that television can impart important values, if “directed properly,” is specious from the ground up. Television tells lies in its very being. And because it appears to supersede the real, it hypnotizes. When this medium also broadcasts words and images of belonging and the need to belong, it’s engaged in revolutionary social engineering. The very opposite of living as a strong, independent, and powerful individual is the cloying need to belong. And the latter is what television ceaselessly promotes.

This is no accident. After World War 2, psychological-warfare operatives turned their attention to two long-term strategies: inculcating negative stereotypes of distant populations, to rationalize covert military plans to conquer and build an empire for America; and disseminating the unparalleled joys of disappearing into a group existence.

Bradley Manning’s court martial begins

Naomi Spencer

After 1,100 days in prison, Army private Bradley Manning faced a military court martial Monday. Day one of the trial, like the months’ long series of pre-trial hearings before it, was characterized by government secrecy, vindictiveness and lies.

Manning, accused of leaking some 700,000 military and diplomatic files to whistleblower organization WikiLeaks, faces a possible life sentence if convicted on 20 charges, the most serious of which is “aiding the enemy” under the Espionage Act. The Obama administration prosecutors argue that Manning knowingly provided intelligence information to al Qaeda because anyone, including terrorists, could access it on the WikiLeaks web site.

In a statement before military judge Colonel Denise Lind in February, Manning explained that he transmitted the material in order to expose the crimes of the US government and military being carried out in the name of the American people. His aim, he said, was to spark “worldwide discussion, debates, and reforms.”

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