January 13, 2011

National defense — or imperial offense?

Dallas Darling writes at World News:

Like citizen soldiers of the American Revolution, Pfc. Manning is fighting a Revolution. This Revolution is also against imperial soldiers and generals that have sworn allegiance to a tyrannical empire with a global military presence. These professional soldiers have forgotten the true meaning of their oath to protect and defend the U.S. Constitution from foreign enemies. Instead, they are well paid foreign mercenaries fighting resource wars for wealthy American corporations. And like the insurgents that barely survived through the harsh winter at Valley Forge, Pfc. Manning is barely surviving in the Valley of Death. As I write this, Pfc. Manning — the U.S. Army soldier who is accused of leaking thousands of Iraq and Afghanistan war logs to WikiLeaks — is in a military prison at Quantico, Virginia.

For months, Pfc. Manning has been jailed in solitary confinement. Salon's Glenn Greenwald writes that his conditions "constitute cruel and inhumane treatment and, by the standards of many nations, even torture." There are also concerns over long-term psychological and mental injuries, as noted by Jeff Paterson who is leading Pfc. Manning's legal defense fund. A friend, David House, was recently allowed to visit Pfc. Manning. He verified solitary confinement in a small cell 23 hours a day, no personal items, and no exercise. He was shocked at the decline in Pfc. Manning's psychological state and physical well-being. Others have noticed too that Pfc. Manning's military confinement, such as sleep deprivation and exposure to extreme temperatures, is the same type of harsh treatment terrorism detainees receive. There are reports that other types of punitive measures are being implemented.

One can only imagine the verbal and physical harassment Pfc. Manning is subjected to too, along with abusive interrogation techniques. While the next House Intelligence Chairman has called for his execution, other politicians have declared that he should be charged with murder for "communicating, transmitting and delivering national defense information to an unauthorized source." But was it national defense information or imperial offense information? In other words, his disillusionment with, and resistance against, the United States Empire harkens back to the citizen soldiers that fought to free themselves from the British Empire. Communicating and transmitting imperial war crimes revealing innocent civilians being murdered actually makes Pfc. Manning a true patriot of human rights. ...

The Valley of Death today is the Pentagon, which just extracted another $1 trillion dollars from the poor and working classes in America. The shadow of the Valley of Death are well paid and highly armed imperial soldiers that preemptively invade nations and try to conquer movements wanting self-determination, or insurgencies seeking to maintain their religions and cultural traditions. The Valley of Death is also corporate militarism that has captured the Continental Congress and has extinguished the flames of the Revolution.