Monday, March 03, 2014

Bradley Manning Inspires Petrolia High School Students

Written by  Suzelle
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by SUZELLE, CLMP Office Monitor
CLMP's Bonnie Blackberry interviewed two high school students from Petrolia, Kat Kabick (17) and Nathan Scheinman (14), on the Civil Liberties Hour KMUD radio program on July 3rd.  The youth had recently attended a conference and a rally in Washington, D.C., inspired by the actions of Bradley Manning.
Kat explained her involvement this way: “Each generation has a challenge that it has to face. . .  I came into this world of Bush and his wars, and the Bush doctrine of torture. . .  Bradley Manning stood up as a hero by releasing these documents and exposing war crimes, and doing the right thing.  He represents what my generation can come to represent as a whole.
  “I’m really interested in this because I think that my generation needs to have (and that it can have) a really big impact on the course of history, because there are two very different futures confronting us: like, we have the future that Bush wanted and that Obama continues to carry out and worsen, right?  But we also have this future that we can create.  And we can look at the actions of Bradley Manning and Edward Snowden, and these really courageous people, as examples to follow.  
  “So, it’s really important, because with the Bradley Manning trial, it’s not just Bradley Manning, and it’s not just Snowden, that are on the line. . .Truth is on the line, and whether or not we’re going to let telling truth become a crime.  So it’s really a big deal.  And it’s more of a big deal that a lot of people think it is.”
Bonnie Blackberry agreed, “Yeah, because our whole democracy is on the line.  Does our Constitution mean anything?  How can you have a democracy when people are being lied to by those in power?" . . . 
Nathan explained:  “I first got into it about three years ago when Kat showed a movie, The Collateral Murders, in our local community center, and I found it very horrifying and disgusting that our own soldiers were committing these terrible war crimes.  And I also felt really proud that someone like Bradley Manning had stepped up to the plate.  He saw that this was wrong and said, ‘Okay, I’m going to release this so that the world can see what is actually happening in these wars.’  Nathan continued, “. . . If you see the reality of what the military does, it makes you realize: Do I really want to risk my life and go and do these horrible tasks?"
In talking further about access to documents by people in the military, in the NSA, and by people contracted by the NSA, as Edward Snowden was, Bonnie wondered, “If he can get all this information, how many other people can get it, and what can they do with it, and what are the consequences?”
Nathan responded, “It turned out that in Bradley Manning’s case there were 4.8 million other people who had that exact same access to those exact same documents as Bradley Manning had.”  Nathan said that he and Kat had gone to Congress to talk to Representatives.  They found their congress people were uninformed, so they made posters and gave out website addresses.  They listened to respected elders who were former whistleblowers (Daniel Ellsberg who exposed the Pentagon Papers, and Peter Van Buren, author, were two they mentioned), at a conference, and joined a rally in support of Bradley Manning at Fort Mead.
Kat added that many well-informed people have not heard about Bradley Manning because of a lack of news, but now his name is starting to be mentioned because “these are war crimes,” and “There’s a need to rally support for national chauvinism in a time of war.”  She said, Bradley Manning’s court martial is at Fort Mead now, and “ironically that’s the home of the NSA.  There’s a lot of crossover between Manning and Snowden. . .”  About Manning, “He actually joined the army because he wanted to go to college.  He joined for the G.I. Bill.  He joined for an education.  He found out, like many people do, that he didn’t have to go to another land to find his enemy, that his enemy was right here.  He’s been in prison for 3 years now.  He’s 25 years old.  And you’re right, he’s short and he’s small, but he’s so big in the impact that he can continue to have.  He’s a hero.  He’s the hero of my generation, and the hero of many generations to come.”
  Kat called the thousand-person turn-out at the rally, “pathetic,” and called for more people to be on the street, or to support someone who can be there, because “if we don’t go to bat for Bradley Manning and Edward Snowden, too, then we’re going to let them throw them in prison and forget about it.  And we can’t do that.”  
Bonnie added, “Yeah, and it puts a real squash on anybody coming forward to reveal the truth to the American people.”. . .“It seems like the most powerful thing that we have is the truth.” Also, “I think our Constitution and our Bill of Rights is our national security, and violating that is the biggest danger that we have.”
Asked what people can do, Nathan said, “People can go to bradleymanning.org, and you can read up on what he did, and get everyday updates on his court martial, and find out what’s happening.  And you can give money to a fund to help Bradley Manning.” [CLMP board member Jared Rossman is collecting donations for both Manning and Snowden.]  About the court martial, Kat said the Support Bradley Manning Organization is asking for people to call the new general’s Public Affairs Office at (202) 685-2900, because the sentence could be lessened with a groundswell of calls of support from the public.  
Kat named eight people who have been indicted under the Espionage Act with the Obama ‘Hope and Change’ Administration, including Manning and Edward Snowden, “ . . .because they know that when people know the truth, they’re upset.  It matters when people know the truth, and that’s what they’re afraid of.”  She said “Edward Snowden wrote, ‘. . .It’s not even about me, it’s about truth, and whether we’re going to let truth become a crime.’ “  Kat said: “. . . It’s up to all of us, because it’s going to take a fight.  And. . . if Bradley Manning and Edward Snowden become household names, that’s going to make a difference, if we make sure to tell everyone that they are heroes.”  She said, “. . .They have the moral high ground, and war crimes and spying on the entire planet, which Edward Snowden exposed, that doesn’t have the moral high ground.”
Download the whole program from the KMUD archive (right-click and "Save link as" or "Download linked file as", depending on which browser you use).  
Read 5364 times Last modified on Monday, March 03, 2014
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