REVIEW OF JULY 3, 2013 CIVIL LIBERTIES HOUR
by SUZELLE, CLMP Office Monitor
TRUTH IS ON THE LINE - TELLING TRUTH IS NOT A CRIME
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: ‚ÄúEach 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.
‚ÄúI‚Äôm 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.
‚ÄúSo, it‚Äôs really important, because with the Bradley Manning trial, it‚Äôs not just Bradley Manning, and it‚Äôs not just Snowden, that are on the line. . .Truth is on the line, and whether or not we‚Äôre going to let telling truth become a crime. So it‚Äôs really a big deal. And it‚Äôs more of a big deal that a lot of people think it is.‚ÄĚ
Bonnie Blackberry agreed, ‚ÄúYeah, 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: ‚ÄúI 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, ‚ÄėOkay, I‚Äôm going to release this so that the world can see what is actually happening in these wars.‚Äô Nathan continued, ‚Äú. . . 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, ‚ÄúIf 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?‚ÄĚ
Nathan responded, ‚ÄúIt turned out that in Bradley Manning‚Äôs case there were 4.8 million other people who had that exact same access to those exact same documents as Bradley Manning had.‚ÄĚ 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 ‚Äúthese are war crimes,‚ÄĚ and ‚ÄúThere‚Äôs a need to rally support for national chauvinism in a time of war.‚ÄĚ She said, Bradley Manning‚Äôs court martial is at Fort Mead now, and ‚Äúironically that‚Äôs the home of the NSA. There‚Äôs a lot of crossover between Manning and Snowden. . .‚ÄĚ About Manning, ‚ÄúHe 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‚Äôt have to go to another land to find his enemy, that his enemy was right here. He‚Äôs been in prison for 3 years now. He‚Äôs 25 years old. And you‚Äôre right, he‚Äôs short and he‚Äôs small, but he‚Äôs so big in the impact that he can continue to have. He‚Äôs a hero. He‚Äôs the hero of my generation, and the hero of many generations to come.‚ÄĚ
Kat called the thousand-person turn-out at the rally, ‚Äúpathetic,‚ÄĚ and called for more people to be on the street, or to support someone who can be there, because ‚Äúif we don‚Äôt go to bat for Bradley Manning and Edward Snowden, too, then we‚Äôre going to let them throw them in prison and forget about it. And we can‚Äôt do that.‚ÄĚ
Bonnie added, ‚ÄúYeah, and it puts a real squash on anybody coming forward to reveal the truth to the American people.‚ÄĚ. . .‚ÄúIt seems like the most powerful thing that we have is the truth.‚ÄĚ Also, ‚ÄúI think our Constitution and our Bill of Rights is our national security, and violating that is the biggest danger that we have.‚ÄĚ
Asked what people can do, Nathan said, ‚ÄúPeople 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‚Äôs happening. And you can give money to a fund to help Bradley Manning.‚ÄĚ [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‚Äôs 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 ‚ÄėHope and Change‚Äô Administration, including Manning and Edward Snowden, ‚Äú . . .because they know that when people know the truth, they‚Äôre upset. It matters when people know the truth, and that‚Äôs what they‚Äôre afraid of.‚ÄĚ She said ‚ÄúEdward Snowden wrote, ‚Äė. . .It‚Äôs not even about me, it‚Äôs about truth, and whether we‚Äôre going to let truth become a crime.‚Äô ‚Äú Kat said: ‚Äú. . . It‚Äôs up to all of us, because it‚Äôs going to take a fight. And. . . if Bradley Manning and Edward Snowden become household names, that‚Äôs going to make a difference, if we make sure to tell everyone that they are heroes.‚ÄĚ She said, ‚Äú. . .They have the moral high ground, and war crimes and spying on the entire planet, which Edward Snowden exposed, that doesn‚Äôt have the moral high ground.‚ÄĚ
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).