So it turns out that Julian Assange is not really The Most Wanted Man in the World. Julian gets the #2 rating. The Very Most Wanted Man in the World is Pvt. Bradley Manning, whose birthday is today — and today is the international day of solidarity in support of him and his plight. He was arrested in May 2010 and accused of smuggling data to WikiLeaks. The first thing that got the world’s attention were officers aboard a US helicopter exterminating unarmed civilians with the permission of their chain of command. Then came the Iraq War Diaries and then came the leaked diplomatic cables.
To law and order types, Manning is a traitor, and he should be executed. To those who recognize the conduct of the United States as genocidal, Manning is a hero of epic proportions. Or you could say he’s a decent guy who saw something desperately wrong and did what he could to to resolve it. Imagine how many people who had such information and wanted to do something lacked the courage to act. Imagine how many people are still sitting on information right now and are deciding whether they should speak up.
Assuming that he got the information into the hands of WikiLeaks — specifically, the records of a war where human beings have been systematically exterminated in the name of ‘freedom’ (now surely, what other name would you give it, if you want people to fall for it?) — whether he’s a traitor or a hero would depend on what you think is appropriate conduct. My opposition to war is not political. It is religious and humanitarian. It’s based on the understanding that war is always a scam. It is always a scam. It is always a scam. Let me say that again. World Wars I and II were a scam. Just look at who made money off of them. Look at who supported ‘the enemy’. Look at who gave ‘the enemy’ refuge after the war was over.
The wars we just lived through were created to make money for military contractors. And, we hear, Bradley Manning got in the way of that. If those ‘Lady Gaga’ CDs really came from him, then he’s the person who forced the US government to rethink its strategy for profiting Halliburton and the Carlyle Group; he’s the one who exposed the truth and who saved untold lives. WikiLeaks was an act of blatant defiance and it may be what sparked off our era of dissent — Arab Spring, the uprisings in Wisconsin and Ohio, and the Occupy movement. So far, WikiLeaks is as close to justice as we’ve gotten — knowing the truth about those wars, just in case you were doubting the obvious; just in case you had not heard of the Pentagon Papers.
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