The Last (?) Pro-Bradley Manning Demonstration

The crowd started out as a fairly modest gathering (Ultimately grew to 110 people). The wall and buildings in back of us are part of Fort McNair, where Major General Buchanan , who will make the final decision on Bradley Manning, is staying. If the decision is a good one and he acknolwedges that Manning is a legitimate whistleblower, then this will be our last demonstration on Manning's behalf. If not, we'll conduct at least one final one.

I traveled with seven other people in a van. Had a decent time chatting with them on the way down. The rest of the park that we were in fronts on the Potomac River.

Group of Anonymous, the computer hacker group that's claimed many hacking successes. A couple of members have been unmasked, but most of them continue to remain unknown.

The fellow with the watch on is Bill Perry, he runs Delaware Valley Veterans for America, but wears his Vietnam Veterans Against the War (VVAW) t-shirt to gatherings. Here's the link to his photos of the event.

Firedoglake has been keeping track of the Bradley Manning trial. One of the pieces is a summation of the prosecution's case. At one point, the prosecution discusses the "Collateral Murder" video (It's been shown almost 14 million times and has garnered over 148,000 comments):

Fein stated, when referencing how the edited version of the Apache helicopter attack video appeared in a “terrorist video.” It “obviously” was a video that “terrorists” could “use as propaganda.”

Erm, might I respectfully suggest that perhaps it's the casually brutal way in which American servicepeople view the innocent people on the ground that's the problem? Just a thought, but maybe we could perhaps train our helicopter pilots and observers to be more respectful of human life?

Video - singing prior to the march.

Had to document the well-coiffed newswoman standing amid the dirty hippies of the pro-Bradley Manning movement. No, I didn't see many such people during the demonstration. I did see that one newsperson's microphone sleeve had Russian letting on it. Not surprisingly, RT reports that there were protests in 40 cities over this trial. Ran a quick search on AOL search for "Bradley Manning," got pretty thin results from the first page for major, traditional media sources, one each from CNN, Fox News and Christian Science Monitor. Second page has CBS, ABC, NPR and the LA Times twice. The other entries are from foreign/alternative/left blogosphere sources, As mentioned, RT, along with BBC, Guardian, Huffington Post, Firedoglake, Raw Story, etc. The traditional media's usual MO will be to get really detailed and comprehensive once the verdict is known.

Emma Cape here said she's been working on Manning's defense for the past three years. She told us she was shocked by the prosecution's blatant resort to untruths, editing and making up quotes from Manning, mischaracterizing statements he made and repeating already-debunked charges. Hopefully, the judge will take their dishonesty into consideration. Best case scenario is that Manning only gets a few years, with time already served credited to his sentence. That would serve the purpose of good order and discpline while acknowledging that he blew the whistle on serious crimes.

The defense concedes that, well, yes, when information is released to the general public, then yes, al Qaeda is going to be informed as well. That's kind of hard to avoid doing. But if that can be interpreted as "aiding the eney," then that puts a chill on releasing any information, generally.

The march took place to the other gate and then around a few more times.

One of the problems with stopping the leaking of information these days is the sheer number of people (4.9 million people with security clearances, plus nearly half a million contractors) with access to an enormous quanitity of information (The DOD is building computer systems that will handle yottabytes of information. "A yottabyte is equal to about 500,000,000,000,000,000,000 pages of text. Yes, that is the correct number of zeros.")

Chillin' & relaxin'. Waiting at the site for the marchers to return.

The Bradley Manning Support Network site has a petition you can sign. Here's how to contact the Courts-Martial convening authorities to express your support for Pfc. Manning.