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Bradley Manning On Trial – Statement of Rob Prince to Press TV – August 10, 2013

August 10, 2013

Below is the written text of an interview conducted this morning with Press TV – Iranian news outlet – concerning the announcement that Bradley Manning will speak in his own defense this week. I was asked to respond to an article that appeared in the British`Guardian’ concerning the case:

Bradley11First I want to join all those who support an end to Bradley Manning’s persecution and who call for his immediate and unconditional release. On the surface it appears that Bradley Manning is on trial, but on a deeper level, of course, it is not Manning that is on trial so much as it is  the U.S. wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The Obama Administration is trying to use the Bradley Manning case to prop up the legal basis for its illegal wars and to give a moral cover for what is essentially an unethical foreign policy and to use the case, not only to frighten whistle blowers , but to justify its plans for further military interventions – very likely next in the African Sahara, Yemen and who knows where else.

It is significant that Manning is going to speak in his own defense, and that the world hear what he has to say in his own voice.

Much is being made of the fact that the release of Manning’s documents put both American soldiers and some Afghan villagers in harms’ way and that the release of the documents also compromised “long range – US led battle plans”.

The charges, so narrowly formed – miss the main point…and are a fine example of what in English is referred to as `blaming the victim’ – the victim in this case being Bradley Manning himself.

It is not the leak of classified material by Manning that have put Afghans and members of the U.S. military in harm’s way – but the continued US-led wars against the Iraqi and Afghan peoples – that is the source of the problem, wars whose legal framework are very shaky according to international law – and whose ethical motivation is completely lacking.

The material that Manning offered to Wikileaks – that which has been published – has simply reinforced many public media reports emphasizing that the U.S. led wars in Iraq and Afghanistan were cynically and poorly conceived,  fiascos from a humane and political view point. They have been  human rights debacles of the first degree and finally, they reveal something else – that the United States, like in Vietnam – and like the Russians before them in Afghanistan – lost the wars. These were not victories in any sense of the word.

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