Friday, August 16, 2013

Bradley Manning's apology doesn't change a thing.

by Richard Mellor
Afscme Local 444, retired

"Manning's conduct was of a heedless nature that made it actually and imminently dangerous to others. His conduct was both wanton and reckless,"

So says the judge that's going to send Bradley Manning to prison, most likely  for the rest of his life.  But Manning's treatment at the hands of the US military, years of physical and mental abuse and massive media attention portraying him as a traitor and a lunatic, has one purpose and one purpose only, and it's not simply to hurt Manning.  Manning's abuse is all about warning the rest of us, particularly the young workers in the 1%'s military, that we should all keep our mouths shut.

Many experts have admitted that nothing Manning has done placed our young working class men and women in the military, the 1%'s cannon fodder, in any danger whatsoever.  But the thugs that run and profit from the military industrial complex demand loyalty.  The Nazi's also demanded loyalty.  I was thinking about that blog I posted yesterday about the historic act of defiance by Tommie Smith, John Carlos and Peter Norman at the 1968 Olympics.

The response from the same forces that are about to condemn Manning to a life in prison was to demonize these individuals, destroy them, in the US and they encouraged the racist filth to attack them and harass them.  Peter Norman died a broken man.

The judge says that Manning's conduct was "dangerous to others". Was it now? And which others might that be?  How about Cheney, Rumsfeld, the imbecile Bush and their puppy dog Blair from Britain and all the fortunate sons and daughters who have the honor of orchestrating the most brutal and violent massacres of human beings over the last century.  As Sean pointed out in his post earlier today, the US bourgeois will drop nuclear bombs on their own cities if their privileges are threatened. These are the "others" that the judge is really talking about.

What was reckless about letting the world know that the US government was wantonly murdering civilians and others who oppose their wars on behalf of the corporations?  Bradley Manning hasn't put our young people in harms way, the 1% and their political representatives have, both Republican and Democrat.  If you haven't watched the video that Manning is being imprisoned for sharing with the American people, you should. It is sickening in that people who have not harmed us or threatened us in any way are slaughtered like lambs.  But even more, those Americans doing the slaughtering have obviously lost there humanity. They have lost some of what makes us compassionate and loving creatures or what gives us the potential to be such. They have been dehumanized by the 1%'s regime.

Thousands of our young people will come back from these predatory excursions on behalf of the corporations severely mentally damaged, not to mention the physical damage they endure. More protective armor has meant than American soldiers die less frequently but the injured multiply. We have earlier blogs about how double amputations are on the increase due to protective armor.  In earlier days, they would just die.  Then there is the mental damage. I remember seeing The Ground Truth, a really good documentary about returning veterans.  One of them said how he got in trouble about domestic violence and how ridiculous it was that he was supposed to come back from Iraq and then go down the mall with his wife and kids like nothing has happened to him. Suicide and domestic violence is rampant among veterans.  No, war is not like it is portrayed in Hollywood movies. I grew up in a military family and my father spent almost four years as a prisoner of the Japanese. This had a very destructive effect on our family life.

After years of physical and mental abuse, the authorities dragged an apology from Bradley Manning. So what.  They broke him or it might help him win his freedom before his 80th birthday but he has nothing whatsoever to apologize for. The judge is simply doing her job as a paid flunkie for the 1%.  Their legal system is rotten, their laws are rotten and their whole damn system is rotten.

I am a retired union worker. If the union leaders had any character at all, any balls to put it bluntly, they would be in the forefront of the campaign to free Manning and to absolve Snowden for his courage in warning us about the increased intrusion of the capitalist state in our private lives. As Sean pointed out earlier, the state has beefed up its security apparatus.  They are ready to defend themselves from the US working class that will at some point recognize that we have no alternative but to fight back.  We should fight the distractions and study our history more closely, the Internet gives us the opportunity to do that from our own homes. Our history in the US is a rich and militant one fought against the most brutal and clever ruling class that has existed to this point. It is not the history of Ozzie and Harriet but of Emmet Till, lynchings, deportation, Pinkerton gun thugs and horrific living and working conditions that people died trying to change. It is the history of the genocidal war against the native population and the expansion of an empire.

Bradley Manning's apology doesn't change a thing. He's a hero and the judge has no clothes.

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