Cumberland Times-News

Opinion

July 30, 2013

Bradley Manning deserves a medal instead of a prison cell

You don’t have a democracy without informed citizens. Question is, do enough of today’s Americans expect their government to be truthful enough to deserve international respect?

In the past 10 years American statecraft has (sometimes even secretly) moved from one catastrophe to another, laying waste to other nations without damaging our own national interests.

The past decade’s wars have resulted in the deaths of at least 174,000 civilians, 31,741 Allied military personnel (including 8,351 U.S. soldiers and military contractors), and cost our treasury upwards of $3.7 trillion. (Secrecy: The American Experience, Yale University Press).

Imagine what we could’ve done to our crumbling infrastructure and how many “jobs” eventually would’ve minimized resultant foreclosure offenses.

More important, the potentially precious input from killed/maimed mothers, fathers, sons, daughters, uncles, aunts, cousins and friends. Lost forever!

Bradley Manning did supply WikiLeaks with Iraq/Afghan War logs, State Department cables and the infamously shocking “Collateral Murder video,” where Apache helicopter pilots (not under fire) are begging their distant commanding officer for permission to open fire on innocent Iraqi civilians, brutally killing several children and journalists.

How else could we have learned what our government is doing? Therefore, Bradley surely deserves some important national honor (Presidential Medal of Freedom) instead of the military prison cell where he’s currently enduring undeserved agony and a contrived court-martial.

Many of the principal players in our tragic Middle East farce have taken home a Presidential Medal of Freedom.

George Tenet, the CIA director who maintained the case for invading Iraq was a “slam dunk,” got his medal in 2004, as did Paul Bremer, the American proconsul under whose administration occupied Iraq slid into today’s chaos.

Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld had already won the medal for stints in previous administrations as secretaries of Defense. Tony Blair was bestowed the award in 2010 by Barack Obama. Why not Bradley?

Charged under the Espionage Act of 1917 with aiding the enemy (he was informing our public and even the prosecution admits that they cannot prove that Bradley’s actions have endangered our national security), Bradley faces life in prison.

He’s going to get 40 years for embarrassing our secretive government with the truth. He has put his sanity and his freedom on the line so that we Americans might know what our government has done to other nations in our name.

It’s embarrassing and we’re becoming internationally-alienated Americans.

For updates on Manning’s case the best source is the Bradley Manning Support Network website, www.bradleymanning.org.

Manning himself can be reached at Commander, HHC YSA/ATTN:PFC Manning/239 Sheridan Avenue, Bldg 417/JBM-HH, VA 22211. Manning’s lawyer says he greatly appreciates friendly letters.

Bill Arnold

Romney, W.Va.

1
Text Only
Opinion
  • Support Canal classrooms with tax-deductible gift

    While your April 17 article (“Park Service opens Canal classrooms,” Page 1A) described this exciting program accurately, your readers may be wondering how they can help support this new educational opportunity for school children in Allegany County.

    April 18, 2014

  • Ivan Hall story brings back memories of a unique man

    I enjoyed Mike Sawyers’ Ivan Hall story. It was well written and brought back some wonderful memories of my Cumberland days and especially, an unique man.

    April 18, 2014

  • It’s a secret It’s a secret

    Could someone enlighten us about why not even the names of the two entities bidding on development of the Footer Dye Works building can be divulged?
    A Times-News article about the bids included an explanation from a lawyer for the attorney general’s office about the need to keep the names and other information secret at this time. Despite that, the logic of not divulging at least a little more information escapes us.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • What do we do about those who weren’t criminals after all?

    Now that Maryland has become the 17th state to (finally) decriminalize possession of marijuana, one could say that the legislature and governor should be patted on the back for doing the right thing.

    April 17, 2014

  • The first step The first step

    If all goes as planned, Frostburg State University will one day offer a doctorate in nursing, a physician’s assistant program and a new health sciences building on campus.

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • Translations differ, but the message is eternal

    This letter is in response to a recent letter titled “One cannot compromise on God’s word” (April 13 Times-News). I had previously written a letter titled “Why are compromises so difficult to achieve” (April 7).

    April 15, 2014

  • Closing the loopholes will help clear the regulatory waters

    After a decade of uncertainty over Clean Water Act jurisdiction following Supreme Court challenges in 2001 and 2006, the Environmental Protection Agency and Army Corps of Engineers announced a forthcoming administrative rule to close enforcement loopholes, restoring protections to 20 million acres of wetlands, more than half the nation’s streams, and drinking water for 117 million Americans.

    April 15, 2014

  • The first step Remember where your freedom comes from before criticizing

    The deal at Fort Hood could have been avoided if it was caught in time.
    When you think a GI is not acting right, have him or her checked out before you put them back on duty and give them a weapon. Post-traumatic stress disorder is a serious and dangerous problem if it is not taken care of right away.

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • Where to look Where to look

    Drive anywhere in Maryland and it seems there is one highway construction project after another. While it is good to see our roads and bridges being upgraded, it can be nerve-wracking for anyone traveling a long distance.

    April 14, 2014 1 Photo

  • Midterm elections give chance to return to American values

    A movement has been started by veterans of our armed forces to get out the vote in 2014. That includes Coast Guard and Merchant Marine personnel for those not familiar with the history of both and their sacrifice. This is no small special interest  group, but many millions of Americans who can have an enormous impact on the  outcome of the November election if they all respond.

    April 14, 2014