Posted by CODEPINK Staff
CODEPINK co-organized a rally for Wikileaks whistleblower Private Bradley Manning yesterday in Quantico, VA. Manning is being held in solitary confinement in a military brig in Quantico.
Medea Benjamin of Code Pink told CNN, "We are here to say that if, indeed, he was the whistle-blower, then we are proud of him. We as Americans want to expose the truth of what's happening in both Iraq and Afghanistan and we think that it will hasten the day to bring the troops home. We want our troops protecting us here in the United States, not fighting in what we consider unwinnable, unnecessary wars."
Private Bradley Manning, a 22 year old intelligence analyst with the US Army, stands accused of disclosing a classified video of American troops shooting civilians from an Apache helicopter. New evidence links Manning to the Afghan War Logs posted on WikiLeaks this week. He faces up to 52 years in jail for his role in the leak. The whistleblower behind the Vietnam era’s Pentagon Papers, Daniel Ellsberg, has called Mr. Manning a “hero.”
"We think Private Manning should be freed. We think that he is, if he is a whistleblower, he is reporting to a higher conscience and really protecting the Constitution. We think that it is preposterous to say that this is treason. This is really truth-telling. In the United States that I know and love, transparency is a positive thing," said Benjamin.
A small counter-rally was organized by protesters and is also featured in the CNN video. CODEPINK co-organized its rally with a diverse group of activists and veterans. Groups who participated along with CODEPINK in the rally were: Courage to Resist, Iraq Veterans Against the War, Veterans for Peace, ANSWER, Virginia Catholic Worker, Gray Panthers, World Can't Wait, and the National Lawyers Guild. You can find local coverage of the rally from Channel 7 News: http://bit.ly/localrally
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CNN video: Veterans & activists rally to free Wikileaks whistleblower Bradley Manning http://bit.ly/CNNvideorally