bradley-manning
On December 16th, 2010, Glen Greenwald, writing for Salon.com, brought us a glimpse of The Inhuman Conditions of Bradley Manning’s Detention. Mr. Greenwald summarizes Bradley Manning’s story as “the 22-year-old U.S. Army Private accused of leaking classified documents to WikiLeaks, [who] has never been convicted of that crime, nor of any other crime. … [and] has been detained at the U.S. Marine brig in Quantico, Virginia for five months — and for two months before that in a military jail in Kuwait — under conditions that constitute cruel and inhumane treatment and, by the standards of many nations, even torture.”  Mr. Greenwald then references The Journal of the American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law which “explains that “solitary confinement is recognized as difficult to withstand; indeed, psychological stressors such as isolation can be as clinically distressing as physical torture.”  Bradley Manning’s friend, David House, has described, after visiting him, “a remarkable decline in his psychological state and physical wellbing.”

So, what’s the status of Bradley Manning, legally and morally?  What are our “leaders” doing to this boy and how does the American subject population feel about it?  Is Bradley America’s equivalent of Omelas’ sacrificial child?  Or a hero for the ages; a Smedley Butler or Daniel Ellsberg for the opening decade of the 21st century?

Kevin Carson, a contemporary mutualist author and individualist anarchist, has issued a blazing defense for Bradley Manning and declared him, possibly, the only solider to ever, actually, defend American freedoms.

We’ve all heard it before, “Support the Troops, because they defend our freedoms.”  But do they?  When I was in the U.S. Army I don’t remember any stalwart or teary moments at freedom’s defense.  Typical day: coffee and calisthenics in the morning; bureaucracy and cigarettes in the afternoon; and boredom and beer in the evening.  There were no discussions of what “freedom” means or what it looks and feels like.  It was a job, with a dangerous task and a boss that could legally make your life a living hell… oh and you can’t quit.  Bradley Manning is experiencing the legal side of this living hell.  A circle of hell populated by indifferent robots of the military, semi-corporate bureaucrat structure.  Lost behind walls of paperwork in a UCMJ dungeon.  Why!?!

If there’s a soldier anywhere in the world who’s fought and suffered for my freedom, it’s Pfc. Bradley Manning,” says C4SS researcher Kevin Carson.  “Every war since [the revolution] … has been for nothing but to uphold a system of power, and to make the rich folks even richer.”  Kevin concludes:

“So if you’re one of the authoritarian state-worshipers, one of the groveling sycophants of power, who are cheering on Manning’s punishment and calling for even harsher treatment, all I can say is that you’d probably have been there at the crucifixion urging Pontius Pilate to lay the lashes on a little harder. You’d have told the Nazis where Anne Frank was hiding. You’re unworthy of the freedoms which so many heroes and martyrs   throughout history — heroes like Bradley Manning — have fought to give you.”

Don’t let Bradley Manning get lost in the UCMJ dudgeon; Free Bradley Manning!