President George W. Bush was never prosecuted for war crimes. Vice President Dick Cheney was never prosecuted. Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld was never prosecuted. PFC Bradley Manning is being prosecuted though. As Barack Obama helpfully explained, Manning is facing 52 years in prison because he “broke the law.”
The Minstrel Boy to the war had gone,
In the ranks of death you’d find him,
His father’s sword he had girded on,
And his wild harp slung behind him . . .
The wild harp of his conscience, he played it for the world, and the music echoed across cyberspace. He wanted to end the killing in Iraq, he wanted to expose the brutality of war and trigger worldwide discussion, debates, and reforms.
But the flag wavers don’t like it when someone exposes the brutality of war, the generals don’t like it, the politicians don’t like it, the war profiteers don’t like it, the corporate media hacks who pound the drums of the war machine don’t like it. Manning was arrested, locked in a cage in Kuwait, then locked in a cage in Quantico, then locked in a cage at Ft. Leavenworth.
In these years of degradation, everything is reversed. What should be alive is dead, what should be dead is alive, what should be set free is bound, what should be bound is set free, what should be done is not done, what should never be done is being done.
The Guardian . . .
Julian Mendez, the UN special rapporteur on torture has formally accused the US government of cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment towards Bradley Manning. The UN report concludes that the 11 months under conditions of solitary confinement (regardless of the name given to his regime by the prison authorities) constitutes at a minimum cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment in violation of article 16 of the convention against torture.
Obama has insisted that the way Manning was being detained was “appropriate and meets our basic standards”.
I have no words to adequately describe that statement, or the man who made it, or the corrupt system he presides over and personifies. Others far more qualified than me have rendered judgment on leaders who defend the powerful and punish the powerless, who reward deceit and deny the truth, who subvert the law to expand their power, who fill their prisons with the innocent and call it governing.
Here’s a message across the ages for Mr. Transparency and his friends at Goldman Sachs and the Pentagon . . .
And the strong shall be as tinder, and their works the spark; and they shall both burn together, and nothing will quench that fire. And an ensign shall be raised on high for the afflicted, and they shall assemble the outcasts of this world, and gather together the dispersed and the downtrodden, from the four corners of all the earth. And it shall come to pass, that the lofty looks of the moneychangers shall be humbled, and the haughtiness of leaders shall crumble into dust.
The moneychangers have not been humbled, the haughtiness of leaders has not crumbled into dust, but we can raise an ensign on high for the afflicted, we can gather together the dispersed and the downtrodden from the four corners of all the earth, we can tell the truth until that day comes, we can fight injustice until that day comes, we can show all the victims of the moneychangers and the masters of war and those who do their bidding that Bradley Manning is not alone and never will be, that the truth will be heard, that everyone who tells it will be exalted, that seekers of peace will inherit the earth, that there will be no more war, no more generals, no more prisons, no more “military justice”.