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OPINION: Who is really on trial — Bradley Manning or America itself?

By James M. Branum
Chair of the Military Law Task Force of the National Lawyers Guild

February 22, 2012

Growing up in small-town Oklahoma, one of my greatest influences was
the Boy Scouts. I learned some of my first lessons in civics through
the Boy Scout Handbook. The Handbook told me that the United States
was a different kind of nation, a nation composed of people with roots
from around the world, but united by certain shared ideals — democracy
and due process of law. I took that message to heart because I thought
it was proven by the history I learned in school.

Later, I learned that the Handbook and History class didn’t tell the
whole story. America’s history wasn’t always so noble. We as a nation
have not always been on the side of “liberty and justice,” and
sometimes our noble words have really been “bounced checks on the Bank
of Justice” (to paraphrase Dr. King’s famous “I Have a Dream” speech).
But I believe that our collective failure to always live up to those
ideals does not negate their value to the soul of our Union, always
striving to be “more perfect.”

These ideas have been pressing on my mind lately as I think of the
case of accused Wikileaks whistleblower PFC Bradley Manning.


Should all charges against PFC Bradley Manning be dismissed?

55%22 votes
40%16 votes
5%2 votes

| 40 votes | Vote | Results

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Oklahoma Center for Conscience and Peace Research

Accused whistleblower deserves the prize for casting light on war crimes committed in Iraq, nomination states

The Oklahoma Center for Conscience and Peace Research (OCCPR) announced on Tuesday that it has nominated US Army Private First Class Bradley Manning for the Nobel Peace Prize.

In its nomination, OCCPR stated that it chose Bradley Manning because of his alleged role in leaking documents and other evidence of war crimes, corruption and lies related to the US wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, including the notorious “collateral murder” video (downloadable online at which US forces firing on unarmed Iraqi civilians, members of the press and children.


Should Bradley Manning be given the Nobel Peace Prize

63%29 votes
26%12 votes
10%5 votes

| 46 votes | Vote | Results

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A stunning mass email sent out by Charlie Meadows of the Oklahoma Conservative Political Action Committee in which he says that AIDS is a "homosexual disease," that clergy members that criticize Sally Kern are "false prophets," and that "this is Oklahoma, not a homosexual infested liberal enclave like some parts of the United States." Bold-faced emphassis added below is my own.

From: ""
To: Oklahoma Conservative Political Action Committee
Date: Fri, 28 Mar 2008 00:23:07 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: OCPAC e-mail

Members and friends of the Oklahoma Conservative Political Action Committee (OCPAC)



Should Sally Kern resign for her anti-gay remarks?

83%54 votes
10%7 votes
6%4 votes

| 65 votes | Vote | Results

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This is an update regarding the ongoing controversy regarding Oklahoma State Rep. Sally Kern's inflamatory anti-gay hate speech

I heard news that right-wing groups were organizing a pro-gay-hate rally in support of Rep. Sally Kern this week (more info here and here, so I started digging around a little bit online and guess what I found. . .

They're Coming to your Town

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(reprinted with permission from The Freedmen Issue

I have spoken on this blog in the past about the Cherokee Freedman controversy (click here to read past posts), but tonight after reading some crap on the Cherokee Nation's website feel like I need to say more about the matter.


As I understand it, the basic facts of the situation are this...

The Cherokee (along with many other Indian tribes) owned slaves prior to their removal in the Trail of Tears.  In the removal, the Cherokee brought their slaves with them to their lands in what would someday become Oklahoma.


Do you support the Cherokee Nation's action to disenfranchise the Cherokee Freedmen?

15%14 votes
77%72 votes
7%7 votes

| 93 votes | Vote | Results

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I've done a google search, and the infamous Oklahoma State Rep. Sally Kern (who says that there is an evil gay agenda where "they" are trying to turn kids gay starting at age 2) is quite outspoken about the "abomination" of homosexuality, but has not said one word about another dangerous ABOMINATION that the Holy Bible tells about...

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Reprinted with Permission from

NewsOK: Marine won't draw penalty for flag fight

MIDWEST CITY — A U.S. Marine Corps reservist may have broken the law when he crossed a protest line to defend the U.S. flag, but he will not be punished for it, city officials said. . .

Modisette, of Shawnee, was arrested Friday afternoon on a complaint of interfering with official police process. He told The Oklahoman he was reacting to a war protester who was stuffing an American flag down her pants.

I am used to crappy journalism with our local press, but this is beyond the pale.

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Reprinted with permission from

I just got this via email from Rena (of Peacearena) and thought I would pass it on ...

Oklahoma House of Representatives
Media Division
March 10, 2008


Contact: State Rep. Sally Kern

Capitol: (405) 557-7348

Kern Responds to Activist Criticisms

OKLAHOMA CITY – State Rep. Sally Kern (R-Oklahoma City) issued the following statement today in response to the criticisms of homosexual activists who have objected to a recent speech she gave on their efforts to promote their agenda at both the federal and state level.

"To put this simply, as a Christian I believe homosexuality is not moral. Obviously, you have the right as an American to choose that lifestyle, but I also have the right to express my views and my fellow Oklahomans have the right to debate these issues.

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Reprinted with permission from Audio recording from speech by Oklahoma State Rep. Sally Kern

Here are a few quotes from Rep. Kern's hateful speech...

Studies show, no society that has totally embraced homosexuality has lasted for more than, you know, a few decades. . .

I honestly think it's the biggest threat our nation has, even more so than terrorism or Islam. . .

They want to get them into the government schools so they can indoctrinate them . . .  They are going after our young children, as young as two years of age, to try to teach them that the homosexual lifestyle is an acceptable lifestyle.

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