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Please begin with an informative title:

"In our zeal to kill the enemy, we internally debated the definition of torture. We held individuals at Guantanamo for years without due process. We inexplicably turned a blind eye to torture and executions by the Iraqi government. And we stomached countless other acts in the name of our war on terror.

Patriotism is often the cry extolled when morally questionable acts are advocated by those in power. When these cries of patriotism drown out any logically based dissension, it is usually the American soldier that is given the order to carry out some ill-conceived mission."
- Bradley Manning

We read history and wonder: how did they let this happen? We ask ourselves why no one stood against Hitler and the Nazis in Germany? or against Stalin in Russia or against Mao in China or Pol Pot and Khmer Rouge in Cambodia? In fact, I'm sure there were many who tried to alert ordinary people of the impending insanity... and I'm sure they ended up in far worse situations than Bradley Manning... but.....

It is unbelievable to me that I believe this: those in power and controlling America have brought the country to a level of criminality and crimes against humanity and all other creatures on the planet that puts it on the list above.

I stand with Bradley Manning. You can sign the petition here: Restore the United States’ human rights record and grant clemency to Pvt. Bradley Manning!

Intro

You must enter an Intro for your Diary Entry between 300 and 1150 characters long (that's approximately 50-175 words without any html or formatting markup).

Below is the text of U.S. Army Pfc. Bradley Manning's request-for-pardon that will be sent to President Obama. The text of this statement was read by defense attorney David Coombs after Manning’s sentencing Wednesday:

The decisions that I made in 2010 were made out of a concern for my country and the world that we live in. Since the tragic events of 9/11, our country has been at war. We’ve been at war with an enemy that chooses not to meet us on any traditional battlefield, and due to this fact we’ve had to alter our methods of combating the risks posed to us and our way of life.

I initially agreed with these methods and chose to volunteer to help defend my country. It was not until I was in Iraq and reading secret military reports on a daily basis that I started to question the morality of what we were doing. It was at this time I realized that (in) our efforts to meet the risk posed to us by the enemy, we have forgotten our humanity. We consciously elected to devalue human life both in Iraq and Afghanistan. When we engaged those that we perceived were the enemy, we sometimes killed innocent civilians. Whenever we killed innocent civilians, instead of accepting responsibility for our conduct, we elected to hide behind the veil of national security and classified information in order to avoid any public accountability.

In our zeal to kill the enemy, we internally debated the definition of torture. We held individuals at Guantanamo for years without due process. We inexplicably turned a blind eye to torture and executions by the Iraqi government. And we stomached countless other acts in the name of our war on terror.

Patriotism is often the cry extolled when morally questionable acts are advocated by those in power. When these cries of patriotism drown out any logically based dissension, it is usually the American soldier that is given the order to carry out some ill-conceived mission.

Our nation has had similar dark moments for the virtues of democracy — the Trail of Tears, the Dred Scott decision, McCarthyism, and the Japanese-American internment camps — to mention a few. I am confident that many of the actions since 9/11 will one day be viewed in a similar light.

As the late Howard Zinn once said, “There is not a flag large enough to cover the shame of killing innocent people.”

I understand that my actions violated the law; I regret if my actions hurt anyone or harmed the United States. It was never my intent to hurt anyone. I only wanted to help people. When I chose to disclose classified information, I did so out of a love for my country and a sense of duty to others.

If you deny my request for a pardon, I will serve my time knowing that sometimes you have to pay a heavy price to live in a free society. I will gladly pay that price if it means we could have a country that is truly conceived in liberty and dedicated to the proposition that all women and men are created equal.

4:54 AM PT: What Those Documents Leaked by Manning to Wikileaks Did Reveal


Extended (Optional)

Originally posted to pfiore8 on Thu Aug 22, 2013 at 01:24 AM PDT.

Also republished by Progressive Policy Zone and The Rebel Alliance.

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