There is a 25 year old soldier sitting in a jail cell waiting to learn his fate for blowing the whistle on war crimes committed and kept secret by his government. For three years, he was detained without trial, nine months of which he was subjected to being tortured. His government along with the help of the media painted him as a traitor. He saw war crimes and exposed the truth of a war which the US government orchestrated and mislead to the world. He was charged with multiple violations of the Espionage Act in July 2010. They accuse him of being an enemy to the state and want to lock him up for the rest of his life.
The world is filled with injustice. If you see something, don’t say anything or else! This is the warning being sent to the men and women living in the United States today from their government.
In 1961, a British lawyer Peter Benenson wrote an article published in The Observer titled, The Forgotten Prisoners. The articles opening line still rings true today. “Open your newspaper any day of the week and you will find a report from somewhere in the world of someone being imprisoned, tortured or executed because his opinions or religion are unacceptable to his government.” This letter penned over 50 years ago started a global movement to protect justice, freedom, truth and dignity wherever it was denied. This movement became Amnesty International. Even with organizations like Amnesty International, the world is filled with injustice.
There is a former Central Intelligence Agency agent that exposed the US government’s use of torture under the Bush administration who is now held in a Federal Correctional Institution. He was charged under the Espionage Act in January 2012. His government tried to smear him as a traitor. While he is in prison, the agents who implemented the torture are free.
Amnesty International recently released a statement supporting 30 year old National Security Agency whistleblower Edward Snowden June 24, 2013 saying, "no one should be charged under any law for disclosing information of human rights violations by the US government. Such disclosures are protected under the rights to information and freedom of expression.” The former CIA agent is currently serving a 30 month sentence, and the Private First Class Army analyst who was tortured for exposing war crimes sits in a cell awaiting his judgment. Why has Amnesty International, an organization that history with campaigning against torture won them a Nobel Peace Prize in 1977 not supported the whistleblower tortured by his government, or whistleblower who exposed the US government torturing? Where is the support for Bradley Manning and John Kiriakou?
“We are not in a position to reach such a conclusion in respect of the charges in his case because of the scope and nature of the information he disclosed.” This was written by an Amnesty representative in an email to a supporter regarding Manning. For three years, Amnesty has been in the process of verifying if information released by Manning was done “responsibly”. Some Amnesty representatives patronize Manning supporters who question the verification process. Emails go unanswered, and calls many times are not returned. While the organization sits on the fence regarding their support for Manning, they had no issue awarding The Bureau of Investigative Journalism a Digital Media prize for reporting on human rights violations detailed within the Iraq War Logs he brought to public attention. Snowden received Amnesty support in a month, and Amnesty has said little on Kiriakou. A quick search on the Amnesty International website will show that Kiriakou's name shows up once in a document released by Amnesty in 2007. Manning and Kiriakou exposed human rights violations, and are paying a price for acting out of conscience. Human rights organizations like Amnesty International are meant to fight the powers in a world that is filled with injustice for many. When they turn a blind eye to some they’re nothing more than hypocrites.