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The London Expat American Meetup Group Message Board › Bradley Manning, WikiLeaks and Afghanistan - US Citizen in Guantanamo

Bradley Manning, WikiLeaks and Afghanistan - US Citizen in Guantanamo

Wilber W.
Group Organizer
London, GB
Post #: 4,386


An extended interview with Julian Assange recorded during filming of John Pilger's latest film The War You Don't See.

The attacks on WikiLeaks and its founder, Julian Assange, are a response to an information revolution that threatens old power orders, in politics and journalism.

The incitement to murder trumpeted by public figures in the United States, together with attempts by the Obama administration to corrupt the law and send Assange to a hell hole prison for the rest of his life, are the reactions of a rapacious system exposed as never before.

The US Justice Department has established a secret grand jury just across the river from Washington in the eastern district of the state of Virginia. The object is to indict Julian Assange under a discredited espionage act used to arrest peace activists during the first world war, or one of the war on terror conspiracy statutes that have degraded American justice.

Judicial experts describe the jury as a deliberate set up, pointing out that this corner of Virginia is home to the employees and families of the Pentagon, CIA, Department of Homeland Security and other pillars of American power.­
Wilber W.
Group Organizer
London, GB
Post #: 4,392
Queer Friends of Bradley Manning at World Pride 2012
!By queerfriendsofbradley

Queer Friends of Bradley Manning are pleased to report that we had another successful march at World Pride following our wonderful debut last year. London Pride this year saw its fair share of problems but the march itself was fantastic, there was a wonderful sense of solidarity and of marching despite the best efforts of the powers-that-be. We got a fantastic response from the crowds; an estimated 25,000 turned up to watch the march.

Next stop: Brighton Pride on 1st September!

Big shout out to UK Friends of Bradley Manning and WISE UP for Bradley Manning! Thanks for all your help and support.

Our thanks also to the amazing photographer Robert Coxwell for taking this great picture of us.

Solidarity with Bradley Manning at World Pride 2012
Posted on July 9, 2012 by wiseupforbm
London, 7 July

Here’s a report from the event:

Despite the rain and despite the best efforts of the mayor’s office to get the event cancelled (see Peter Tatchell’s article here), the march and event went off without a hitch anyway with thousands in attendance.

QFBM had sorted a necessary pre-booked place on the march (luckily next to a loud and very festive samba band) and the ginormous banner was carried by five supporters, who also handed out specially tailored flyers and addressed the crowd through a megaphone. Thousands were exposed to the message of Bradley Manning solidarity and the megaphone got the crowd going as we went along. There was lots of applause and lots of recognition for BM; many people sick of war crimes being perpetrated and gotten away with.

The event and parade was lots of fun in and of itself; All of the Drag “kings”, Stonewall gay rugby team, costumed players, parents and kids, folks in the crowd all came over at one point or another to express their solidarity. The BM crew got jiggy to samba music as we danced along to the samba band all the way down most of the march.

The crescendo was the end of the march in Whitehall, passing Downing street and getting to call the war criminals exactly what they are on a loud hailer. The crowds seemed to me particularly receptive to us at that end.

All in all a lot was accomplished, a lot of publicity for Bradley Manning through representation at Pride which I’m sure he would love.
Wilber W.
Group Organizer
London, GB
Post #: 4,393
Bradley Manning Blues

"Sooner or later the American people are going to wake up."--Emma Goldman

"The greatest purveyor of violence in the world today is my own government."-- Martin Luther King, Jr.
Wilber W.
Group Organizer
London, GB
Post #: 4,394

No Torture Porn in Court Please, We’re British
London Says "No To Torture!" - vigil report
This report with pictures: http://london.indymed...­

Today is an anniversary that will not be marked with parades or any celebrations whatsoever, if at all. A sombre anniversary, it is the twenty fifth anniversary of the United Nations Convention Against Torture (UNCAT) becoming international law on 26 June 1987. The United Kingdom signed in 1988, but is also bound to the prohibition on torture by other international instruments, such as the European Convention on Human Rights, and domestic laws that date back almost eight centuries to the Magna Carta.

Laws, unto themselves, do not modify the behaviour of individuals or states. Following World War II, the world said “never, never again” when signing up to the UN Charter, but “never” turned out to be a very short space of time. Where nations once came together to prohibit the use of torture, they now work together in its collusion in the twenty-first century hybrid of torture outsourcing, also known as “extraordinary rendition”.

Britain’s involvement in this extralegal programme run by its close ally, the US, is extensive and has far wider implications than we know of. From the refuelling of torture flights in UK airspace, knowledge that British nationals and residents had been rendered to Guantánamo Bay, renditions through the British-administered territory of Diego Garcia in the Indian Ocean to more active participation in the rendition of Abdel Hakim Belhaj and his family to Libya in 2005 and the rendition of Pakistani national Yunus Rahmatullah to the US army in Iraq in 2004, Britain has played a close and constant role. In spite of official denial and outright lies, the truth has developed a bad habit of leaking out in drips and drabs over the years in various ways.

According to London Green MEP Jean Lambert, “The claims that British intelligence services have not been complicit in torture or rendition are continuing to crumble. Indeed, the recent scrapping of the Gibson Inquiry is further proof that successive UK governments are attempting to sweep the ugly matter under the carpet in the vain hope that it will magically disappear.”

Indeed, the government is now seeking to ensure that evidence of its collusion in torture never sees the light of day, through the use of secret trials proposed in the Justice and Security Bill, published in May. The rationale for the some of the proposals, as stated in the Bill and when the green paper was first proposed in parliament two years, is to prevent cases such as those brought by former Guantánamo prisoners and rendition victim Binyam Mohamed against the government for its collusion in torture and rendition ever being brought to court again. The aim is to prevent these claimants and the wider public knowing the truth about the government’s involvement in torture. Some claims relate to the current government.

Over 150 people braved the weather and joined the London Guantánamo Campaign at 6-8pm in Parliament Square for a demonstration opposite the Houses of Parliament calling on the British government to act to close down Guantánamo Bay. Demonstrators were addressed by Victoria Brittain, Baroness Sarah Ludford MEP, Andy Worthington, Gareth Peirce, Moazzam Begg, Jean Lambert MEP, Bruce Kent, Yvonne Ridley, Hugo Charlton from CAMPACC, Stewart Halforty from the Stop The War Coalition, Jackie Chase from the Save Omar Campaign in Brighton and Chris Chang, an investigator from Reprieve
Wilber W.
Group Organizer
London, GB
Post #: 4,397

Wilber W.
Group Organizer
London, GB
Post #: 4,424

One cop's view;

"When it comes down to right and wrong I hope that I will be able to help change your mind on how you see law enforcement, I just hope one day we could go back to when everyone knew each other and law enforcement was more of a respected career. I also hope that one day I can be the one to do what I have to do but at the same time, explain why I am doing it so I won't lose my cool like some of the officers did in this video."
Cainin727 3 months ago

“It is a tragic mix-up when the United States spends $500,000 for every enemy soldier killed, and only $53 annually on the victims of poverty.” Martin Luther King

War is a Racket: The Antiwar Classic by America's Most Decorated General­

War Is a Racket is the title of two works, a speech and a booklet, by retired United States Marine Corps Major General and two time Medal of Honor recipient Smedley D. Butler. In them, Butler frankly discusses from his experience as a career military officer how business interests commercially benefit from warfare.

In War Is A Racket, Butler points to a variety of examples, mostly from World War I, where industrialists whose operations were subsidised by public funding were able to generate substantial profits essentially from mass human suffering.

The work is divided into five chapters:

1.War is a racket
2.Who makes the profits?
3.Who pays the bills?
4.How to smash this racket!
5.To hell with war!
It contains this key summary:

"War is a racket. It always has been. It is possibly the oldest, easily the most profitable, surely the most vicious. It is the only one international in scope. It is the only one in which the profits are reckoned in dollars and the losses in lives. A racket is best described, I believe, as something that is not what it seems to the majority of the people. Only a small 'inside' group knows what it is about. It is conducted for the benefit of the very few, at the expense of the very many. Out of war a few people make huge fortunes."
In another often cited quote from the book Butler says:

I spent 33 years and four months in active military service and during that period I spent most of my time as a high class muscle man for Big Business, for Wall Street and the bankers. In short, I was a racketeer, a gangster for capitalism. I helped make Mexico and especially Tampico safe for American oil interests in 1914. I helped make Haiti and Cuba a decent place for the National City Bank boys to collect revenues in. I helped in the raping of half a dozen Central American republics for the benefit of Wall Street. I helped purify Nicaragua for the International Banking House of Brown Brothers in 1902-1912. I brought light to the Dominican Republic for the American sugar interests in 1916. I helped make Honduras right for the American fruit companies in 1903. In China in 1927 I helped see to it that Standard Oil went on its way unmolested. Looking back on it, I might have given Al Capone a few hints. The best he could do was to operate his racket in three districts. I operated on three continents.
The book is also interesting historically as Butler points out in 1935 that the US is engaging in military war games in the Pacific that are bound to provoke the Japanese.

"The Japanese, a proud people, of course will be pleased beyond expression to see the United States fleet so close to Nippon's shores. Even as pleased as would be the residents of California were they to dimly discern through the morning mist, the Japanese fleet playing at war games off Los Angeles."
Butler explains that the excuse for the buildup of the US fleet and the war games is fear that "the great fleet of this supposed enemy will strike suddenly and annihilate 125,000,000 people."

[edit] RecommendationsIn his penultimate chapter, Butler argues that three steps are necessary to disrupt the war racket:

1. Making war unprofitable. Butler suggests that the owners of capital should be "conscripted" before other citizens are: "It can be smashed effectively only by taking the profit out of war. The only way to smash this racket is to conscript capital and industry and labour before the nation's manhood can be conscripted. … Let the officers and the directors and the high-powered executives of our armament factories and our steel companies and our munitions makers and our ship-builders and our airplane builders and the manufacturers of all other things that provide profit in war time as well as the bankers and the speculators, be conscripted — to get $30 a month, the same wage as the lads in the trenches get"

2. Acts of war to be decided by those who fight it. He also suggests a limited plebiscite to determine if the war is to be fought. Eligible to vote would be those who risk death on the front lines.

3. Limitation of militaries to self-defence. For the United States, Butler recommends that the navy be limited, by law, to within 200 miles of the coastline, and the army restricted to the territorial limits of the country, ensuring that war, if fought, can never be one of aggression.

Wilber W.
Group Organizer
London, GB
Post #: 4,432

Banner drop on Snowdon summit marks 2nd anniversary of release of the Afghan War Diaries

Exactly two years after the WikiLeaks release of the Afghan War Diaries, Wednesday 25 July 2012, banners were unfurled at the summit of Snowdon to mark the anniversary.

The highest mountain in England and Wales, Snowdon rises some 1,000 metres above sea level. Reaching the summit via the Llanberis path entails a climb of almost 900 metres with the mountain railway running within sight of the path for most of the ascent, allowing passengers to wave cheerily at those plodding along on foot.

As we stood on the summit – the highest point in England and Wales – looking out across the landscape, our thoughts were, in particular, with accused whistleblower Bradley Manning who has Welsh roots and who has been held for two years in pretrial detention, who has been denied his rights and subjected to torture at the hands of the US; with WikiLeaks’ Julian Assange who has sought refuge in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London in fear of his life if extradited to the US either from Britain or Sweden; with Michael Lyons, the British Navy medic who was jailed last year for resisting the war in Afghanistan having studied the Afghan War Diaries.

We took this action to remember all those killed, maimed, traumatised and bereaved in this futile war and to stand in solidarity with all those who have had the courage to resist and speak out.

Wilber W.
Group Organizer
London, GB
Post #: 4,433
US DoJ Denies all Wikileaks FOIAs in full due to "Active law enforcement proceedings"

OIP FOIA Logs: January 2012­
Wilber W.
Group Organizer
London, GB
Post #: 4,449

4000 prominent Americans sign petition urging Ecuadorian President, Rafael Correa to grant political asylum to Assange

Many in the U.S. support WikiLeaks and its founder Julian Assange, says Robert Naiman, policy director at Just Foreign Policy in Illinois.

"Many Americans support Wikileaks and don't want to see Julian Assange persecuted or prosecuted by the U.S. government, Naiman said in a phone interview with Press TV.

Assange has been holed up in the Ecuador embassy in London for to continue to fight extradition to Sweden.

Naiman said that he is "carrying more than 4000 petitions signed by Americans urging [Ecuadorian President Rafael] Correa to grant political asylum to Assange."

4000+ signed the letter. However, there are many more people--Americans, Ecuadorians and people all over the world who believe in their hearts that Julian Assange should be granted asylum. We all hope that President Correa says yes!

Wilber W.
Group Organizer
London, GB
Post #: 4,450
i could’ve sold to russia or china
Jeremy Harding­

A review of "The Passion of Bradley Manning: The Story of the Suspect Behind the Largest Security Breach in US History" by Chase Madar in London Review of books provides great up to date analysis and many counter arguments on the death penalty charge of "Aiding the enemy"

Will Bradley Manning face ‘aiding the enemy’ charge?

What was troubling Julian Assange when he made a dash for friendly extra-territorial space? His detractors argue that it’s the usual story, to do with his propensity to see himself as the centre of the universe, and the target of an improbable plot to lock him up in the US and throw away the key. That last honour has already been bestowed on Bradley Manning. In the leaker, surely, the Americans have their man: why bother with his celebrity publisher? Outside the Ecuadorian Embassy in Hans Crescent, round the back of Harrods, a thin but emblematic presence is maintained by his supporters. While I was there earlier this month a French woman was squatting on the pavement, hunched over a placard, shading in the letters of a message that she later tied to one of the crowd barriers. It read, very roughly: Thank you, Assange, for giving us a history of the vanquished. She was thinking of something by Brecht, she said, or possibly Walter Benjamin. An older, more eccentric figure assured me that Assange had sneaked away from the embassy the week before through a tunnel under Harrods: the store’s security guards had just let her in on the secret. A third insisted there was only one way out of Hans Crescent for the man who’d already left by al-Fayed’s drains: first Rafael Correa’s government grants asylum, then Assange is set on a rapid path to Ecuadorian citizenship and finally awarded a minor consular position, which gets him from the steps of the embassy to a boarding gate at Heathrow under diplomatic immunity.

On a recent visit to Queensland – Assange’s home state – the US ambassador in Australia said the US could have him extradited as easily from Britain as from Sweden, only they weren’t bothered. Bob Carr, the Australian foreign minister, is equally relaxed: the reluctance of the US to extract Assange from the UK, he’s said, is proof of its dying enthusiasm for the chase. Carr can always be relied on to stick to the script, but the idea that the US could get Assange from the UK as easily as Sweden has to be tested not simply against the views of Assange’s lawyers and helpmates, but those of John Bellinger, for example, a former legal counsel for the State Department, who told AP television news in 2010 that bringing charges against Assange while he was still in the UK would put a loyal ally on the spot by generating a rival extradition request. Better for the US to sit it out: ‘We could potentially wait to see if he is prosecuted in Sweden and then … ask the Swedes to extradite him here.’ Assange’s people add that, unlike the British, the Swedes have an extradition treaty with the US which allows for ‘temporary surrender’ of suspects wanted for serious crimes, even if they are also charged in Sweden. This arrangement ought to be called the ‘Panama track’, after a 2008 diplomatic cable from the US Embassy in Panama City to Washington – courtesy of WikiLeaks – which sets out the advantages clearly:

Under this procedure, the suspect is ‘lent’ to the US for prosecution on the condition that they will be returned for prosecution in Panama at the end of their sentence. This procedure is much faster than a formal extradition, and has proven so successful, that [the Drug Enforcement Administration] sometimes designs operations to bring suspects to Panama so they can be arrested in Panama and turned over to US authorities quickly.

In Assange’s favour is the suggestion that any charge against him would also have to apply to Bill Keller, the former executive editor of the New York Times, as WikiLeaks’ US partner for the Afghan and Iraq war logs and the outlet for its diplomatic cables. As Chase Madar explains in The Passion of Bradley Manning, none of the material that Manning allegedly leaked is top secret. Out of roughly 250,000 diplomatic cables, for instance, 15,000 to 16,000 are ‘secret’ and fewer than half are classified. As classified files go, they pale by comparison with the papers Daniel Ellsberg leaked in the thick of the Vietnam War. Finally, there is a view in the administration that the leaks have not compromised national security. (The documents that make this case – one originating from the White House – are themselves classified, and Manning’s lawyer has already subpoenaed some of them.)

Even so there are reasons for Assange to be cautious. Dianne Feinstein, the head of the Senate’s Select Committee on Intelligence, said in a written statement for the Sydney Morning Herald earlier this month that he had indeed ‘caused serious harm to US national security and he should be prosecuted accordingly.’ That might mean little in an election year, but what of the alarming trove of email traffic at Stratfor, the private security and ‘global intelligence’ firm in Texas, which was obtained by the hacktivist collective Anonymous and released by WikiLeaks six months ago? Among the 5.5 million messages, several relate to Assange and one of them, from Fred Burton, the company’s ‘vice president for counter-terrorism and corporate security’, says simply: ‘Not for Pub – We have a sealed indictment on Assange. Pls protect.’ True or false, this is not the kind of assertion Assange can afford to take lightly.
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