Op-Ed, 408 words

Why I Granted Bradley Manning a Presidential Pardon

He was defending the highest principles of democracy by exposing U.S. war crimes and State Department deception.

Jill Stein

In another America — where democracy reigns and government respects freedom of the press, protects privacy, and honors whistleblowers — Bradley Manning would receive a presidential pardon.

After campaigning for the presidency last year, I was asked by my supporters to set up an alternative administration, a shadow cabinet. Our mandate is to watchdog the federal government and to demonstrate what a government of the people – rather than of the lobbyists — would actually do in office.

As President of this Green Shadow Cabinet, I have the honor of pardoning Bradley Manning — on behalf of the other America that recognizes him as a hero.

Aiding the Enemy, an OtherWords cartoon by Khalil Bendib

Aiding the Enemy, an OtherWords cartoon by Khalil Bendib

My decision is at odds with the Obama administration, which has labeled Manning a traitorous criminal. But it’s clear that Manning was defending the highest principles of democracy by exposing U.S. war crimes and State Department deception.

Manning’s revelations of gut-wrenching slaughter by the American military — as in the “Collateral Murder” video — played a major role in the decision by the Iraqi government to end immunity for American troops, forcing President Obama to end the immoral, devastating, multi-trillion dollar war.Manning’s leaks revealed corruption and betrayal in repressive Middle East governments — including former Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh’s secret deal with the U.S. government allowing drone strikes within his country and the shameful excesses of former Tunisian dictator Zine El Abidin Ben Ali.

These disclosures helped trigger the democracy movements of the Arab Spring that echo the ideals of the American Revolution.

Though Manning has been accused of endangering national security, no actual harm was established in court hearings. State Department officials also acknowledged this in a secret testimony revealed by Reuters.

Bradley Manning has already spent three years in jail and months enduring solitary confinement and cruel, degrading treatment, according to the United Nations rapporteur on torture. Now Manning is facing up to 90 years in prison for doing what the press should have done, had they not been missing in action. That’s enough.

Bradley Manning is a hero for telling the truth to the American people — that our government was committing war crimes and betraying basic American values of honesty and respect for international law in routine State Department operations.

I therefore issue a presidential pardon to Bradley Manning from the Green Shadow Cabinet. I call on President Barack Obama to do the same, only to actual effect.

Dr. Jill Stein, who won half a million votes in the 2012 presidential election, is the president of the Green Shadow Cabinet of the United States.
Distributed via OtherWords. OtherWords.org

  • tracy

    Yes, and they are doing a good job of smearing his character too.That narcissistic Lamo saw himself in the limelight once again by outing him to our government.

  • http://ramonasvoices.blogspot.com/ Ramona

    Sorry, I feel bad for what he’s gone through, but a hero? Not in my world. If he had been judicious about what he exposed and who he shared it with, then maybe. But you’re forgetting that he sent more than 700,000 government documents to Wikileaks and Julian Assange without really knowing what was in them or what would be done with them once they were out of his hands.

    Outside of the few items he needed to prove the source of his anger and disappointment at his government, he couldn’t possibly have vetted more than a 1/2 million documents. That action put him beyond whistle-blowing and into something else more egregious.

    I won’t call him a traitor because I don’t think he thought it through enough to put him in that category. But I certainly won’t call him a hero, and I’m not one to join the “Free Manning” bandwagon, even though I think his treatment over the past two years, if true as reported, was outrageous.

    At least he is willing to face the consequences for his actions. Edward Snowden, another non-hero, is another story.

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  • Johnny Dollar

    Green Shadow Cabinet? Is that some version of Romper Room? “Romper, bomper, stomper boo. Tell me, tell me, tell me, do. Magic Mirror, tell me today, have all my friends had fun at play?”

  • DFinMOzarks

    Where do you draw the line? Apparently Bradley Manning had no such problem. He just duped tens of thousands of documents and shared them with the world via Julian Assange regardless of how much they hurt US relations with other countries. He deserves a long sentence. I agree with Ramona – if he had used the slightest amount of judicious restraint in what he did he might have gotten some grudging grace from me but he didn’t. He burned us with friends of many decades standing. Him and his date raping pal Julian make a pair to draw to. With any luck we’ll eventually get our hands on Assange.