On Monday, August 16th New Yorkers will show support for Pfc. Bradley Manning, accused by the U.S. military of leaking the video called "Collateral Murder" to the website WikiLeaks. The footage, made public in April 2010, shows US Army Bravo Company 2-16 killing civilians in Bagdad in July 2007.
Manning, originally from Crescent, Oklahoma, is being held in the brig at Quantico Marine Corps Base in Virginia after being charged in June with being the source of the leak. A 22-year-old intelligence analyst stationed in Iraq, he is accused of disclosing a classified video depicting American troops in Iraq shooting civilians from an Apache helicopter in 2007. Twelve people were killed, including two Reuters employees, and two children were critically injured. No charges have been filed against the soldiers who did the killing.
The action is being organized locally by World Can't Wait, Veterans for Peace, Code Pink and the International Action Center at the Times Square Recruiting Center.
News sources have also speculated about Manning’s involvement in the leak of over 91,000 secret documents (collectively known as the Afghanistan “War Diary”) made public by WikiLeaks, a website that publishes leaked material anonymously.
Debra Sweet, National Director of World Can't Wait said: “Whoever leaks information showing war crimes by the US military is doing the world a great service by shortening the time until the US ends the occupations of Iraq and Afganistan. Bradley Manning should be released whether or not he had anything to do with exposing the underside of the US occupations to the world.”
The whistleblower behind the Vietnam era’s Pentagon Papers, Daniel Ellsberg, has called Mr. Manning a hero. ”I admire the courage of Bradley Manning for sacrificing himself to make the public aware of the futility of the war in Afghanistan,” says Ellsberg.
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