Thursday, November 17, 2011

Call in for Bradley Manning

Land of the free, home of the brave, yeah right.

In March of 2011, State Department spokesperson P.J. Crowley was forced to resign after he called Bradley Manning’s solitary confinement in the military brig at Quantico, VA “ridiculous and counterproductive and stupid.” Two people were chosen to replace him who would do a better job sticking to official talking points, instead of answering questions honestly and off the cuff. These people are Michael Hammer and Victoria Nuland.
In reference to Bradley’s alleged actions, Victoria Nuland told the New York Times, “the United States strongly condemns any illegal disclosure of classified information… In addition to damaging our diplomatic efforts, it puts individuals’ security at risk, threatens our national security and undermines our effort to work with countries to solve shared problems.”
This statement ignores the fact that released cables revealed secret actions performed by U.S. government officers and allies which led to the torture and deaths of innocent people, and that as even former Bush Administration CIA Director Porter Goss admitted, “we overclassify very badly.” Furthermore, no evidence has been provided by the State Department that shows people injured because of the releases.
The website of the Public Affairs Bureau of the State Department claims it “vigorously pursues the State Department’s mission to inform the American people and to feed their concerns and comments back to the policymakers.” We at the Bradley Manning Support Network think it’s time to vigorously express our views to the U.S. State Department.

Thursday, November 17th action

Please make a phone call for Bradley:

  • Call Assistant Secretary of The Bureau of Public Affairs Michael Hammer: 202-647-6088
When you call, please ask him that they stop making unfounded claims about the danger of government whistle-blowing. If their office was pro-democracy, they would condemn overclassification and support increased government transparency such as that offered by the WikiLeaks whistle-blower.

After calling, you can also e-mail them:

  • Michael Hammer at
  • Victoria Nuland at
  • their assistant at
Then please spread the word! Ask your friends and family to call as well by sharing this action on Facebook and Twitter and by emailing them the link to this page.
Thank you for supporting Bradley. Check this Friday for information about the last target we need to reach in our defense of Bradley’s rights.

Background information:

Bradley Manning, a 23-year-old US Army intelligence analyst, is accused of sharing a video of the killing of unarmed civilians—including two Reuters journalists—by a US helicopter in Baghdad.  He is also charged with blowing the whistle on the Afghan War Diary, the Iraq War Logs, and embarrassing US diplomatic cables (including the Guantanamo Files). The video and documents have illuminated details of civilian casualties in Iraq and Afghanistan, human rights abuses and atrocities, and the role that spying and bribes play in international diplomacy.
Prior to his transfer to Fort Leavenworth, PFC Manning had been held in solitary confinement in the military brig of Quantico, VA for ten months. While in prison in Quantico, Manning was not allowed to exercise, with the exception of being allowed to walk shackled for one hour each day.  He was denied exposure to sunlight. He was not allowed to sleep between 5am and 8pm, and he had to respond verbally to guards every five minutes.  Although the Quantico officials said these rules were necessary because of a “Prevention of Injury” order, the brig’s own psychiatrists confirmed that Bradley was not suicidal.  In March of 2011, Quantico officials began forcing Bradley to strip naked each night before bed, and to sleep in a “suicide smock.”
The UN Special Rapporteur on Torture, Juan Mendez, opened an investigation into PFC Manning’s treatment conditions. Unfortunately, he was denied the ability to make an official visit to investigate the situation. Although PFC Manning has been transferred to a new prison, Mendez is still requesting to visit PFC Manning to complete his investigation as required by his position as chief UN officer on torture. His requests continue to be denied.

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