I consider PFC Bradley Manning, who gave Julian Assange most of the military information for Wikileaks, to be a hero, despite the fact that he is now a prisoner at Quantico, a top security military prison, AND being tortured with sleep deprivation, by being waked up constantly during the night. Scientists who study sleep have done this with mice, and it makes them psychotic. He is also forced to stand naked during morning inspection, although all the other inmates are wearing prison uniforms. This sort of humiliation is another sort of torture, that was used by the US on Iraqi prisoners at Abu Graib. Manning has stated that he felt that leaking this material to Assange was a moral choice he felt compelled to make after watching videos of US soldiers shooting civilians, including children from helicopters. He was even more appalled by the fact that the other soldiers and officers around him seemed to find the video funny and were laughing about it.

Part of the reason for Manning’s incarceration may not only be the leaks, it may be the fact that he’s a gay guy and we all know the problems that gays have in the military. Now we come to another institution: Paypal. How are these two things connected? It turns out that Paypal refuses to accept donations to a fund that has been set up to lobby for Manning’s freedom. And why is this? Elon Musk, who founded Paypal in 1999, has taken his profits and invested them in "Space X," one of the several new private companies that the administration is using to take over the space program, in order to help reduce the deficit by reducing the tax dollars that used to go to NASA. Clearly, the government has pressured Musk to make sure that Paypal does not cooperate with the organization trying to help Manning, with the (implicit or explicit) threat that they might send their dollars to one of the other private space companies (and there are several).

Manning is incarcerated despite never having been either tried OR convicted. The British government has repeatedly stated its "concerns" to Washington about Manning’s treatment and the UN has launched an inquiry into whether his conditions amount to torture.

I hate to think that President Obama would continence something like this. Whether or not we voted for him or agree with everything he’s done, most of us feel that Obama is an honest and upstanding man, so this saddens and disappoints me–and I hope it will sadden and disappoint you as well. However, without the use of Paypal, there doesn’t seem to be much we can do about it.

UPDATE: Manning’s family reports that, thanks to protests from human rights campaigners, he has now been moved to the "more open" military facility of Fort Leavenworth in Kansas.

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  1. There is much that we can do
    There is much that we can do about this without Paypal, and what we can do is probably more important than Paypal. What we can do is send positive energy, thought and prayer to Bradley Manning, with visualizations of his welfare and freedom; we can also do this in regard to President Obama, visualizing and feeling him taking rightful action to free Manning and restore justice to him.

  2. Manning is an admitted
    Manning is an admitted traitor to his oath and his country. He chose to transfer classified material to a foreign national. If he had issues with anything he was exposed to he should have taken it up with his chain of command or resigned. He broke the law and has admitted to it.

  3. This is one more example of
    This is one more example of how we have lost the moral high ground. A true patriot is one who cares enough to sacrifice to change something that is wrong.

  4. If Manning knew of some sort
    If Manning knew of some sort of abuse within the military, and he chose to disclose that, so be it. Instead, he chose to disclose vast amounts of information to a foreign national, on a wide range of subjects, most of which served no legitimate purpose other than to embarrass or harm the United States and our allies. Indeed, much of what he disclosed has harmed our relations with our allies, revealed our sources, or otherwise impeded our national security. People are trying to paint Manning as a courageous whistleblower because some of what he exposed purports to evince misconduct; rather, he is a traitor to his country who has done more harm to our intelligence apparatus than any foreign spy could have dreamed of. If he is being mistreated, that should stop immediately. He deserves a fair trial and humane treatment like anyone else. If he is found guilty at a Court Martial, he should be executed before a firing squad. If the UK or the UN don’t like it, they can both go bugger off and mind their own business. I am certainly no fan of Obama, but letting this play out according to UCMJ would be one of the few things he gets right. Hopefully he does not go meddling in this affair to curry favor with the left or the EU. Bradley Manning a hero? Not in my book. I will save that title for the faceless men and women in totalitarian regimes who sought freedom for themselves and their people, and who have been silenced by those regimes thanks to Bradley Manning.

  5. Bradley Manning is being used
    Bradley Manning is being used as a huge scapegoat. I am sure that he released classified material (especially the video of troops killing civillians), but there is NO WAY that an Army PFC had access to all of the data that has been released.

    Much of the data is from the State Department and Manning would not have access to that. I think that either the CIA/Obama Administration is using him as a scapegoat and patsy while they released some damning material that they wanted to leak mainly about Mideastern rulers who they wanted to overthrow.

    Also, Obama is acting like Bush Jr. Didn’t he say that there would be no military tribunals in his Presidency ?? Didn’t he say there would be no torture and and that all of the accused would be given a fair trial ??? Didn’t he and Biden also say about Bush that if a President invaded a country without the approval of Congress he should be impeached ??
    I am so tired of politicians saying one thing to get elected and then doing the opposite when they get in.

    Also he could stop this horrible treatment of PFC Manning with the stroke of a pen via executive order—so obviously he doesn’t want to or doesn’t care. I had such high hopes for Obama and he has let all of us down in my opinion.

  6. I couldn’t agree more with
    I couldn’t agree more with Longpond. The boy Manning, on the one hand claimed to be a man in a man’s army, and on the other, demonstrated the actions of a child, simply because it was easy. The boy Manning merely uploaded to a website; there is nothing heroic about that, especially when you consider that he all too likely thought he wouldn’t get caught. I hope they throw away the key for his cell, frankly. Left wing media again, over and over, ruin everything with their endless creeping tide of entropy. I don’t include Unknown Country as left wing media, I am quick to say, to be fair. Anyway, spare the rod and spoil the child… damn fine mandate and the chap would benefit from a damn good thrashing. Am more than happy to volunteer to deal it… I’d be proud, in fact, I can’t wait. Shan’t sleep now, dwelling on the prospect. Mmmpphhh…..! Auf Wiedersehen.

  7. I know things are changing
    I know things are changing very fast in this country but I’m pretty sure I would have heard that there was a trial for Manning and that he was found guilty of the charges alleged by his accusers. I haven’t heard this so I have to assume you all have decided that our system of justice does not apply in this case and that guilt by decree is ok with everyone. Sorry folks, I don’t believe in what ever this country is turning into, military state, terrorist state, extremist state, I don’t know, but I do know I hate what we have become and it will be our undoing. And yes I’m a vet, Viet Nam, and I had inside info, I just didn’t have the guts to disclose it. Have a nice day………


  8. How do we even know this
    How do we even know this person exists? Just because we saw a face and name on the news doesn’t mean he does. This may be just another multi-layered scam being played on an unwitting public. If we don’t know who Obama really is, how could we know about this guy?

  9. Hmm, Steve has a good point,
    Hmm, Steve has a good point, to be fair; does the Boy Manning exist?

  10. If the government is allowed
    If the government is allowed to torture people publicly and we don’t protest, they will be coming after us next. It doesn’t matter if he is a real person or not. It’s the principle. No trial & torture of individuals didn’t use to be the way this country operated. Just look at what is happening to people all over this country. The cops are beating & killing & torturing individuals regularly.

  11. I am not an American, I was
    I am not an American, I was born in South America from Spanish stock, but it is inevitable to feel for USA, hate & love… so many good people, bright and noble,.. and so much moral rabble. Incredible low and stupid, is difficult to digest this.

    Must be the bad schools of the country. Or something in the soda’s that you drink that affects the capacity of honest self-reflection.
    In the First Country of The World! Come on people!

    Thank you sweet Anne for saying what must be said.
    Bradley Manning is a Hero, YES, and in this world people is supported with money, somebody who understands of money sendings please explain to us who want to help hero Manning with the best hulp we can send.

    Thank you Anne again.

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