This is part of my blogathon for SSA Week. Donate, and suggest topics for me, here!
For those of you who read my work over at In Our Words, you might remember that a couple of months ago I wrote a novel on the case of Private Bradley Manning, a US Army soldier who was arrested when it was discovered that they had leaked data to an information broker of sorts, which included footage of US soldiers killing innocents and claiming they were terrorists as well as thousands of cables detailing diplomatic operations. I argued that the way they have been treated is unconscionable and horrifying, especially given the crime supposedly committed.
Since I wrote that piece, Manning has been moved out of the prison where he was held in isolation and apparently, been treated better, probably as a result of the UN Rapporteur on Torture reporting that the US’ treatment of Manning, as well as their efforts to obstruct his investigation, constituted violations of UN regulations.
Now, Private Manning is on the verge of going before a full military trial. However, there are possible bright spots, namely that the military and Obama administration are actually allowing Manning’s defense team to have full access to government documents relating to the case, an act of fair play that seems odd for our government.
So, Manning is not out of the woods, but there is a slight chance that justice may be served in this case. We cannot forget the injustice of this case, nor what it represents: that our government, despite trying to argue otherwise, is more and more trying to become less transparent. If we want to live in a free and open society, we have to fight against such authoritarian moves, or we’re acquiescing to, for lack of a better term, letting the bad guys win.