FORT LEAVENWORTH, Kansas – A few days ago I received an email from the Free Chelsea Manning Network, affiliated with Courage to Resist – A Conscientious Objector Site for Members of the U.S. and other World militaries – in concern of an issue involving Chelsea Manning, U.S. Military Whistle-blower.
What is a “Conscientious Objector,” you may ask? Simple definition?
“[An] individual[s] who has claimed the right to refuse to perform military service” — As Defined By Wikipedia [Emphasis mine]
And although the artist formally known as U.S. Army Pvt. Bradley E. Manning was in no way a Conscientious Objector he is still being supported by my friends at Courage to Resist and the Wikileaks Network, e.g. Julian Assange, because he is both a hero, and a villain.
You see Chelsea Manning, as the world now knows, became one of many to blow the whistle on the George W. Bush Administration and their Iraq War atrocities when in 2010 he began encrypted communications with Wikileaks founder Julian Assange. And although Assange denied any contact with Manning, who in the Spring of 2010 reported to an obscure site called Lamo that he had been communicating with Assange, reports began leaking out that someone was leaking ‘highly classified material’ belonging to the Bush Administration to Wikileaks for publication. And that this material was ‘very damning’ according to reports. Manning spoke up, thereafter, to reporters at the New York Times and Washington Post that, “Yes! I am the one leaking this highly classified information.”
[Bradley Manning, since his 2013 incarceration has been trying to become Chelsea Manning. But the Department of the Army refuses to supply her with the proper hormone therapy and gender modification surgery to change from one sex to another.]
But by that time the proverbial cat was out of the bag, and then U.S. Army Private Bradley Manning of Oklahoma City, OK. would become one of many people tried and convicted for violating the Espionage Act of 1917 or Title 18 [U.S.] Code Violation in July of 2013 in a U.S. Military Court.
Pro and con alike comments run the gambit for what Chelsea did and didn’t do on behalf of the Laws of the United States and the People of the U.S.A. – And this writer understands, values and appreciates every one of those comments.
[On a Personal Note: I whole heartily support and condone the actions of both Bradley and Chelsea. I have donated to her legal defense through both the Free Chelsea Network and Courage to Resist many times, as I do many others who are represented by this erstwhile network, which includes Wikileaks and Julian Assange.]
And these kinds of conversations are important ones to have. It is also important to note of another conversation that we should be having, and it is that of the rate of incarceration and the prison system within the United States of America. We should also be having a conversation about who is and who is not really guilty of high crimes and misdemeanors against the United States of America, her Laws, and her People.
SO, LETS TALK:
“So when they continued asking Him, he lifted up Himself, and said unto them, “He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her.”” – John 8:7, The Holy Bible – King James Version
Before I knew all of the proverbial happy horse crap that U.S. Army Gen. David H. ‘Dave’ Petraeus (Retd.) had stirred from the sand swept corners of Baghdad, Iraq to the panhandle of Florida and its shorelines I was a great supporter, admirer, and downright ardent fan of General Dave. Especially after this little exchange.
It gave me a near cream in my jeans and a kind of ‘Merica!’ Moment that every red-blooded, beer swilling soul should long for, especially when it comes to all things Dave Petraeus. Right?
But as we would later learn Dave Petraeus was ever vigilant to both dip his wick and leave the back door of Iraq, from Syria and beyond, for his Central Intelligence Agency Buddies to give the World I.S.I.S. or I.S.I.L. (the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria OR the Islamic State in Libya) thereafter, one has to wonder whether or not the right person is in O-POD at Fort Leavenworth Military Prison? – O-POD is the section where Chelsea Manning is being held prisoner.
“All In: The Education of General David Petraeus,” By Paula Broadwell was supposed to be the proverbial fifth star on the lapel of a four star, harden combat veteran of the first Gulf War, Somalia, Mogadishu, Panama, Grenada, and a Veteran of the Cold War – David H. Petraeus – INSTEAD, it turned out to be the catalyst to an entirely inappropriate relationship between the General and his chief autobiographer Paula Broadwell of Clear Lakes, FL. by way of Bismark, N.D.
HOW IT ALL BEGAN:
Petraeus first met Broadwell, through some mutual family friends, the Kelly’s – David and Jill Kelley, (Jill Kelley and Paula Broadwell became friends through the MacDill Air Force Base Volunteers, and Wounded Warrior Angels as both women are extremely good-looking and would pose for pin-up calendars for the Troops, and talk to the Troops on the Wounded Warrior Ward for the Air Base Hospital after they had come back from Iraq and Afghanistan) – at a public speaking event down in South Florida in 2006.
They immediately hit it off, especially when she remarked that she was a writer, and was genuinely interested in publishing a book about the General, and the ‘Surge’ that ‘turned the tide of the Wars in Iraq and Afghanistan’, in those quote unquote “fair to middling days,” of the War on Terror and Operation Enduring Freedom.
And what four-star general wouldn’t like a book to be written about them? Especially this one, who was, at one time, worthy of such a distinction, but because of the wide-eyed whisper sweet nothings of a lovelorn woman. Well. You get the picture, I hope?
And so it was that General Dave Petraeus would begin, at first, simple correspondence with “Pal,” – that was his nickname for Paula Broadwell – about the book, and conversely what would lead to an inappropriate relationship between Petraeus and Broadwell. And would lead to the exchange of ‘highly classified materials’ between the two about the Troop Surge(s) in Iraq and Afghanistan, and the enhanced interrogation techniques that the United States of America’s KLAN-destine services used on the likes of Mr. Abu Zubaydah, a Saudi Arabian Citizen, from 2003 until 2008.
[Mr. Zubaydah to date has never been afforded the opportunity at legal recourse against the United States of America, is legally bind in one eye, an eye that he lost during the duration of enhanced interrogation, and is living on a fixed income in somewhere in Saudi Arabia with his family.]
Which leads me to ask, again, did we put the wrong person in O-POD at Fort Leavenworth Military Prison?
I dunno! Maybe we should ask Ms. Broadwell? How about it?
Or. How about Dave Petraeus himself?
Nature abhors a vacuum don’t it General Dave?
Or maybe I’m just whistling past the old graveyard on this one?
And so, I’ll ask yet again, is the wrong person doing time at Fort Leavenworth?
Granted Chelsea Manning, as Bradley Manning, was a Buck Private. A low man on the totem pole to say the least, BUT he was a Military Intelligence Analyst. As well as interpreter for the United States Army for four years. Whereas Dave Petraeus had, had a thirty-five year stellar career in the U.S. Army.
Hells bells Dave Petraeus saved an entire company once while on a training exercise at Fort Campbell in the late eighties, he took a round to the chest, and endured a sucking chest wound, one that has beleaguered him to this day, and nearly cost him his military career, on more than one occasion. And the story has been told over and over again by then Maj. General ‘Black Jack’ Keane, a personal friend and fellow commander with Petraeus at Campbell Army Airfield.
So when and if you compare apples to oranges Chelsea Manning comes out on the short end of the stick, respectfully. More to the point though is the fact that in one weak in the knees moment(s) though Dave Petraeus managed to betray US. Betray his Oath to the United States Constitution and the Commander and Chief(s – George W. Bush and Barack H. Obama, II.) to the United States Military and the Director of National Intelligence, James N. Clapper – a trader himself, and finally, and most importantly, he betrayed his multi-year marriage to the ‘love of his life’ Hollister ‘Holly’ Petraeus.
Minus the betrayal of his marriage vows, the rest is in fact punishable by imprisonment for life. Is it not?
Because you cannot, knowingly or unknowingly, betray the TRUST of the American People. TRUST? The Rules and Regulations of the U.S. Constitution, the Uniform Code of Military Justice, and the hearts and minds of the American people, and not expect consequences and repercussions. Or can you?
But to hear it told and to have it said the powers that be in both Washington and New York think him STILL an American hero. They even gave him a pass, an excessive fine notwithstanding. And that is, by Washington and New York City standards for the rich and affluent to be the end of the discussion. Or should it be?
[E.g. and SEE ALSO: The death and presumed murder of Investigative Journalist Michael Hastings,2013, in relation to shake-ups within the Intelligence Community around the time of Petraeus resignation from the C.I.A. and John O. Brennan’s appointment as the new head of the Clandestine Service Organization.]
So! I’ll ask again, do we have the right person in Fort Leavenworth Military Prison?
FROM BRADLEY TO CHELSEA: THE Food FIGHT, Outdated Toothpaste & Unauthorized Reading Material [found in her jail cell, after a “shakedown,” by prison guards]…
In getting back to the moral of this story: The other day I received a troubling email from the Free Chelsea Manning Network concerning Chelsea and the possibility that she could be facing 35 years to Life in Solitary Confinement over Spilled Food, a Fight with a Military Police Prison Guard, an Outdated Tube of Toothpaste, and Unauthorized Reading Materials found in her jail cell in early July.
The story goes that on the afternoon of 02 July 2015 Chelsea was eating lunch in the Commons area for O-POD (the area where she is being held) when she either knocked or bumped, accidentally, some food from off of her tray and it landed on the floor next to her.
A guard saw what had happened, and immediately reprimanded Chelsea, and ordered her to pick the food up off the floor, and either eat it or set it aside and throw it away thereafter.
When Chelsea tried to explain what had happened the guard in question was having none of it, and proceeded to tell Chelsea again to either eat the food or set it aside and throw it away later, and that they did not care to hear any excuse whatsoever.
Chelsea retorted, BIG MISTAKE – UNREMITTINGLY, and although it’s not exactly sure what was said thereafter a physical altercation broke out between the guard and Prisoner Manning. A supervisor who happened to be watching the exchange the whole time intervened and told Prisoner Manning to self-restrain (Shades of Mitt Romney and “self-deportation”, no?) or be made to go to solitary.
Manning obliged, but asked to speak to her lawyer. Both the guard and the immediate supervisor refused, and took her to the pod supervisor’s office for an incident report, and reprimand.Upon arrival at the pod supervisor’s office Prisoner Manning asked again,”Can I speak to my lawyer please?” To which the supervisor responded, “No, and what happened Manning?”
Prisoner Manning explained what had happened and both the guard ,that she was in the altercation with, and the immediate supervisor agreed.
That was when things went from bad to worse for Chelsea Manning.
Upon review of both audio and video recordings, and Freedom of Information Act requests by both The Associated Press, The Guardian, UK & US, as well as the Chelsea Manning Defense Team the following information has been obtained:
Chelsea is due before the disciplinary board for the prison on the afternoon of 18 August 2015 to determine whether or not she will spend the rest of her life in solitary confinement or be confined to her cell for 6 months or longer, with little rations, no physical exercise, and no socialization with fellow prisoners.
Right now there is an immediate need for Chelsea to get a fair and impartial hearing before the Disciplinary Board.
Because the United States Army maintains that their people treated Chelsea fairly and have handled this situation with the utmost care and professionalism. That it was Chelsea who behaved inappropriately in this instance.
Chelsea & Company disagree! And they disagree for a few reasons.
- Chelsea was neither belligerent or physically volatile with the guard on that day that it was the guard and the supervisor that provoked the incident.
- Chelsea asked at least twice to speak to her attorney, and she was refused twice.
- Chelsea went through proper channels when lodging any and all complaints and has been denied her due process on several occasions by the prison and the U.S. Military, trying to forcing a more formal hearing with the Commandant of the Prison, but she has been refused that, and is forced to go before the Disciplinary Board in just a few days.
Supporters are asking that people read, sign, and then share a petition on Chelsea behalf to the Disciplinary Board for Fort Leavenworth Prison, and then they are asking that you consider making a donation to her legal defense fund? It is tax-deductible, and will go a long way in helping Chelsea win her eventual freedom.
Because her supporters believe that she has been wrongfully accused, tried and convicted for something that she didn’t do, and that she is serving a prison sentence meant for General David Petraeus (and no doubt many others instead).
[On a Personal Note: I happen to agree that Chelsea Manning is serving a prison sentence meant for others. And that David Petraeus is just a microcosm of a macrocosm.
And unless and until we arrest, charge, and convict folks like David Petraeus, James Clapper, John Brennan, and U.S. Army General (Army Chief of Staff) Raymond T. Odierno (Retd.) then the problem(s) will persist. We will have more and more David Petraeus’s.
Chelsea Manning did nothing wrong in 2010, and she did nothing wrong in 2015! But David Petraeus has. He has Betrayed Us! And he MUST be held accountable for his actions.]
— Rhett E. Column
#SayWhatNews, #AXJ, #FreePress Approved!