Saturday, December 18, 2010

Private Bradley Manning the real hero

Julian Assange tells "his" adoring public that he had time to think about all those poor souls, all over the world, who experience solitary confinement because of their beliefs, during his own time in solitary confinement in the cellar of a British Victorian prison and I found my mind wandering to a an article by Greg Palast which argues that Mr Assange has not risked anything, unlike the real hero of the Wikileaks/Guardian/Times/Spiegel exposure, Private Bradley Manning.

Well, while Julian enjoys his house arrest at the manor home of Vaughan Smith, a journalist and owner of the Frontline Club in London, the jury might be out on him and, while it is, there really is no need for us,  for the time being at least, to begrudge him  enjoying the bright lights, after a life in semi-anonymity, even if Greg Palast's "only hope is that, when Judgment is passed, Assange will join his fellows in that ring of Hell devoted to those who wear the mantle of courage stolen from others."

Nevertheless, we would still do well to take a closer interest in the fate of Private Bradley Manning, who is now rotting in Obama's prison cell and who really does deserve that "mantle of courage" that is being referred to. After all, this brave man faces a 52 year sentence and, even while the jury is out on the "Wikileaks leader", we should do well to remember that neither he, nor the 'New York Times', have done anything to help Private Manning, while at the same time they both appear happy to take the bows for providing and printing the material that this soldier risked his freedom for.

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