By Andrea Germanos, Common Dreams – June 20, 2013
Writers, activists, musicians show signs of solidarity for military whistleblower in newly-released video
More than 20 actors, activists, musicians and other well-known pop culture celebrities have championed their support for Army whistleblower Bradley Manning in a video released this week.
Manning has already spent over three years in confinement and is currently facing a military trial that Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and author Chris Hedges has described as “a judicial lynching” for releasing a trove of documents to WikiLeaks including the infamous Collateral Murder video.
Hedges joins filmmaker Oliver Stone, musician Roger Waters and writer Alice Walker among other notable names in the video to support Manning’s heroic efforts to expose war crimes and denounce efforts to brandish his whistleblowing efforts as “aiding the enemy.”
“He’s a man who’s done things that the mainstream media should have done a long time ago,” Phil Donahue says.
“He’s a whistleblower,” writer Matt Taibbi says in the video, “and the whole concept of whistleblower laws and whistleblower protection are you cannot get into trouble for reporting about illegal or improper activities.”
But as author Norman Solomon has noted, “the prosecution of Manning is about carefully limiting the information that reaches the governed.”
Hedges says “the attempt is to shut down any free flow of information.”
Also in the video is comedian and actor Russell Brand, who made a stellar recent appearance on Morning Joe in which he shamed the co-hosts. “To take a risk and to take a stand knowing that in all likelihood you will be persecuted, penalized, demonized and punished for it, that’s incredibly bold,” he says of Manning’s actions.
As climate activist Tim DeChristopher says of Manning, “We need more like him.”
LT Dan Choi
Bishop George Packard
This work produced by independent volunteers in collaboration with the Bradley Manning Support Network.