Manning convicted! Sign the petition: Obama: Stop Prosecuting Whistle Blowers–Free Snowden and Manning

This past Sunday we purchased a small ad in the New York Times calling upon President Obama to stop prosecuting whistle blowers. It was paid for by donors to the ad. After today’s news, you might want to add your name, donate so we can send an even larger ad to other media, or at least just read the ad. You can do so at: http://www.tikkun.org/STOP

Today, U.S. soldier Bradley Manning was found guilty by a military court (justice is to military court as generosity is to selfishness), on 19 of 20 counts. The sentencing phase of the court-martial begins Wednesday, and Manning faces up to a maximum 136 years in prison. Yet what he did was to reveal information that should have been available to all Americans in order for us to know the illegal acts of our government, including in one instance the video-tape of American military personnel laughing as they shoot down innocent civilians who are coming to take away the bodies of others that these same military men had just killed. Instead of prosecuting the military murderers, the Obama Administration prosecutes the courageous hero who at huge personal risk revealed this information to the rest of us.

In the case of Edward Snowden, he revealed information that proved that the NSA is spying on millions of Americans, and that the denial by the head of the NSA about this under oath to a Congressional Committee was perjury. There is no plausible reading of the US Constitution that would empower the US government to spy on its citizens or kill innocent civilians abroad–so both Manning and Snowden are true American heroes, while the Obama Administration and its supporters are destroying American life and liberty supposedly in order to save it (as in Vietnam the general directing the war there said of a suspected Vietcong hideout in a village:“we destroyed the village in order to save it“).

Too many Americans have bought into the „national security“ excuse which the Bush and now the Obama Administration use to cover one illegal and civil/human rights-destroying act after another. Many of us who have never done anything to subvert our government may find ourselves being similarly accused, jailed, assaulted, or our passports withdrawn (as happened to Snowden without any judiciial process) as future governments accelerate this war against the American people that Obama has (probably unintentionally, but nevertheless morally culpably) started. If you wish to preserve American freedom, you need to stand with our Network of Spiritual Progressives, not only by signing and donating to the ad, but by joining our network at

https://salsa.democracyinaction.org/o/525/t/3999/shop/custom.jsp?donate_page_KEY=3793

Among the charges, Manning was found guilty of the theft of more than 700 U.S. Southern Command records, the possession of records pertaining to Afghanistan; the theft of State Department cables and the possession of classified Army documents.

Wikileaks called the conviction of Manning „a dangerous precedent and an example of national security extremism.“

„It is a short sighted judgment that can not be tolerated and must be reversed,“ the group said in a statement released Tuesday. „It can never be that conveying true information to the public is ‚espionage.'“

We don’t agree with Wiki Leaks on this point. Leaking of how to make atomic weapons or other weapons of mass destruction and the names of secret intelligence operatives should not be allowed and might reasonably be punished. But punishing someone who has revealed secrets about our government telling lies to the American people, or acting unconstitutionally, or engaging in acts of murder, is unacceptable. These whistleblowers must be protected, honored and rewarded! Instead, by going after Snowden and Manning, the Obama Administration is sending a message to all whistle-blowers: don’t tell the public what the government is doing wrong, lest you risk being severely punished, accused of being a traitor, and finding yourself hunted, jailed, and hurt in many ways. Don’t think that because you trust Obama, things will never get out of hand. The precedents now being set by the Obama Administration will be used by future and potentially more fascistic presidential administrations and military commanders. We need to tell the Administration that we unequivocally oppose its approach to these issues. So please sign the ad http://www.tikkun.org/Stop

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