Veterans, antiwar activists and other supporters of accused WikiLeaks whistle-blower PFC Bradley Manning will protest nationwide tomorrow following President Obama's failure to respond to a letter from veterans which asks the President to account for Manning's abusive pretrial confinement conditions and to pardon him. Supporters will rally at Obama reelection campaign offices in 33 cities demanding Bradley's freedom. Plans for local actions range from rallies and marches outside a local office to entering an office to deliver the letter and occupying inside.
Michael Thurman of Iraq Veterans Against the War, who was arrested at a similar protest on August 16, says, “President Obama has ignored our requests, continuing the election-year silence on the highest-profile whistle-blower of our generation. Tomorrow, we'll make our voices heard and remind him that we won't stand for Bradley's imprisonment, and we won't forget his torture at Quantico."
A wide variety of organizations have joined in calling for actions on this date, including the Bradley Manning Support Network, Veterans for Peace, Iraq Veterans Against the War, Afghans for Peace, and the Alliance for Global Justice.
At Ft. Meade last week, the Government handed over 600 emails from Quantico regarding Bradley’s confinement conditions, after holding on to them for six months. On November 27, defense lawyer David Coombs will bring a motion to dismiss charges based on unlawful pretrial punishment, which UN torture chief Juan Mendez called “cruel, inhuman and degrading.” The court martial trial itself is scheduled to begin February 4, 2013 – Bradley’s 988th day in jail.