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Manning, Snowden and Swarz: America’s Police State Marches On, Media in Tow

By Dave Lindorff


The New York Times, in an editorial published the day after a military judge found Pvt. Bradley Manning “not guilty” of “aiding the enemy” -- a charge that would have locked him up for life without possibility of parole and could have carried the death penalty -- but also found him guilty on multiple counts of “espionage,” called the verdict “Mixed.” Not guilty of aiding the enemy, guilty of espionage.


Bradley Manning: Victimized by Police State Injustice

 

Bradley Manning: Victimized by Police State Injustice

 

by Stephen Lendman

 

Manning's conviction is chilling. It reflects police state viciousness. Imagine being criminalized for doing the right thing. Imagine being called a traitor for acting responsibly.

 

Manning's no spy. He's no criminal. He deserves praise, not prosecution. America honors its worst. It persecutes its best. It's unsafe to live in. 

 

There Should Be No Sighs of Relief: Manning Verdict a Very Pyrrhic Victory

By Alfredo Lopez


The Bradley Manning verdict may seem a victory of sorts for the defense -- it's certainly being treated that way in the mainstream media -- but the decision handed down Tuesday by Court Marshal Judge Colonel Denise Lind is actually a devastating blow not only to Manning, who was convicted of unjustifiably serious charges brought by an aggressive administration seeking to make an example of him, but also to Internet activity in general and information-sharing in particular.

This coming Sunday: Professor Cornel West and Chris Hedges to speak out for Army whistleblower Bradley Manning

When: Sunday, August 4, 2013 from 3 to 5:30pm

 

Where: Friends Meeting House of DC
            2111 Florida Ave, NW, Washington D.C.

 

Join us Sunday, August 4, 2013, from 3 to 5:30 PM for a matinee discussion and trial update for Bradley Manning. Widely renowned scholar Dr. Cornel West and former New York Times war correspondent Chris Hedges will join members of the Bradley Manning Support Network for a special presentation on the legal, journalistic and ethical implications of this historic trial. Bradley Manning's trial is planned to continue through late August, with appeals throughout the rest of the year.

This event is free and open to the public as well as members of the press.

 


For more information, contact mckee@bradleymanning.org
Please share widely!



Visit www.bradleymanning.org for more information on attending Bradley Manning's trial.

Bradley Manning not guilty of ‘aiding the enemy’, convicted on 19 other counts

Go to www.bradleymanning.org for more information.

There were tears outside the courtroom today.
  Of course, Bradley Manning is not really guilty of anything but being a good global citizen, and it is painful to see him so persecuted.

But we scored an important victory today on both the legal and political fronts.  The Army had made a ridiculous case that Bradley Manning was "aiding the enemy," "with evil intent," and that he was "not a whistle-blower, but a traitor.  They even tried to tie Bradley to Osama bin Laden.

There was only one problem with the Army's case.  They had no evidence whatsoever, only baseless insinuations and "child's logic" (the words of defense attorney David Coombs).  Even a military judge who clearly favored the Army prosecutors could not buy their lame arguments.

The Moral Verdict on Bradley Manning: A Conviction of Love in Action

By Norman Solomon

The sun rose with a moral verdict on Bradley Manning well before the military judge could proclaim his guilt. The human verdict would necessarily clash with the proclamation from the judicial bench.

In lockstep with administrators of the nation’s war services, judgment day arrived on Tuesday to exact official retribution. After unforgiveable actions, the defendant’s culpability weighed heavy.

“Our apologies, good friends, for the fracture of good order, the burning of paper instead of children, the angering of the orderlies in the front parlor of the charnel house,” another defendant, Fr. Daniel Berrigan, wrote about another action that resulted in a federal trial, 45 years earlier, scarcely a dozen miles from the Fort Meade courtroom where Bradley Manning faced prosecution for his own fracture of good order.

European Parliamentarians call on President Obama to free Bradley Manning

http://www.bradleymanning.org

Open Letter from Members of the European Parliament
to President Barack Obama and US Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel

Pfc. Bradley Manning (photo credit: Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

Pfc. Bradley Manning (photo credit: Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

As Members of the European Parliament, who were elected to represent our constituents throughout Europe, we are writing to express our concerns about the ongoing persecution of Bradley Manning, the young U.S. soldier who released classified information revealing evidence of human rights abuses and apparent war crimes in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The U.S. Army has charged Private First Class Manning with 21 different crimes, including ‘Aiding the Enemy’; a capital charge. To convict a person who leaked information to the media of “Aiding the Enemy” would set a terrible precedent. Although we understand the US government is not seeking the death penalty for Bradley Manning, there would be nothing to stop this from happening in future cases.  As it is, PFC Manning faces the possibility of life in prison without parole, recently rejected as “inhuman and degrading treatment” by the European Court of Human Rights.

On July 2nd , Army prosecutors closed their arguments in the case without having provided any real evidence that Bradley Manning aided the enemy, or that he intended to do so. In his defense against those charges to which he pleaded not guilty, PFC Manning was not permitted to bring any evidence of motivation. And in a statement calling on the court to allow a ‘public interest’ defense, Amnesty International said that this was ‘disturbing…as he has said he reasonably believed he was exposing human rights and humanitarian law violations.  Moreover, the prosecution provided no evidence that PFC Manning caused harm to U.S. national security or to US and NATO troops.

We agree with Amnesty International that the U.S. government should immediately drop the most serious charges against PFC Bradley Manning, and that to charge Bradley Manning with ‘aiding the enemy’ is ‘ludicrous’ – a ‘travesty of justice’ which ‘makes a mockery of the US military court system’.

“We’ve now seen the evidence presented by both sides, and it’s abundantly clear that the charge of ‘aiding the enemy’ has no basis,” said Widney Brown, Senior Director for International Law and Policy at Amnesty International.  “The prosecution should also take a long, hard look at its entire case and move to drop all other charges that aren’t supported by the evidence presented.”

Rather than causing harm, Bradley Manning’s release to WikiLeaks of the Iraq War Logs and the Afghan War Diaries shone much needed light on those occupations, revealing, amongst other abuses, the routine killing of civilians. The bleak picture painted by these war diaries contrasts greatly with the rosy progress reports being provided to the public by military and political leaders. PFC Manning has said he felt that if the American public had access to this information, this could ‘spark a domestic debate’ on American foreign policy ‘as it related to Iraq and Afghanistan’. Far from being a traitor, Bradley Manning had the best interests of his country in mind. 

The Iraqi people continue to suffer the consequences of this war, even after the withdrawal of foreign troops, with millions of homeless refugees and the resumption of sectarian violence. Meanwhile, eleven and a half years after the U.S invaded Afghanistan, that nation has yet to form a functioning democracy or to free itself from the Taliban and fundamentalist warlords. 

Bradley Manning:  ‘I felt that we were risking so much for people that seemed unwilling to co-operate with us, leading to frustration and anger on both sides. I began to become depressed with the situation that we found ourselves increasingly mired in year after year.’

Bradley Manning was witness to the wrongdoing of the U.S. military.  He says this ‘troubled’ and ‘disturbed’ him. But instead of ‘passing by on the other side’ like so many others, he acted in accordance with international law and with a strong commitment to truth, transparency and democracy. He wrote at the time that he hoped his actions would lead to “worldwide discussion, debates, and reforms.” 

Bradley Manning also released information about the men who continue to be wrongly held in indefinite detention at the U.S. prison at Guantanamo, Cuba.  Over one hundred of these prisoners have been carrying out a long, indefinite hunger strike, and 45 of them are being force-fed by U.S. soldiers.  This intolerable situation continues to undermine U.S. claims to promote freedom and democracy, compromising the standing of the US in the world and diminishing US moral authority.

Bradley Manning’s courageous action, for which he has three times been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize, was an inspiration to others, including Edward Snowden, who recently revealed massive U.S. government surveillance in the U.S. and also against European governments and citizens. 

We are concerned that the U.S. administration’s war on whistleblowers such as Edward Snowden and Bradley Manning is a deterrent to the process of democracy in both the United States and Europe. 

We hereby urge you to end the persecution of Bradley Manning, a young gay man who has been imprisoned for over three years, including ten months in solitary confinement, under conditions that the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture Juan Mendez deemed “cruel and abusive.”  Bradley Manning has already suffered too much, and he should be freed as soon as humanly possible.

Signed,

Marisa Matias, Member of the European Parliament, Portugal
Christian Engström, Member of the European Parliament, Sweden
Ana Maria Gomes, Member of the European Parliament, Portugal 

Gabi Zimmer, Member of the European Parliament, Germany 
Paul Murphy,  Member of the European Parliament, Ireland 

Sabine Wils, Member of the European Parliament, Germany

Jacky Henin, Member of the European Parliament, France
Alda Sousa, Member of the European Parliament, Portugal
Martina Anderson, Member of the European Parliament, Ireland
Nikola Vuljanić, Member of the European Parliament, Kroatia
Sabine Lösing, Member of the European Parliament, Germany
Lothar Bisky, Member of the European Parliament, Germany
Helmut Scholz, Member of the European Parliament, Germany 

Willy Meyer, Member of the European Parliament, Spain

Mikael Gustafsson, Member of the European Parliament, Sweden

Marie-Christine Vergiat, Member of the European Parliament, France

Patrick Le Hyaric, Member of the European Parliament, France

Manning judge alters charges to assist Govt ahead of verdict

Bradley Manning Support Network
 
In an ominous sign for Army whistleblower PFC Bradley Manning, military judge Col. Denise Lind altered important charges last week in order to assist prosecutors ahead of her verdict, which is expected tomorrow at 1 PM ET. Defense attorney David Coombs explained, "The Government has pushed this case beyond the bounds of legal propriety. If the Government meant 'information', it should have charged information." Up until last week, Manning was charged with stealing entire databases. The defense has no way to defend Manning against these new charges after the fact.
 
The government switched its legal theory for three of the five theft charges against Manning, alleging now that Manning stole “portion[s] of” databases instead of the entire databases themselves. It also now contends that Manning stole the information contained within the records, despite merely charging him with stealing databases. This alteration is not semantic. Legally, it’s substantially different than the original charges, and more to the point, it comes long after the government rested its case, precluding the defense from going back to question witnesses differently. Left with no other legal recourse, the defense has filed a motion for a mistrial on the theft charges.
 
“Because all of these critical ‘clarifications’ are coming after eight weeks of testimony, and because these offenses carry with them 50 years of potential imprisonment, and because the Defense was actually misled by the Charge Sheet, the Defense requests that this Court declare a mistrial as to the section 641 offenses,” declared Coombs.
 
Under Rule for Courts Martial 915, a military judge may declare a mistrial when “manifestly necessary in the interest of justice because of circumstances arising during the proceedings which cast substantial doubt upon the fairness of the proceedings.” 
 
In addition to the theft charges, Manning faces a potential life sentence for charges of Espionage, Aiding the Enemy, and Computer Fraud, for passing documents to the website WikiLeaks. He said he released the files, which exposed war crimes and other abuses, to spark a debate about America’s wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and its foreign policy more generally.
 
Manning has been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize three years in a row.
 
The Bradley Manning Support Network is responsible for 100% of Manning’s legal fees, as well as international education efforts. Funded by 21,000 individuals, the Support Network has mustered $1.3 million in Manning’s defense. 

Remembering Abraham Joshua Heschel (1907 - 1972)

 

Remembering Abraham Joshua Heschel (1907 - 1972)

 

by Stephen Lendman

 

He was special. He mattered. He's called a prophet's prophet. He tried to shock people out of complacency into understanding and compassion.

 

He grew up in Poland. He came from a family of noted rabbis. His world was hasidic ("pious ones") "rebbeim." Rebbe are more than rabbis.

 

BRADLEY MANNING VERDICT TOMORROW 1 PM EASTERN

What: Military Judge Col. Denise Lind to read verdicts on 21 charges against US Army WikiLeaks whistle-blower PFC Bradley Manning

When: Tomorrow, July 30, 2013, at 1 PM ET (credentialed media arrive approx. 11 AM)

Where: Ft. Meade, Maryland, enter at intersection of Reece Rd. and MD 175 (Annapolis Road)

In an ominous sign for Manning, military judge Denise Lind altered important charges last week in order to assist prosecutors ahead of verdict. In so doing, defense attorney David Coombs explained, “The Government has pushed this case beyond the bounds of legal propriety. If the Government meant ‘information’, it should have charged information.” Up until last week, Manning was charged with stealing entire databases. The Defense has no way to defend Manning against these new charges after the fact.

Army private Bradley Manning faces a potential life sentence for passing hundreds of thousands of classified military and diplomatic documents to the transparency website WikiLeaks, to expose U.S. criminality in its wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and further abuses around the world.

Never in the history of American military law has a person been charged with Article 104 of the Uniform Code of Military Law, “Aiding the Enemy,” for providing information to the media in the public interest. However, Manning faces life in prison tomorrow if convicted of this charge alone—despite all evidence to the contrary.

"I believed that if the general public, especially the American public, had access to the information ... this could spark a domestic debate on the role of the military and our foreign policy in general," Manning said in a February statement.

Manning has been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize three years in a row.

Military justice mandates no minimum sentences; Manning’s sentencing phase will begin in the coming days, with new witnesses, arguments, and evidence. This important phase is expected to last much of the month of August.

Pastel Silk Ties Will Force Putin to Back Down

Puttin’ the Pressure on Putin

July 28, 2013

Editor Note: The Obama administration continues to compound the diplomatic mess around former NSA contractor Edward Snowden. The latest blunder was announcing that the U.S. wouldn’t torture or execute Snowden, a reminder to the world how far Official Washington has strayed from civilized behavior.

By Ray McGovern

The main question now on the fate of truth-teller Edward Snowden is whether Russian President Vladimir Putin will see any benefit in helping stop the United States from further embarrassing itself as it prances around the globe acting like a “pitiful, helpless giant.” That image was coined by President Richard Nixon, who insisted that the giant of America would merit those adjectives if it did not prevail in South Vietnam.

Holder promises Russia not to torture Snowden: A Shameful Day to Be a US Citizen

By Dave Lindorff


I have been deeply ashamed of my country a number of times. The Nixon Christmas bombing of Hanoi and Haiphong was one such time, when hospitals, schools and dikes were targeted. The invasion of Iraq was another. Washington’s silence over the fatal Israeli Commando raid on the Gaza Peace Flotilla--in which a 19-year-old unarmed American boy was murdered--was a third.  But I think I have never been as ashamed and disgusted as I was today reading that US Attorney General Eric Holder had sent a letter to the Russian minister of justice saying that the US would “not seek the death penalty” in its espionage case against National Security Agency whistleblower Edward Snowden, promising that even if the US later brought added charges against Snowden after obtaining him, they would not include any death penalty, and vowing that if Snowden were handed over by Russia to the US, he would “not be tortured.”


So it has come to this: That the United States has to promise (to Russia!) that it will not torture a prisoner in its control -- a US citizen at that -- and so therefore that person, Edward Snowden, has no basis for claiming that he should be “treated as a refugee or granted asylum.”


Why does Holder have to make these pathetic representations to his counterpart in Russia? 


Because Snowden has applied for asylum saying that he is at risk of turture or execution if returned to the US to face charges for leaking documents showing that the US government is massively violating the civil liberties and privacy of every American by monitoring every American’s electronic communications.


Snowden has made that claim in seeking asylum because he knows that another whistleblower, Pvt. Bradley Manning, was in fact tortured by the US for months, and held without trial in solitary confinement for over a year before being finally put on trial in a kangaroo court, where the judge is as much prosecutor as jurist, and where his guilt was declared in advance by the President of the United States -- the same president who has also already publicly declared Snowden guilty too...


For the rest of this article by DAVE LINDORFF inThisCantBeHappening!, the new independent three-time Project Censored Award-winning online alternative newspaper, please go to:www.thiscantbehappening.net/node/1888

Bradley Manning Awarded 2013 Peace Prize

http://www.uspeacememorial.org/PEACEPRIZE.htm

  AppleMark<br />

 

The Board of Directors of the US Peace Memorial Foundation voted unanimously to award its 2013 Peace Prize to Bradley Manning for conspicuous bravery, at the risk of his own freedom, above and beyond the call of duty.

 

Michael Knox, Chair of the Foundation,presented the award on July 26 at a rally at Ft. McNair, Washington, DC.  The reading of the inscription was met with great applause.  In his remarks, Knox thanked Manning forhis courage and for all that he has sacrificed for this country and the world.  The plaque was accepted by Emma Cape, Bradley Manning Support Network Campaign Organizer.

 

AppleMark<br />
AppleMark<br />

 

Many of Bradley Manning’s contributions are documented in the US Peace Registry(scroll down to his name).  In addition to receiving the 2013 Peace Prize, the US Peace Memorial Foundation’s highest honor, Bradley Manning has also been designated as a Founding Member.  He joins previous outstanding Peace Prize recipients Medea Benjamin, Noam Chomsky, Dennis Kucinich, and Cindy Sheehan.

AppleMark<br />

 

Peace Prize nominees considered this year include: American Friends Service Committee, CodePink, Courage to Resist, Lynn Elling, Daniel Ellsberg, Food Not Bombs, and Ann Wright.  You can read about the antiwar/peace activities of this year's exceptional nominees in our publication, the US Peace Registry.

 

Upon hearing of the selection, nominee Daniel Ellsberg stated, “Bradley richly deserves this award, as well as the Nobel Peace Prize for which he's also been nominated, with support of more than 100,000 Americans.  He was willing to sacrifice his freedom to bring the murderous realities of "twenty-first century asymmetric warfare" to the attention of this country and the world in a way that no one else has had the conscience or courage to do.”

 

Since 2005, the US Peace Memorial Foundation has directed a nationwide effort to recognize peace leadership by publishing the US Peace Registry, awarding an annual Peace Prize, and planning for the US Peace Memorial in Washington, DC.  These educational projects help move the U.S. toward a culture of peace as we honor the millions of thoughtful and courageous Americans who have taken a public stand against one or more U.S. wars or who have devoted their time, energy, and other resources to finding peaceful solutions to international conflicts.  We celebrate these role models in hopes of inspiring other Americans to speak out against war and for peace.  Please read "World Peace: A First Step” www.uspeacememorial.org/WorldPeace.htm for more details.

 

Please donate what you can to allow us to continue this important work.  Have your name permanently associated with peace.  Founding Members are listed on our website www.uspeacememorial.org/Donors.htm, in our publication the US Peace Registry www.uspeacememorial.org/Registry.htm, and eventually at the National Monument.

Free Bradley

 
To: 
1) Maj. Gen. Buchanan at jeffrey.s.buchanan@us.army.mil
2) Adrienne Combs, Deputy Officer Public Affairs (202) 685-2900 adrienne.m.combs.civ@mail.mil
3) Col. Michelle Martin-Hing, Public Affairs Officer (202) 685-4899 michelle.l.martinhing.mil@mail.mil
4) The Public Affairs Office fax #: 202-685-0706

Dear General Jeffery S. Buchanan and Ladies and Gentlemen:

I understand that Major General Buchanan is the Convening Authority for Bradley Manning's court martial and that the General  has the authority to decrease Manning's sentence, no matter what the judge decides. I am writing today to ask you to release Manning and reduce any sentence he is given. To do so would serve the interests of national defense and military justice, and it would also help to protect and defend the constitution of the United States as you are sworn to do.

The United States of America has more than adequate defense against attack by military force. What is threatening our great country, instead, is policy-makers who lack allegiance to the foundational and constitutional values that have made the word "America" mean something more than "nice real estate."

It is said that America cannot be the land of the free if it is not the home of the brave. Bradley Manning has exhibited the kind of intestinal fortitude that I wish I had. There are many in the military who would rather stand as pickets in dangerous territory than go against the system, no matter how dysfunctionally or even criminally misguided the system may be. Bradley Manning is a hero defender in the war some in Washington are waging against human rights, American integrity, and accountable government.

Manning's trial has not been fairly conducted from what I understand, and I have doubts about the fairness of any military tribunal (particularly when compared to the standards in place in a civilian court). Consider also these points:
•  Mr. Manning was held for nearly a year in solitary confinement, “cruel, inhuman, and degrading” punishment, according to UN special rapporteur on torture Juan Ernesto Mendez.
• President Obama has unlawfully influenced the trial with his declaration of Bradley Manning's guilt.
• The media have been denied direct access to transcripts and documents related to the trial.
• The 3 year delay before starting the court martial violated the Universal Code of Military Justice advocacy for the right to a speedy trial.
• Absolutely no one was harmed by the release of documents that exposed war crimes, unnecessary secrecy and disturbing foreign policy (indeed the source of harm was the obfuscation and classification of facts that were damning of policy, rather than damaging to security).

The system has allowed an honorable soldier, who served America in ways that few have done, to be treated as though he is a traitor and a threat to security. There is no security to be found in hiding the secrets that Mr. Manning exposed. Quite the contrary. The criminally manifested "war against terror" will reliably manufacture new enemies wherever we take it, and more with each new violation of human rights and international law. Consider the words of Sun Tzu: "There is no instance of a country having benefited from prolonged warfare."

I would argue that we already have cause for regret in the eyes of most Americans, and our stalled, debt-burdened economy is just one example of the costs of war. What is needed by the people, if we are to be a government by the people, is brave souls like Bradley Manning who can see and hear what others are hiding from us. An attack on these "eyes and ears" of America is, in my opinion, an attack on the country itself. An attack on the democratic underpinnings of the country is just as serious as any other attack. A round received amidships may cause harm and disorder, but a destroyed rudder ends the battle.

Bradley Manning is a hero who did the right thing when he revealed truth about wars that were based on lies. There are those who will make many arguments about the importance of turning thumbs down on Manning. Their main objective, I believe, is to silence other whistle blowers. They want to keep the light on US excesses dim. Perhaps they should face trial, as this is the real attack on America.

I am not optimistic that my appeal to you will win the day for Mr. Manning. I fear he will go to prison for a time, as many have before him. Nelson Mandela is an example that comes to mind.

With best wishes that you will serve true justice,

Mr. Claiborne Clark
Durham, NC

Uncle Sam Wants Your Passwords - Deal With It

In a revelation that only somebody living under a rock could possibly find surprising, the federal government wants your passwords, and the encryption on your passwords. 

You peon, how can you be so stupid as to think you have rights?

Haven't you learned anything over the past 12 years?

Obama’s Willing Executioners of the Fourth Amendment

By Norman Solomon

It’s now painfully clear that the president has put out a contract on the Fourth Amendment. And at the Capitol, the hierarchies of both parties are stuffing it into the trunks of their limousines, so each provision can be neatly fitted with cement shoes and delivered to the bottom of the Potomac.

Some other Americans are on a rescue mission. One of them, Congressman Justin Amash, began a debate on the House floor Wednesday with a vow to “defend the Fourth Amendment.” That’s really what his amendment -- requiring that surveillance be warranted -- was all about.

No argument for the Amash amendment was more trenchant than the one offered by South Carolina Republican Jeff Duncan, who simply read the Fourth Amendment aloud.

Daniel McGowan: Victimized by US Injustice

 

Daniel McGowan: Victimized by US Injustice

 

by Stephen Lendman

 

He's an environmental/animal rights activist. A previous article discussed him. He was victimized by "green scare." 

 

It refers to legal and extralegal government actions against animal liberation and environmental activists. 

 

Talk Nation Radio: Hunger Strikers and the Law vs. the Prison Industry

https://soundcloud.com/davidcnswanson/talk-nation-radio-hunger

Diana Zuniga is statewide coordinator for CURB, Californians United for a Responsible Budget: CurbPrisonSpending.org  She discusses the hunger strike in California prisons and the ongoing struggle to resist further expansion of mass incarceration, and to move our society in a healthier direction.

Total run time: 29:00

Host: David Swanson.
Producer: David Swanson.
Music by Duke Ellington.

Download or get embed code from Archive or  AudioPort or LetsTryDemocracy.

Syndicated by Pacifica Network.

Please encourage your local radio stations to carry this program every week!

Past Talk Nation Radio shows are all available free and complete at
http://davidswanson.org/talknationradio

Copperhead

Copperhead was a name for Northern Democrats opposed to the Civil War.  Now it's also the name of a remarkable new film: CopperheadTheMovie.com.  This is not the first film about a family opposed to the Civil War.  Many will probably recall the 1965 film Shenandoah starring Jimmy Stewart.  But Copperhead is the one to see.

This is a war movie that neither sanitizes war nor pornographies it.  This is a war movie set far away from the war, in upstate New York to be precise -- just as all of our wars today are far away from all 50 states.  It's an unpredictable movie, an engaging movie, a personal drama that makes the Civil War and the politics surrounding it more comprehensible than a gazillion tours of battlefields or hours of PBS specials.

We come, through this film, to understand the viewpoint of a man, and others like him, who opposed slavery but believed the cure of war to be worse than the disease.  Here was a man of principle and courage who saw better than others what war would mean, and who opposed it.  Here was someone opposing President Lincoln's assault on the Bill of Rights as he was engaged in it, not just centuries later as Lincoln's example is used to justify similar abuses.

Copperhead does a remarkable job of bringing us to understand the mindset of the copperheads, these opponents of mass-killing who found themselves accused of "aiding the enemy."  And yet I wish this film went one step further.  I wish it addressed directly the inevitable audience response that -- reasonable as the copperheads may have seemed at the time -- the war proponents were eventually proved right by the ending of slavery.

But the copperheads never claimed the war couldn't end slavery, only that slavery should be ended without war, as it had been in other countries and would go on to be in still more.  Today we have more African Americans in prisons, jails, and under the supervision of the U.S. justice system than were enslaved in the United States in 1850.  If we were to wake up tomorrow and discover that everybody was suddenly appropriately outraged by this horror, would a helpful proposal be for us to gather in some large fields and kill each other off by the hundreds of thousands?  Of course not!  What would that have to do with prison reform or with prison abolition?  And what did it have to do with slavery abolition?

Anti-slavery activists in the U.K. had already been somewhat disappointed when Parliament had chosen to compensate slave owners for the liberation of their slaves.  The slaves themselves were, of course, not compensated.  They had little but hard times ahead.  But the compensation of slave owners offered a model that might have served the United States better than bloody civil war.

During the American revolutionary war, the British had recruited slaves to fight on their side by promising them freedom.  After the war, slave owners, including George Washington, demanded their slaves back.  A British commander, General Sir Guy Carleton, refused.  Thousands of freed slaves were transported from New York to Nova Scotia to avoid their re-enslavement.  But Carleton did promise to compensate the slaves' owners, and Washington settled for that.  So, it was good enough for George Washington!

The original British abolitionists, including Thomas Clarkson, greatly influenced Americans like William Lloyd Garrison and Frederick Douglass. But few picked up on the idea of compensated emancipation, which had not originated with the abolitionists.  Elihu Burritt was an exception.  From 1856 to 1860 he promoted a plan to prevent a U.S. civil war through compensated emancipation, or the purchase and liberation of slaves by the government, following the example that the English had set in the West Indies.  Burritt traveled constantly, all over the country, speaking.  He organized a mass convention that was held in Cleveland.  He lined up prominent supporters.  He edited newsletters.  He behaved, in other words, like Clarkson and many an activist since.

And Burritt was right.  Britain had freed its slaves without a civil war or a slave rebellion on the scale that was possible.  Russia had freed its serfs without a war.  Slave owners in the U.S. South would almost certainly have preferred a pile of money to five years of hell, the deaths of loved ones, the burning and destruction of their property, and the uncompensated emancipation that followed, not to mention the century and a half of bitter resentment that followed that.  And not only the slave owners would have preferred the way of peace; it's not as if they did the killing and dying.

Obama’s Escalating War on Freedom of the Press

By Norman Solomon

The part of the First Amendment that prohibits “abridging the freedom … of the press” is now up against the wall, as the Obama administration continues to assault the kind of journalism that can expose government secrets.

Last Friday the administration got what it wanted -- an ice-cold chilling effect -- from the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals, which ruled on the case of New York Times reporter James Risen. The court “delivered a blow to investigative journalism in America by ruling that reporters have no First Amendment protection that would safeguard the confidentiality of their sources in the event of a criminal trial,” the Guardian reported.

Aafia Siddiqui: Victim of US Injustice

 

Aafia Siddiqui: Victim of US Injustice

 

by Stephen Lendman

 

She's one of thousands of US political prisoners. She's well known. She committed no crimes. She's been brutalized in captivity. Mercy isn't in America's vocabulary. Rogue states operate that way.

 

Washington's by far the worst. It reportedly agreed to Pakistan's extradition terms. Both sides will swap prisoners. 

 

Two different stories linked by one scary trend: Track and Truth: Manning and the "Other" Surveillance System

By Alfredo Lopez


The tumble of revelations and developments involving the Internet has produced a pastiche of truths that, when examined closely, show links between what might usually be considered separate news stories.

Just for Sissies: US Flaunts the Rule of Law while Demanding that other Countries Honor It

By Dave Lindorff 


Ah, the rule of law. How often we hear our government leaders angrily demand that the rest of the world adhere to this sacred stricture, most recently as it demands that countries -- even countries with which the US has signed no extradition treaty like Russia or China -- honor the US charges leveled against National Security Agency whistleblower Edward Snowden and send him to the US for trial.


US Courts Approve Indefinite Detention and Torture

 

US Courts Approve Indefinite Detention and Torture

 

by Stephen Lendman

 

America's a police state. It's ruthless. Iron fist authority rules. International law's quaint and out-of-date. US statute protections aren't worth the paper they're written on. 

 

Constitutional rights don't matter. They never did for most people. It's truer now than ever. They're null and void. Executive diktat power rules. Congress and federal courts go along. They're complicit. 

America's Surveillance Society

 

America's Surveillance Society

 

by Stephen Lendman

 

It's not new. It's longstanding. State-of-the-art technology makes it easy. It's more intrusive than ever. It's lawlessly out-of-control. 

 

On July 6, The New York Times Times headlined "In Secret, Court Vastly Broadens Powers of NSA," saying:

Aiding the Enemy: Who’s Really the ‘Enemy’ in the Bradley Manning Case?

By John Grant


We now have clarity from a full-bird colonel in judicial robes that Bradley Manning is to be charged with “aiding the enemy.” OK, not much of a surprise here. Colonel Denise Lind’s ruling seems pretty predictable.

Talk Nation Radio: John Whitehead on Our Government of Wolves

https://soundcloud.com/davidcnswanson/talk-nation-radio-john

John Whitehead discusses a recent attack by Alcohol Beverage Control agents on college students purchasing water and the larger trends toward a police state in the United States.  Learn more at http://Rutherford.org Whitehead's latest book is A Government of Wolves: The Emerging American Police State.

Total run time: 29:00

Host: David Swanson.
Producer: David Swanson.
Music by Duke Ellington.

Download or get embed code from Archive or  AudioPort or LetsTryDemocracy.

Syndicated by Pacifica Network.

Please encourage your local radio stations to carry this program every week!

Past Talk Nation Radio shows are all available free and complete at
http://davidswanson.org/talknationradio

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