Dear Mr. President,
At last Pfc. Bradley Manning is out of the maximum security Marine brig in Quantico although no reports yet about the conditions under which he’s being held at Fort Leavenworth. His sudden transfer last week caught everyone by surprise; his attorney first learned of it by reading an AP dispatch which came from someone who leaked the information. I’m sure you’ll look into that since leaking is a criminal offense according to you. Thursday, in a fundraiser in San Francisco, you said, "If I was to release stuff, information that I'm not authorized to release, I'm breaking the law. We're a nation of laws. We don't individually make our own decisions about how the laws operate... He broke the law." Well, excuse me, Mr. President, but so did Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz, Libby and many others, but none of them spent a single night in prison and every one of them did far more harm than Bradley Manning. They started wars based on lies, sanctioned torture, were responsible for tens of thousands of deaths, for hundreds of thousands of broken lives and for hatred that will reverberate for generations. When someone at that fundraiser compared Manning to Daniel Ellsberg you said, "It wasn't the same thing, What Ellsberg released wasn't classified in the same way." Once again, I beg to differ. The Pentagon Papers were classified “Top Secret – Sensitive,” not an official designation, but one which means they could be very embarrassing if they were made public. I think you’re adhering to lawlerly distinctions here, the letter of the law and not the spirit of the law. Both Manning and Ellsberg acted out of moral conscience in the face of an immoral and unjustified war based on lies and deceit. And your statement that Manning is guilty sends a chill right through me. He hasn’t had a trial, hasn’t been convicted, hasn’t even had a pretrial hearing and you pronounced him guilty? If that’s your idea of justice and the rule of law, then we’re in deep trouble. Maybe under Qaddafi, Mubarek and Saleh that’s how it works, but the last I heard, not the way it’s supposed to work in a democracy. What did prompt the military to finally move Manning? Too much political pressure? Too much bad publicity? Judging from your statements and actions I doubt it came from you. And that’s a real shame Mr. President, for it shows a lack of integrity and compassion, a lack of common humanity and the ability to distinguish right from wrong. What I’ve come to expect from you.