Berkeley City Council to vote tonight on whether to declare Bradley Manning a hero - Includes the resolution
Berkeley City Council to vote tonight on whether to declare Bradley Manning a “hero”
As you might have heard, the Berkeley City Council will vote tonight on to “Adopt a Resolution to support and free Pfc. Bradley Manning and proclaim him a hero”. Here are some of details from the Berkeley City Council website.
Support and Free Pfc. Bradley Manning and Proclaim Him a Hero
From: Peace and Justice Commission
Recommendation: Adopt a Resolution to support and free Pfc. Bradley Manning and proclaim him a hero.
Financial Implications: None
Contact: Eric Brenman, Commission Secretary
Excerpts from “Adopt a Resolution to support and free Pfc. Bradley Manning and proclaim him a hero” from the Berkeley “Peace and Justice Commission”.
The votes from the Berkeley Peace and Justice Commission:
Ayes: Abdul-khabir; Bohn; Kenin; Lippman; Marley; Meola; Sorgen
Noes: Litman; Maran; Rabkin; Siegel
Absent: Nicely (excused); Sherman
Pfc. Bradley Manning has been accused of leaking the “Collateral Murder” video documenting a July 12, 2007 apache helicopter attack in Baghdad resulting in the killing of eleven Iraqi civilians and Reuters press personnel as well as wounding at least two children. Pfc. Manning is currently held in military confinement and faces a possible 52 year prison sentence if convicted of doing so and is also a “person of interest” in the investigation of the release of the “Afghan War Diary” documents, also referred to as the “Pentagon Papers II.”
Rationale for recommendation:
The Peace and Justice Commission, consistent with its mandate to promote peace and justice, locally, nationally and internationally, views the military’s treatment of Pfc. Manning as unwarranted and unjust. Consistent with the City’s longstanding policy in support of peace, the City Council of the City of Berkeley is urged to take a position to support the release from military confinement of Pfc. Manning and to proclaim him a hero.
SUPPORT AND FREE PFC. BRADLEY MANNING AND PROCLAIM HIM A HERO WHEREAS, the Peace and Justice Commission advises the City Council on all matters relating to the City of Berkeley’s role in issues of peace and social justice (Berkeley Municipal Code (BMC) Chapter 3.69.070); and
WHEREAS, the “Collateral Murder” video of a massacre in Baghdad, Iraq, in 2007, released by Wikileaks, in April, 2010, shows a United States Army Helicopter attack that killed eleven civilians, including two Reuters journalists, and wounded two children; and
WHEREAS, the release of this video harmed no one and is information the people of the world, and especially American citizens, are entitled to know; and
WHEREAS, the United States Army covered up the evidence and declared this war crime “justified” and now claims that exposing the massacre is criminal; and
WHEREAS, blowing the whistle on war crimes is not a crime; and
WHEREAS, Wikileaks subsequently released 92,000 documents that reveal years of whitewashing of the war in Afghanistan, by the United States, and that the United States systematically covered up civilian casualties, evidence of corruption, including the funding of the Afghan Taliban by the ISI, Pakistan’s military intelligence unit, and successful attacks by the Taliban and the significance of those attacks; and
WHEREAS, the illegal wars waged by the United States in Iraq and Afghanistan and Pakistan have cost the lives of thousands of U.S. military personnel, the lives of unknown numbers [likely over a million] of people in Iraq and Afghanistan, and squandered U.S. treasure, in vain, that could have been used for human needs in Berkeley and across our nation; and
WHEREAS, in 1998, thirty years after the My Lai Massacre, former Warrant Officer Hugh C. Thompson, Jr. [who retired from the United States Army as a major in 1983] and his comrades in arms, Specialist Glenn Andreotta and Specialist Lawrence Colburn [the heroes of My Lai, who stopped the continuation of the My Lai Massacre on March 16, 1968] were awarded [Andreotta, posthumously] the Soldiers Medal, the United States Army’s highest award for bravery not involving direct contact with the enemy; and at the 1998 Soldiers Medal award ceremony, Army Major General Michael Ackerman said, “It was the ability to do the right thing even at the risk of their personal safety that guided these soldiers to do what they did,” and that the three, “set the standard for all soldiers to follow”; and
WHEREAS, 22 year old, Pfc. Bradley Manning has been accused of leaking the “Collateral Murder” video and faces a possible 52 year prison sentence if convicted of doing so; and is a “person of interest” in the investigation of the release of the “Afghan War Diary” documents, also referred to as “Pentagon Papers II”; and
WHEREAS, months ago, Daniel Ellsberg, the Pentagon Papers whistleblower, and Advisory Board Member of the Bradley Manning Support Network, said, “From what I know of [Pfc. Bradley] Manning, he’s a new hero of mine” and then on September 16, 2010, at the Humanist Hall in Oakland at the benefit for Bradley Manning during the International Days of Action for Bradley Manning (September 16th through 19th), Daniel Ellsberg said, “We’re honoring an American Hero.”; and
WHEREAS, in her article of September 19, 2010 entitled “Bradley Manning: An American Hero,” Marjorie Cohn, professor of International Human Rights Law at Thomas Jefferson School of Law, concluded by writing, “…if Manning did what he is suspected of doing, he should be honored as an American hero for exposing war crimes and hopefully, ultimately, helping to end this war.”;
NOW THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Council of the City of Berkeley urges the United States Army to free Pfc. Bradley Manning from confinement in the military brig, where he is being held at Quantico, Virginia, and to drop all charges against him.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Council of the City of Berkeley proclaims that if Pfc. Bradley Manning is the source who provided Wikileaks with the “Collateral Murder” video and/or the 92,000 documents known as “The Afghan War Diary” that he is a hero and we thank him for his courage in bringing the truth to the American people and the people of the world.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Council of the City of Berkeley send copies of this resolution to President Barack Obama, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, Senator Barbara Boxer, Senator Dianne Feinstein, Congresswoman Barbara Lee, Secretary of Defense, Robert M. Gates, and Secretary of the Army, John McHugh. A record signature copy of said Resolution to be on file in the Office of the City Clerk.
Note: Peace and Justice commissioner, Thyme Siegel, is on record as having said “considering what we have all heard about the Taliban, I think it’s highly likely someone’s been murdered over these leaks…” Thyme Siegel voted no on the recommendation.