Coombs, Bradley, Amnesty Appeal for Presidential Pardon
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Petition here : https://petitions.whitehouse.gov/petition/restore-united-states%E2%80%99-human-rights-record-and-grant-clemency-pvt-bradley-manning/L7zHZv4r
Outrageously sentenced to 35 years in prison:
Campaign for presidential pardon begins
The White House petition to pardon Bradley Manning requires 100k signatures in the next 30 days! Please sign and share!
Outrageously, Bradley Manning was sentenced today to 35 years in prison - a sentence meant to carry a chilling message to anyone considering future exposures of government illegalities. Bradley's lawyer David Coombs held a press conference immediately following the announcement where he shared a profound letter written by Bradley Manning which will be delivered to the White House asking for a presidential pardon. He also recounted that when faced with the sentence, Bradley Manning spoke with integrity and composure: “I'm going to get through this” he said.
In response to this travesty of justice, Amnesty International and the Bradley Manning Support Network launched a White House petition today calling for Bradley Manning's sentence to be commuted to time served. We must accumulate 100,000 signatures in the next month. Please share this petition widely!
Sign the petition.
Coinciding with the campaign to pardon Bradley Manning, a new website has been launched inviting people to show their support by submitting a photo holding a “Pardon Bradley Manning” sign, along with a personal message. View photos and submit your own here.
Lawyer David Coombs reads powerful letter by Bradley Manning
View the press conference on YouTube
This profound statement by Bradley Manning was read by David Coombs at the press conference:
Supporters holding emergency rally at the White House after the sentence was announced. Pardon Bradley Manning!
The decisions that I made in 2010 were made out of the concern for my country and the world that we live in. Since the tragic events of 9/11, our country has been at war. We have been at war with an enemy that chooses not to meet us on a traditional battlefield. Due to this fact, we've had to alter our methods of combatting the risk posed to us and our way of life.
I initially agreed with these methods and chose to volunteer to help defend our country. It was not until I was in Iraq and reading secret military reports on a daily basis that I started to question the morality of what we were doing. It was at this time that I realized that our efforts to meet the risk posed to us by the enemy, we had forgotten our humanity. We consciously elected to devalue life both in Iraq and Afghanistan. When we engaged those that we perceived were the enemy, we sometimes killed innocent civilians. Whenever we killed innocent civilians, instead of accepting responsibility for our conduct, we elected to hide behind the veil of national security and classified information in order to avoid any public accountability.
In our zeal to kill the enemy, we internally debated the definition of torture. We held individuals at Guantanamo for years without due process. We inexplicably turned a blind eye to torture and executions by the Iraqi government. And we stomached countless other acts in the name of our war on terror.
President Obama: Pardon Bradley Manning!
Patriotism is often the cry extolled when morally questionable acts are advocated by those in power. When these cries of patriotism drown any logically based dissension, it is usually an American soldier that is given the order to carry out some ill-conceived mission. Our nation has had similar dark moments for the virtues of democracy—the Trail of Tears, the Dred Scott decision, McCarthyism and the Japanese-American internment camps—to mention a few. I am confident that many of the actions since 9/11 will one day be viewed in a similar light. As the late Howard Zinn once said, there is not a flag large enough to cover the shame of killing innocent people.
I understand that my actions violated the law. I regret that my actions hurt anyone or harmed the United States. It was never my intent to hurt anyone. I only wanted to help people. When I chose to disclose classified information, I did so out of a love for my country and my sense of duty to others.
If you deny my request for a pardon, I will serve my request knowing that some time you have to pay a heavy price to live in a free society. I will gladly pay that price if it means we could have a country that is truly conceived in liberty and dedicated to the proposition that all women and men are created equal.”
Bradley's family also responded to the sentence through David Coombs:
"We are saddened and disappointed in today's sentence. We continue to believe that Brad's intentions were good, and that he believed he was acting in the best interests of his country.
We would again like to thank his extraordinary defense team for their tireless efforts on his behalf, and of course we want to thank Courage to Resist and the Bradley Manning Support Network and the thousands of supporters around the world who have stood with Brad throughout this ordeal.
Please know that his fight is not over."
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