by: Omid Safi on August 8th, 2013 | 1 Comment »
The word martyr is used too loosely these days. Manning is a martyr, one who heroically revealed crimes of the American military without trying to use that information for personal gain or fame. Now, Manning will pay for this act of conscience with years of life in prison.
Manning revealed to WikiLeaks evidence of American military brutality in Iraq, in Afghanistan, and in Guantanamo Bay. Perhaps most famous was the American helicopter attack on July 12, 2007, in Baghdad that made WikiLeaks significant.
What a sad reflection on the moral state of our country, what a pathetic way to divert attention from the fact that the real criminals in this case are the war criminals in the U.S. government and U.S. military who have inflicted tens of thousands of casualties on civilian populations in Iraq, in Afghanistan, in Pakistan, in Yemen, and elsewhere.
We may never know the full extent of civilian loss of life. In Iraq alone, the documented civilian casualty is over 100,000. That of course is not including the crippling sanctions that spanned the two wars on Iraq, the ones that already had claimed over 500,000 Iraqi children’s lives by Madeline Albright’s own admission on 60 Minutes.