Statement from the 50 people who have gathered outside the USA Embassy, Reykjavik, Iceland 17th of December 2011 to show Bradley Manning solidarity on his 24th Birthday delivered to the USA Ambassador to Iceland.
Today marks the second birthday Private Bradley Manning spends in jail. He is accused of having leaked secret documents to WikiLeaks of unprecedented proportions exposing serious war crimes and how the general population in the USA and around the world have been lied to in relation to the war waged in their name.
It is obvious that Manning will not get a fair trial. The USA president Mr Obama has prior to Manning even being brought to court claimed he was guilty. Obama also said that Manning could not go unpunished the way Ellsberg, the man who leaked the Pentagon Papers, once did, because the two cases are too different. Ellsberg, who sees Manning as following in his footsteps, cannot accept this assessment. He only agrees with the president on one point: Manning disclosed secret information, he says, but "all of the pages that I released were top secret."
The US government celebrated the release of the 'Pentagon Papers' on the Vietnam War as a sign of its openness. The truth, however, is that President Barack Obama has taken a much tougher line on whistleblowers than his predecessors. It is though timely to remind him that blowing the whistle on war crimes is not a crime.
The USA Army has come under fire for keeping Manning under detention for 18 months without trial, as well as the conditions of his detention. Since his confinement, Manning has become a symbol of free speech. We second the demands of the Bradley Manning Support Network whom have pushed for his release and the dropping of all charges against him.