WikiLeaks' New Release: The Kissinger Cables and Bradley Manning
By Amy Goodman, Truthdig, April 10, 2013 WikiLeaks has released a new trove of documents, more than 1.7 million U.S. State Department cables dating from 1973-1976, which they have dubbed “The Kissinger Cables,” after Henry Kissinger, who in those years served as secretary of state and assistant to the president for national security affairs.
One cable includes a transcribed conversation where Kissinger displays remarkable candor: “Before the Freedom of Information Act, I used to say at meetings, ‘The illegal we do immediately; the unconstitutional takes a little longer.’ [laughter] But since the Freedom of Information Act, I’m afraid to say things like that.”
While the illegal and the unconstitutional may be a laughing matter for Kissinger, who turns 90 next month, it is deadly serious for Pvt. Bradley Manning. After close to three years in prison, at least eight months of which in conditions described by U.N. special rapporteur on torture Juan Ernesto Mendez as “cruel, inhuman and degrading,” Manning recently addressed the court at Fort Meade: “I believed that if the general public, especially the American public, had access to the information … this could spark a domestic debate on the role of the military and our foreign policy in general, as well as it related to Iraq and Afghanistan.”
He testified about the helicopter gunship video that he released to WikiLeaks, which was later made public under the title “Collateral Murder.” In stark, grainy black-and-white, it shows the gunship kill 12 men in Baghdad on July 12, 2007, with audio of the helicopter crew mocking the victims, celebrating the senseless murder of the people below, two of whom were employees of the Reuters news agency.
Manning said: “The most alarming aspect of the video to me, however, was the seemingly delightful bloodlust of the aerial weapons team. They dehumanized the individuals they were engaging and seemed to not value human life by referring to them as 'dead bastards,’ and congratulating each other on the ability to kill in large numbers.”
Reuters had sought the video through a Freedom of Information request, but had been denied. So Manning delivered the video, along with hundreds of thousands of other classified electronic documents, through the anonymous, secure online submission procedure developed by WikiLeaks. Manning made the largest leak of classified documents in U.S. history, and changed the world.
The WikiLeaks team gathered at a rented house in Reykjavik, Iceland, to prepare the video for public release. Among those working was Birgitta Jonsdottir, a member of the Icelandic parliament. She told me: “When I saw the video in February 2010, I was profoundly moved. I was moved to tears, like many people that watch it. But at the same time, I understood its significance and how it might be able to change our world and make it better.”
Jonsdottir co-founded the Icelandic Pirate Party, a genuine political party springing up in many, mostly European countries. A lifelong activist, she calls herself a “pixel pirate.”
The “Collateral Murder” video created a firestorm of press attention when it was first released. One of the soldiers on the ground was Ethan McCord, who rushed to the scene of the slaughter and helped save two children who had been injured in the attack. He suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder. He recently penned a letter of support for Bradley Manning, writing: “The video released by WikiLeaks belongs in the public record. Covering up this incident is a matter deserving of criminal inquiry. Whoever revealed it is an American hero in my book.”
In the three years since “Collateral Murder” was released in April 2010, WikiLeaks has come under tremendous pressure. Manning faces life in prison or possibly even the death penalty. WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange spent a year and a half under house arrest in Britain, until he sought refuge in the Ecuadorean Embassy in London, where he has remained since June 2012, fighting extradition to Sweden. He fears Sweden could then extradite him to the United States, where a secret grand jury may have already issued a sealed indictment against him. Private details from Jonsdottir’s Twitter and four other online accounts have been handed over to U.S. authorities.
WikiLeaks’ latest release, which includes documents already declassified but very difficult to search and obtain, is a testament to the ongoing need for WikiLeaks and similar groups. The revealed documents have sparked controversies around the world, even though they relate to the 1970s. If we had a uniform standard of justice, Nobel laureate Henry Kissinger would be the one on trial, and Bradley Manning would win the Nobel Peace Prize.
These poems were written in response to the Wikileaks video, ‘Collateral Murder,’ which showed an Apache helicopter in Iraq opening fire on civilians, including two Iraqi journalists. This pamphlet explores the paths of war, love, trauma, desire, wanting, distance, and memories through the voices of a U.S. soldier and the lover he leaves behind.
Mai'a Williams has worked as a writer and human rights worker in Mexico, Egypt, Palestine, and east Africa.
She asks us, through this work, who are the monsters in this world and what becomes of them when they finally arrive home.
in a town too small for a walmart papa couldn’t figure out how to stop the earth long enough for him to inhale never blowing out
i didn’t tell my girl of my old man screeching at the light the air, thick like saliva, the houseflies tracing the last rites on his forehead
i wore a white suit and bare feet mama slipped them into papa’s shoes we sat in the black limo as it meandered to the church yard, his body hung in a box in red dirt surrounded by bloodless thorns
i shrugged at my fate and picked up a gun a living hero, reincarnating the dead
had a black girl two towns over fumbling naked in cars across from the church parking lot under a white cross for six months and then i left her for the desert
bushmaster element once you get on him, just open on him light 'em all up you shoot i’ll talk crazy horse dead bastards wounded trying to crawl away all you got to do is pick up a weapon
funny what you see at night after hours looking through the target point of an apache helicopter.
a white cross floating on the bathroom floor
‘i can’t afford to keep calling you.’ at least she had the courtesy
Share: Upcoming Twitterstorm for imprisoned Pirate Bay co-founder (01/07/14)
We would like to draw your attention to the unjust treatment of Gottfrid Svartholm Warg — co-founder of The Pirate Bay — who currently being held in a prison near Copenhagen, Denmark. We ask that you join us for a Twitterstorm on Tuesday, Jan. 7th to rally support for Warg.
Warg, a.k.a. “anakata” (all lowercase), is also a known associate of WikiLeaks and credited with aiding in the decryption of “Collateral Murder,” the video leaked by Private Manning which shows the slaughter of unarmed journalists by American forces.
According to anakata’s attorney, he has been held in isolation at times inside the Danish prison. This was not ordered by any judge, but imposed by prison services, who cited a law used to punish violent offenders and terrorists. anakata is still being denied mail and reading materials. He is only permitted 1 hour visits with his mother each week, and only under strict supervision.
We find the conditions in which anakata is being held totally unacceptable. He is not a terrorist, nor is he a violent in any way.
Our request is only that anakata be treated fairly and humanely. We ask that he be given access to reading and educational material; that he be allowed to read his mail; and that he be allowed to receive other visitors, without their conversation being observed by prison employees.
It is also important for the public to understand the political motivations behind anakata’s imprisonment. He poses a threat to those who maintain control through international copyright enforcement, intelligence collection and the disruption of the free press. Please join us as we speak out against his unjust treatment and let the world know that anakata is, in fact, a political prisoner.
Date & Time:
Tuesday, January 7th, 2014 12PM PST / 3PM EST / 8PM GMT
Instructions will be delivered on @YourAnonNews and @free_anakata one hour before the Twitterstorm.