Bradley Manning to Spend 90 Years in Federal Prison

Bradley Manning

The judge agreed to combine some of Bradley Manning’s charges, and reduced his possible 136 year sentence to 90 years in a federal prison.  That’s a relief, anyone can do 90 years!  How many years did those who committed the war crimes he exposed receive?  The answer is a big, fat, ZERO.

Anyone who served in the United States Military took an oath.  It was carefully explained to us that breaking that oath would result in severe penalties.  Manning had the same information but believed that exposing war crimes was his moral obligation.

Comparisons must be made between the United States and the conquering monarchs of ancient times.  Imperialism was a way of life.  Defeating other nations and taking their treasures, property, and women were the goals of the ruling class.  One other reason for waging war was as hypocritical as the United States’ invasion of Iraq; wars based on religious crusades.

There were only a few winners in a war.  The nobles became wealthier, and increased their land and possessed more slaves.  The soldiers who died or were maimed, and the innocent peasants who were slaughtered or placed in servitude lost everything.

There are no winners in a war today.  However, wars continue to be waged by the leaders of countries.  Soldiers who actually fight wars continue to come from their nation’s poorest.  The few who do profit from war are those who invest in military products.  During the Iraq invasion, Woolfowitz and Cheney were heavily invested in the military industrial complex and became even more wealthy.

All wars produce war criminals.  Few are ever punished, and some become wealthy and famous, and are revered by their citizens.  The bottom line is that the rich and powerful never pay.

Bradley Manning will be in prison until he is a very old man, or until he dies.  Is he the criminal our government is attempting to create?

The answer is a definite no.  A great country would thank a man who had the courage to expose criminal acts by its military under the orders of their commanders.  A great country would not invade a sovereign country under false pretenses.  A great country would not portray a young man who had a moral responsibility to simply do the right thing as a villain, a traitor.

Loyalty oaths to governments are a mistake.  When the oath is taken, it is made to sound as if the individual is swearing loyalty to his or her country.  The truth is, they’re swearing to protect the actions of their commanding officers who represent the government, whether they be right or wrong.

If he lives long enough, the scapegoat, Bradley Manning, will serve 90 years in a federal prison.

James Turnage

Op-ed

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