NO ADVERTISING, GOVERNMENT OR CORPORATE FUNDING

  • Latest News
  • Pitch a Story
  • Work with a Journalist
  • Join the Blog Squad
  • Afghanistan
  • Africa
  • Asia
  • Baltimore
  • Canada
  • Egypt
  • Europe
  • Latin America
  • Middle East
  • Russia
  • Economy
  • Environment
  • Health Care
  • Military
  • Occupy
  • Organize This
  • Reality Asserts Itself
  • US Politics
  • The Message of MLK, Bradley Manning and the Collateral Murder Video


    Michael Ratner: Anniversary of King's "Beyond Vietnam Speech" and release of Wikileaks "Collateral Murder" video -   April 10, 13
    Members don't see ads. If you are a member, and you're seeing this appeal, click here


      Share to Twitter
    Share to Facebook


    I support the Real News Network because of their bravery, integrity, informative and educational - David Pear
    Log in and tell us why you support TRNN

    Bio

    Michael Ratner is President Emeritus of the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) in New York and Chair of the European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights in Berlin. He is currently a legal adviser to Wikileaks and Julian Assange. He and CCR brought the first case challenging the Guantanamo detentions and continue in their efforts to close Guantanamo. He taught at Yale Law School, and Columbia Law School, and was President of the National Lawyers Guild. His current books include "Hell No: Your Right to Dissent in the Twenty-First Century America," and “ Who Killed Che? How the CIA Got Away With Murder.” NOTE: Mr. Ratner speaks on his own behalf and not for any organization with which he is affiliated.

    Transcript

    The Message of MLK, Bradley Manning and the Collateral Murder VideoPAUL JAY, SENIOR EDITOR, TRNN: Welcome to The Real News Network. I'm Paul Jay in Baltimore. And welcome to this week's edition of The Ratner Report with Michael Ratner, who now joins us from New York City.

    Michael is president emeritus of the Center for Constitutional Rights. He's chair of the European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights in Berlin. He's also a board member of The Real News.

    Thanks for joining us.

    MICHAEL RATNER, PRESIDENT EMERITUS, CENTER FOR CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHTS: Good to be with you, Paul.

    JAY: So what are you focusing on this week?

    RATNER: Well, there's a lot going on, everything from the hunger strike at Guantanamo. There are lots else to talk about.

    But what was really meaningful for me this week was the anniversary of two events. One is the 46th anniversary of Martin Luther King's speech at Riverside Church called "Beyond Vietnam", in which he came out against the Vietnam War, and really much broader than that, a very important speech.

    ~~~

    MARTIN LUTHER KING JR., CIVIL RIGHTS LEADER: Now it should be incandescently clear that no one who has any concern for the integrity and life of America today can ignore the present war. If America's soul becomes totally poisoned, part of the autopsy must read vietnam.

    ~~~

    And the third anniversary, on April 5, of the "Collateral Murder" video--that's the release by WikiLeaks of a video that was given to them by Bradley Manning. It was then decrypted, or encryption was broken through, apparently, by WikiLeaks. And it's a devastating video.

    And those two documents really, even though they're some 40-some years apart, are for me two of the most important documents of our time.

    The King speech, again, given up at Riverside 46 years ago, a year to the day, April 4, before he was murdered, talks about Vietnam as a symptom of a far deeper malady. And King talks about the triplets of racism, materialism, and militarism. And he basically says, until we get rid of those, we will be marching against wars the rest of our lives, and our children will be marching against those wars as well. And it goes on in that vein. And it's one of the most moving speeches that I know. It's one that I recommend to everybody to listen to.

    So when you think about that King speech and you think about the "Collateral Murder" video some 40 years later, 42 years when it was released, 43 years later, you say to yourself, not only has nothing changed, but conceivably it's gotten worse. So here we are this week, April 5, the third anniversary of the "Collateral Murder" video.

    Now, how that came about is important and what it says is important. It came about because a young private first class, Bradley Manning, serving in Iraq as an intelligence analyst hears talk about this video. He goes and looks at the video, and he sees this incredible--what he calls incredible blood lust by American soldiers killing civilians. And there's some argument or discussion about it within his unit. And he sees that Reuters, who had two journalists killed, murdered in that video, has asked for a copy of the video, and the military has gotten back to Reuters and said, well, we can't find it, etc. Yet this video is just floating around through this intelligent analyst unit in Iraq. So after viewing the video, Bradley Manning decides to upload it to WikiLeaks.

    Like the King speech, it's one that every single one of your viewers ought to look at, because it's absolutely devastating. The story is there's a open square in Baghdad, nothing much going on. You can see from the video it's very clearly shot from the helicopter, people walking around, doing their business, no military by any appearance, just a calm scene. These two American helicopters, what Manning calls aerial gunships, with 30 millimeter cannons come across the scene, and they see these people walking around.

    And two of the people walking around are Reuters journalists. Obviously, they don't know that, but they think that they might be carrying guns or explosive devices. One, if you look at the video closely, clearly he has a camera around his shoulder. The other journalist, I don't think he had anything particularly, maybe another camera or something.

    And they ask for--and there are some other people around. And they ask for permission to engage. They get permission to engage. And then you see a video in which people are just slaughtered. It's really--the best expression that I know is shooting ducks in a barrel. They're sitting up there with clear vision, and they're just firing these 30 millimeter cannons, devastating the whole place. When you see the picture afterwards, there's this pool of blood that's got to be 50 feet across and 20 feet wide.

    And one thing we should mention is the two people killed. One is named Saeed Chmagh. He's 40 years old. He had four children. One of the best journalists in Iraq. And there's a picture that you see on the one that WikiLeaks prepared of this video of his son screaming, holding his father's picture. The other journalist is a photographer, Namir Eldeen. Namir is a 22-year-old man, a war photographer, also slaughtered, slaughtered in this.

    As I said, WikiLeaks obtained the video from Bradley Manning.

    As I said, like shooting ducks in a barrel. And they keep shooting.

    And after they kill at least eight of them, according to their own admission, from this helicopter, the language is what got Bradley Manning to say, I'm giving this video to WikiLeaks, because of what he said was blood lust. And here's what he heard. The soldiers say, or the people, the shooters say, ha-ha, I hit him,--

    ~~~

    U.S. SOLDIER: Oh, yeah. Look at that. Right through the windshield.

    ~~~

    RATNER: --or, look at these dead bastards,--

    ~~~

    U.S. SOLDIER: Oh, yeah, look at those dead bastards.

    ~~~

    RATNER: --or good shooting. And they see a guy crawling, and they know they can't just kill a guy crawling, so they just say, please, pick up a weapon so we can kill you, pick up a weapon.

    Then, after they kill these eight, a van comes along, a big van, like a moving van, and they admit in the helicopter that's watching them that they've gone to pick up the bodies. They say that to each other in these helicopters. And despite that, despite that, they ask permission to engage and shoot the van. And what happens? Can I shoot? Can I shoot, they keep saying. Let me shoot. Let us shoot.

    ~~~

    U.S. SOLDIER: --to engage.

    U.S. SOLDIER: [incompr.] pick up the wounded. Yeah, we're trying to get permission to engage.

    U.S. SOLDIER: Come on, let us shoot.

    ~~~

    RATNER: And finally they get the order, engage. And they engage, and they fire at the van.

    They then say--they look at the van afterwards. It stopped moving, obviously. They say, look at that, right through the windshield. And then, after they do that, the van is out there, all the dead people, the blood. And then they send one of the U.S. tanks or some kind of a U.S. vehicle there. And it's so strewn with bodies that the vehicle can't get through, so it drives over a body. And then the soldiers or the helicopter guys say, ha, look it, it drove over a body, and they all start to laugh.

    That's the video that people ought to see that Bradley Manning uploaded to WikiLeaks on this, the third anniversary of really the first major piece of what he would call the Bradley Manning set of documents that were released.

    What Manning said in his guilty plea, quote: the most alarming aspect of the video to me, however, was the seemingly delightful blood lust they appeared to have. And then he goes on. The dehumanized individuals were engaging. They seem not to value human life, by referring to them as, quote, "dead bastards" and congratulating each other.

    So, in addition to the Reuters journalists killed, another eight are killed, and then the father of two children in the van is killed. He was going to pick up the bodies to help rescue people. The two children are wounded. They're taken to a hospital. They aren't taken to an American hospital where they might have received better care; they're taken to an Iraqi hospital. They survive.

    I talk about this really because here you have on one hand an amazing antiwar speech and an antiwar [incompr.] not just about a particular war, with Martin Luther King, but all wars.

    ~~~

    KING: I am convinced that if we are to get on the right side of the world revolution, we as a nation must undergo a radical revolution of values. We must rapidly begin the shift from a "thing-oriented" society to a "person-oriented" society. When machines and computers, profit motives and property rights are considered more important than people, the giant triplets of racism, extreme materialism, and militarism are incapable of being conquered.

    ~~~

    And here you have, 43 years later, war carried out at its worst in Iraq, in Afghanistan, and of course now by our president, also a Nobel Prize winner like Martin Luther King, but wars all over Somalia, Yemen, and the rest of the Middle East with drones. And really we have a very, very long way to go. But if I recommend two pieces for people to read on this week or hear and listen to, it's Martin Luther King's "Beyond Vietnam" speech, and it's the third anniversary of the WikiLeaks "Collateral Murder" video.

    JAY: It's kind of a statement about the state of hypocrisy in American culture that you can have--I can't remember the number, but I think it's in the hundreds of cities that have streets named after Martin Luther King. You can have a statue erected to him in Washington. You can have volunteer days named, you know, that take place on the day commemorating him. But the same media and culture can simply accept these kinds of shootings that took place from these gunships.

    RATNER: When Manning talked about it, he said, you know, you see a lot of what he calls video porn. And that's right. They accept this, what has happened as a result of this, very little other than people being appalled. And it is an appalling video. And it is an incredible hypocrisy, that we can honor King in every city in America, including probably half the cities in Europe and otherwise, and yet so go against the fundamental things he stood for, not just about Jim Crow and ending segregation in the South, but about really ending militarism, ending racism, and ending what he calls, you know, exaggerated materialism [crosstalk]

    JAY: And include in that now what will be the jailing of Manning for revealing all of this.

    RATNER: Well, that's what I was going to say. The people who revealed this are at the end of the gun of the United States. Bradley Manning is facing life in prison. He's in a prison now. Julian Assange is in the Ecuadorian embassy. Jeremy Hammond, who also allegedly uploaded documents to WikiLeaks, he's in prison a few blocks from my house, a metropolitan correctional center. And many others of these truth-tellers have been sent to prison. These truth-tellers in my view and the publishers are heroes, but you wouldn't know it from looking at any of our media. Martin Luther King is correctly a hero, but they certainly don't listen to his message.

    JAY: Alright. Thanks for joining us, Michael.

    RATNER: Good to be with you again, Paul.

    JAY: And thank you for joining us on The Real News Network.

    End

    DISCLAIMER: Please note that transcripts for The Real News Network are typed from a recording of the program. TRNN cannot guarantee their complete accuracy.


    Comments

    Our automatic spam filter blocks comments with multiple links and multiple users using the same IP address. Please make thoughtful comments with minimal links using only one user name. If you think your comment has been mistakenly removed please email us at contact@therealnews.com

    Comments


    Latest Stories


    The Modern History of Venezuela and Popular Democracy - Edgardo Lander on RAI (9/9)
    An Asia "Pivot" Should Mean Cooperating with China to Solve the Global Environmental Crisis
    Assessing the U.S. Environmental Movement
    Intimidation and Political Interference Goes Unpunished in UAW Case
    Exclusive Investigation Uncovers How BP Uses Bribes To Do Business
    The Modern History of Venezuela, The Protests and Democracy - Edgardo Lander on RAI (8/9)
    Greek Politics 4 Years After The Financial Crisis
    CBO Report Confirms U.S. Deficit Back to Normal Level
    Israel Uses Refugees as "Currency" in Arms Trade with Africa
    Who Will Pay for Climate Change Disaster?
    Canada Shifts to Right Under Harper, Mimicking the United States
    The Savings and Loan Crisis Demonstrates the Importance of Glass-Steagall
    South African Platinum Miner's Struggle Challenges ANC Leadership
    TRNN Original Report: Manning Determined to Fight Back After Army Upholds 35- Year Sentence
    Hundredth Anniversary of the Ludlow Massacre
    The Bundy Ranch Standoff Demonstrates Values Shared by Corporations and the Far Right
    The Resegregation of American Schools
    The Modern History of Venezuela, Why Still So Much Crime? - Edgardo Lander on Reality Asserts Itself (7/9)
    What Role Has Russia Played in Eastern Ukraine?
    Can Johns Hopkins Afford to Pay A Living Wage? (2/2)
    University Sit-In Targets World's Largest Private Coal Company
    The Modern History of Venezuela and the Need for a Post-Oil Economy - Edgardo Lander on RAI (6/9)
    Can Johns Hopkins Afford to Pay A Living Wage? (1/2)
    One Percent of Environmentalists Killings Lead to Convictions
    Investigation Finds Former Ukraine President Not Responsible For Sniper Attack on Protestors
    The Modern History of Venezuela from 1973 to the Caracazo Massacre - Edgardo Lander on Reality Asserts Itself (3/9)
    Ukraine Transitional Gov't Moves Militarily To Reclaim Seized Buildings
    IPCC Report Flawed By Narrow Focus on Carbon Emissions
    The Modern History of Venezuela: The Bolivarian Revolution - Edgardo Lander on Reality Asserts Itself (5/9)
    Obama Signs Directives to Reduce the Gender Wage Gap
    Eastern Ukraine Lacks Political Representation in Kiev
    Demystifying the Role of Mitigation in the Most Recent IPCC Report
    Hypersurveillance State Won't Prevent Another Boston Marathon Bombing
    The Modern History of Venezuela from 1973 to the Caracazo Massacre - Edgardo Lander on Reality Asserts Itself (3/9)
    Univ. of Maine Faculty Reinstated After Students Protest Against Cuts
    The Modern History of Venezuela from 1908 to 1973 - Edgardo Lander on Reality Asserts Itself (2/9)
    IMF Will Address Global Inequality, Says Managing Director Christine Lagarde
    Raising Big Banks' Leverage Ratio Good, But Not Nearly Enough
    TRNN Replay: Austerity Road to 19th Century
    Has Palestinian Maneuvering Revived Peace Talks?
    Late Jackson Mayor Lumumba's Son Wins Primary to Replace His Father, Runoff Election Ahead
    Quebecers Reject PQ and Elect a Liberal Government Representing Big Business
    TRNN Debate: Decriminalization vs. Legalization
    The Beginning of the Chavez Era - Edgardo Lander on Reality Asserts Itself (4/9)
    "Off With His Head": Court Upholds Obama's Power to Kill
    Workers at Nation's Top Hospital Strike For Fair Wages
    From Exile to Radicalization in Venezuela - Edgardo Lander on Reality Asserts Itself (1/9)
    Rwanda 20 Years Later: Genocide, Western Plunder of Congo, and President Kagame
    Ukrainian Protesters in the East Demand More Autonomy From Kiev Government
    Hunger Strikers Demand President Obama Halt His Record 2 Million Deportations
    Indian Parliamentary Elections - A Primer With Vijay Prashad
    West Looks to Carve Up Ukraine & Privatize Industries Held by Kleptocrats
    Where Are Israeli-Palestinian Peace Negotiations Headed?
    The Multiple Kingdoms of Saudi Arabia (5/5)
    Do the Afghan Presidential Elections Signify Progress?
    Republican Presidential Hopefuls Pay Homage to Billionaire Casino Tycoon Sheldon Adelson
    Will Extremist Lieberman Become Israel's Next Prime Minister?
    Why do the Saudis Want the US to Attack Iran? (4/5)
    Immigrant Advocates and Families Tell President Obama 'Not One More'
    Elections, Pipelines, and Protests - The Canada Panel
    Chris Hedges on "Israel's War on American Universities"
    Baltimore Residents Decry Lack of Affordable Housing
    Yellen Talks the Talk But Will She Walk the Walk?
    Hopkins Hospital Workers Speak Out against "Poverty Wages"
    Will Venezuela's New Floating Exchange Rate Curb Inflation?
    The European Central Bank's War on Wages is Pushing Europe's Economy to the Brink
    Supreme Court Decision Opens Floodgates for More Campaign Cash
    Charles Keating, the Financier Behind the Savings and Loan Scandal, Dies at 90
    Saudi Arabia and the al-Qaeda Monster (3/5)
    Maryland Residents Voice Opposition to Natural Gas Fracking Export Facility
    Supreme Court Ruling Gives Wealthy Individuals More Influence Over Elections
    What are the Saudis Afraid Of? - Madawi Al-Rasheed (2/5)
    Baltimore's MICA Adjunct Professors Set to Vote on Unionization
    Boycott of Israel Moving to Next Level?
    Hypocrisy Dressed Up as "Realism" Justifies American Alliance with Saudi Dictatorship
    Immigration Reform in the Shadows of Cesar Chavez's Legacy
    Leaked Senate Report Shows Use of Torture As "Ineffective"
    UN Report Says Climate Change Will Threaten Food Production Worldwide
    The Hypocrisy of US Calling for Enforcement of International Law
    How the Ecuadorian Economy Grew in a Global Recession
    'Shadows of Liberty' Trailer
    Kristina Borjesson on Why CBS Shut Down Her investigation into Flight 800 (2/8)
    Glen Ford on Racism in the American Media (3/8)
    Paul Jay on What Drives Corporate Media and What Drive The Real News (4/8)
    Creating a New Media Paradigm After Citizens United (5/8)
    Should The Left Engage with the Mainstream Media? (6/8)
    What Is the Financial Backing For The Real News? (7/8)
    Standing up to Character Assassination (8/8)
    Oligarchs, Fascists and the People's Protest in Ukraine
    TRNN Debate: Is Obamacare In the Interest of Workers?
    Too-Big-To-Fail Advantage Remains Intact For Big Banks
    Obama and the Saudi Agenda
    TRNN Replay: Investigating the Saudi Government's 9/11 Connection and the Path to Disilliusionment - Sen. Graham on Reality Asserts Itself pt 1
    The Iraq War's Real Legacy
    Petitions with 100,000+ Signatures Call for Snowden's Passport to be Reinstated
    We Need to Harness People Power - Andy Shallal on Reality Asserts Itself (4/4)
    BC Pipeline Fight and Quebec Elections - The Canada Panel
    Jonathan Schell - 1943-2014: Board Member of TRNN on Why We Need The Real News
    Teachers on Strike from the UK to Argentina
    Connecticut Poised to Become First State with $10.10 Minimum Wage
    Oil Spill Threatens Wildlife and Local Economy
    DC School Test Scores Up, But Poor Black Kids Are Doing Worse - Andy Shallal on RAI (3/4)
    Obama's Proposal To End NSA Bulk Data Collection Won't Protect Privacy
    How Google, Apple & The Biggest Tech Companies Colluded to Fix Workers' Wages
    An American Should be One that Questions Their Government - Andy Shallal on RAI (2/4)
    What's Driving Putin & Obama's Posturing on Ukraine?
    Hundreds of Students & Faculty Occupy College Campus to Fight Cuts to Public Higher Ed
    Due Process 'Impossible' In Harsh Death Sentencing Of Over 500 Muslim Brotherhood Members
    Has Anglo-American Capitalism Run Out of Steam?
    Being the "Other" in America - Andy Shallal on Reality Asserts Itself (1/4)
    TRNN Debate: Should Baltimore 'Ban The Box'?
    How Fallujah Became the Iraqi Government's New Battleground
    Why I Decided to Blow the Whistle on the NSA
    NASA Climate Predictions Show Serious Threat To Humanity
    Professor Who Teaches Israel-Palestine Conflict Accuses College of Violating His Academic Freedom
    CIA and NSA Wrongdoing Requires Independent Investigation, Says Former Church Committee Staff
    Are Tuition Breaks Enough To Combat High Student Debt And Low Graduation Rates?
    Industries Across the U.S. Are Stealing Wages From Their Lowest Paid Workers
    Who In Ukraine Will Benefit From An IMF Bailout?
    NSA Recording All International Calls From U.S.
    Israel "Making Lives Miserable" for Africans, Hoping They 'Self-Deport' (2/2)
    BP Gets Green Light to Drill in Gulf, But Has Safety Improved?
    Residents Still Not Drinking Tap Water Two Months After West Virginia Spill (1/2)
    Libya's Descent Into Turmoil Three Years After NATO Intervention
    From Pipelines to Peladeau - Canadian Report
    Israel "Making Lives Miserable" for Africans, Hoping They 'Self-Deport' (1/2)
    Congressional Progressive Caucus Budget Strikes Back Against Austerity
    Libya Three Years Later - Chaos and Partition
    Why Was Gaddafi Overthrown?
    Should Ukraine and West Accept De Facto Crimea Joining Russia? (2/2)
    Tony Benn Saw Socialism as the Culmination of Democratization
    Why Didn't Bush/Cheney Attack Iran and Can Obama Make and Sell a Deal? - Gareth Porter on Reality Asserts Itself (3/3)
    After Late Mayor Lumumba is Laid to Rest, What's Next for Jackson, Mississippi? (2/2)
    Crimea Referendum: Self Determination or Big Power Manipulation? (1/2)
    Sen. Graham: President Must Side with Openness About CIA and 9/11
    Manufacturing a Narrative for War - Gareth Porter on Reality Asserts Itself (2/3)
    Protesters Hit the Streets of Brooklyn to Demand $15 Minimum Wage
    Hammer: 'Moral Bankruptcy' Behind Massive GM Recall
    White House Withholds Thousands of Documents from Senate CIA Probe
    I Grew Up Believing in Time Magazine's Version of America - Gareth Porter on RAI (1/3)
    Western European Banks Vulnerable to Ukrainian Sovereign Debt Crisis
    TRNN Debate: What's Driving Inflation in Venezuela? (2/2)
    CIA vs. Senate: Who Is Obama Protecting?
    Will Tipped Workers Get Excluded Again From Minimum Wage Hike?
    TRNN Debate: What's Driving Inflation in Venezuela? (1/2)
    After Late Mayor Lumumba is Laid to Rest, What's Next for Jackson, Mississippi?(1/2)
    TRNN Replay: A Look at Who's Poised to Become No.2 at the Fed
    How Right-Wing Nationalism Rose to Influence in Ukraine (2/2)
    Netanyahu Attacks Boycott As Campaign Enters New Phase
    Moving Towards a Police State - Michael Ratner on Reality Asserts Itself (7/7)
    Fighting Reagan's Secret, Illegal Wars - Michael Ratner on Reality Asserts Itself (6/7)
    Puerto Rican Independence Movement and Cuba Further Radicalized Me - Michael Ratner on RAI (5/7)
    The Butcher of Attica - Michael Ratner on Reality Asserts Itself (4/7)
    MLK and a Radicalizing Moment in American History - Michael Ratner on Reality Asserts Itself (3/7)

    RealNewsNetwork.com, Real News Network, Real News, Real News For Real People, IWT are trademarks and service marks of IWT.TV inc. "The Real News" is the flagship show of IWT and Real News Network.

    All original content on this site is copyright of The Real News Network.  Click here for more

    Problems with this site? Please let us know

    Linux VPS Hosting by Star Dot Hosting