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
  • International Law Requried Manning to be a Whistleblower


    Vijay Prashad: Obama Admin pursuit of Manning probably illegal under international law -   August 24, 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

    Vijay Prashad is the Edward Said Chair at the American University of Beirut. He is the author of sixteen books, including The Poorer Nations: A Possible History of the Global South (Verso, 2013), Arab Spring, Libyan Winter (AK, 2012) and (co-edited with Paul Amar) Dispatches from the Arab Spring (2013). He writes regularly for The Hindu, Frontline, Jadaliyya, Counterpunch, Himal and Bol.

    Transcript

    International Law Requried Manning to be a WhistleblowerJESSICA DESVARIEUX, TRNN PRODUCER: Welcome to The Real News Network. I'm Jessica Desvarieux in Baltimore.

    On Wednesday, Bradley Manning was sentenced to 35 years in prison for releasing 700,000 documents related to U.S. diplomacy and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

    Now joining us to get right into it is Vijay Prashad. Vijay is going to be the Edward Said Chair at American University in Beirut this year. And he's the author of many books, including The Poorer Nations: A Possible History of the Global South. And he writes regularly for The Hindu, CounterPunch, and Frontline magazine, where he has an essay on Bradley Manning's trial.

    Thanks for joining us, Vijay.

    VIJAY PRASHAD, PROF. INTERNATIONAL STUDIES, TRINITY COLLEGE: Pleasure.

    DESVARIEUX: So, Vijay, let's just get right into it. What was your reaction to the sentence?

    PRASHAD: It's 35 years. It's less than the 90 years that the prosecution wanted. It's a lot more than the zero years that Bradley Manning should have received.

    But let's put these 35 years in context. A few years ago, a former CIA analyst, John Kiriakou, was sentenced to what was at that time the longest sentence for a whistleblower. And Mr. Kiriakou got two and a half years as his sentence. So that's the first thing that we should recognize, that this is by far the longest sentence handed down to a whistleblower in U.S. history, much longer than the two and a half years which was the previous sentence.

    You know, the other quite stunning thing is simultaneously with Bradley Manning's, you know, sentencing period, also the trial, has been the sentencing period of another case, another U.S. military person, Sergeant Robert Bales, who in 2012 went on a so-called rampage in Afghanistan and killed at least 16 Afghan civilians in cold blood. And it is likely that Sergeant Robert Bales will receive ten years in prison. So if you just take the 30 years in context, it's a lot longer than the previous whistleblower sentence of two and a half years, and it might be even longer than the sentence handed down to a sergeant who killed 16 people in cold blood. Mr. Manning, as far as we know, has killed nobody.

    DESVARIEUX: Okay. You mention the length of the sentence, but some are even criticizing just him going to jail for exposing war crimes. And if you compare that to those that were--ordered the use of torture, like Bush and Cheney, and how they haven't even faced prosecution, what do you make of that argument?

    PRASHAD: Well, that's the fundamental argument. I mean, the question of whether Mr. Manning is--you know, did break any laws or not. It should be said that this judge understood that the government case was excessive. In other words, she threw out the charge that he was aiding and abetting the enemy, an absurd charge on the face of it.

    I mean, the United States has extremely weak whistleblower protections. So, you know, let's put it this way. It's not a surprise that Bradley Manning was found, you know, guilty and has been given such a hefty sentence in terms of U.S. law.

    I think it's outrageous in terms of international law. It's outrageous in the face of, you know, the reason why Mr. Manning felt beholden to release this information. And that comes to at least two war crimes for which he had seen evidence, one the Apache helicopter shooting in 2007 in Baghdad, in Iraq, and the second one in Granai in Afghanistan, I think, in 2009. These two direct video depictions of war crime, what he thought were war crimes, you know, were not being taken seriously by the chain of command. That is the reason why Bradley Manning decided to release this information.

    So in terms of international law, Mr. Manning should be celebrated as a hero. He should spend no time in addition to the three years that he's spent, including the 112 days that the judge says that he should be spared from because of ill-treatment in Quantico. He should be released forthwith. And he should be celebrated.

    But because there are no real whistleblower protections in the United States, Mr. Manning, it was inevitable, was going to face a long sentence.

    And, you know, the game, obviously, is not up. So we shall see what happens next. But there is no sign that there'll be any reduction of his sentence either by his superiors in Washington, D.C., or indeed by the Court of Criminal Appeals, which is the final board of the military as far as this case is concerned.

    DESVARIEUX: And we should also note that Manning will have to serve a third of his term before he's even eligible for parole, a third of his sentence.

    Let's switch gears a little bit, Vijay, and let's talk about the mainstream media. How do you feel they covered the Manning trial and this entire case? And what do you feel was missing from the mainstream press?

    PRASHAD: Well, the first thing, I think, to pay attention to is that the mainstream media gives a wide latitude to the managers of the U.S. system vis-à-vis questions of legality and illegality, particularly on the terms of warfare. So when the Iraq War was being considered openly in the United States, the press was very reticent to ask questions. You know, in fact, many of the important newspapers in particular and the TV channels certainly became cheerleaders for the war. You know, people forget that The New York Times, whose editorial board so frequently likes to appear, you know, as if it is on the mountain of Olympus, you know, passing judgment on the world, was at the same time the paymaster of Judy Miller, who was one of the lead reporters to waive the red flag in front of the American or at least the George Bush-led bull. So in that sense, the media has never been good on warfare in general.

    In the terms of the illegality of the war in general, that is, the illegality of the Iraq War, which is in a sense a crime against peace, that was never raised by the media. When war crimes were revealed, spectacularly in Abu Ghraib, you know, many, many instances of violence against civilians, bombings by aircraft at civilian neighborhoods, even the killing of journalists, as the killing of the Al Jazeera reporter during the war, you know, when his building was targeted, you know, these incidents also did not raise the ire of the American media. And, in fact, when a senior CNN producer at Davos, Switzerland, raised the question of targeting of journalists by American forces, he was forced, you know, by CNN and by pressure on CNN to resign.

    So there has never been a good context for the American media as far as warfare and illegality is concerned. It's very difficult, therefore, to expect that at this late stage the American media would cover the Manning trial, would cover the verdict, would cover the sentencing with anything but the same kind of disregard for international law and disregard for the basic rights and sort of well-being of the world's citizens.

    DESVARIEUX: Alright. Thank you so much for joining us, Vijay.

    PRASHAD: My pleasure.

    DESVARIEUX: 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


    12-Hour Truce In Gaza, Protests in the West Bank
    Al-Aqsa Brigades Open Fire on Israeli Forces at the Qalandia Checkpoint.
    From Palestine to Baltimore, Protesters Demand an End to Bloody Gaza Assault
    Israel Boycott Gains Traction As Gaza Assault Continues
    No Safe Place in Gaza: How Silence Encouraged a Genocide
    Detroit Water Shutoffs on Pause, but Is It Enough?
    Obamacare Subsides on the Line
    TRNN Gaza Reporter's Family Killed in Israeli Assault
    Is Israeli Public Opinion Turning after 700 Palestinian Deaths?
    Big Oil and the Nigerian Frankenstein
    Developing Countries' Commitment to Multilateralism in WTO a Stumbling Block for Lead Firms? - Faizel Ismail (3/3)
    Israeli Human Rights Spokesperson: Attacks on Civilians Unjustifiable
    What Is Shaping Global Production and US & EU Trade Policy? - Faizel Ismail (2/3)
    US Courts Defend Rights of Vulture Funds Over Argentina
    Police Brutality and the Failure of Liberal Democrats
    "We Are Going through Hell" - Report from Gaza
    Lack of International Pressure Permits Endless Assault on Gaza
    What is the Doha Round and How Many Livelihoods Hang in the Balance? - Faizel Ismail (1/3)
    Dodd-Frank Still Not Fully Implemented Four Years Later
    Nigeria: Boko Haram Born of Poverty and Elite Politics
    White Racism, Left Politics, and the Spectrum of Acceptable Opinion
    Sweden Violates Assange's Human Rights
    The Fight for the Freedom of Information
    All Parties Involved to Blame for Malaysian Aircraft Disaster in Ukraine
    "U.S. Complicity Brought Up to Date" in Israel's War against Gaza
    BRICS: Progressive Rhetoric, Neoliberal Practice
    "Evacuate to Where?" - Report from Gaza and Israel
    Is the New BRICS Bank a Challenge to US Global Financial Power?
    Privatization, Public Health, and the Detroit Water Crisis
    All Governance in Libya Remains Contested

    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