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By Dear Dirty America
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If Bradley Manning Is Guilty, Then George W Bush Should Be Sitting In A Tiny Prison Cell

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I supported Bradley Manning in 2010 when he was first suspected of leaking sensitive government documents. Manning’s name was little known at the time, and my tiny blog called Stick It Up Your American Dream was not popular (it still isn’t), but Manning’s close friends and family had started an online campaign in hopes of getting more press coverage in favor of Bradley, and they found my simple blog post and linked it to their site.

That’s how few people knew about Manning in 2010.

Three years later, here we are. Bradley Manning, almost a household name for liberals and activists, has been acquitted of aiding the enemy — that’s good. Not so good is that he’s guilty on multiple charges of espionage, theft, computer fraud, and for metaphorically yanking down Uncle Sam’s soiled blue trousers when he wasn’t paying attention. We smelled the rot and the stench, saw the decrepit undercarriage of our beloved nation.

There was actually some proof, thanks to Manning, to show us that our nation, with its rule and laws and Constitution set up to protect us, had been infiltrated by a cancerous rash of right-wing, Neocon war hawks waging violence and despair around the world, and infiltrating governments to manipulate their respective peoples.

And because of Manning’s actions, the Nobel Peace Prize recipient Barack Obama kept Bradley in solitary confinement for almost two years. The young soldier, allowed only to wear his boxer shorts and nothing else, sat in a closet without a window. He could walk figure eights in a slightly bigger room for one hour a day — that was exercise.

The United Nations investigated Manning’s incarceration as possible torture. He hadn’t been convicted of anything. And there was no trial coming any time soon. Obama and company wanted to break this kid’s will. Break him down into despair so he would confess, whether true or not, that he’d been the one who stole the military’s secrets and sent them to Julian Assange and Wikileaks.

Bradley Manning showed us in concrete detail what is going on overseas. How trivial war is to some of the people who wage it on virtually defenseless civilians, like in Iraq. He showed us the arrogance of our government officials who participate in war crimes and crimes against humanity.

There is danger in what Manning did. He stole classified documents. He exposed criminal elements of the government and perhaps even put into danger some of our foreign and domestic officials. But that danger is nothing compared to the gross malfeasance and campaign of disinformation led by the Bush administration and propagated by the mainstream media that caused the invasion of Iraq, where millions of people were displaced, hundreds of thousands of people killed, tortured, and maimed, and left that country in shambles, still, to this day, and for the unknown future.

That’s the true crime. So if Bradley Manning deserves decades in prison for exposing what he did, then George W Bush and his entire team, all the way down to Colin Powell and Condeleeza Rice and John Yoo, deserve to be in prison ten times as long. They deserve to be in solitary confinement, stripped to their undergarments, humiliated, shamed, and without any hope that they’ll be set free.

Unlike what Barack Obama said about looking forward rather than dwelling on the past, I think we need to dip into the past and clean up the mess. He said that to cover his own ass, of course. We need severe jail time for torture and deliberately misleading a nation into invading another nation. Also, for illegally spying on the American public, with justification from a wholly unconstitutional Patriot Act. There should be no slack for that kind of behavior.

Unlikely bedfellows

We should see on CNN former President Bush sitting dejectedly in a tiny prison cell, in only his underwear. Maybe they let him out to paint pictures of himself sitting in the bathtub for one hour a day.

Perhaps he can strike up an unlikely friendship with Charlie Manson, who has a similar accent to Dubya. Except Charlie doesn’t suffer fools. And George W doesn’t understand complex ideas. But maybe there’s room for a quiet shower friendship here.

There isn’t much we can do about Bradley Manning, short of surrounding the White House with 15 million people who refuse to leave until all the corruption is cleaned up in this nation. That is if the Department of Homeland Security storm troopers don’t fire a few live shots into the crowd and get people stampeding out of there. But don’t expect the masses to take up action any time soon.

Instead, we can be vocal and support people like Bradley Manning. We can denounce our leaders when they are hypocrites. We can be more vociferous than the mainstream media that parrots every official government explanation and sympathy. We can talk openly with our friends and family and remind them that we ain’t in Kansas anymore. We’ve turned a corner in this country long ago, and we’re headed in an unpleasant direction.

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