Just in case your political opinions are influenced by celebrities, actors, and activists, a new video featuring all of the above has emerged in support of PFC Bradley Manning, who is currently on trial for leaking videos and documents exposing war crimes on the part of the U.S. military personnel stationed overseas in Iraq and Afghanistan.
In the video, celebrities like Russell Brand and Maggie Gyllenhaal and activists Lt. Dan Choi and Angela Davis attempt to educate the viewer on exactly what Bradley Manning is being tried for, with a very, very heavy emphasis on their own beliefs that he is being persecuted (and prosecuted) for being a whistleblower.
No matter what you think of the trial, or PFC Manning, or overbearing celebrities foisting their political opinions on ill-informed masses who are influenced by star power, the video is worth a look.
Meanwhile, in the courtroom, there were a few major developments last week. We’ve aggregated with a huge thanks to our friends at FireDogLake.com who are doing some major reporting from the scene of the trial at Ft. Meade, MD:
- Since the military would not allow court transcripts, thousands of dollars were raised via outside sources to send stenographers to cover the trial, thus further lifting the veil of secrecy on the happenings inside the courtroom. The defense supported this, and the judge, Col Denise Lind, ruled favorably.
- The prosecution is now working overtime to defend the evidence that links Manning with WikiLeaks. In question are tweets that WikiLeaks sent out requesting .mil email addresses and asking for help decrypting visual material which would later become known as the “Collateral Murder” video. Since PFC Manning isn’t charged with conspiracy, this evidence is being used to try to bolster the initial “aiding the enemy” charge.
- An Apache helicopter pilot testified that the “Collateral Murder” video revealed “sensitive Army aviation information.” Whether the leak of the video and other info was or was not “aiding the enemy” is a crucial part of the trial, and the testimony could be used to bolster the prosecution’s case that the leak was harmful to American interests and put soldiers in danger.
PFC Manning’s trial is set to continue throughout the summer, and we’ll be right here for you with updates every step of the way.