Two years ago, WikiLeaks released Collateral Murder, exposing war crimes. The soldier accused of releasing the video is still in prison without a trial.
By Emma Cape. April 7, 2012.
On April 5, 2010, WikiLeaks released the Collateral Murder video, depicting the killing of civilians and Reuters journalists, and the severe wounding of two children by a U.S. apache helicopter in Iraq. The Reuters news organization had unsuccessfully filed a Freedom of Information Request after the incident to obtain the video. However, it was the WikiLeaks whistle-blower, allegedly PFC Bradley Manning, who took action to expose the horror that took place that day.
Since then, WikiLeaks has become well known worldwide, and Bradley Manning has been nominated twice for the Nobel Peace Prize.
To honor the second anniversary of the video’s release, we ask that you gather your friends and neighbors sometime during the week of April 15-21 to show them the video and start a discussion about why Bradley Manning deserves to be freed.
Below are links to a downloadable version of Collateral Murder and an interview with soldier Ethan McCord, seen rescuing children out of the van in the video. You can share the videos with your guests to start the discussion about advocating for Bradley.
- How are you feeling after watching this video?
- Have you seen the video in the news or have you heard friends talk about it? How do you think the release of the video has impacted your community?
- In his supposed Instant Messaging conversation with Adrian Lamo, the hacker who reported Bradley to the authorities, Bradley states the information should be in the public domain because “without information, you cannot make informed decisions as a public.” Do you agree?
Bradley Manning was arrested one month after this video was made public. The week prior to his arrest, in an online chat with hacker Adrian Lamo, Bradley said: “the reaction to the video gave me immense hope… CNN’s iReport was overwhelmed… Twitter exploded… people who saw, knew there was something wrong.”
Another soldier was also inspired by the reaction to the release of the video. Ethan McCord, who is seen carrying wounded children from the van in the video, discusses that incident in addition to why he supports Bradley:
Ethan McCord’s interview:
Suggested discussion questions:
- Never before in U.S. history has someone been charged with “Aiding the enemy through indirect means” by making information public, as Bradley is being charged now. How do you think our neighbors and friends would react if they knew more about this case?
- What do you think will happen to soldiers like Ethan McCord, who want to speak out about wrongdoing they’ve seen, if Bradley is given a sentence of life in prison?
- If we had 60 seconds to communicate to someone who knew little about the Wikileaks story, and explain to them that Bradley is being mistreated, what could we say?
- How can we effectively reach out and educate other members of our community in a compelling
way so that they see this issue as relevant to their lives and want to take action?
While Bradley is no longer being held in solitary confinement in Quantico, VA, he has now been imprisoned for two years without a trial, and the military has denied his defense the ability to present most of its evidence pertaining to how documents have been improperly classified and their release has not endangered anyone.Therefore, the defense filed a motion in March to have all charges against Bradley dismissed. While the military legal system may be unfair, public opinion is one of the few ways now to influence the military decision-makers keeping Bradley behind bars.
We’re asking supporters to get involved in our national call-in and letter-writing campaigns targeting important officials, in addition to participating in local events of solidarity during Bradley’s future dates. The first step in getting more involved in our Support Network is to sign the petition. Film screening hosts should download and print out the petition beforehand, and encourage all guests to sign. Those interested in organizing events should go to events.bradleymanning.org to register as a local organizer. Please also upload photos of your event to iam.bradleymanning.org. People can firstname.lastname@example.org for advice on how to engage local supporters.
Political cartoon about Collateral Murder (PDF) — click image to download