RootsAction is an online initiative, according to their website, dedicated to "galvanizing" Americans over such disparate issues as economic fairness (i.e., income redistribution), civil liberties, environmentalism (i.e., cap-and-trade, global warming and Al Gore worship), and defunding endless wars (i.e., "there is no 'war' on terrorism" OR terrorism is in the eye of the beholder...or beheader). Their most recent "initiative" and press release is bizarre in every sense of that word for, you see, they have created a petition with 100,000 online signatures to have Bradley Manning awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. Their press release states:
No individual has done more to push back against what Martin Luther King, Jr. called the "madness of militarism" than Bradley Manning. And right now, remaining in prison and facing relentless prosecution by the U.S. government, no one is in more need of the Nobel Prize.
As everyone should be aware by now, Bradley Manning was recently found guilty of releasing thousands of pages of secret documents and videos to WikiLeaks, the organization run by muckraker and accused rapist Julian Assange. According to his defense team, the reason may not have been politically or ideologically motivated, but psychologically motivated by his confusion over gender identity. Yes, most transgender and transsexual wannabes usually suffer from an uncontrolled desire to release secret documents to WikiLeaks.
Before getting into this petition by RootsAction, a word on the Nobel Peace Prize itself is in order. Recent winners have been hits and misses with this award. But, the three most current American recipients are dubious at best- Jimmy Carter, Al Gore and Barack Obama. Obama won for his "extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation among peoples." Domestically, to hear Obama speak, there is no cooperation, unless you subscribe to his policies without dissent while internationally, one can suppose that they are referring to the fact that Obama is not George W. Bush. Gore won for disseminating information about global climate change and laying the foundation for policies to combat it. Never mind the fact that this is achieved through fascist techniques such as silencing those with opposing theories, evidence, and solutions. And Jimmy Carter has much in common with Obama on so many levels not the least of which is apologizing for the United States at every opportunity. Given the track record of recent American winners, the Nobel committee that awards the Peace Prize should think long and hard about Bradley Manning.
According to most accounts, what Manning released to WikiLeaks was dozens of documents detailing the fact that civilian casualties in Iraq and Afghanistan were higher than reported, and that the Iraqi government was torturing political prisoners and the US government did nothing about this. One of the first pieces publicly released was a video of an Apache helicopter crew mistakenly firing on what they thought were militants. In the ensuing shooting, they killed a Reuters reporter and cameraman. One of Manning's supporters testified that releasing this video was justified because it brought to life the carnage and violence and inhumanity of war. If that is the case, then every news outlet from the Vietnam War onward is deserving of a Nobel Prize.
Besides these battlefield assessments and videos, Manning also released State Department cables from various countries. Perhaps the most damaging were those from Tunisia where it appeared the US was not that supportive of the government and some have suggested that the US government was supportive of efforts to bring down that regime- the birth of the so-called Arab Spring, which in hindsight, is proving to be a rather difficult undertaking as witnessed in countries like Syria, Egypt and Libya. Yes, despotic dictators may have been taken down only to be replaced by equally despotic people who lean against the United States. Also, apparently the State Department was "pressuring" European governments not to prosecute CIA operatives in the war on terror and had developed profiles on leaders in European countries. This is hardly groundbreaking news since the CIA has been in the business of psychologically profiling foreign leaders almost since their inception. And, of course, there were those Guantanamo cables where the identities of several detainees were released along with the fate of Mustafa Mohammed Fadhil who was involved in the Kenyan and Tanzanian embassy bombings. Quietly removed from the FBI's wanted list in 2005, he was thankfully killed in Afghanistan.
In the end, what makes Manning a "hero" to some? He obtained secret documents and released them to WikiLeaks. These documents simply stated what should be obvious to most humans with a functioning brain: (1) sometimes civilians are killed in wars especially if the enemy has a habit of hiding among civilians, (2) the CIA maintains profiles on world leaders, (3) the government is or was not enamored with certain Middle Eastern regimes, (4) a wanted terrorist was killed in 2005 in Afghanistan, and (5) among the scum taken to Guantanamo were some "innocent" people who were later released.
And what of RootsAction? David Swanson is the coordinator of this online site who has had his hand in practically every radical, liberal cause. He was communications director for ACORN in 2002 and an organizer of the original Occupy Wall Street movement (although we do not know if he was involved in any rapes or defecated on any police cars), and an apologist for the nuclear-deranged regime in Iran. Co-founder Norman Solomon is a media activist who has thrown himself into every "progressive" cause and once ran for Congress in California's Second District, considered one of the most liberal in the country. And there is Jeff Cohen, who is also a co-founder of FAIR- Fairness & Accuracy In Reporting- a left wing fact check group which seems to always side with radical, left-wing views thus making the organization hardly "fair" or "accurate." Only a liberal organization can twist the English language like this and get away with it.
Thus it would stand to reason that a group like RootsAction would take up the cause of Bradley Manning and present a petition that he be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. A little later in their request for online signatures, the true purpose of the petition and nomination are stated: Manning needs the money for his legal defense. There is no sweeping dialogue or statements about how he advanced the goal of international peace and justice, although he is compared to Martin Luther King which, ironically, does a huge disservice to Dr. King. There is no fighting for basic human rights, no Doctors Without Borders actions, no negotiated peaceful settlements of conflicts, no leading of groups fighting oppression and persecution. Hell- there isn't even any propaganda about now-discredited global climate change. Nope- Bradley Manning is deserving of the Nobel Peace Prize because he violated the law, downloaded and released secret documents to "the press" and now needs the money to defend himself against charges he has admitted to. And to hear his defense team now talk, he was not motivated by money (no one paid him for his deeds) or ideology. Instead, he was simply psychologically disturbed because he wanted to be a woman.
Bradley Manning may yet get his wish, although not in the manner he wanted, when he is sentenced to a military prison. On some level, it would seem a fitting end to the saga of Bradley Manning. As his stolen and released documents and videos prove, war may be hell, but prison is a living hell. Godspeed, Bradley.