Today is Bradley Manning’s second birthday in a cage. His “crime”–still alleged, speedy trial and all that–was illuminating the pervasive brutality of the U.S. occupation. While he spends his 20s locked away in a gulag, the exposed murderers, rapists and torturers, along with their bosses and their bosses’ bosses right through to the commander in chief remain free–celebrated even, on occasion.
Manning highlights the impossible nature of reforming “the system.” Besides being one of several million human beings spending the holidays–and every other day–confined in a cage, he’s also a declaration to anyone seeking reform. The price of revelation is being disappeared, joining the non-persons whose lives are openly erased. Any attempt even to shed light on the actual functioning of the imperial state will be met by the full might of the state.
It’s very sad, and infuriating. At the very least, nobody can reasonably say the beast he exposed is an institution with a human well-being as its purpose.
Happy Birthday, Bradley.