While Pfc. Bradley Manning stands trial at Ft. Meade, MD, pop-culture celebrities declare their support for the Army whistleblower, in a five-minute advocacy video released late yesterday. More than 20 Hollywood actors, musicians, and other well-known leaders appear in the new video, titled “I am Bradley Manning.”
Filmmaker Oliver Stone; actors Russell Brand, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Wallace Shawn, Peter Sarsgaard; musicians Moby, Tom Morello, and Pink Floyd’s Roger Waters; writers Matt Taibbi, Alice Walker, Chris Hedges; and activists Lt. Dan Choi and Angela Davis, and others speak out in the short film, explaining that Manning sought to expose war crimes and inspire debate and reforms. They condemn the “aiding the enemy” charge with which the military wants to imprison him for life, arguing it criminalizes what should be recognized as whistleblowing.
Russell Brand said Manning “was motivated out of a different kind of patriotism: a genuine love of the people of this country and concern for the people,” in an interview published in Gawker at the time of the video’s release.
Brand continued, “[H]e’s brought palpable, tangible evidence of mendacious…conduct apparently for the protection or for the furtherment of the American people.”
In the video, each participant holds a sign of solidarity, which read, “I am Bradley Manning.”
Manning faces a potential life sentence for passing hundreds of thousands of classified documents, including war reports from Iraq and Afghanistan and State Department diplomatic cables, to the transparency website WikiLeaks. He said he’d hoped to “spark a domestic debate on the role of the military and our foreign policy in general as well as it related to Iraq and Afghanistan.”
Visit the “I am Bradley Manning” website and submit a photo in support of the heroic whistleblower.