I was brought up and knew my way around the 20th century when much to my surprise the 21st century came along and everyone started making up new confusing rules I was supposed to have memorized (long after it was too late to memorize anything).

Monday, September 30, 2013

My letter to the Private Manning Defense Fund


Private Manning Defense Fund
c/o Courage to Resist
484 Lake Park Ave  #41
Oakland, CA  94610-2730

Dear Representative of the Private Manning Defense Fund:

I am contributing $20 to the Private Manning’s Defense Fund.

I remember a sign in a bar in Mariposa, California, years ago that said, “We don’t have a town drunk; everyone takes their turn.”

Many of us take our turns to stand up to the menacing greed, injustice and deceptions that those in power often perpetrate. 

Our efforts combined, seem to pale by what Private Manning has done; a tremendous act in support for the truth and the justice that represents the America I believe in. 

I have worked from time to time to assure, as best I could, that my country, the United States of America, is a role model in the world for doing the right thing.  Yet all I have done and all others have done is dwarfed by the magnitude of what Private Manning has accomplished.

Since the death of JFK there has been a decline with respect to standards of behavior in our nation and prior to the courageous act of Private Manning all seemed hopeless.  Yet his one act of exposing our international war crimes that were being covered up has been effective in helping to turn the tide.  The unethical profiteers who orchestrate war for their own riches have suddenly become more isolated as have their small-minded self-serving minions.

I am very truly sorry that Private Manning has been treated so unjustly for doing the right thing.

I find it ironic that as a nation we pardoned the Iran-Contra gang for criminally trafficking in guns and drugs; we turn a blind eye to the systematic dumping of drugs and guns in the ghettos of our inner cities;  the Senate Intelligence Committee only slaps the hands of giant corporations caught laundering drug money yet the media representing itself as the mood and the mind of our nation ignores these issues then gets indignant when the honesty of one person exposes our hypocrisy, our dishonesty and our disregard for human life as a nation.  I for one am indignant at the sponsors of such deception and heresy.

Only 1% of the men who have been reported to have committed sexual assault in the military have been prosecuted while close to 70% of the women who have reported sexual assaults in the military have been retaliated against according to Kirsten Gillebrand.  Whether it is the private sector or the military, the chain of command seems much more concerned these days with covering up serious problems and crimes rather than addressing them directly and honestly.  We would expect more remorse of a criminal in a courtroom than we do of powerful people in the chain of command covering up massive crimes against humanity.  Management, whether in the military or the private sector,  engaging in coercion and retaliation against underlings for not supporting a criminal cover-up is no less than racketeering.  This injustice is pandemic and needs to be addressed.

I for one understand that Private Manning was given no choice.  He was forced to break the law or be culpable in the cover up of heinous crimes against humanity.  The chain of command in the military is culpable for silencing critics and covering up misdeeds as is the chain of command in much of the private sector.  That adage to ‘cheat but don’t get caught’ seems to have gained prominence in our nation while basic human virtues of honesty, integrity and character seem to have been trampled in the way. 

Private Manning had no path other than to see the menacing injustice concealed or to break the law.  In the ‘lose-lose’ predicament thrust upon Private Manning, the choice of an honest person possessing honesty, integrity and character was the one chosen.

My support and best wishes go to your efforts to defend and assure Private Manning’s safety and early release.  Clearly, Private Manning is one of my hero’s and one of our nation’s greatest heroes and one of the world’s greatest heroes.

By the way, the stamp on the letter I received says “Bradley Manning Defense Fund” and I was immediately concerned that his new chosen name was not in the title. 

Yet what matters is not the heading on the letter, but the work that is being done to free and reward Private Manning for the truly great service done for our nation and the world.


Neal C. Chambers



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