by Peter Hollings
Guest Writer, Dandelion Salad
August 2, 2013
You have it within your power to set the sentence for Bradley Manning.
I am a former military officer having served two tours of duty in Vietnam. I recall my oath of office to uphold the Constitution. It is not an oath to support any particular group of people, or a gang of criminals exercising authority outside Constitutional boundaries. What kind of country would we live in if political and military leaders could do what they wished while suppressing public information and without legal restraint? Bradley Manning has, in my opinion, bravely risked his life and freedom as a matter of conscience to help Americans restore the rule of law in their society. He has revealed crimes committed by our government that we, the people, did not, and would not have authorized. This is a matter that cries out for justice. If we continue to pass legislation favoring certain financial elites and punishing those who reveal the crimes of state in service of those same elites we will have an unfair and unstable society. The same is true in the application of what is called justice.
You have an opportunity to obey your oath of office and duty to the Constitution to free Bradley Manning. That might come at some professional cost in the short term, but, believe me, the American people would remember and forever respect your act of courage.
I believe that it should never be a crime to disclose a crime committed by a public official and every public official should be accountable for crimes committed in office.
The American people have not agreed to hire criminals to conduct their affairs of state and would not do so if posed with such a choice.
Please choose the right thing. We will remember this. I will personally lobby our government to strip all who committed or condoned crimes while in office of all government benefits, including retirement. We (the American people) will not reward people for committing crimes.
Please note that General Buchanan can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org. If any reader of this message feels moved to also contact him, this e-address is the venue to use.