Bradley Manning Exposed U.S. Government – Monsanto Links

We should be thankful for the whistleblowers who risk their lives and personal safety to expose government wrongdoing. Bradley Manning is one of them.

Verdict Delivered In The Court Martial Of Bradley ManningIn 2010 U.S. Army Pfc. Bradley Manning was detained by the military on suspicion of passing classified U.S. government documents to the whistle-blowing website, WikiLeaks. Three years later his case finally came to trial, and on Tuesday the military judge trying the case gave her ruling.

Manning has been convicted of espionage, theft, and computer fraud, but was acquitted of the most serious charge of aiding the enemy. Even without the latter charge, he now faces up to 128 years in prison.

In all, Manning delivered to WikiLeaks

more than 700,000 battlefield reports and diplomatic cables, and video of a 2007 U.S. helicopter attack that killed civilians in Iraq, including a Reuters news photographer and his driver.

At his pre-trial hearing, Manning made the following statement:

I believe that the public release of these cables would not damage the United States, however, I did believe that the cables might be embarrassing, since they represented very honest opinions and statements behind the backs of other nations and organizations.

Much of the media’s attention has focused on the above mentioned video footage. But there were other embarrassing revelations as well. Among them:

During an incident in 2006, U.S. troops in Iraq executed at least 10 Iraqi civilians, including a woman in her 70s and a 5-month-old, then called in an airstrike to destroy the evidence. The disclosure of this cable was later a significant factor in the Iraqi government’s refusal to grant U.S. troops immunity from prosecution beyond 2011, which led to U.S. troops withdrawing from the country.

A NATO coalition in Afghanistan was using an undisclosed “black” unit of special operations forces to hunt down targets for death or detention without trial. The unit was revealed to have had a kill-or-capture list featuring details of more than 2,000 senior figures from the Taliban and al-Qaida, but it had in some cases mistakenly killed men, women, children, and Afghan police officers.

The leaked cable messages from diplomatic offices were especially revealing:

U.S. special operations forces were conducting offensive operations inside Pakistan despite sustained public denials and statements to the contrary by U.S. officials.

British and American officials colluded in a plan to mislead the British Parliament over a proposed ban on cluster bombs.

Washington initiated a spying campaign in 2009 that targeted the leadership of the U.N. by seeking to gather top officials’ private encryption keys, credit card details, and biometric data.

And then this intriguing diplomatic cable caught my eye:

The U.S. Embassy in Paris advised Washington to start a military-style trade war against any European Union country that opposed genetically modified crops, with U.S. diplomats effectively working directly for GM companies such as Monsanto.

You can read the full details here. Even the Vatican was pressured to convince leaders of Catholic nations to allow GM imports into their countries. Fortunately, European governments proved to be more responsive to their own citizens’ massive protests against genetically modified crops than to these veiled American threats. European countries continue to ban genetically modified crops, and Monsanto recently announced that it has now given up trying to force the countries of the European Union to accept them.

But without whistle-blowers like Bradley Manning we would never have known the hidden coercive extent of Monsanto’s influence in U.S. diplomatic missions abroad.

Photo credit: Mark Wilson/Getty Images

About politspectator
Edward Clayton grew up in the US but has lived in Canada for the last 4 decades. He is a long time peace activist and committed to issues of social justice and good government. He reports on Canadian, American, and global politics from a Canadian perspective.

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