The Slow Death Of Bradley Manning
By Jim Muir
Now that Bradley Manning has been sentenced to the slow death of spending up to 35 years in prison, the United States Government has finally made it official that its actions in promoting, supporting and actively participating in the Nuremberg War Crimes Tribunal was an act of consummate hypocrisy. This conclusion is unavoidable given the fact that a vast number of clerks, accountants and middle level military officers and civilian bureaucrats were prosecuted and sentenced to prison based on their knowledge of and refusal to object to or refrain from acting in furtherance of crimes being committed against the civilian population of Jews, gypsies, homosexuals and conscientious objectors. The fact they were following orders was no defense. The Nuremberg Charter also established the principle that the unprovoked invasion of another country was a war crime.
It is not new that the charge of hypocrisy has been leveled against the United States Government over its activities in Nuremberg and Tokyo. After all, shortly after the trials were completed, General Curtis LeMay, Chief of U. S. Air Force Strategic Bombing Operations in both Europe and the Pacific, stated that, given the principles supporting the convictions in both those proceedings, had the United States lost the war he would have been convicted as a war criminal. However, the conviction of Bradley Manning by a U. S. Military Tribunal for doing exactly that which many Germans and Japanese were convicted for refusing or failing to do makes the hypocrisy official.
One wonders if Manning, standing before the Military Tribunal made up of uniformed officers and hearing his sentence delivered, might have been thinking, with a clear conscience, of the words of Isabella, the protagonist in Shakespeare’s Measure For Measure, as she delivered her consummate critique of the human condition – 35 words that encapsulate the essence of our existential and spiritual struggle:
“. . . man, proud man, drest in a little brief authority, most ignorant of what he’s most assured, his glassy essence, like an angry ape, plays such fantastic tricks before high heaven as make the angels weep; . . .”
Manning, by reporting war crimes, acted in accordance with both his glassy essence (his conscience or eternal soul) and the principles set forth in Nuremberg. The members of the military tribunal that sentenced him remained ignorant of their glassy essence and acted like angry apes, making the angels weep.