Pfc. Bradley Manning is facing charges of aiding the enemy after thousands of classified documents downloaded by the former army intelligence analyst ended up on WikiLeaks.
His military trial is slated to begin on September 21 and could last up to three weeks. If found guilty, Manning will likely spend the rest of his life in the brig without the chance of parole.
Although the Pentagon appears determined to make an example of the former army analyst, a number of organizations, activists and artists have leapt to the defense of Manning, claiming the Pfc. shouldn’t be punished for his role in leaking secret documents about the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
One artist protesting the treatment of the soldier is Cass McCombs, who released a video directed by Bradley Beesley, along with a limited edition 7″ single titled simply “Bradley Manning.” The video was apparently shot in Manning’s hometown of Crescent, Oaklahoma this past Independence Day.
Meanwhile, over 9,000 people in 76 countries recently watched a streaming play about the former army intelligence analyst. Dubbed “The Radicalisation of Bradley Manning,” the play was staged by the National Theatre of Wales (UK), which described the soldier’s saga as “one of the most important political and digital stories of our age.”
“We have been thinking for a while about how best to incorporate live online viewing into our work, and Bradley Manning’s story – with its huge news presence and direct relationship to digital information – was the perfect place to start,” director John E McGrath explained.
“We are delighted to have reached such a wide global audience through this experiment, and we are looking forward to developing our live web presence.”