By David Swanson
Chase Madar’s new book, The Passion of Bradley Manning, pulls together the essential facts that we should try to somehow deliver to television viewers and victims of our education system. The subtitle is “The Story of the Suspect Behind the Largest Security Breach in U.S. History.”
The book looks at Manning’s life story, his alleged action (leaking voluminous materials to Wikileaks), the value of the material he made available to us, the status of whistleblowers in our country, the torture inflicted on Manning during his imprisonment, the similar treatment routinely inflicted on hundreds of thousands of U.S. prisoners without the same scandal resulting, and the value of running a society in accordance with written laws.
The table of contents sounds predictable, but the most valuable parts of Madar’s book are the tangents, the riffs, the expansions on questions such as whether knowing the truth does or does not tend to set us free. Does learning what our government is up to help to improve our government’s behavior? Has the rule of law become an empty phrase or worse? Who is standing up for Bradley Manning, and who should be?