Bradley Manning Support Network Comes To Harrisburg

Voices From The Front Lines

Source
Ryan Harvey--The Organizer, Moderator, and Musical Entertainment
Ryan Harvey--The Organizer, Moderator, and Musical Entertainment | Source
Heather Linebaugh and Kyle Quigley Address the Audience
Heather Linebaugh and Kyle Quigley Address the Audience | Source
Kyle Quigley--Ex US Army
Kyle Quigley--Ex US Army | Source
Heather Linebaugh--Ex Air Force Drone Analyst
Heather Linebaugh--Ex Air Force Drone Analyst | Source
An Audience of About 20-30 people Attended
An Audience of About 20-30 people Attended | Source
An Activist Gives an Update on The Case
An Activist Gives an Update on The Case | Source

Bringing The Message to The Midstate

On June 3, 2013, the trial of Bradley Manning will finally begin. The former Army Intelligence Office is facing charges stemming from his release of videos and documents to the anti-secrecy site WikiLeaks. In preparation for actions in support of Bradley Manning in Maryland, set to begin with a June 1 rally at Ft. Meade, Maryland, the Bradley Manning Support Network held an event at the Midtown Scholar Bookstore in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. The independent bookstore has hosted other activist events; the initial meeting of "Occupy Harrisburg", a reading of Havel's play Protest, and a debate over the merits of progressives supporting 3rd parties.

Baltimore-based musician Ryan Harvey got the event started with a set of politically-charged, solo, acoustic music. A song about acts of sabotage committed by troops in Vietnam set the stage for the featured speakers.

Kyle Quigley, ex US Army and Heather Linebaugh, a former Air Force Drone Analyst, alternated telling stories of their work in the "Global War On Terror". I was shocked to hear the tales of how well the US Military, or perhaps the elements within America, has stripped many soldiers, etc of their basic human compassion. Kyle told many stories of insults he took from his fellow soldiers for simply refusing to shoot at people who had come too close to their convoy. His tales of what he observed while assisting with interrogations might have given a glimpse into what drove Manning to do what he did.

The drone program may be the best example of this dehumanization. Heather mentioned the high cost and low success rate of this program that is touted by the media as an efficient and effective tool in America's efforts to fight terrorists. She also told tales of her efforts to claim conscientious objector status.

A question and answer period gave the audience a chance to question Kyle and Heather further; the role of drones in domestic security and the role that games like Medal Of Honor and Call of Duty might play in shaping attitudes were brought up.


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