wikileaks: u.n. to investigate manning jail conditions, panic over michael moore

What happens when people speak truth to power? Sometimes power hunts them down, locks them up, draws on its various arms to cut off their resources. And once in a while, power reveals its weak, petty core.

Bradley Manning has been in solitary confinement for seven months for allegedly showing the world a bit of truth about the occupation of Iraq. This latest development shows why it's vitally important that we keep Manning's story in the news and on our blogs as often as possible. The Guardian:
The United Nations is investigating a complaint on behalf of Bradley Manning that he is being mistreated while held since May in US Marine Corps custody pending trial. The army private is charged with the unauthorised use and disclosure of classified information, material related to the WikiLeaks, and faces a court martial sometime in 2011.

The office of Manfred Nowak, special rapporteur on torture based in Geneva, received the complaint from a Manning supporter; his office confirmed that it was being looked into. Manning's supporters say that he is in solitary confinement for 23 hours a day; this could be construed as a form of torture. This month visitors reported that his mental and physical health was deteriorating.

Also from The Guardian:
After a leaked cable from US diplomats in Havana falsely claimed Cuba had banned Moore's documentary Sicko – when in fact it was shown on state television – another cable reveals US officials flying into a panic after hearing a rumour that a New Zealand cabinet minister was hosting a screening of Moore's film Fahrenheit 9/11.

Labelling the event a "potential fiasco", the classified cable from the US embassy in Wellington in 2003 reads like a failed plotline for an episode of In the Loop, breathlessly reporting a series of calls to the New Zealand prime minister's office and to the minister involved, Marian Hobbs.

Michael Moore, appearing on the Rachel Maddow Show on Tuesday night, said the New Zealand cable uncovered by WikiLeaks showed the unsettling reach of US influence. "If they were micromanaging me that much, if they were that concerned about the truth in Fahrenheit 9/11 that they have to go after a screening in a place I don't even really know where it is – I know it's way too long to sit in coach for me – I want to know. Because I think it speaks to a larger issue: if they have the time for that, what else are these guys up to?"

The US government is afraid of Michael Moore. They're afraid of peace-activist veterans demonstrating at the White House (why else the news blackout?). In other words, they're afraid of us - our power - getting out there.

Thanks to WikiLeaks, we get to see the fear behind the curtain - which can only energize us to keep speaking.

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