WASHINGTON – A super-sized version of Army Pfc. Bradley Manning’s face was projected onto a D.C. building Tuesday night, along with the word “hero.”
There were also life-sized “puppets,” stickers and signs.
It was part of a demonstration organized by supporters of Manning, who say he’s not a criminal but a truth-seeking whistleblower.
It began with a rally in Dupont Circle followed by a noisy march to the White House, with about 75 to 100 people taking part.
“In this day and age, in our society, telling the truth is illegal, and the actual war crimes that Bradley exposed apparently are not, and I just think that’s reprehensible,” said Barry Knight, who joined the march.
Supporters wore orange stickers and carried signs with slogans like “We heart whistleblowers” and “three years is enough.”
Manning has already spent three years in custody.
Gerry Condon is with Veterans for Peace, one of the event organizers.
“If, you know, people had listened to what Bradley Manning released three years ago, the Afghan war diaries, and saw that our politicians and even our military leaders were lying to us about the progress of that war, we wouldn’t still have our soldiers dying there today,” said Condon.
The sentencing phase of Manning’s trial starts Wednesday and Condon says he should get time served.
Emma Cape with the Bradley Manning Support Network wants President Barack Obama to pardon Manning.
“There is an official application in the works to ask President Obama to stand behind his promises when he said that he was going to protect whistleblowers and have the most transparent government in U.S. History,” she said.
At the end of the march, the demonstrators held up large, glowing letters of the alphabet made from strings of lights to form the words “Free Bradley” in front of the White House fence.
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