The supporters of Bradley Manning, the soldier that released the Iraq War and Afghan War files as well as the “Collateral Murder” video to Wikileaks, have released a video in support of him as he awaits a verdict from a military judge on charges that he was “aiding the enemy” with the release of scores of documents. The “Collateral Murder” video, which showed a helicopter attack on a Baghdad neighborhood that killed a Reuters reporter, helped propel Wikileaks onto the international stage.
The video, which was born out of the Bradley Manning Support Network Project, features actors Wallace Shawn, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Peter Sarsgaard, and Russell Brand; musicians Tom Morello and Moby; filmmaker Oliver Stone; talk show host Phil Donahue; writers Matt Taibbi, Angela Davis, and Alice Walker; Vietnam War whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg; and more. The video aims to have the charges of “aiding the enemy,” a capital offense, dropped. As media was kept out of the trial, the figures in this video read Manning’s statements for him and explain why punishing whistleblowers is bad for democracy.
Manning’s story and the information he has uncovered have inspired several films already. James Spione’s Oscar-nominated short “Incident in New Baghdad” interviewed one of the first soldiers to respond to the scene depicted in “Collateral Murder.” This year’s documentary from Alex Gibney, “We Steal Secrets,” explains the rise of Wikileaks and how Manning’s relationship with a well-known hacker got him caught. Though it’s unclear how much Manning will play a part in the film, Bill Condon’s “The Fifth Estate,” a narrative film about Wikileaks focusing on its founder Julian Assange, will open up this year’s Toronto International Film Festival.
Watch the “I am Bradley Manning” video below, followed by the edited version of the “Collateral Murder” video (long version here).