THE BLOG

Blow Your Whistle! Truth and Freedom Win Over Lies and Slavery

05/30/2013 02:04 pm ET | Updated Feb 02, 2016

The Supreme Court will decide whether to expand whistleblower protections, and along with their scheduled decisions regarding marriage inequality, I hope they decide to give people more rights and more protections. Whistle blowing should not be a crime, and corporations and institutions should not have free rein to abuse their power. Love, equality and respect are what marriage are all about, not the genitals involved (although they certainly help).

Is anyone pretending to be shocked anymore when we hear the scandals of the day of corporations and wealthy people exploiting tax loopholes, CEOs earning crazy amounts while slashing jobs and awarding themselves huge bonuses and board members and politicians selling out our country to the highest bidder, piece by piece? We all need to be blowing our whistles! Does all of this sound familiar? What about the sound of people demanding equality now? What is shocking to me is that, with the evolution of people as a more connected and informed species, we the people still are not powerful enough to say, "Enough is enough, the debate is over, and truth and freedom win over lies and slavery."

Whistleblower Bradley Manning is not getting the press coverage he should be getting, perhaps signaling that the "fourth branch" is being shaken by the tree on this issue. I suppose if you want your trial to be covered, you have to kill your lover. This is the single most significant court martial in a century and has broader implications for our wider society and our right to know when our military is violating international law with our tax dollars. While The Washington Post broke Watergate and The New York Times published the Pentagon Papers, neither bothered to return Bradley Manning's call, so he turned to Wikileaks.

The military-industrial complex is so vast that it even has San Francisco LGBT Pride in its back pocket. That organization's board recently overturned the decision by former grand marshals who democratically elected Bradley Manning as a grand marshal. Daniel Ellsberg, the Bradley Manning of his day, was scheduled to attend in his honor. (Ugh, they could have called me: I'm local, and, like Bradley, I'm gay, was a conscientious objector and public resister in the military, faced a court-martial and am young and cute... no offense, Ellsberg!)

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Army intelligence analyst PFC Bradley Manning

When Manning blew the whistle on war crimes, he effectively signaled an end to the wars by providing official evidence to prove illegal and immoral war activity that we've known about or have suspected for many years. With both wars winding down and growing increasingly unpopular and expensive in a failing U.S. economy, Manning's whistle blowing may very well have been just the right pitch and amplitude to deafen the dogs of war.

I have been closely following Bradley Manning's case through his support network and through Courage to Resist, helping out how I can, artistically organizing support and getting the word out. But now that his court martial is just around the corner, we must energetically give the final push and support Bradley however we can! What Bradley did, he did for all of us: gay, straight, Iraqi, American, soldier, civilian. The military claims that his actions somehow put his fellow soldiers in harm's way, but the real danger is government policy that chooses to wage endless wars of aggression -- and punishes anyone courageous enough to dissent and tell the truth.

Whistle blowing is essential to keeping the most powerful corporations and institutions in check and in line with the law. It should be praised and protected, not punished.

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