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Bradley Manning, 22, an Army intelligence analyst has been arrested for leaking the profoundly disturbing video of a helicopter attack on a group of people in Iraq in 2007.
Bradley Manning is not un-American. He believed in the American ideals that he was undoubtedly taught in school, and he has acted in the worthy tradition of Top Paine, Thomas Jefferson, Henry David Thoreau, Dorothy Day and Martin Luther King Jr. In various ways all of these people articulated a simple and valid principle: when those in power violate the basic principles of the constitution, and when they act in opposition to the basic principles upon which this nation was founded, then it is the responsibility of the people to resist them, with civil disobedience if need be.
We are in danger of creating a life that is not worth living, except perhaps for those 400 or so billionaires who run the show. But in this process they too, even if they have not noticed it, are losing their souls their capacity for love, for identification with the rest of life, for affirming a meaning larger than their own appetites, and for relationships based on reciprocity rather than domination. And it is, after all, this loss of our individual and collective souls that is the greatest threat of all to a meaningful and worthwhile life. And to life itself.
I believe Bradley Manning has earned a place of honor in American history for his courageous act in exposing the un-American activities of the American government.