Today is Friday. Today, I copied part 3 and 4 of Adrian Humphreys epic 5 part series on Matt to send to my son. He has never gotten a chance to read the entire piece in one sitting.
As I was reading through the story, I was struck on how long this battle has been going on and how my son has never wavered from speaking the truth of what he knows and what has happened.
Today, I saw that the Courage Foundation has taken on Chelsea Manning. I salute all of those associated with Courage for supporting those like Chelsea who had the courage to tell truth; to shine a light in darkness at a very very costly price.
Today, I thought about many people through history who have risked their reputations, their possessions, their freedom and their very lives to stand up and against those who are morally and ethically corrupt and those who perpetrate great evil upon others.
Today, I want to recognize some of the people who have made an impact on on me and how I look at the world:
William Wilberforce (1759 – 1833)
Mr.Wilberforce was a English member of parliament and social reformer who was very influential in the abolition of the slave trade and eventually slavery itself in the British empire.
Dietrich Bonhoeffer (1906 – 1945)
He was involved in the resistance in WW2 against Hitler and the Nazis. Herr Bonhoeffer stood against the churches which had allied themselves with the government under extreme nationalism. He was hung April just before the regime collapsed.
Nelson Mandela (1918 – 2013)
President Mandela was an activist and a revolutionary against apartheid. He served 27 years in prison. He won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1993.
Pete Seeger (1919 – 2014)
He was a social activist. Seeger supported civil and labor rights, racial equality, international understanding, and anti-militarism He believed music and songs were instruments to help change the world.
Martin Luther King, Jr. (1929 – 1968)
MLK was an American Baptist minister, activist, humanitarian, and leader in the African-American Civil Rights Movement and opposed war. He believed in non violent civil disobedience and won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964 for combating racial inequality through non violence. He was murdered.
Frank Serpico (1936-
Frank blew the whistle on brutality and corruption within the NYPD. He was the first officer to testify against another officer before the Knapp Commission. He was shot during a drug raid and survived, but no other officers came to his aid.
Thomas Drake (1957-
Mr. Drake is a former senior executive of the NSA, a decorated Air Force and Navy veteran, He is a whistleblower regarding the Trailblazer Project. He has received the Ridenhour Prize for Truthtelling. He still speaks out today against mass surveillance.
John Kiriakou (1964-
A CIA analyst, Mr. Kiriakou blew the whistle on the CIA’s horrible use of waterboarding as a use of torture. He spent 30 months in prison under the Obama administration.
Julian Assange (1971-
Mr. Assange is an computer programmer from Australia. He is a publisher, journalist and the editor in chief of WikiLeaks. He has been living in the Ecuadorian Embassy for 5 years now as a result of seeking asylum for bogus charges in Sweden. His fear is that of being extradited to the US. He is being persecuted for exposing corruption and lies that governments work to hide.
Chelsea Manning (1987-
She is a soldier who was convicted in July 2013 of violations of the Espionage Act after disclosing to WikiLeaks a trove of classified or unclassified but sensitive military and diplomatic documents. The “Collateral Murder” video she released showed the murder of Reuters journalists and civilians by US military personnel. Chelsea was sentenced to 35 years in a military prison.
And I would like to recognize a few people others who inspire me to live courageously:
Stanley Cohen (1953-
An attorney, an activist, a writer and my friend. Stanley has represented hackers, occupiers, anti-war protesters, clerics, the homeless and he is a ardent believer in human rights. He spent 18 months in prison (drummed up tax charges).
Jesselyn Radack (1970-
A whistleblower exposing ethical violations against the FBI. She is an amazing lawyer who sticks her neck out for whistleblowers, hactivists and journalists.
My friend, Ray, who I will keep his identity unknown, is an activist, a lover of humanity. He risks his own life and health to aid journalists, activists, and whistleblowers. He works tirelessly with his influence and resources to secure freedom for , bring world attention to, and supports those he feels impassioned to help.
Matthew DeHart (1984-
Anonymous hactivist, pacifist, and defender of the weak, Matthew came across information that implicated the three letter agencies in criminal activity and coverup. He was tortured, smeared with CP allegations, forced into a plea and sentenced to 90 months in prison for which he has served a majority of the time in pretrial detention.
There is a persistence with integrity. There is a commitment to the truth. There is sacrifice for the welfare of others. There is a rare kind of courage that stands alone from the millions of foot soldiers. And when some of us see this courage and hear the truth, we are moved, we are awakened from the fog of propaganda, ignorance, fear, and apathy, and thus, we are moved to live courageously.