Mike has been outspoken about PFC Bradley Manning, considering the young soldier to be a patriot, and comparing these times to those in which Gravel read the Pentagon Papers aloud on the Senate floor.
Here is Gravel, answering a question about Manning:
"My admiration for Bradley Manning knows no bounds. In fact the equivalent of being Bradley Manning would be being me, and [Daniel] Ellsberg being Assange. That's the comparison.
"And I was 41 years old when I released the Pentagon Papers [to the Senate]. You know, I'd been three days without sleep, and I was just afraid - scared to death - I didn't know if I was going to go to jail or lose my senate seat, or what have you, and so I wound up, out of fatigue and fear and all of that, sobbing, when I'm putting the papers into the record. I was sobbing. I couldn't get control of my emotions. So, when Bradley Manning - and I was 41 years old - when Bradley Manning was arrested, they turned around and said, "Well, he's unstable."
"Unstable - Hell! - I was unstable!
"He's not unstable. He has the clearest vision of what his responsibilities [are] - when you go into the military, you swear allegiance to the Constitution of the United States, not to the captain, not to the generals, not to the president or the White House. You swear allegiance to the Constitution.
"Manning was sitting there, watching all these daily reports coming back, and seeing that what was being said there was different from what was being said by the White House. And so, he had the guts and perspicuity to recognize "Do it, and do it right."
"And - knows the risk, knows the risk. If we don't get him out some way....."
After his talk, I showed Mike the first letter I wrote to current Alaska Senator Mark Begich, requesting Begich look into Manning's treatment. Although Begich's chief-of-staff, David Ramseur, promised those of us who signed my letter quick action from Begich, it has now been over a month since we asked for Mark's help.
Here's the appeal of a former Alaska Democratic Party Senator to our current one:
And here's Mike's shout out to the folks at Firedoglake, who have been working so hard for justice in this matter, and others.
Mike wants you to support fdl!