Over three years after he was arrested and charged with perpetrating the biggest leak of confidential documents in American history, Pfc. Bradley Manning is now on trial for his alleged crimes. Despite — or perhaps, inspired by — the government’s tight handle on the details of his imprisonment and trial, Manning has earned a long roster of public supporters, from journalists and transparency advocates to politically-minded celebrities.
They profess both an admiration for his alleged actions, which include leaking video of U.S. military strikes that killed civilians in Baghdad, and outrage over the dark conditions under which he has been kept. In a new video for the Bradley Manning Defense Network, filmmakers like Oliver Stone and Maggie Gyllenhaal, along with activists such as Daniel Ellsberg, call for whistleblower protections and demand a “fair trial” for Manning and the end of his “unjust confinement.”
“To take a risk and take a stand, knowing that in all likelihood you’ll be persecuted, penalized, demonized, and punished for it — that’s incredibly bold,” Russell Brand says in the clip.