these might be giants: report from Fort Meade

I went back to Fort Meade this week, more than two years after  Manning was first brought to court. Now in dispute during these last pre-trial motions before the court martial, now scheduled for June 3: those two-plus years. If there’s not another delay, that means that Bradley Manning’s court-martial will begin almost exactly threeContinue reading “these might be giants: report from Fort Meade”

Men and MST: getting to the core of it

Another military rape scandal — this one at Lackland Air Force Base.  A very few of you might have guessed my first thought: “Ground Hog Day. When will they learn?” I say that because it’s nearly 18 years since a similar scandal at Aberdeen Proving Ground changed my  job description and catalyzed the formation of the short-livedContinue reading “Men and MST: getting to the core of it”

Why Bradley Manning belongs here

 I’m already getting assailed for including in my title Bradley Manning, who so many have already branded a traitor — even some vets who are themselves in the book draw the line at what he’s done. But as mesmerized as I am by the case, I’m even more mesmerized by the way it’s galvanized soContinue reading “Why Bradley Manning belongs here”

Some late ‘Veteran’s Day’ reading

I’ve been so glued to reports from Fort Meade that I keep putting off commenting on the way it’s being framed by the media; I will soon, with links to cogent analyses by others. But in the meantime, one piece of unfinished sorta- Veterans Day business: I wanted to hype an amazing resource on soldiers,Continue reading “Some late ‘Veteran’s Day’ reading”

Iraq and a hard place

All this Manning talk has distracted me from writing about this amazing mural, powered by the singular organization Warrior Writers. They’re poets, essayists, performers and visual artists of all stripes, mostly from what their director calls “veterans who’ve served since September 11.” Together with the Philadelphia Mural Arts Program,  they produced this testimonial a half-mileContinue reading “Iraq and a hard place”

Video: Michael Ratner tells Manning’s story, David Coombs explains

I mentioned this presentation in yesterday’s Manning post, and thought I’d post it at the end. But when I actually saw it, I realized that as important as David Coombs was the presentation by Michael Ratner, longtime anchor of the Center for Constitutional Rights.    When I met Ratner in 2004, was bemused when I toldContinue reading “Video: Michael Ratner tells Manning’s story, David Coombs explains”

we all have our secrets

I first saw the Manning video below last year, during the very FIRST of Manning’s pre-trial hearings. I was covering that week’s vigil outside Fort Meade, which also doubled as a Veterans for Peace convention. ( I’m the one in the beret in this photo, behind Dan Choi and Ray McGovern). Before he ever was a soldier, Manning was an out gay guy, one with a certain libertarian mindset that may sound familiar.

Saving Breanna Elizabeth Manning

From last week’s reporting Manning comes off as bright, funny, and clear about what he’s done. And his jailers come off as, at the very least a little dim — naive in that sense that actually means cruel. And this particular drama is a crazy-quilt mirror on the current state of American democracy.

Status report

For those who might be wondering why this whole project is so overdue.and/or why you DIDN’T see it on the fall catalog for UCPress. When I started working on this book, its subtitle was Soldiers Who Dissent: From George Washington to John Murtha, the latter name because back then, in 2006,  it wasn’t that longContinue reading “Status report”

Can you handle the truth? A guest post from Jane Fonda

The role of Jane Fonda in the Vietnam-era GI movement has always deeply intrigued me, but I had no idea she’d been turned anti-war after meeting deserters in Paris. The fuller story fascinates. I’ve long known the “Hanoi Jane” stuff was a smear job. Now, in “The Truth About My Trip to Hanoi,” which she explicitlyContinue reading “Can you handle the truth? A guest post from Jane Fonda”