Letter to Bradley Manning

 

May 2, 2011

Bradley Manning, #89289

830 Sabalu Road

Fort Leavenworth, Kansas  66027

Dear Bradley,

I want you to know that I have tremendous empathy for what you are going through now, and what you have endured for this past year.

About thirty-five years ago, I worked to “leak” information and “blow the whistle” on illegal activities being conducted by members of the California Highway Patrol.  I was a member of the CHP then, too.  I had been approached by agents of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms and agents of the Drug Enforcement Administration, along with a CIA “operative”.  I was aware of certain information regarding CHP officers that were involved with Mexican “officials” in running guns over the border and scamming American insurance companies (out of “ransom” monies to be paid for cars, SUV’s and trucks stolen in the USA and “recovered” in Mexico).

As the investigation unfolded, it turned out that there was corruption at many levels in the California Highway Patrol AND federal law enforcement agencies.  Today, news about gun running over the Mexican border and corruption with law enforcement agencies has gained the attention of some of our governmental leaders.  However, the information was there to be had thirty-five years ago.

I, like you, took a solemn oath to uphold the Constitution of the United States of America.  I also swore to do the same regarding the Constitution of the State of California.  The types of activities that I reported on were definitely in violation of both federal and state constitutions.

I understand the risks that you took in your attempts to support the Constitution of the United States of America.  I know that you must feel betrayed and abandoned by your country.  I know that you must be questioning the “righteousness” of your actions.

I gave up my career with the California Highway Patrol to keep my family safe.  We had received many threats against our safety, well-being and very lives, because I chose to cooperate with government agencies that I trusted to ensure justice.  I was devastated and saddened to learn that so many in our government are NOT interested in truth or the law.

I and my family have suffered through the years because I took a stand to do what was right.  But, so far, I have not been forced to spend any time in jail.  I was viewed by some as being “disloyal” to my organization and fellow officers.  However, I know it was they that were disloyal to their oath and to their duty.

I know you, too, along with your family are suffering for your actions and choices to help expose illegal, deceitful, harmful and unethical behaviors on the part of members of the American military, civilian leaders and elected officials.  I cannot predict for you how your life will be impacted nor what will unfold in your future.

I can tell you though, that I (and my family) commend you for your bravery and your courage.  You may feel like you are fighting a lonely battle, but you are NOT alone.  There are millions of Americans that are grateful for YOUR voice and voices like yours.

Take heart.  Find courage.  You are appreciated, honored and loved by MANY.  Do not become discouraged by the ill-will and rancor of those that would criticize or vilify you.  Most of those people do not have the integrity or courage to be true to their selves, much less to their country and fellow citizens.

You are a hero to all honest and thinking Americans, Bradley.

I am but one of your grateful fellow citizens.

Steven Lindsey

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