Friday, May 31, 2013

***A Confession, Of Sorts

For Joyce D., Hunter College High School, NYC, Class Of 1965, Out There Somewhere In Cyberspace

From The Pen Of Peter Paul Markin:
We live in an age, thanks to Internet technology, where one is able to tell-all in an instant pushing the limits of an already previously burgeoning confessional ethos well beyond what the average person needs to know. Needs to know, frankly, even on the high side of the “information super-highway.” Needs to know about anyone else’s personal business, okay. Well, here is my little contribution to the genre with a half-fictional, half-whimsical tale. But only half...

Okay, okay I have a confession to make. I am being forced to do so, kicking and screaming, and not your average kicking and screaming but door-kicking and banshee- screaming so you know, know deep down, that I do not want do this, by my "soul mate." A woman who I have trusted, trust, and will continue to trust until I can trust no more, although this request stretches that trust thing more than a little. Her telling me, moreover, something about coming clean for the good of my soul. I hate that imperative moral tone but I have learned a thing or two over time. One of the things being that you ignore than “tone” of hers at your peril.

In any case one and all should now know that I am on this North Adamsville Class of 1964 classmate site under false pretenses. [Referring to a site set up by do-gooder members of the class to run amok in our sweetly and quietly aging lives, going gentle into that good night, by peppering anyone they could round up via the Internet with endless questions about what we have been doing for the past almost fifty years-jesus, get lives, get lives please, and let me return to writing political stuff-PPM].

Oh, sure, when I originally came on the site I, like everybody else, was just trying to take a little nostalgic trip down memory lane to the good old high school days. However, once here, I started to spew forth about the fates of various sports figures like the fleet-footed long distance runner, Billy Kelly, and the behemoth football player, Thundering Timmy Riley, and his heroic partners in the victorious 1964 football season. And high school dances, corner boy life, boy meets girls dates and stuff, “watching the submarine” races down at old Adamsville Beach, drive-in movies and restaurants, be-bop nights and not be-bop nights. Kids’ stuff ready, harmless kids’ stuff.

Then, seemingly as an act of hubris, I felt compelled to investigate various aspects of our common past using a very handy copy, a copy made handy by one Billy Kelly, of the North Adamsville Magnet, our class yearbook, as a guide. I ran through a whole series of investigations from rather simple ones like the pressing question of the rationale for white socks and white shorts in gym (and white socks elsewhere) to the more urgent one of the rationale for separate boys' and girls' bowling teams and, ultimately, stumbling on to the apparently nefarious doings of Tri-Hi-Y. Well, you get the drift- a guy with a little time on his hands and a decided penchant for mischief.

Well those would all be good and sufficient reasons for being on the site, if those were indeed the reasons. But here is where the confessional part comes in. The REAL reason I am on the site is the generic class homepage. Apparently in order to finance the website those curmudgeonly class do-gooders rented out space for cyber-advertising, helter-skelter advertising. Also, apparently, unconcerned about heart attacks and other medical problems for their fellow male AARP-worthies (and maybe female as well), they “permitted” advertising by online dating services. Thus, I am very, very curious, among other things, about those 833 nubile young women, courtesy of one such online dating service, who live near my town and who are just dying to meet an old geezer. (Fellow women classmates, I am sure, get the same pitch with hulky, beefcake young guys.) The slender, slinky, saucy (and intelligent, of course) Kerry, in particular, has my attention. But enough of talking about such things. That above-mentioned "soul mate" would take a very dim view on this subject since I am here merely to confess not to speak of ogling. However now I know why the expression "dirty old man" and the word "lecher" were created in the English language long ago, long before the Internet reared its ugly head into our lives.

That hardly ends this sordid tale though. Other, admittedly, lesser kinds of information also intrigued me like my credit rating. Hell, apparently, my credit is too good. I can't raise a bank loan for hell nor high water. Seemingly only GM, Goldman Sachs, AIG and that bankrupt-prone crowd gets the nod these days. (Now, let's not get political here Peter Paul. Save that for another day.) More appropriately, if ominously, our brethren at AARP have seen fit to extol the virtues of long-term health care insurance. So you can see how one can get easily sidetracked. So be it. However, here is the good part. I have taken, and I hope others will join me, the PLEDGE. From here on in I will keep my eyes straight forward on my profile page [each member, as in many social networking sites, has his or her own page, for better or worse], the Class Of 1964 home page and only click on the Message Board section. Well, except for one little, little peek at... winsome Kerry.
Dorchester Parade - Sunday - June 2, 2013

Please join the Smedleys in the Dorchester Day Parade, this Sunday.
Please see information below, assembly area and time is at the bottom of this message.
We need your participation in this important effort. Years ago the Smedleys had a strong presence in this parade. We started walking in the parade again last year and had a very good turn-out, we are hoping for a good turn-out again this year. There are tens of thousands who will be watching this parade. We are warmly welcomed, and our message is welcome. We will have our banners and flags and will be handing out information along the way
Please come and help us have the strongest showing possible as we walk the 3.2 miles through the streets of Dorchester.
If you are interested in coming but can't walk the distance please let me know. If there are members who would like to participate but can’t walk the distance please let us know. We have one convertible and one other car to help with rides for those who can not walk the distance.
Please let us know if you are planning on coming so we have some idea of how many of us there will be.
We will assemble between 11:00 and 11:30 noon. The parade steps off at 1:00 pm.
(We have to have a contingent at the staging area at 11:00 am, not everyone needs to be there that early). So if you have a morning commitment (ie church, temple, synagogue or mosque) please still try and come. We are in the middle of the parade this year and will probably not actually step off until about 1:15 pm or later.
Please invite any veteran you know who might want to walk in this parade to join us.
If you have any questions please feel free to contact me or Winston for information
Pat: 978-475-1776
Winston: 617-784-7518
Parade Information: Assembly Point and Directions are below
Dorchester Parade – Assembly location
VFP is in the 2nd Division
We will assemble on Richmond Street at the corner of Dorchester Ave.
Assembly time is 11:00 - 12:00 noon
Look for VFP flags.
Directions to Dorchester Parade Staging Area:
We recommend public transportation:
If you are driving – recommendation:
By T – Take the Red line to Ashmont Station.
Transfer to the Mattapan Hi-speed Line (Trolley) – get off at the “BUTLER” stop. Walk north two short blocks on Butler Street to Richmond Street – Look for VFP flags. We will be down near Dorchester Ave.
For those of hearty stock – from Ashmont Station you can walk down Dorchester Ave. about one mile to Richmond and Dorchester Ave.
Preferred driving directions:
Drive to Ashmont Station, park your car. Take Mattapan Hi-speed line (Trolley) – get off at Butler stop.
OR: Drive to the Butler Station area - to get a space you should be there early
Driving from the North:
93 South to exit 11B, merge onto Granite Ave toward MA-203/Ashmont, go .5 miles.
Turn left onto Milton Street – go .2 miles
Take 1st left onto Adams Street – go .7 miles
Turn left onto Medway Street – go .2 miles
Slight left onto Bearse Ave – go .1 mile
Take 1st left onto Butler Street – you will be at Butler Station.
Driving from the South:
Take 93 North to exit 11, Merge onto Granite Ave towards MA-203/Ashmont
Follow the directions above.
Driving from the Southwest:
Take Route 128, Exit onto Route 28 North towards Milton (North Main St/Randolph Ave) – go 4.8 miles
Slight right to stay on Randolph Ave - go 75 feet
Turn left onto Adams Street – go 443 feet
Take 1st right onto Medway Street – go .2 miles
Slight left onto Bearse Ave. – go .1 mile
Take 1st left onto Butler Street – you will be at Butler Station
***White socks.....and white shorts

For James And John C., Clintondale Class Of 1964

From The Pen Of Frank Jackman

Jimmy Taylor was desperate for a pair of gym-worthy white shorts, gym day worthy whites. Desperate enough to go into the dreaded battered white shorts discard cardboard box now slumped across from the shower stalls and rummage, rummage nose held, for a pair that would pass muster. Pass muster when Coach Dickson (everybody called him Coach, although he hadn’t coached a sport in Clintondale since Roosevelt was president, Teddy Roosevelt, Jimmy thought) passed down the line like some imitation colonel inspecting two things-white shorts and white socks. Clean, unwrinkled, better be pressed, white shorts of the appropriate size.

That last quality mattered, at least this is what Jimmy had heard from his own older brother, Kenny, Class of 1961, ever since one small sophomore, or maybe it was a freshman, whose brother was a behemoth on the Clintondale football team, the 1960 one that went on to win the Class D state championship if you remember that great team and that great season, “inherited” his brother’s perfectly good white shorts. Perfectly good according to this lad’s mother, and with the concurrence of many a Clintondale Irish working-class mother who knew things in that neighborhood were dear just then. They kept falling down, the behemoth's white sail shorts that is, exposing, well, exposing the fact that he did not have a jock strap on, and we will leave it at that, or could. Except Coach Dickson, cold-hearted Coach, merely cuttingly commented that he was glad there were no girls around because there would be nothing to see, wink, wink.

Needless to say every boy, particularly every senior boy, every Class of 1964 boy that is, in the place laughed or at least chuckled at Coach’s lame remark, fearful that "His Vengefulness" might hold up their graduations for failure to pass a state-mandated requirement. And according to local school lore, Clintondale High lore any way, back in those Roosevelt days (Teddy or Franklin, could have been either Jimmy again thought) he had actually done so. And the school committee backed him up, creating a legend that he lived, no, feasted off of for the next few decades. There was another story, or maybe stories, of too tight shorts exploding on the wrestling mat or while the guys were doing some gymnastic exercise. Those were just rumors though, Kenny never mentioned anything about that. In any case Coach Dickson’s Rule Three A ruled. (Rule Three being the part about clean and presentable white shorts.)

The failure to observe the afore-mentioned rule branded you as a felon not fit for civilized company, or it might as well have, for you had exactly one excused non-white short, non-white-sock gym period, per year, per student, as per Coach Dickson’s rule. (Rule Four, for all the rules see the bulletin board in front of Coach’s office. Bring a chair and reading glasses, if you need them, you will be there a while). And Jimmy had already used his up back in the fall when he had “forgotten” his after going down one of the back halls, far down in one of the back halls, with a certain girl, a certain nameless girl, and left his bag with his shorts and socks in it behind. (Really, it’s true, guys, and, oh well, he won’t mention names, although he told me it, but a certain girl, a certain very “hot” girl, could back Jimmy’s claim up. Jimmy claimed that you too would have forgotten your foolish gym bag if you had been around her, and her craze-inducing perfume or soap that made her smell like some flower, a gardenia maybe. I agree about the craze-inducing part too.)

Today he had forgotten, real forgotten, to bring his shorts, and in any case he was probably fated for the death penalty anyway since he had also forgotten to have Martha (dear, sweet mother Taylor, for those not familiar with Clintondale, or with the Taylor clan that has been part of Clintondale society since Hector was a pup, and who do not know that woman) wash his dirty pairs of shorts and socks.

Of course Jimmy's scramble for white shorts much less for white socks, white matching socks, although the now doddering Coach Dickson was not always careful in inspecting socks so there was some wiggle room, was fated to be nothing but a humiliating experience, and was designed by His Vengefulness as such, since this wretched, battered cardboard box was filled with every thrown-away, nasty, off-white, sweat-grinded pair of shorts that Coach Dickson found lying around the locker rooms, or wherever he could find such things. (Although Jimmy, in a fit of gallows humor, chuckled to himself that he bet that Coach had not found those shorts down that dark hall where he had gone with Liz, oops, no names.)

But the white socks were worse, much worse, thrown hither and yon after doing yeoman’s service on some perspiring feet. All dirt-smudged caused by rubbing against the inners of some too tight sneakers while playing volleyball, basketball, or a really athletic endeavor like throwing the medicine ball and then left on some dank floor to walk home by themselves (no kidding either) when Coach’s charges changed into “civilian” socks-brown, black, or blue to go with their penny loafers. (The rest of the “uniform” being a plaid shirt and black chino pants, cuffed, preferred, uncuffed if your mother bought them.)

Today though he also started to notice some stuff that he could have cared less about yesterday. A lot of the guys on gym day wore their white socks with their uniform (plaid shirts and, cuffed or uncuffed, black chinos, remember), with their penny loafers. Egad. Squaresville, squaresville cubed. Also he started to remember that when the Class of 1964 athletic team pictures were being taken along with the jacket, tie, and slacks he noticed that most of the guys, especially the guys who were sitting down had white socks on. Double squaresville cubed. White socks, jesus. Jimmy was dumbfounded and said to himself what, pray tell (although he may have not used that exact term), was the meaning of this sartorial display. Moreover, did it extend beyond athletics? He knew, as a creature of habit at the time and one who desperately wanted to be “in”, that he too wore his "whites," sometimes unthinkingly.

But what kind of fashion statement were they trying to make at the time? “White socks” meant only one thing- dweeb, nerd, outcast and not cool. He distinctly remembered that term in reference to scientific and engineer-types. And they were not cool. As cool as he and his corner boys tried to be were they really all dweebs who did not get the message fast enough out in the 'sticks' of Clintondale?

And that last question got Jimmy to thinking, rebelliously thinking when he started to get up a head of steam about it. Why, if you forgot your white shorts or white socks, couldn’t you just wear your civilian clothes in gym and not have to go through the indignity of the dread battered box discard pile. And while Fritz was organizing this train of revolutionary thought (to Coach and his rules, if to nobody else) in his head he added why if you did have your white shorts but had forgotten your white socks couldn’t you just use your civilian brownblackblue socks. It’s only two-period-a-week gym, right? And on that note Fritz made a momentous decision. He was, come hell or high water, going to find a pair of decent white shorts and just wear them with his brown civilian socks as a protest against the injustice of Coach’s silly rule. He then found a suitable pair, donned them and walked out to face the music.
***Frankie Riley Holds Forth- On The Aches And Pains Of Aging

-With Jim Cullen, North Adamsville Class Of 1964, And All Other AARP-Worthy Brethren In Mind

From The Pen Of Frank Jackman

"Do not go gentle..

...into that good night." First line of Dylan Thomas' poem of the same name.


Do not go gentle into that good night,

Old age should burn and rave at close of day;

Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Though wise men at their end know dark is right,

Because their words had forked no lightning they

Do not go gentle into that good night.

Good men, the last wave by, crying how bright

Their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay,

Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight,

And learn, too late, they grieved it on its way,

Do not go gentle into that good night.

Grave men, near death, who see with blinding sight

Blind eyes could blaze like meteors and be gay,

Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

And you, my father, there on the sad height,

Curse, bless me now with your fierce tears, I pray.

Do not go gentle into that good night.

Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Frankie Riley here. Yah, I know it’s been a while since you have heard from me and I have seen or heard from most of you. Now some of you know, know full well, that back in North Adamsville days I could, well, you know “stretch” the truth. Stretch it pretty far when I was in a fix, or one of my corner boys like my right-hand man Peter Paul Markin up at our old "up the Downs" haunt, Salducci’s Pizza Parlor, needed some outlandish excuse to get right. And fellow women classmates and some other women non-classmates as well know I would outright lie, lie like the devil, in church or out, to get, well, “close” to you. Hope you forgive me about the lying, not about the trying to get close to you part. But that is all water of over the dam or under the bridge, take your choice. Today I am a new man, a truth-teller, or trying to be, except of course when I am practicing my profession as a lawyer. Then the truth might just be as elusive as it was when I was making up excuses for my corner boys or, if you were a woman, trying to“feel” you up. But enough of that as I am not here to speak of my repentance or about me at all, as hard as that might be to believe, but of the hard fact of age, yah, that creeping up thing that just kind of snuck up on us. So I am here to say just one thing- “won’t you take my word from me” like the old blues singer Rabbit Brown used to sing when he had the miseries. Listen up.

I am, once again, on my high horse today like I used to be when I had the bee in my bonnet on some subject in the old days. I have heard enough, in fact more than enough, whining from fellow AARP-worthies that I have been in contact with lately and others of my contemporaries from the "Generation of '68” about the aches and pains of becoming “ a certain age.” If I hear one more story about a knee, hip, heart, or, maybe, brain replacement or other transformative surgery I will go screaming into that good night. The same goes for descriptions of the CVS-worthy litany of the contents of an average graying medicine cabinet. Or the high cost of meds.

If I am not mistaken, and from what that old gossipy Markin has told me, many of you fully imbibed in all the excesses of our generation from crazed-out drug overkill to wacky sexual exploits that need not be mentioned in detail here (although I would not mind hearing of a few exploits strictly in confidence, attorney-client type confidence, of course), and everything else in between. Admit it. So come on now, after a lifetime of booze, dope, and wild times what did you expect? For those of us who have not lived right, lo these many years, the chickens have come home to roost. But I have a cure. Make that THE cure.

No I am not, at this late date, selling the virtues of the Bible, the Torah, the Koran or any of a thousand and one religious cures we are daily bombarded with. You knew, or at least I hope you knew, I wasn't going to go that route. That question, in any case, is each individual's prerogative and I have no need to interfere there. Nor am I going to go on and on about the wonders of liposuction, botox, chin lifts, buttocks tuckers, stomach flatteners and the like. Damn, have we come to that? And I certainly do not want to inflame the air with talk of existentialism or some other secular philosophies that tell you to accept your fate with your head down. You knew that, as well. No, I am here to give the "glad tidings," unadorned. Simply put- two words-graham crackers. No, do not reach for the reading glasses, your eyes do not deceive you- graham crackers is what I said.

Hear me out on this. I am no "snake oil" salesman, nor do I have stock in Nabisco (moreover their products are not "true" graham). So, please do not start jabbering to me about how faddish that diet was- in about 1830. I know that it has been around a while. And please do not start carping about how wasn't this healthful substance "magic elixir," or some such, that Ralph Waldo Emerson and his transcendentalist protégés praised to high heaven back in Brook Farm days. Well, I frankly admit, as with any such movement, some of those guys went over the top, especially that wacky Bronson Alcott. Irresponsible zealots are always with us. Please, please do not throw out the baby with the bath water.

Doctor Graham simply insisted that what our dietary intake consisted of was important and that a generous amount of graham flour in the system was good for us. Moreover, in order to avoid some of the mistakes of the earlier movement, in the age of the Internet we can now Googleto find an almost infinite variety of uses and helpful recipes. Admit it, right now your head is swirling thinking about how nice it would be to have a few crackers and a nice cold glass of milk (fat-free or 1%, of course). Admit also; you loved those graham crumb-crusted pies your grandmother used to make. The old chocolate pudding-filled ones were my favorite. Lime was a close second. Enough said.

Here is the closer, as they say. If people have been mistaking you for your father's brother or mother's sister lately then this is your salvation. So scurry down to your local Whole Foods or other natural food store and begin to fight your way back to health. Let me finish with this personal testimonial. I used to regularly be compared in appearance to George Bush, Sr. Now I am being asked whether Brad Pitts is my twin brother. Or is it Robert Redford? .....Oh well, that too is part of the aging process. Like I say-“won’t you take my word from me.” Get to it.


To “jump start” you here is a little recipe I culled from my own Google of the Internet.

Graham Crackers Recipe
November 10, 2004

I'm nostalgic about graham crackers because they remind me of my Grandma Mac. Her full name is Maxine McMurry and she is now 90 years old. She lived just a short drive from our house (when my sister and I were kids) and we would tag along after soccer games when my dad would go by on Saturdays to check up on her, trim hedges, wash cars, or do any handyman work she needed. Heather and I didn't mind at all because she had a huge driveway that was flat as a pancake and smooth as an frozen pond --perfect for roller skating. This was in striking contrast to our house that was on a steep hill which made skating perilous at best.

Grandma Mac always had snacks and treats for us when we arrived. She had a beautiful cookie jar in the shape of a big red apple which was always filled with oatmeal raisin cookies (I admittedly picked out all the raisins). Around the holidays she would fill old See's candy boxes with perfect cubes of chocolate fudge, and if we were really lucky she would have a plate full of sweet, graham cracker sandwich cookies in the refrigerator. It was a pretty simple concept, but I've never had it since. She would take cream cheese frosting and slather it between two graham crackers and then let it set up in the fridge. I couldn't get enough.

So I thought of her when I saw this recipe for homemade graham crackers from Nancy Silverton's pastry book. I've cooked a few other winners from Nancy's books in the past; the Classic Grilled Cheese with Marinated Onions and Whole Grain Mustard, and Spiced Caramel Corn, and have quite a few more tagged for the future.

Most people think graham crackers come from the box. Period. But making homemade versions of traditional store-bought staples is worth the effort if you have some extra time or enthusiasm -- in part because the homemade versions always taste better, but also because people LOVE seeing and tasting homemade versions of foods they have only tasted out of a store-bought bag or box. I've done marshmallows and hamburger buns in the past, as well - both a lot of fun.

As far as Nancy Silverton's take on graham crackers goes - this recipe was flawless. I didn't even have to make a special trip to the store because I had every ingredient in my pantry - flour, brown sugar, honey, butter. The dough was easy to work with, and the best part of the whole thing is that the cookies actually taste exactly like graham crackers. They are delicious. I included a recipe for the cream cheese frosting in case you want to make sandwich cookies out of your homemade crackers.

Graham Cracker Recipe

2 1/2 cups plus 2 tablespoons unbleached pastry flour or unbleached all-purpose flour

1 cup dark brown sugar, lightly packed

1 teaspoon baking soda

3/4 teaspoon kosher salt

7 tablespoons (3 1/2 ounces) unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch cubes and frozen

1/3 cup mild-flavored honey, such as clover

5 tablespoons whole milk

2 tablespoons pure vanilla extract

For the topping:

3 tablespoons granulated sugar

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

In the bowl of a food processor fitted with the steel blade or in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the flour, brown sugar, baking soda, and salt. Pulse or mix on low to incorporate. Add the butter and pulse on and off on and off, or mix on low, until the mixture is the consistency of a coarse meal.

In a small bowl, whisk together the honey, milk, and vanilla extract. Add to the flour mixture and pulse on and off a few times or mix on low until the dough barely comes together. It will be very soft and sticky.

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and pat the dough into a rectangle about 1 inch thick. Wrap in plastic and chill until firm, about 2 hours or overnight.

To prepare the topping: In a small bowl, combine the sugar and cinnamon, and set aside.

Divide the dough in half and return one half to the refrigerator. Sift an even layer of flour onto the work surface and roll the dough into a long rectangle about 1/8 inch thick. The dough will be sticky, so flour as necessary. Trim the edges of the rectangle to 4 inches wide. Working with the shorter side of the rectangle parallel to the work surface, cut the strip every 4 1/2 inches to make 4 crackers. Gather the scraps together and set aside. Place the crackers on one or two parchment-lined baking sheets and sprinkle with the topping. Chill until firm, about 30 to 45 minutes. Repeat with the second batch of dough.

Adjust the oven rack to the upper and lower positions and preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Gather the scraps together into a ball, chill until firm, and reroll. Dust the surface with more flour and roll out the dough to get about two or three more crackers.

Mark a vertical line down the middle of each cracker, being careful not to cut through the dough. Using a toothpick or skewer, prick the dough to form two dotted rows about 1/2 inch for each side of the dividing line.

Bake for 25 minutes, until browned and slightly firm to the tough, rotating the sheets halfway through to ensure even baking.

Yield: 10 large crackers

From Nancy Silverton's Pastries from the La Brea Bakery (Villard, 2000)

Cream Cheese Frosting1

8-ounce package of cream cheese

2 tablespoons butter, softened

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

3 cups of powdered sugar, sifted

Beat the butter in the bowl of an electric mixer until creamy. Mix in the cream cheese and beat until light and fluffy. Stir in the vanilla extract and when fully incorporated add the powdered sugar. Mix until smooth and creamy. Place in the refrigerator for an hour before using.

from Nancy Silverton's Pastries from the La Brea Bakery - reprinted with permission

***On Being Kadin- With Orson Welles’ Mr. Arkadin In Mind

From The Pen Of Frank Jackman
Sometimes it was hard to know about a guy, about whether he was on the level, whether he was playing straight with you. That thought had crossed Frank Leroy’s mind a few weeks before as he heard the proposition put before him by a guy who had been standing right in front of him in his office, a guy named, let’s just call him Mr. Welles, a name that might just have been his real name and after all hell broke loose in the couple of weeks after that who really knew what his damn name was, or who he really was before the whole thing crashed in on him. That playing it straight part though was important to Frank even though in that Welles case he had made a serious error in judgment, an error that in his business, the private, very private, eye business where a life, his life, might depend on whether the guy was on the square, was on the level, or not.

Funny it all seemed so straight at the time, or maybe the money that Mr. Welles flashed at him was just too green and plentiful for him to not push the envelope of straight a little further than necessary. He needed dough just then, needed it to keep the dunning landlord from putting a For Rent on his crummy Acme Office Building two-bit office in London’s East End and more importantly keep his ex-wife’s attorney from slamming him before some irate domestic relations judge for being way behind on his alimony and child support payments. And so he bit, although he knew, no, sensed Welles’ story was just a little too pat.
Of course everybody, everybody in post-world, post-World War II Europe, if you are asking which war, knew who Simon Welles was, or knew the name, knew that he had his hand in every kind of activity, legal and illegal, and that he as a result was one of the richest men in Europe, and maybe the most ruthless in that eerie black market, Marshall aid, red scare cold war night that was descending on Europe. And Welles had the inside track on every kind of angle, had every connection, especially to the Americans, and had, if it came to that, many angels on his side because he spread dough around, enough dough around to make people, hungry, ravaged people, forget the source of his largesse. So when he stood in front Frank, with some kind of weird wig and false beard disguise that he said he needed to protect himself from some guys trying to find him, find him and put a couple of slugs in his skull, he knew he had hit the gravy train. (Welles’ took that wig and beard get-up and Frank immediately knew he was the legendary, ah, financier. At least that was what the sympathetic press called him. )

And here was Mr. Welles’ simple request. It seems that when he had started out his “career,” his early corner boy gangster career in Germany (Frank later found out, found out the hard way, that Welles had started out that very real career in Croatia under the name Arkady, or something like that) that he had been involved in some rough stuff and now that he was well-known certain parties from back then were searching for him with designs on his head, designs to take it off. The problem was that Mr. Welles claimed he had had an accident, a head injury accident, shortly before the war and could not remember what he had done then, whose wrath he might have drawn, and who had sent the guys who had already taken one pot shot at him in Barcelona. (That turned out to be actually have been Madrid where he was known by the name Arkins and that pot shot turned out to be just short of a full field- fire infantry assault on his home there in Welles- friendly Spain.)
So Mr. Welles wanted Frank, since he was English and unknown on the continent to reconstruct his past. And as he flashed those hundred dollar American bills (the only money worth taking in Europe just then. The money turned out to be real enough just in case you are wondering, although not nearly enough to catch him just short of death, and in the end just plain not enough.) Frank saw that the proposition certainly had it risks but not more so than some of the jobs he had handled before for much less kale. So he played his hunch, his spin-the-wheel guy on the level hunch, and took the job.

That was the last safe moment he had. Welles had given him a few leads, a few names of guys who might be able to steer him in the right direction. Yah, he should have known, should have known who was doing the steering, if not why. He went to the first guy, a guy down at the Thames docks, Wally, and asked if he knew a certain name, Aberdeen, and where he might have known it from. He said he knew a guy by that name, or a name like that, Arkwright, back in the early 1930s, a Russian, he thought who brought dough from the Communist International, maybe from Stalin himself , he wasn’t sure, to support a long strike on the docks. He said ask a guy Bruno who he heard was over in Paris working in a café, The Flower, something like that, the last he had heard. (Wally, real name Orlov, unknown to Frank, was found dead three day later face down fished out from along the Thames two well-placed shots through his eyes.)
So Frank moved on to Paris, did some simple leg work and, and found Bruno at the Red Rose Café that catered to Americans with some dough. Frank asked about Aberdeen/Arkwright (it turned out to be Arkwright). Bruno thought for a bit and remembered that he had known that name because he was the guy who provided the funds to get him and his buddies some weapons to form a private militia in Austria when the Germans were egging the Austrian fascists on in the early 1930s to overthrow the Socialist government there. (The money actually came from Italy although it might have originated in Germany; Frank was in no position to follow that up.) Bruno said Mann, a guy still in Vienna, who owned a smoke shoppe, The Cigar Factory, might know more since he was in charge of the militia before all hell broke loose in 1938. (Bruno was found a week later in mysterious circumstances hanging from the ceiling light of his small room, ruled an “accident” as suicides were then labeled by the Paris police).

In Vienna Frank hit pay-dirt. Frank arrived at the smoke shoppe as Mann was about to close. Mann knew everything about the man Frank called Arkwright but that he called Arkov. See Arkov was an émigré Russian who hated the Bolsheviks and he had been there in 1923 when Hitler tried to seize power or whatever the hell he was doing to create havoc. This Arkov was something like Hitler’s bodyguard or something, rough stuff, a real gangster but a gangster with politics and he had helped Mann and his boys out with dough and weapons when things were looking good in Germany in the 1930s and they wanted the same in Austria. This Arkov bragged that he had killed a few Reds in the 1923 melee and then fled. The last he had heard was the Russians still wanted a word with him. That was in early 1941. As the pair finished their conversation and Mann headed to the door to go home for the day a deadly fuselage of gun fire cut Mann down. Frank, who was nicked by a passing bullet, ducked behind the counter and worked his way out the back door and got the hell away from that death trap.
And it was a close thing. See Oscar Kadin, a Croat, our Mister Welles, actually had been an agent of Hitler’s, had killed a number of Reds, and those Reds having long memories, long post-war Cold War memories, decided that they needed to have more than a word with Kadin. They had been following Kadin into Vienna. They had caught up with him later that night in the Imperial Hotel and took care of their business with Mr. Kadin. Frank, forgetting his close call for a minute, thought damn he never got paid the rest of his fee, damn that Mister Welles.

Court martial to begin. Solidarity events June 1-8.
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Bradley Manning Support Network

Court Martial Begins June 3rd

Over 1000 people have RSVP'ed for the mass demonstration for Bradley Manning at Fort Meade June 1st. And on June 2nd, please join us in Washington, DC for a panel on Bradley and the media, with Daniel Ellsberg, Jesselyn Radack, Michael Ratner, and Peter Van Buren. International actions June 1-8, and a mass shout out for Bradley online!
Join us at Fort Meade June 1st!
June 1st. Mass demonstration for Bradley Manning. After more than three years of imprisonment, including eleven months of solitary confinement, three time Nobel Peace Prize nominee Bradley Manning’s trial will finally begin June 3, 2013, at Fort Meade, Maryland. The outcome of this trial will determine whether a conscience-driven 25-year-old WikiLeaks whistle-blower spends the rest of his life in prison. Bradley believed that the American people have a right to know the truth about what our government does around the world in our name.
This is our last chance before the court martial to stand up for Bradley. Let's send a message to the military prosecuting authority, and President Obama, that Bradley Manning is a patriot and heroic truth-teller.
When: June 1, 2013 - 1pm.
Where: Fort Meade (Reece Road & US 175)

Click here for directions and lodging information.
Numerous charter buses have been organized. Get on a chartered Bradley Manning bus! Click here for information on buses from Baltimore MD, Washington DC, New York City NY, Willimantic CT, New Brunswick NJ, Philadelphia PA, Syracuse NY, and Minneapolis MN. RSVP to the event on Facebook here.

Daniel Ellsberg speaking out for Bradley Manning
June 2nd. Panel on Manning and the Media. Pentagon Papers whistle-blower Daniel Ellsberg, Government Accountability Project director and DOJ whistle-blower Jesselyn Radack, Center for Constitutional Rights president emeritus Michael Ratner , and former State Department employee Peter Van Buren will discuss how WikiLeaks and the Bradley Manning trial have impacted journalism. The panelists will examine how the information released by Bradley Manning helped shaped the public’s understanding of war, diplomacy, and government secrecy, and the way the press reports on each. They’ll explore how the government’s unprecedentedly broad interpretation of “aiding the enemy” in prosecuting Bradley Manning gravely threatens press freedoms in the United States.
When: June 2, 2013 – 5:00-7:00
Where: All Soul’s Church, 1500 Harvard Street NW, Washington DC, 20009

RSVP to the event on Facebook here.
International Call to Action
International Events
Brisbane City, Australia -6/1
Sydney, NSW, Australia -6/1
Vancouver, Canada -6/7
Vancouver, Canada -6/8
Toronto, Canada -6/1
Heidelberg, Germany -6/1
Berlin, Germany -6/1
Cardiff, Cardiff -6/1
London, UK -6/1
Rome, Italy -6/1
Seoul City, South Korea -6/1-6/8
U.S. Events
Phoenix, AZ -6/7
Tucson, AZ -6/1
Dublin, CA -6/8
Los Angeles, CA -6/1
Montrose, CA -6/7
West Hollywood, CA -6/8
San Diego, CA -6/1
San Francisco, CA -6/1
San Francisco, CA -6/1
Santa Cruz, CA -6/1
Hartford, CT -6/6
Tallahassee, FL -6/2
Tampa, FL -6/1
Tampa, FL -6/6
Des Moines, IA -6/5
Chicago, IL -6/3
Cambridge, MA -6/5
Boston, MA -6/1
Portland, ME -6/1
Minneapolis, MN -6/6
Honolulu, HI -6/1Highland Park, NJ -6/1
Delmar, NY -6/3
Medford, OR -6/1
Toledo, OH -6/1
Toledo, OH -6/9
Seattle, WA -6/1

Join our mass shout out for Bradley Manning online

On June 3rd, when the court martial is scheduled to begin, supporters will be shouting out a message of support for Bradley in unison across Facebook and Twitter. Thunderclap is a web service that schedules your post or tweet, so once you sign up you don't have to be online to take part! Every person counts. Join us! Click here to signup for the "I Am Bradley Manning" Thunderclap!
***Pardon Private Bradley Manning Stand-Out-Central Square, Cambridge, Wednesdays, 5:00 PM -Update –May 31, 2013


Let’s Redouble Our Efforts To Free Private Bradley Manning-President Obama Pardon Bradley Manning -Make Every Town Square In America (And The World) A Bradley Manning Square From Boston To Berkeley to Berlin-Join Us In Central Square, Cambridge, Ma. For A Stand-Out For Bradley- Wednesdays From 5:00-6:00 PM

Obviously the most important update today, May 31, 2013, is that Bradley Manning is finally, after over three years of pretrial detention, getting his day in court. In the lead up to that trial date on June1st there will be an international day of solidarity at Fort Meade and around the world to tell Bradley that he does not stand alone, that we have his back. That solidarity is particularly important in political prisoner cases. So plan to go to Fort Meade outside of Washington, D.C. on June 1st.. If you can’t make it to Fort Meade plan a solidarity event locally in support of this brave whistle-blower. In Boston the solidarity event is at Park Street Station downtown, the historic site of many progressive cause actions at 1:00 PM-Be there to tell Bradley you have his back.   


Stop The Media Blackout of The Bradley Manning Trial

Despite the unprecedented and historic nature of Army whistleblower Bradley Manning’s trial, journalists have thus far been banned from recording the proceedings. Because Americans more commonly get their news through television than from any other media source, this presents a major barrier to the American public staying informed on a trial that will profoundly affect the future of our country.

It’s outrageous that the American public is being denied the right to view the trial of U.S. vs. Bradley Manning. Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel was appointed by President Obama to ensure civilian oversight of the U.S. military.

Go To the Bradley Manning Support Network and sign the petition to Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel demanding that he ensure journalists can record Bradley Manning’s court martial proceedings! When you sign the petition the network e-mail system will send a message on your behalf to the office of Secretary of Defense.


Beginning in September 2011, in order to publicize Private Manning’s case locally, there have been weekly stand-outs (as well as other more ad hoc and sporadic events) in various locations in the Greater Boston area starting in Somerville across from the Davis Square Redline MBTA stop on Friday afternoons and later on Wednesdays. Lately this stand-out has been held each week on Wednesdays from 5:00 to 6:00 PM at Central Square, Cambridge, Ma. (small park at the corner of Massachusetts Avenue and Prospect Street just outside the Redline MBTA stop, renamed Manning Square for the duration of the stand-out) in order to continue to broaden our outreach. Join us there in calling for Private Manning’s freedom. President Obama Pardon Private Manning Now!


Those who have followed the heroic Wikileaks whistle-blower Private Bradley Manning’s case over the past year or so, since about April 2012 when the pre-trial hearings began in earnest, know that last November the defendant offered to plead guilty to a few lesser included charges in his indictment, basically taking legal and political responsibility for the leaks to WikiLeaks that had been the subject of some of the government’s allegations against him. Without getting into the arcane legal maneuvering on this issue the idea was to cut across the government’s pretty solid case against him being the leaker of information and to have the now scheduled for June trial be focused on the substantive question of whether his actions constituted “material aid to terrorism” and “aiding the enemy” which could subject Private Manning to life in prison. We noted then that we needed to stay with Bradley on this and make sure people know that what he admitted to was that he disclosed information about American military atrocities in Iraq and Afghanistan and other diplomatic high crimes and misdemeanors and only that. We also noted that he was, and is, frankly, in trouble, big trouble, and needs our support more than ever. Especially in light of the following:

After enduring nearly three years of detention, at times under torturous conditions, on February 28, 2013 Bradley Manning confessed that he had provided WikiLeakswith a trove of military and diplomatic documents that exposed U.S. imperialist schemes and wartime atrocities. Private Manning’s guilty plea on ten of 22 counts against him could land him in prison for 20 years. A day after Bradley confessed, military prosecutors announced plans to try him on the remaining counts, including “aiding the enemy” and violating the Espionage Act. Trial is expected to begin in early June, now scheduled for June 3rd.

In exposing the secrecy and lies with which the American government cover their depredations, Bradley Manning performed a great service to workers and oppressed around the world. All who oppose the imperialist barbarity and machinations revealed in the material he provided must join in demanding his immediate freedom. Also crucially important is the defense of Julian Assange against the vendetta by the U.S., Britain and their cohorts, who are attempting to railroad him to prison by one means or another for his role in running WikiLeaks.

In a 35-page statement he read to the military court after entering his plea (written summary available at the Bradley Manning Support Network and an audio transcript as well), Manning told of his journey from nearly being rejected in basic training to becoming an army intelligence analyst. In that capacity he came across mountains of evidence of U.S. duplicity and war crimes. The materials he provided to WikiLeaks included military logs documenting 120,000 civilian deaths in Iraq and Afghanistan and a formal military policy of covering up torture, rape and murder. A quarter-million diplomatic cables address all manner of lethal operations within U.S. client states, from the “drug war” in Mexico to drone strikes in Yemen. He also released files containing assessments of detainees held at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba. These documents show that the government continued to hold many who, Manning stated, were believed or known to be innocent, as well as “low level foot soldiers that did not have useful intelligence.”

The Pentagon and the Obama Administration declared war against WikiLeaks following the release of a video, now entitled Collateral Murder and widely available, conveyed by Manning, of a 2007 U.S. Apache helicopter airstrike in Iraq that killed at least 12 people, including two Reuters journalists. American forces are then shown firing on a van that pulled up to help the victims. Manning said he was most alarmed by the“bloodlust they appeared to have.” He described how instead of calling for medical attention for a seriously wounded individual trying to crawl to safety, an aerial crew team member “asks for the wounded person to pick up a weapon so that he can have a reason to engage.”

By January 2010, Manning said, he“began to become depressed with the situation that we found ourselves increasingly mired in year after year” and decided to make public many of the documents he had backed up as part of his work as an analyst. Manning first offered the materials to the Washington Post and the New York Times. Not getting anywhere with these pillars of the press establishment, the latter apparently not considering war crimes of its government, as opposed to all manner of foreign state activities, news fit to print in February 2010 he made his first submission to WikiLeaks. He attached a note advising that “this is possibly one of the more significant documents of our time removing the fog of war and revealing the true nature of twenty-first century asymmetric warfare. Have a good day.”

The charge of “aiding the enemy”—i.e., Al Qaeda—is especially ominous. This used to mean things like military sabotage and handing over information on troop movements to a battlefield enemy. In Manning’s case, the prosecution claims that the very act of publicizing U.S. military and diplomatic activities, some of which took place years before, amounted to “indirect” communication with Al Qaeda. Manning told the court that he believed that public access to the information “could spark a domestic debate on the role of the military and our foreign policy in general.” He hoped that this “might cause society to reevaluate the need or even the desire to engage in counterterrorism and counterinsurgency operations that ignore the complex dynamics of the people living in the affected environment every day.” But by the lights of the imperialists’ war on terror, any exposure of their depredations can be construed as support to the “terrorist”enemy, whoever that might be.

The Pentagon intends to call no fewer than 141 witnesses in its show trial, including four people to testify anonymously. One of them, designated as “John Doe,” is believed to be a Navy SEAL who participated in the raid that killed Osama bin Laden. “Doe” is alleged to have grabbed three disks from bin Laden’s Abbottabad, Pakistan, compound on which was stored four files’ worth of the WikiLeaks material provided by Manning.

Nor do charges under the Espionage Act have to have anything to do with actual spying. The law was one of an array of measures adopted to criminalize antiwar activity after U.S. imperialism’s entry into the First World War. It mandated imprisonment for any act deemed to interfere with the recruitment of troops. Among its first and most prominent victims was Socialist Party spokesman Eugene V. Debs, who was jailed for a June 1918 speech at a workers’ rally in Canton, Ohio, where he denounced the war as capitalist slaughter and paid tribute to the leaders of the 1917 Bolshevik Revolution. Dozens of Industrial Workers of the World organizers were also thrown into prison.

In the early 1970s, the Nixon government tried, unsuccessfully, to use this law to go after Daniel Ellsberg, whose release of the Pentagon Papers to the New York Times shed light on the history of U.S. imperialism’s losing war against the Vietnamese workers and peasants. Obama has happily picked up Nixon’s mantle. Manning’s prosecution will be the sixth time the Obama administration has used the Espionage Act against the source of an unauthorized leak of classified information—more than the combined total under all prior administrations since the law’s enactment in 1917.


The Private Bradley Manning case is headed toward an early summer trial. The news on his case over the past several months has centered on the many pre-trial motion hearings including defense motions to dismiss for lack of speedy trial. Private Manning’s pre-trial confinement is now well over 1000 days. That dismissal motion was ruled on by Military Judge Lind. On February 26, 2013 she denied the defense’s motion for dismissal, the last serious chance for Bradley Manning to go free before the scheduled June trial. She ruled furthermore that the various delays by the government were inherent in the nature of this case and that the military authorities, except in one short instance, had been diligent in their efforts to move the proceedings along. For those of us with military experience this is a classic, if perverse, case of that old army slogan-“Hurry up, and wait.” This is definitely tough news for Private Manning although perhaps a good appeal point in some future civilian court review.

The defense had contended that the charges should be dismissed because the military by its own statutes (to speak nothing of that funny old constitutional right to a speedy trial guarantee that our plebeian forbears fought tooth and nail for against the bloody British and later made damn sure was included in the Amendments when the founding fathers“forgot” to include it in the main document) should have arraigned Private Manning within 120 days after his arrest. They hemmed and hawed for almost 600 days before deciding on the charges and a court martial. Nobody in the convening authority, as required by those same statutes, pushed the prosecution forward in a timely manner. In fact the court-martial convening authority, in the person of one Colonel Coffman, seemed to have seen his role as mere “yes man” to each of the government’s eight requests for delays without explanation. Apparently the Colonel saw his role as a mere clearing agent for whatever excuse the government gave, mainly endless addition time for clearing various classified documents a process that need not have held up the proceedings. The defense made timely objection to each governmental request to no avail.

Testimony from military authorities at pre-trial hearings in November 2012 about the reasons for the lack of action ranged from the lame to the absurd (mainly negative responses to knowledge about why some additional delays were necessary. One “reason” sticks out as a reason for excusable delay -some officer needed to get his son to a swimming meet and was thus “unavailable” for a couple of days. I didn’t make this up. I don’t have that sense of the absurd. Jesus, a man was rotting in Obama’s jails and they let him rot because of some damn swim meet). The prosecution, obviously, argued that the government has moved might and main to move the case along and had merely waited until all leaked materials had been determined before proceeding. The judge saw it the government’s way and ruled according as noted above.


The defense had also pursued a motion for a dismissal of the major charges (espionage/ indirect material aid to terrorists) on the basis of the minimal effect of any leaks on national security issues as against Private Manning’s claim that such knowledge was important to the public square (freedom of information issues important for us as well in order to know about what the hell the government is doing either in front of us, or behind our backs). Last summer (2012) witnesses from an alphabet soup list of government agencies (CIA, FBI, NSA, Military Intelligence, etc., etc.) testified that while the information leaked shouldn’t have been leaked that the effect on national security was de minimus. The Secretary of Defense at the time, Leon Panetta, also made a public statement to that effect. The prosecution argued, successfully at the time, that the mere fact of the leak of classified information caused irreparable harm to national security issues and Private Manning’s intent, even if noble, was not at issue.

The recent thrust of the motion to dismiss has centered on the defense’s contention that Private Manning consciously and carefully screened any material in his possession to avoid any conflict with national security and that most of the released material had been over-classified (received higher security level than necessary). Much of the materials leaked, as per those parts published widely in the aftermath of the disclosures by the New York Times and other major outlets, concerned reports of atrocities in Iraq and Afghanistan and diplomatic interchanges that reflected poorly on that profession. The Obama government has argued again that the mere fact of leaking was all that mattered. That motion has also not been fully ruled on and is now the subject of prosecution counter- motions and has been a cause for further trial delay.


A defense motion for dismissal based on serious allegations of torturous behavior by the military authorities extending far up the chain of command (a three-star Army general, not the normal concern of someone so far up the chain in the matter of discipline for enlisted personal) while Private Manning was first detained in Kuwait and later at the Quantico Marine brig for about a year ending in April 2011 has now been ruled on. In late November and early December Private Manning himself, as well as others including senior military mental health workers, took the stand to detail those abuses over several days. Most important to the defense was the testimony by qualified military mental health professionals citing the constant willful failure of those who held Private Manning in close confinement to listen to, or act, on their recommendations during those periods

Judge Lind, the military judge who has heard all the pre-trial arguments in the case thus far, has essentially ruled unfavorably on that motion to dismiss given the potential life sentence Private Manning faces. As she announced at an early January pre-trial hearing the military acted illegally in some of its actions. While every Bradley Manning supporter should be heartened by the fact that the military judge ruled that he was subject to illegal behavior by the military during his pre-trial confinement her remedy, a 112 days reduction in any future sentence, is a mere slap on the wrist to the military authorities. No dismissal or, alternatively, no appropriate reduction (the asked for ten to one ratio for all his first year or so of illegal close confinement which would take years off any potential sentence) given the seriousness of the illegal behavior as the defense tirelessly argued for. And the result is a heavy-handed deterrent to any future military whistleblowers, who already are under enormous pressures to remain silent as a matter of course while in uniform, and others who seek to put the hard facts of future American military atrocities before the public.


An important statement in November 2012 was issued by three Nobel Peace Laureates (including Bishop Tutu from South Africa) calling on their fellow laureate, United States President Barack Obama, to free Private Manning from his jails. (Available on the Support Bradley Manning Network website.)


On February 23, 2013, the 1000th day of Private Bradley Manning’s pre-trial confinement, an international day of solidarity was observed with over seventy stand-outs and other demonstration held in America and internationally. Bradley Manning and his courageous stand have not been forgotten. Go to the Bradley Manning Support Network for more details about the events of that day. Another international day of solidarity is scheduled for June 1, 2013 at Fort Meade, Maryland and elsewhere just before the scheduled start of his trial on June 3rd. Check the support network for updates on that event as well.


6 Ways To Support Heroic Wikileaks Whistle-blower Private Bradley Manning

*Urgent: The government has announced, in the wake of Bradley Manning’s admission of his part in the Wikileaks expose in open court on February 28th, its intention to continue to prosecute him for the major charges of “aiding the enemy” (Espionage Act) and “material aid to terrorism.” Everyone should contact the presiding officer of the court –martial process, General Linnington, at 1-202-685-2807 and tell him to drop those charges. Once Maj. Gen. Linnington’s voicemail box is full – you can also leave a message at the DOD: (703) 571-3343 – press “5″ to leave a comment.*If this mailbox is also full, leave the Department of Defense a written message. Do it today.

*Urgent: The military authorities at Fort Meade, the site of Bradley Manning’s impending June 3rd court-martial are attempting to limit media coverage of the trial.Go to the Bradley Manning Support Network sign the petition to Secretary of Defense Chuck Hageldemanding that he ensure journalists can record Bradley Manning’s court martial proceedings! When you sign the petition the network e-mail system will send a message on your behalf to the office of Secretary of Defense.

*Come to our stand-out in support of Private Bradley Manning in Central Square, Cambridge, Ma (corner of Massachusetts Avenue and Prospect Street near MBTA Redline station) every Wednesday between 5-6 PM. For other locations in Greater Boston, nationally, and internationally check the Bradley Manning Support Network - and for details of the current status of the case and future event updates as well. Also plan to come to Fort Meade outside of Washington, D.C. on June 1st for an international day of solidarity with Bradley before his scheduled June 3rd trial.If you can’t make it to Fort Meade plan a solidarity event locally in support of this brave whistle-blower.

*Contribute to the Bradley Manning Defense Fund- as the trial date approaches funds are urgently needed! The government has unlimited financial and personnel resources to prosecute Bradley. And the Obama government is fully using them. We have a fine defense civilian lawyer, David Coombs, many supporters throughout America and the world working hard for Bradley’s freedom, and the truth on our side. Still the hard reality of the American legal system, civilian or military, is that an adequate defense cost serious money. So help out with whatever you can spare. For link go to

*Sign the online petition at the Bradley Manning Support Network (for link go to )to the Secretary of the Army to free Bradley Manning-1000 plus days is enough! The Secretary of the Army stands in the direct chain of command up to the President and can release Private Manning from pre-trial confinement and drop the charges against him at his discretion. For basically any reason that he wishes to-let us say 1000 plus days is enough. Join the over 25,000 supporters in the United States and throughout the world clamoring for Bradley’s well-deserved freedom.

*Call (Comments”202-456-1111), write The White House, 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20500, e-mail-(’contact/submitquestions-and comments) the White House to demand President Obama pardon Bradley Manning- The presidential power to pardon is granted under Article II, Section 2 of the Constitution:

“The President…shall have power to grant reprieves and pardons for offenses against the United States, except in case of impeachment.”

In federal cases, and military cases are federal cases, the President of the United States can, under authority granted by the U.S. Constitution as stated above, pardon the guilty and the innocent, the convicted and those awaiting trial- former President Nixon and former Secretary of Defense Caspar Weinberger, for example among others, received such pardons for their heinous crimes- Now that Bradley Manning has pleaded guilty to some lesser charges and is subject to further prison time (up to 20 years) this pardon campaign is more necessary than ever. Free Bradley Manning! Free the whistleblower!