ALA Annual – Anaheim Resolutions proposed #1

I’m starting to see resolutions for ALA come through. I’ll pass them along as they arise.
The Wikileaks resolutions were presented last year and were basically defeated. I don’t have a sense of the response this year.


Resolution in Support of Whistleblower Bradley Manning

WHEREAS, in May 2010 Pfc. Bradley Manning of the U.S. Army was arrested for allegedly leaking classified materials to the anti-secrecy website, WikiLeaks; and
WHEREAS, for these alleged actions Bradley Manning now faces numerous charges, including “aiding the enemy by indirect means,” punishable by the death penalty or life in prison; and
WHEREAS, the materials Bradley Manning is charged with releasing contained important revelations related to U.S. foreign and military policy, including the fact that the U.S. military withheld important information about the killing of journalists and innocent civilians in Iraq; the fact that, contrary to assertions by both the Bush and Obama administrations, there is an official tally of civilian deaths in Iraq and Afghanistan; the fact that it was official U.S. policy to ignore torture in Iraq; the fact that U.S. civilian contractors were complicit in child trafficking activities in Afghanistan; the fact that known Egyptian torturers have received training from the FBI in Quantico, Virginia; and the fact that the State Department authorized the theft of the UN Secretary General’s DNA; and
WHEREAS, Daniel Ellsberg has compared the actions of which Manning is accused to the release of the Pentagon Papers; and

WHEREAS, the American Library Association has strongly supported the principle of government accountability and the protection of whistleblowers; and

WHEREAS, Bradley Manning was detained for eight months on the Quantico Marine Corps Base under conditions described by Amnesty International as “unnecessarily severe” and “inhumane”, denounced by more than 300 legal scholars in the United States as “a violation of the Eighth Amendment’s prohibition of cruel and unusual punishment and the Fifth Amendment’s guarantee against punishment without trial”, and characterized by the United Nations special rapporteur on torture as “cruel, inhuman, and degrading”; and
WHEREAS, public statements by both President Obama and by Martin Dempsey, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, that Manning broke the law may have prejudiced his right to a fair trial; now, therefore, be it
RESOLVED, that the American Library Association calls upon the Secretary of the Army, the Honorable John M. McHugh, and the Chief of Staff of the U.S. Army, General Raymond T. Odierno, to release Pfc. Bradley Manning from pre-trial confinement and drop the charges against him.

Supporting documents

“Resolution on Securing Government Accountability through Whistleblower Protection,” 2004 ALA Annual Conference CD# 20.7.
“Resolution Commending the FBI Whistleblower Who Exposed Abuses on the Use of Exigent National Security Letters,” 2007-2008 CD#20.5.

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