If you only read one book this year, the book - which is a must-read - is "THE PASSION OF BRADLEY MANNING" by CHASE MADAR and the updated edition was published by Verso in 2013.
The subtitle of the book is "THE STORY BEHIND THE WIKILEAKS WHISTLEBLOWER.
The author tells the story of Bradley Manning's entrance to the US army and what happened to him when he went to Iraq, saw the indescribable, and had access to an incredible amount of so-called secret US documentation about the wars, the people involved and much more as well.
Jeff Sparrow reviewed the book in the Saturday Age on 11 May 2013 and heads his review "Prisoner of Conscience." (Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch have both, apparently, refused to endorse Bradley Manning as a Prisoner of Conscience!)
Manning showed an aptitude for computers at an early stage in his life, and his early years were extremely difficult - the separation of his US father and his Welsh mother - and the bullying he was subject to because he is gay and is also very small, making him the butt of school children but also causing problems in the army.
When he returned to the USA from Iraq he started communicating online with Adrian Lamo, a young man who eventually betrayed Manning to the authorities.
The story of the arrest and subsequent ill-treatment by his own government and the military is itself an indictment of the US democracy and the Obama administration of whistle-blowers even after Obama stated in his first term as US president that whistleblowers should be treated with respect and protected. Obama has done exactly the opposite.
Daniel Ellsberg, the man who blew the whistle on the Pentagon Papers relating to the war in Vietnam in the 1960s and 1970s, stands fairly and squarely behind Bradley Manning and has rallied support for him in any way he has been able to.
Thanks to an international outcry about Manning's treatment by the government and its army when he suffered unbelievably indignities in the Quantico military prison, Manning's conditions of incarceration were changed for the better, and now, after 3 years of intolerable incarceration, his trial is underway - with a great deal of illegal activity by the army - in Fort Meade, Virginia, USA.
Bradley Manning needs all the support he can get and it is necessary for those of us outside the USA to do what we can to assist him to get a fair trial.
Wikileaks, Assange, and other whistle-blowers in the USA and elsewhere, are helping to support this extremely brave young man in his hours of greatest need.
Obama has recently (June, July 2013) completed a short tour of a few African countries. He is quoted as saying to Africans - especially its young people- to build on the progress the continent has made by promising democratic and honest government, "and a thriving middle class".
Isn't it time Obama practised what he preaches?