Thu, 22 Aug 2013 23:00:32 GMT — The President was briefly interrupted by two Bradley Manning supporters in the audience at Henninger High School. Ursula Rozum and Amelia Ramsey-Lefevre call themselves individuals working on behalf of the Bradley Manning Support Network. Rozum was a Green Party candidate who ran for Congress in 2012 against Democrat Rep. Dan Maffei and Republican Anne Marie Buerkle. Rozum tweeted about her plan to ask the President to free Army Pfc. Bradley Manning earlier in the day. Rozum and Ramsey-Lefevre were escorted out of the gym and off school property by police after shouting: â??President Obama, you must free Private Manning. With all due respect, sir, Private Manning exposed war crimes. Private Manning exposed torture. Private Manning aided the public, not the enemy. Private Manning is a hero.â?? As she left the property, Rozum told reports that "President Obama has the power to pardon Bradley Manning and he hasn't. Bradley Manning exposed war crimes. That's why we disrupted the event." Manning, a former Fort Drum soldier, was sentenced to 35 years in prison for giving a trove of military and diplomatic secrets to the website WikiLeaks. He was convicted last month of 20 offenses, including six violations of the Espionage Act. He could have been sentenced to 90 years in prison. The two activists released a joint statement saying: â??With all due respect to the President and his supporters, we interrupted the President's speech at Henninger High School because President Obama has the power to pardon US Army whistleblower Private Manning â?? a young, conscience driven whistleblower who exposed US war crimes. It is unjust that Manning has been sentence to 35 years in prison, while those who are guilty of torture and murdering civilians walk free.â?? â??All Americans who value the truth and government accountability should be supporting Private Manning and calling on the President to pardon her.â?? â??The Obama administration has prosecuted twice as many whistleblowers under the Espionage Act as every other administration combined since the law was passed in 1917. Why does the President want to hide the criminal actions of the US government?â?? â??Instead of prosecuting whistleblowers, we need to go after the real criminals: those who started the wars against Iraq and Afghanistan; those who authorized the torture of prisoners in Guantanamo; and those responsible for the illegal drone wars against the people of Yemen, Somalia, Afghanistan, and Pakistan.â?? â??The US public needs to know what the government is doing in our name so that we can have an informed debate about public policy. All people of conscience need to support Manning and insist that President Obama use his authority to pardon this courageous whistleblower.â??
With @syracuse_peace council preparing to ask @BarackObama to Free #Manning pic.twitter.com/xG00uLvGDP â?? Ursula Rozum (@UrsulaRozum) August 22, 2013