Archive for April 19th, 2011
Since my initial request to visit Private First Class (Pfc.) Bradley Manning on February 4, 2011, the Department of Defense (DoD) has consistently sought to frustrate any attempts to communicate with Pfc. Manning regarding his well-being.
I or my staff have been shuffled between the Secretary of the Army, the Secretary of the Navy, and the Office of Secretary Gates. I was initially told that I would need Pfc. Manning’s approval in order to meet with him. When Pfc. Manning indicated his desire to meet with me, I was belatedly informed that the meeting could only take place if it was recorded because of a Monitoring Order imposed by the military’s Special Courts-Martial Convening Authority on September 16, 2010, which was convened for the case. Confidentiality is required, however, to achieve the candor that is necessary to perform the oversight functions with which I am tasked as a Member of the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. I was also told that I could be subpoenaed to testify about the contents of my conversation with Pfc. Manning.
This is a clear subversion of the constitutionally protected oversight process and it severely undermines the rights of any Member of Congress seeking to gather information on the conditions of a detainee in US custody.
I eat meat. Not as often as most people, but I eat meat at least several times a week, mostly chicken, but occasionally a hamburger. I rarely eat pork. Over the years, It has sometimes occurred to me that in order to eat meat I had an obligation to fully understand how a live animal is turned into food. With that as the background, this was the perfect video for me.
As the creator of this video states, this is “a good story about a proud butcher open to teaching his trade, and a story I felt compelled to share with many others, like me, who didn’t want to be disconnected to their food any longer.” This is a story narrated by “Larry Althiser, the owner and head meat cutter for Larry’s Custom Meats in Hartwick, NY, a small farming community in the Northern Catskills.” This is not a video about factory farming.
The video is direct and graphic, but it is also honest and informative.