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Testimony on the Lies by Birgitta Jonsdottir

Birgitta Jónsdóttir (born 1967) is an Icelandic politician, poet and activist. She is currently a Member of the Althing (MP) for the county’s Southwest Constituency, representing the Pirate Party, having been elected at the 2013 election. She was previously an MP for Reykjavík Constituency South from 2009 to 2013. In the 2013 election, Birgitta was elected as a Pirate Party MP, alongside two others. She was portrayed in the 2013 film about WikiLeaks, The Fifth Estate, of which she was critical. She also served as Chairman of the Pirate Party from 2014 to 2015, when they became the most popular party in Iceland.

More Resources

Meet Birgitta Jónsdóttir: The Ex-WikiLeaks Volunteer Who Has Helped the Pirate Party Reshape Iceland, Democracy Now! December 1, 2016

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 Transcript of Testimony:

In 2010, I had an opportunity to help produce and bring to the world the video that was leaked from a very courageous whistleblower, Chelsea Manning, to a webpage and service called Wikileaks. When I watched this video, which was named Collateral Murder, I was moved to tears and whenever I watch this video again I get very emotional, because in this video I am witnessing something which is so deeply disturbing, I am witnessing how war has become so dehumanized, so incredibly dehumanized, that it is like a computer game. So there when you watch this video you can see how civilians are not only slaughtered willingly without any proper reason, you can also see how a wounded man is shot and the people that are helping to bring him to a hospital. And in this particular video, the person who stops his car to take the wounded man to a hospital is a father bringing his two children to school. We found out when we were working on the background material, we sat a journalist from iceland in collaboration with the Icelandic State broadcasters to find the children that were in the video and he managed to find them, no one had been to this area in Baghdad since this horrible event, no journalist had been there in a long time, and he found the children and their mother and they found out that he was driving them to a special school and the soldiers that were discovered had shot the two children who were severely wounded. They shouldn't have brought them to war.

Nobody asked for this war in Iraq. This was, in my opinion, an illegal war, because it had not happened before, for example, that my country, Iceland, participated in aggression against any country, let alone a country that had not done anything to call for this type of shock and awe. I myself participated in many events, I organized events to try and prevent this war from happening. So many people did the same thing around the world; yet the war happened. We were so close to stopping it; this incredible force of people from all around the war almost managed to stop the war . And then we have been seeing documents from this horrendous war coming out in so many different ways, but perhaps this event, that I helped bring to the general public was the most significant because you could actually see it with your own eyes. And I have to say that the person that is responsible for bringing this to us is now sitting in prison for 35 years for showing us and blowing the whistle on crimes, on war crimes. Killing wounded people is a war crime and no one has been held accountable for this except Chelsea Manning and that is outrageous.

So I just want to urge people that are interested in preventing more horrors of this kind in our world to do whatever they can, because we can stop this form of madness, this form of horror in our world, if we are united. I also wanted to express very deep gratitude to everybody back then in the day when we tried to stop this and now are trying to prevent more wars from happening, I want to thank them, because every voice matters. And I want you, if you are is listening to this, to write to the whistleblower that is responsible for showing us so many of these war crimes that have been happening in Iraq and Afghanistan. I want you to write to Chelsea Manning, you can find all the information online to do that. She needs our support.

And also please please do not look the other way when you have an opportunity to see what is being done in our name. There are so many more wars coming; and there is even a war going on in the United States against the first people, where the same people who have been killing people as military contractors are attacking peaceful protestors that are fighting for the life on this earth. And always remember, wars, all wars, are not for the interest of people, they are for the interest of those who own the world, the 1%. So if you can find it in your heart to also, like I will now, I want to apologize that my nation had its name in the coalition of the willing. I want to apologize from the deepest parts of my heart to the Iraqi people that we, a nation who does not have a military, put our name on this list. And I really wish that we can heal all the wounds that have been created because of this illegal war. We can change the world each one of us by doing both little and great things. We don't know when the cup is full; we can stop this war from happening.