Bradley Manning: 1,000 days in detention and secrecy still reigns
2013 02 27

By Ed Pilkington | RawStory


The WikiLeaks suspect’s prosecution has been conducted with a complete absence of transparency – with worrying implications for free speech

On Saturday Bradley Manning will mark his 1,000th day imprisoned without trial. In the course of those thousand days, from the moment he was formally put into pre-trial confinement on 19 May 2010 on suspicion of being the source of the WikiLeaks disclosures, Manning has been on a long and eventful journey.

It has taken him from the desert of Iraq, where he was arrested at a military operating base outside Baghdad, to a prison tent in Kuwait. From there he endured his infamous harsh treatment at Quantico Marine base in Virginia, and for the last 14 months he has attended a series of pre-trial hearings at Fort Meade in Maryland, the latest of which begins next week.

For the small band of reporters who have tracked the prosecution of Private First Class Manning, the journey has also been long and eventful. Not in any way comparable, of course; none of us have been ordered to strip naked or put in shackles, and we have all been free to go home at night without the prospect of a life sentence hanging over us.

But it’s been an education, nonetheless. Though we are a mixed bag – a fusion of traditional outlets such as the Washington Post and Associated Press and new-look bloggers such as Firedoglake and the Bradley Manning support network – we have been thrown together by our common mission to report on the most high-profile prosecution of an alleged leaker in several decades.

There’s something else that binds us – disparate though our reporting styles and personal politics might be – and that’s the daily struggle to do our jobs properly, confronted as we are by the systemic furtiveness of the US government. It’s an irony that appears to be lost on many of the military lawyers who fill the courtroom at Fort Meade. A trial that has at its core the age-old confrontation between a government’s desire for confidentiality and the public’s need to know, is itself being conducted amid stringent restrictions on information.

None of the transcripts of the court martial procedure have been released to us. No government motions to the court have been published. David Coombs, Manning’s lead lawyer, has had to plead to be allowed to post his defence motions, and when he has been granted permission he has often been forced to redact the documents to an almost comical degree.

The most egregious example of this over the past 1,000 days was the moment in January when the military judge, Colonel Denise Lind, issued her ruling in an Article 13 motion brought by Manning’s defence. This was the complaint that the soldier, while at Quantico, had been subjected to a form of pre-trial punishment that is banned under the Uniform Code of Military Justice.

It was an important moment in the narrative arc that is the Bradley Manning trial. Technically, Lind had the power to dismiss all charges against the soldier; she could have, though none of us expected that she would, let him walk out of that court and into freedom. (In the end she knocked 112 days off any eventual sentence).

[...]

Read the full article at: rawstory.com



Related Articles
Bradley Manning Denied Whistleblower Defense. Faces Life in Military Prison under Espionage Act
Ray McGovern: The Humiliation of Bradley Manning - Punishing Morality
Quantico Psychiatrist: Military’s Mistreatment of Pfc. Manning ’Unprecedented’


Latest News from our Front Page

Norway Joins the Race to Develop Killer Robots
2014 10 24
Norway is a large exporter of weapons, which makes the resolution of the debate about creating killer robots an important issue for everyone.  One could debate the overall merits or failings of robotic systems, but an area that clearly has become a point for concern on all sides is the emergence of "killer robots." According to robotics pioneer, David Hanson, ...
Gene That Once Aided Survival in the Arctic Found to Have Negative Impact on Health Today
2014 10 23
In individuals living in the Arctic, researchers have discovered a gene variant that arose thousands of years ago and most likely provided an evolutionary advantage for processing high-fat diets or for surviving in a cold environment; however, the variant also seems to increase the risk of hypoglycemia, or low blood sugar, and infant mortality in today’s northern populations. {snip} “Our work ...
The Ebola hoax: questions, answers, and the false belief in the “One It”
2014 10 23
“The Reality Manufacturing Company doesn’t just sell ‘fake paintings’ that are easy to spot. No. They also sell images that are geared to mesh with people’s deeply held instincts and thereby produce rigid false beliefs. People are sure that if they gave up such beliefs, their world would fall apart and blow away in the wind.” ...
New Controversial Theory Suggests "Hobbits" Were Not Human - Who Were These Mysterious Beings?
2014 10 23
The origin of the Hobbit species remains a challenging subject to scientists. The Hobbit’s discovery confirmed the view that the Earth was once populated by many species of human, but new research the Hobbit’s were not human at all! So, who were these mysterious beings? Where did they come from? The idea that our species, Homo sapiens, was the only species of human on ...
Right into enemy hands? ISIS shows off new weapons allegedly airdropped by US (VIDEO)
2014 10 23
Islamic State has published a new video in which a jihadist shows off brand-new American hardware, which was purportedly intended for the Kurds they are fighting in the Syrian border town of Kobani. The undated video, posted by the unofficial IS mouthpiece “a3maq news”, sees a jihadist showing several boxes of munitions with English-language markings, with a parachute spread out on ...
More News »