Bradley Manning speaks out & protests in 19 countries
The growing movement in support of Bradley Manning which organised an unprecedented International Day of Action on 23 February, has received a major boost when Bradley spelled out why he became a whistleblower passing information to WikiLeaks. International media, from the magazine Afrique-Asie, to the Huffington Post, English Pravda, Middle-East on line, French Alter Info, and countless periodicals, blogs and websites of many languages, have celebrated his “exceptional courage”. Join the movement to Free Bradley Manning and defend whistleblowers like Julian Assange, conscientious objectors and other refuseniks, women and men, gay and straight, who refuse to kill, rape and torture for the governments of the world.
A man of exceptional courage and principle
In a statement he read in court on 28 February 2013, Bradley Manning forthrightly admitted having leaked information to Wikileaks in order to inform the public of US war crimes and government skulduggery that was being kept from us. He pleaded guilty to the charge of “misusing classified material” and 10 lesser charges, together possibly carrying a sentence of 20 years, but not to the ”aiding the enemy” and related charges that risks him getting life in prison if the prosecution continues to press them as it says it will. Bradley also revealed that before he went to Wikileaks with the material, he approached the Washington Post and the New York Times, but these media showed no interest.
23 February 2013: International Day of Action -1000 days in jail
On this day, actions were taken in 70 communities in 19 countries: Afghanistan, Australia, Belgium, Canada, England, France, Greece, Germany, Ireland, Italy, The Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Scotland, Slovakia, South Korea, Uganda, USA, Wales.
INTERNATIONAL PROTEST AT THE START OF THE TRIAL 1st JUNE 2013
A leaked audio recording has emerged of the statement Army whistleblower Bradley Manning delivered at his pretrial hearing in military court late last month. Manning acknowledged he gave hundreds of thousands of classified documents to WikiLeaks, saying he wanted to show the American public the “true costs of war” and “spark a domestic debate on the role of the military and our foreign policy in general as it related to Iraq and Afghanistan.” This is the first time Manning’s voice has been heard publicly since he was arrested nearly three years ago. We air excerpts of his remarks, hearing Manning describe in his own voice the moment he decided to release the documents and the outrage he felt at the “Collateral Murder” video of an Apache helicopter attack in Iraq.
A week ago today, Pfc. Bradley Manning surprised both detractors and supporters by reading a thirtysomething-page statement articulating the specific Whats, Hows and—most importantly—Whys of his disclosures to the popular media site WikiLeaks. In the week since Manning’s dramatic statement, media coverage of the case has shifted from a trickle to a steady storm as even mainstream outlets such as the Guardian, X and Y now echo the message of the 25-year-old army private’s supporters. With no public record or transcript of court proceedings, it is indeed these grassroots supporters who have kept an important faith, serving as a bridge in between the mainstream media’s rare spikes of coverage and its more frequent lulls.
In wrestling with outright propaganda from the government and skepticism from a poorly informed public, Manning supporters have grappled to find converts and their own meaning to this somewhat enigmatic young man willing to give up his own life for the common good of believers and critics alike. If the description sounds like something out of the “Acts of the Apostles” account of the early church, the parallel is somewhat fitting—this past Thursday was their Pentecost. For if the three years since Manning’s arrest have been marked by the dogged determination of underdogs, last week’s qualified admission of “guilt” has mushroomed his following into a bigger movement than ever.
“It’s a rather dramatic moment in the history of his own case and our own country’s history,” says former NSA executive and fellow whistleblower Thomas Drake. “The statement he read completely contradicts the government’s allegations and assertions. He was privy to war crimes, privy to the dark side of diplomacy, government lies and malfeasance and a massive abusive of even the projected national security state oversees. He was eye witness to evidence, he was eye witness to atrocities. He chose to stand up and do something about it. It was an incredibly courageous act that he performed in the public interest. That is the classic definition of whistleblowing.”
Hearing this claim from Manning himself has seemed to make all the difference for both the media and sectors of the public formerly undecided on the issue. Of course, support for Manning previous to this was far from obscure: the Bradley Manning Support Network to date has raised nearly $1M for his defense; no less than three Nobel Peace Prize laureates (including Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu) have petitioned fellow laureate Barack Obama for justice for Manning; and, in addition to the usual whistleblowers, critics and peaceniks like Daniel Ellsberg, Chris Hedges, Michael Ratner, Jesselyn Radack, Peter van Buren, Cindy Sheehan, Michael Moore, and others, musicians such as Graham Nash and Conor Oberst, as well as actor Jon Cusack and U.K. comedy icon Graham Linehan have publicly commented on Manning’s behalf. …
After Revealing Atrocities of Asymmetrical Warfare, Manning Will Face Asymmetrical Trial
Truthout – By Chris Hedges, Truthdig – March 4, 2013
I was in a military courtroom at Fort Meade in Maryland on Thursday as Pfc. Bradley Manning admitted giving classified government documents to WikiLeaks. The hundreds of thousands of leaked documents exposed U.S. war crimes in Iraq and Afghanistan as well as government misconduct. A statement that Manning made to the court was a powerful and moving treatise on the importance of placing conscience above personal safety, the necessity of sacrificing careers and liberty for the public good, and the moral imperative of carrying out acts of defiance. Manning will surely pay with many years—perhaps his entire life—in prison. But we too will pay. The war against Bradley Manning is a war against us all.
This trial is not simply the prosecution of a 25-year-old soldier who had the temerity to report to the outside world the indiscriminate slaughter, war crimes, torture and abuse that are carried out by our government and our occupation forces in Iraq and Afghanistan. It is a concerted effort by the security and surveillance state to extinguish what is left of a free press, one that has the constitutional right to expose crimes by those in power. The lonely individuals who take personal risks so that the public can know the truth—the Daniel Ellsbergs, the Ron Ridenhours, the Deep Throats and the Bradley Mannings—are from now on to be charged with “aiding the enemy.” All those within the system who publicly reveal facts that challenge the official narrative will be imprisoned, as was John Kiriakou, the former CIA analyst who for exposing the U.S. government’s use of torture began serving a 30-month prison term the day Manning read his statement. There is a word for states that create these kinds of information vacuums: totalitarian. …
US Army Judge Refuses Request To Dismiss Charges Against Bradley Manning
Eurasia Review – February 26, 2013
Bradley Manning will remain in military prison awaiting his eventual trial after an Army judge refused again a request to dismiss charges against the alleged whistleblower. The military judge presiding over the case of Army Private first class Bradley Manning denied a motion entered by attorneys for the accused WikiLeaks source which would have dismissed charges against him due to the absence of a speedy trial.
Manning, 25, recently celebrated his one-thousandth day in military custody. From Ft. Meade, Maryland on Tuesday morning, however, Col. Denise Lind said that nearly three years of delays didn’t constitute a violation of the speedy trial statute provided under the United States Rules for Military Commissions.
Under RMC 707, the court had 120 days to get the case against Pfc Manning off the ground. But although the accused has yet to be formally tried, the judge said that Army prosecutors were able to start pre-trial matters well before the deadline, with the arraignment occurring after only three months — taking into consideration, of course, delays that Lind considered excusable by the court.
The pre-trial hearing on Pvt. Bradley Manning’s court martial for leaking classified documents about U.S. government wrongdoing has turned up evidence that even Manning’s Marine jailers were worried about the controversy over his degrading treatment in their custody, reports ex-CIA analyst Ray McGovern.
It is a bitter irony that Army Pvt. Bradley Manning, whose conscience compelled him to leak evidence about the U.S. military brass ignoring evidence of torture in Iraq, was himself the victim of cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment while other military officers privately took note but did nothing.
That was one of the revelations at Manning’s pre-trial hearing at Ft. Meade, Maryland, on Tuesday, as Manning’s defense counsel David Coombs used e-mail exchanges to show Marine officers grousing that the Marines had been left holding the bag on Manning’s detention at their base in Quantico, Virginia, though he was an Army soldier.
According to the e-mail evidence, the controversy over the rough handling of Manning prompted Quantico commander, Marine Col. Daniel Choike, to complain bitterly that not one Army officer was in the chain of blame. Choike’s lament prompted an e-mail reply from his commander, Lt. Gen. George Flynn, offering assurances that Choike and Quantico would not be left “holding the bag.”At Quantico, Manning, who is accused of giving hundreds of thousands of pages of classified material to WikiLeaks, was subjected to harsh treatment. He was locked in a 6-foot-by-8-foot cell for 23 hours a day and was kept naked for long periods. His incarceration led the UN Rapporteur for Torture to complain that Manning was being subjected to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.
However, concerns about possible repercussions from softening up Manning did little to ease the conditions that Manning faced. His Marine captors seemed eager to give him the business and make him an example to any other prospective whistleblowers. Only after a sustained public outcry was Manning transferred to the Army prison at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas.
Though his treatment was less harsh there, Manning still has faced 2 ½ years of incarceration without trial and could face up to life imprisonment after a court martial into his act of conscience, i.e. releasing extensive evidence of wrongdoing by the U.S. military in Iraq and Afghanistan and questionable foreign policies carried out by the U.S. State Department.
The release of the documents led to hundreds of news stories, including some that revealed the willful inaction of U.S. military brass when informed of torture inflicted on Iraqi prisoners held by the U.S.-backed Iraqi military. …
A US military judge has ordered prosecutors to show they are not withholding evidence from WikiLeaks suspect Bradley Manning after defense lawyers accused them of hiding documents that could potentially help their client’s case.
The ruling was a victory for Manning, whose defense team has argued for months that prosecutors are dragging their feet on requests for government files that could prove crucial in the trial of the Army private.
Manning, 24, accused of handing over a massive trove of classified documents to the WikiLeaks website, smiled at his attorneys after the judge read out her decision at a pre-trial hearing at Fort Meade, northeast of Washington.
Judge Denise Lind ruled that prosecutors would have to turn over reports from the CIA, the FBI, the State Department and the Office of the National Counterintelligence Executive that assessed the impact of the leaks.
Manning’s lawyers believe the assessments will show the disclosures had no major effect on the country’s national security and did not “aid the enemy” as the government alleges. …
MSNBC’s Dylan Ratigan reports on the recent developments “Wikileaks” whistleblower case against Bradley Manning, who is accused of 22 charges, including “aiding the enemy.” David House, a close friend to Manning, joins to give an inside look on the case.
Inside a Military Court Hearing: How the Government Is Railroading Bradley Manning
TruthOut.org; By Phil Fornaci and Jane Zara; April 3, 2012
The WikiLeaks/Bradley Manning debacle provides us with a startling example of how brutally the US government treats those brave enough to provide even a glimpse of the machinations of its imperial assault on the rest of the world. Manning and the whistleblower web site WikiLeaks are credited with providing information that helped precipitate earthshaking historic events, including the Arab Spring and the recent withdrawal of US troops from Iraq. More notably, Manning and WikiLeaks are also credited with (and criminally accused of) release of the so-called “Collateral Murder” video footage of the slaughter of Reuters reporters and other civilians by the US military in Baghdad. For his alleged role in this “crime,” Manning is enduring one of the most aggressive legal prosecutions in American history.
Manning was held for more than 20 months in pretrial detention (often under brutal conditions) until he finally had the military equivalent of his first day in court, on December 2011, at the massive Fort Meade, Maryland, army installation. For the next seven days, Manning was the subject of a military Article 32 hearing, proceedings that we examine in this article. The outcome of the Article 32 hearing, announced two months later, on February 23, 2012, is that Manning will stand trial for “aiding the enemy,” among other charges, which could put him in prison for the rest of his life and possibly result in a death sentence. Typically, “railroading” a criminal defendant means that the he will be found guilty, regardless of the evidence produced. This appears to be the US government’s plan for Private Manning.
We are lawyers with significant experience in prisoners’ rights and criminal prosecution, but with minimal prior experience with military criminal procedure. We attended several days of the Manning hearings in an effort both to understand what was happening to him and to witness the proceedings in solidarity with Private Manning. The evidence we saw, and learned about, does not even justify keeping Private Manning in custody, much less convicting him at trial. …
Kevin Zeese Reports from the Court Room as follows
March 15, 2012
It was an interesting day in court today.
First, Bradley looks very healthy physically and psychologically. It was good to see. He also seems to communicate well with his lawyer, David Coombs. They seem to have a comfortable relationship. At least a dozen times he and David were whispering and Bradley was smiled and softly laughed a handful of times in court.
David did an excellent job today arguing for discovery motions and to depose various key witnesses regarding the classification of documents. The government is fighting Coombs every inch of the way and it feels like the judge really wants to rule against Manning but Coombs is making strong arguments thereby making it hard for her to do so. The government lawyers, on the other hand, do not seem to adept (the best lawyer for the government seems to be the judge!). She did not rule on the key motions today but promises some rulings tomorrow when court begins at 10 AM at Ft. Mead.
Coombs made a very strong case that the prosecutors have totally screwed up discovery beyond repair, completely misunderstanding their obligations under the discovery rules. The government says they have 3 million pages of documents relevant to the trial! The biggest area of battle is over reports the government has done regarding the impact of the documents published by Wikileaks on national security. Coombs talked about public comments by various officials, especially Secretary Gates and Secretary Clinton, that there was no significant impact from the publication to demonstrate they were helpful to the defense case. Evidently reports have been done (or partially done) by CIA, DoD, FBI and the State Department; it also sounds like DOJ has done a compilation report (though this is unclear). One claim by the government is the reviews are not finished (especially for the State Dept) but of course, finishing them could take years. The government plans to fight this every step of the way, for example they said if they were ordered to review reports for relevancy and found a paragraph was relevant but the rest of a 100 page document was not, they would release only that paragraph and redact the rest. So, this will continue to be a big area of battle, of course, depending on how the judge rules. My experience as a criminal defense lawyer shows me that when the government plays “hide the ball” they have something to hide that could lose the case for them. So, this discovery battle is critical to the case. If the government can hide the evidence there is no way for there to be a fair trial.
Coombs was directly critical of the government lawyers, repeatedly making the point in various ways that they did not understand their discovery responsibility, essentially saying they were incompetent virtually to their faces. He finally submitted a motion to dismiss all charges, after the government responded to his claims and continued to make inappropriate legal arguments. He compared the situation to backing a cake — and realizing when you only had 15 minutes left in the oven that you forgot the eggs — there is no way to fix it. He presented good arguments, with good legal analysis and with strength and confidence, of course it would be a shocker if the court dismissed the charges, but he is making a strong case.
One interesting tidbit for the day was that the government lawyers were not receiving emails from Coombs and the court, as well as court rulings and defense filings because their email spam filter was blocking them. It turned out that any email mentioning Wikileaks is blocked in their email system and sent to spam. After awhile the government figured it out and now checks their spam box every day by 10 AM to see what they have missed.
WikiLeaks press release
The Global Intelligence Files
On the 27th of February 2012, Wikileaks released the following statement:”LONDON—Today, Monday 27 February, WikiLeaks began publishing The Global Intelligence Files – more than five million emails from the Texas-headquartered “global intelligence” company Stratfor. The emails date from between July 2004 and late December 2011. They reveal the inner workings of a company that fronts as an intelligence publisher, but provides confidential intelligence services to large corporations, such as Bhopal’s Dow Chemical Co., Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, Raytheon and government agencies, including the US Department of Homeland Security, the US Marines and the US Defense Intelligence Agency. The emails show Stratfor’s web of informers, pay-off structure, payment-laundering techniques and psychological methods, for example:
“[Y]ou have to take control of him. Control means financial, sexual or psychological control… This is intended to start our conversation on your next phase” – CEO George Friedman to Stratfor analyst Reva Bhalla on 6 December 2011, on how to exploit an Israeli intelligence informant providing information on the medical condition of the President of Venezuala, Hugo Chavez.
The material contains privileged information about the US government’s attacks against Julian Assange and WikiLeaks and Stratfor’s own attempts to subvert WikiLeaks. There are more than 4,000 emails mentioning WikiLeaks or Julian Assange. The emails also expose the revolving door that operates in private intelligence companies in the United States. Government and diplomatic sources from around the world give Stratfor advance knowledge of global politics and events in exchange for money. The Global Intelligence Files exposes how Stratfor has recruited a global network of informants who are paid via Swiss banks accounts and pre-paid credit cards. Stratfor has a mix of covert and overt informants, which includes government employees, embassy staff and journalists around the world. …
Leaked Stratfor Email Suggests Secret U.S. Indictment of WikiLeaks Founder Julian Assange
Democracy Now, February 29,2012
The whistleblowing website WikiLeaks has published an internal email from the private intelligence firm Stratfor that suggests the U.S. Justice Department has obtained a sealed indictment against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange. The email is one of around five million obtained from Stratfor’s servers by the hacker group, Anonymous. “Somehow you have a private intelligence company, Stratfor, a ‘shadow CIA,’ as people have called it, having information about this sealed indictment—secret again—that Julian Assange doesn’t have, that WikiLeaks doesn’t have, that his lawyers don’t have,” says Michael Ratner of the Center for Constitutional Rights, who is a legal adviser to both Assange and to WikiLeaks. “What you see here is secrecy, secrecy, secrecy.” News of the indictment comes less than a week after Army Private Bradley Manning was arraigned for allegedly leaking classified U.S. military and State Department documents to WikiLeaks.
Prosecutors may have made a little-noticed strategic move when they decided to take the death penalty off the table earlier this month in the case against WikiLeaks suspect Bradley Manning.
Under military law, a service member is not permitted to plead guilty to a capital offense. In all such cases, the defendant must face a court-martial.
According to an expert in military law at Fort Meade who is not involved in the Manning case, the prosecution formally declined to categorize the charge of “aiding the enemy” as a capital offense, when Manning’s charges were officially referred on Feb. 3. With that decision, the door has been left wide open for a plea deal.
Manning’s attorney has previously hinted that prosecutors are interested in a deal. During Manning’s pre-trial Article 32 hearing, his defense attorney David Coombs suggested the Justice Department was interested in a plea deal in order to “go after Julian Assange,” referring to the WikiLeaks founder.
Any plea deal would have to be initiated by the defense team. But now that Manning has deferred his plea decision, the latest moves by both sides mean all options remain on the table until the court-martial begins sometime this summer.
Manning was charged in March with 37 counts relating to the leaking of hundreds of thousands of secret documents to WikiLeaks from secure US databases that he allegedly accessed while working as an intelligence officer at the Forward Operating Base Hammer outside Baghdad. The documents included Afghan and Iraq war logs, a trove of US embassy cables from around the world and video footage of a US helicopter fatally firing on a group of civilians in Iraq including two Reuters employees.
CAAB has been a supporter of Bradley Manning for sometime. We are grateful that he spoke truth to power.
It was late notice for people (and just before Christmas) which meant that Lindis Percy was the only one present at the American base at NSA Menwith Hill – in solidarity with Bradley Manning whose pre-trial hearing had started in the US. It was also his 24th birthday. To coincide with these two important events there were many actions in support of him round the world.
Lindis stayed for about an hour at the main entrance to Menwith Hill holding an upside down US flag with the words “Thank you Bradley Manning”. The flag was left on the perimeter fence – a present for the American authorities on the base.
For up to date information of the pre-trial hearing see the Bradley Manning Support Network www.bradleymanning.org
Bradley Manning Supported in European Parliament
WIKILEAKS: MEPs send a letter to US government expressing concerns about the human rights of Bradley Manning
The letter refers to very serious breaches of the civil and human rights of Mr. Bradley Manning, the young soldier whom the U.S. Army has accused of releasing classified information pertaining to possible US war crimes in Iraq and Afghanistan.
The open letter to the U.S. government specifically calls on the U.S. government to grant the request of the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture, Juan Mendez, to meet privately with Bradley Manning. The US government has so far denied the request of Mr. Mendez, which was prompted by reports that Bradley Manning was imprisoned for an extended period in conditions of solitary confinement, nudity, sleep deprivation, and other psychological abuse.
The U.S. Army has accused Bradley Manning of “aiding the enemy,” a capital offense that is punishable by death. The 23-year old soldier has been imprisoned for 17 months without yet having had his day in court. An initial hearing has recently been scheduled for December 16.
Army sets pre-trial hearing date for Bradley. Vigils and rallies planned at Fort Meade MD and worldwide.
Protest his Pretrial Hearing Saturday, Dec 17th (Bradley’s Birthday Day) at 12pm noon at Fort Meade, MD outside Washington D.C.! (Solidarity actions taking place around the world.)
After 560 days of pretrial confinement, including 250 days spent in solitary conditions, the Military has finally announced that PFC Bradley Manning’s Pretrial Hearing will begin on December 16th in the Washington D.C. area.
PFC Bradley Manning is accused of uncovering the facts behind a system of foreign policy that routinely hides abuse from public scrutiny. “If convicted of all charges, Manning would face a maximum punishment… of confinement for life” the U.S. Army reports.
If he is the source of the WikiLeaks revelations, he is the most significant whistle-blower in a generation. According to journalists, his alleged actions helped motivate the democratic Arab Spring movements, shed light on secret corporate influence on our foreign policies of the sort #OccupyWallStreet opposes, and most recently contributed to the Obama Administration agreeing to withdraw all U.S.troops from the failed occupation in Iraq.
Bradley Manning, who turns 24 on the date of our protest, is a young soldier from a working-class background who believed that people should know the truth, “no matter who they are… because without information you cannot make informed decisions as a public.”
Assange’s appeal against extradition to Sweden has been turned down at the High Court in London this morning. Assange has 14 days to appeal to the Supreme Court against the ruling if he can show that there are issues at stake of “public importance”. For now his bail conditions are unchanged. £19,000 legal costs have been awarded against him.
Supporters gathered outside the court from early this morning with candles, placards and banners. The media scrum turned up with stepladders.
Assange spoke briefly after the hearing to those gathered outside:
I have not been charged with any crime in any country. Despite this, the European Arrest Warrant is so restrictive that it prevents UK courts from considering the facts of a case, as judges have made clear here today. We will be considering steps in the days ahead. The full judgment will be available on SwedenversusAssange.com No doubt there will be many attempts to try to spin these proceedings as occurred today, but they are really technical. Please go to SwedenversusAssange.com if you want to know what is really going on in this case.
More than 700 leaked secret files on the Guantánamo detainees lay bare the inner workings of America’s controversial prison camp in Cuba.
The US military dossiers, obtained by the New York Times and the Guardian, reveal how, alongside the so-called “worst of the worst”, many prisoners were flown to the Guantánamo cages and held captive for years on the flimsiest grounds, or on the basis of lurid confessions extracted by maltreatment.
The 759 Guantánamo files, classified “secret”, cover almost every inmate since the camp was opened in 2002. More than two years after President Obama ordered the closure of the prison, 172 are still held there.
The files depict a system often focused less on containing dangerous terrorists or enemy fighters, than on extracting intelligence. Among inmates who proved harmless were an 89-year-old Afghan villager, suffering from senile dementia, and a 14-year-old boy who had been an innocent kidnap victim. …
HMG is concerned that public statements by Warsaw since the Polish elections are causing other NATO Allies to begin to question whether NATO should approve MD work at the Bucharest summit in April. HMG suggests the U.S. Government and UK warn the Poles that their wavering is affecting this important NATO decision. Although currently focused on beefing up Allied support for MD at Bucharest, HMG also hopes to re-engage the USG imminently on its own potential participation in the U.S. MD system.
The American base at Menwith Hill is mentioned in this document from WikiLeaks
WikiLeaks: US and China in military standoff over space missiles
What Is The Media NOT Telling Us About Bradley Manning?
We know for a fact that some people support Bradley Manning for his alleged WikiLeaking of classified military documents that revealed military abuses in the Middle East. But are media outlets too scared to appear supportive in fear of angering their corporate and political ties?
Queerty has long followed the Manning-WikiLeaks saga and has asked whether Manning is a gay hero or a traitor for allegedly leaking diplomatic cables to Julian Assange and his crew. …
Veterans and supporters rally for Bradley at Fort Leavenworth
On June 4th, 2011 approximately 250 supporters —including many veterans—converged today at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas to rally for Bradley Manning. Supporters arrived from across the country and held large colorful signs that said, “Free Bradley Manning, Hero, Whistle-Blower.”
UK Government has a duty to assist Bradley: says MP
News from the Celtic League
Outspoken human rights advocate and Labour MP Ann Clwyd has once again criticised the treatment of detained US soldier Bradley Manning who has family connections to Wales.
Ann Clwyd says (in an interview with the Guardian newspaper commenting on a film made by that news publication on the Bradley case) that:
“The film asks the questions to which we must get answers. Why are Bradley’s military bosses not on trial? Why instead is a vulnerable young man being made an example of?
I believe his treatment in Quantico military prison amounted to torture. This should be investigated and US military officials held to account. So I hope the filmmakers will make another film, detailing the cruel and inhuman treatment Bradley endured in solitary confinement for eight months in US military custody.”
The Member of Parliament for Cynon Valley adds:
“With Bradley’s Welsh family, I am calling for his trial to be held in public. This is the only way he can get a fair hearing. The UK government has a duty to the family and to Bradley.”
Reading the articles and dialogues surrounding the case of Bradley Manning generally leaves me with the feeling that somehow I have become an over-simplistic, humanistic zombie …
The morality of torture, murder and assassination is not situational. If these actions are wrong for the individual members of a society or are to be used as the criteria by which we adjudge a society’s enemies, then this is a standard we must apply to ourselves as well. …
T.E. Origer is a disability retired USMC combat veteran of America’s War in Vietnam. He attributes many of his political views to his experiences in one of the largest socialist organizations in the country, the United States Marine Corps.
Bradley Manning case: William Hague accused of ‘playing avoidance game’
By Amelia Hill and Esther Addley
May 5, 2011
The foreign secretary William Hague is “playing an avoidance game” over the case of Bradley Manning, the US soldier accused of downloading and leaking classified cables to WikiLeaks, according to Ann Clwyd, a Labour MP.
The former human rights envoy to Iraq has also accused the Foreign Office of “continued stonewalling” of Manning’s mother, Susan.
The charges against Manning include “aiding the enemy” – a capital crime.
Manning’s mother wrote to the foreign secretary three weeks ago, asking British consular officials to visit her son in military prison to check on his physical and mental health, which she said was deteriorating.
At the time she wrote her letter, Manning, 23, had been in custody since last May in conditions that provoked widespread criticism of the US military and government. He was being held in solitary confinement and on suicide watch, which required him to be stripped to just a smock at night and checked on repeatedly.
Following sustained protests from human rights campaigners and others over his conditions, Manning has recently been transferred from Quantico, Virginia to a “more open” military facility in Fort Leavenworth, Kansas.
But Clwyd has criticised the FCO for not responding to Susan’s letter. A response should, she said, have been received in a week. “They seem to be playing some kind of avoidance game,” she said. …
The US soldier at the centre of the Wikileaks scandal has been cleared to live alongside other inmates at Fort Leavenworth military prison in Kansas.
Pte First Class Bradley Manning had passed lengthy mental and physical assessments, prison officials said.
He was moved to the prison on 20 April, following criticism over his nine month detention at a marine jail in Virginia.
His supporters complained he was confined to a cell for 23 hours a day and forced regularly to undress.
Fort Leavenworth Commandant Lt Col Dawn Hilton said Pte Manning had been cleared to be held as a medium-security prisoner following lengthy assessments for all new inmates.
She said that Pte Manning would be treated like every other prisoner.
“We’re firm but fair. We treat everybody – staff and inmates – with dignity and respect,” she was quoted by the Kansas City Star as saying.
His new cell is 80 sq ft (7.4 sq m) and has a bed, toilet, sink, desk and stool. It is situated in an area housing around 10 other pre-trial inmates, with whom he will be allowed to interact.
He will be able to receive daily visitors, unlimited mail – although he will only be allowed 20 items in his cell at any one time – and three hours of recreation time a day, some of which will be spent outside and in the library.
Jeff Paterson, of the Bradley Manning Support Network, said he was “heartened” that conditions were improving for the soldier. …
The Army private accused of passing classified documents to WikiLeaks was cleared Thursday to live alongside other inmates at a Kansas military prison, a dramatic change from his previous quarters in a Virginia Marine Corps brig where he spent 23 hours a day alone in his cell.
Army Pfc. Bradley Manning passed the lengthy physical and psychiatric evaluation given to new inmates at the Fort Leavenworth prison and received final clearance just before a mid-day media tour of the facility, its commander Lt. Col. Dawn Hilton said.
Manning was transferred there last week from the Marine Corps brig in Quantico, Va., where he had been held for the eight months since his arrest.
At Quantico, Manning had to surrender his clothes at night in favor of a military-issued, suicide-prevention smock. Manning’s attorney and supporters said that was unnecessary and argued his living conditions, including his isolation from other inmates, were inhumane.
Jeff Paterson, a member of the Bradley Manning Support Network, said Thursday he was “heartened” by the news that Manning’s conditions were improving.
“In my opinion, there was never an issue of Bradley and suicide. It was Quantico using it as justification for holding him under extreme conditions,” Paterson said. “All of (the treatment) is based on the suicide issue, but it’s not backed up by a single psychiatrist. It’s definitely a very good sign.” …
Row over Wikileaks leaker Bradley Manning treatment
If a detainee is stripped naked and kept in isolation, that’s torture
Professor Malcolm Evans, chairman of the United Nations subcommittee on Prevention of Torture, was speaking at a conference in Cardiff where he was outlining ways to tackle torture in countries.
Manning, a former Pembrokeshire schoolboy, is being detained in a US military prison after being arrested last May for his part in the WikiLeaks saga.
The 23-year-old intelligence analyst is reportedly being subject to prolonged isolation, sleep deprivation, and being stripped naked in his cell.
He is facing a number of charges in the US for allegedly passing diplomatic cables to the website.
The UN has launched an inquiry into whether his alleged conditions amount to torture.
Although he refused to comment on Manning’s case specifically, Professor Evans said that leaving an individual in isolation and forcing them to remove their clothes is a form of torture, in his opinion.
He said: “One of the ongoing issues is what amounts to torture. I have long taken the view that holding a person in extended periods in types of conditions, particularly if it is in solitary isolation can, in my private, personal view, amount to a form of torture, deliberately to try to extract information.
Why Was PFC Bradley Manning Moved to Fort Leavenworth?
April 19, 2011
Like many others, the defense first learned of PFC Manning’s move to Fort Leavenworth, Kansas by reading that a government official, speaking on the condition of anonymity, leaked the information to the Associated Press. The defense was not officially notified of PFC Manning’s pending move until twenty minutes before the Pentagon’s press briefing. … Although the news of the move came as a surprise to the defense, the timing did not.
The defense recently received reliable reports of a private meeting held on 13 January 2011, involving high-level Quantico officials where it was ordered that PFC Manning would remain in maximum custody and under prevention of injury watch indefinitely. The order to keep PFC Manning under these unduly harsh conditions was issued by a senior Quantico official who stated he would not risk anything happening “on his watch.” When challenged by a Brig psychiatrist present at the meeting that there was no mental health justification for the decision, the senior Quantico official issuing the order responded, “We will do whatever we want to do.” …
The facts surrounding PFC Manning’s pretrial confinement at Quantico make it clear that his detention was not “in compliance with legal and regulatory standards in all respects” as maintained at the Pentagon press briefing.
While the defense hopes that the move to Fort Leavenworth will result in the improvement of PFC Manning’s conditions of confinement, it nonetheless intends to pursue redress at the appropriate time for the flagrant violations of his constitutional rights by the Quantico confinement facility.
Concern for Bradley Manning in spartan solitary confinement.
Bradley Manning (Private First Class Airman) is the accused whistleblower who anonymously passed thousands of classified military and diplomatic documents on to WikiLeaks. His lawyer David Coombs and friends have expressed concern as to how he is.
Please send messages of support to:
Bradley Manning c/o Courage to Resist. 484 Lake Park Avenue, 41 Oakland CA 94610.
Bradley Manning needs consular visit, mother tells William Hague
Esther Addley – The Guardian – April 13, 2001
Susan Manning calls on British foreign secretary to check her son’s physical and mental health in maximum security custody
The mother of Bradley Manning, the US soldier accused of leaking data to WikiLeaks, has written to William Hague asking for British consular officials to visit him in military prison to check on his physical and mental health, which she said was deteriorating.
Manning, 23, has been in custody since last May in conditions that have provoked widespread criticism of the US military and government. He is held alone in a maximum security cell for 23 hours a day and stripped naked each night apart from a smock.
Manning does not have a British passport or consider himself British, his lawyer has said, but because his mother, Susan, is Welsh, the soldier is “British by descent”, the Foreign Office confirmed this month.
In her letter, Susan Manning wrote that she visited her son in Quantico marine base in Virginia in February, travelling with her sister, Bradley’s aunt and his uncle, “but they were not allowed to see Bradley.
“I was very distressed by seeing Bradley. Being in prison, and being held in the conditions which he is, is having a damaging effect on him physically and mentally. I am worried that his condition is getting worse. I would like someone to visit him who can check on his conditions. If Bradley’s being a British national means that someone from the British embassy can visit him, then I would like to ask if you can make that happen. I do not believe that Bradley is in a position to be able to request this himself, so I am asking as his mother on his behalf.” …
A lot of US constitutional lawyers say what’s being done to Bradley Manning is illegal, unconstitutional, degrading and inhumane:
Bradley Manning: top US legal scholars voice outrage at ‘torture’
Guardian – April 10, 2011
Obama professor among 250 experts who have signed letter condemning humiliation of alleged WikiLeaks source
More than 250 of America’s most eminent legal scholars have signed a letter protesting against the treatment in military prison of the alleged WikiLeaks source Bradley Manning, contesting that his “degrading and inhumane conditions” are illegal, unconstitutional and could even amount to torture.
The list of signatories includes Laurence Tribe, a Harvard professor who is considered to be America’s foremost liberal authority on constitutional law. He taught constitutional law to Barack Obama and was a key backer of his 2008 presidential campaign.
Tribe joined the Obama administration last year as a legal adviser in the justice department, a post he held until three months ago.
He told the Guardian he signed the letter because Manning appeared to have been treated in a way that “is not only shameful but unconstitutional” as he awaits court martial in Quantico marine base in Virginia. …
This house believes whistleblowers make the world a safer place
Follow Parts 1 & 2 of this New Statesman debate – April 9, 2011
New Statesman debate with Julian Assange, Clayton Swisher (Al Jazeera transparency unit) and Mehdi Hasan vs BFCO (Brit Foreign Comnwlth Ofce) former director defence and intelligence David Richmond, Bob Ayers, former director of the US Department of Defence Information Systems Security Programme, and author and commentator Douglas Murray.
“UK Friends of Bradley Manning” is a blog which aims to report on the activities of those in the UK working on support and solidarity for Bradley Manning, imprisoned in the US under tortuous conditions under suspicion of leaking material which exposes US war crimes in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere.
A letter of deep concern: Peace and Justice Groups Ask Military to End Inhumane Treatment of Bradley Manning
Adm. Mike Mullen, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff
9999 Joint Staff Pentagon
Washington, D.C. 20318-9999
Gen. George W. Casey Jr., Army Chief of Staff
1400 Defense Pentagon
Washington DC 20301-1400
Gen. James F. Amos, Commandant of the Marine Corps
3000 Marine Corps Pentagon
Washington, DC 20350-3000
Colonel Daniel J. Choike, Base Commander
Marine Corps Base Quantico
3250 Catlin Avenue
Quantico, VA 22134-5000
Dear Adm. Mullen, Gen. Casey, Gen. Amos, Col. Choike,
The undersigned organizations are deeply concerned about the inhumane treatment of Pfc Bradley Manning, who has not been convicted of any crime, and yet has been subjected to six months of solitary confinement with no known end date. It has been reported by his attorney and a visitor that Manning’s mental health is suffering from this cruelty, which serves no known judicial purpose and could result in Manning being found unfit to stand trial. ….
Backbone Campaign, Bill of Right Defense Committee, CodePink, Courage to Resist, DC Bill of Rights Coalition, DC National Lawyers Guild, Defending Dissent Foundation, Democrats.com, Friends of Human Rights, Jobs for Afghans, Montgomery County Civil Rights Coalition, National Accountability Action Network, National Campaign for Nonviolent Resistance, Peace Action, Peace of the Action, Progressive Democrats of America, Tackling Torture at the Top – subcommittee of Women Against Military Madness, United for Peace and Justice, Voters for Peace, WarIsALie.org, Washington Physicians for Social Responsibility, Witness Against Torture, World Can’t Wait
On July 6, 2010, Private Bradley Manning, a 22 year old intelligence analyst with the United States Army in Baghdad, was charged with disclosing this video below. The whistleblower behind the Pentagon Papers, Daniel Ellsberg, has called Mr. Manning a ‘hero’. He is currently imprisoned in Kuwait. The Apache crew and those behind the cover up depicted in the video have yet to be charged.
Wikileaks has obtained and decrypted this previously unreleased video footage from a US Apache helicopter in 2007. It shows Reuters journalist Namir Noor-Eldeen, driver Saeed Chmagh, and several others as the Apache shoots and kills them in a public square in Eastern Baghdad. They are apparently assumed to be insurgents. After the initial shooting, an unarmed group of adults and children in a minivan arrives on the scene and attempts to transport the wounded. They are fired upon as well. The official statement on this incident initially listed all adults as insurgents and claimed the US military did not know how the deaths ocurred. Wikileaks released this video with transcripts and a package of supporting documents on April 5th 2010 on www.collateralmurder.com
Warning: This video contains very disturbing scenes.