Posts tagged Bradley Manning

Restore the United States’ human rights record and grant clemency to Pvt. Bradley Manning! | We the People: Your Voice in Our Government

The prosecution of Bradley Manning starkly contrasts to the US govt’s repeated failure to deliver justice for serious human rights violations committed during counter-terror operations of the past decade.

Manning, who released classified information exposing potential breaches of international humanitarian law by US forces, was sentenced in military court on Aug 21st to 35 yrs in prison.

Manning’s severe sentence contrasts with the leniency given those responsible for torture and other types of grave human rights violations he revealed.

To reduce this blight on the US human rights record, President Obama should grant Manning clemency for time served, protect whistleblowers, and provide accountability for crimes like those Manning exposed.

What does his being transgender have to do with anything? This is a low and disgusting effort to break him, a tactic of the weak and unprincipled. I see right through these military weasels, and I hope others do as well.

NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams (6/3/13), reporting the first day of Manning’s trial, called him “the man who may have put U.S. military secrets in the hands of Osama bin Laden”–referring to the U.S. government’s legal theory that by making secrets public, Manning allowed Al-Qaeda to have access to them, and was therefore “aiding the enemy” (FAIR Blog, 6/4/13).

But giving classified information to the public is something that news outlets–including NBC News–routinely do, and each time they do it they too could be accused of “aiding the enemy.” For example, NBC's Michael Isikoff reported on February 4 that a “confidential memo” produced by the Justice Department held that “the U.S. government can order the killing of American citizens if they are believed to be ‘senior operational leaders’ of Al-Qaeda or ‘an associated force’–even if there is no intelligence indicating they are engaged in an active plot to attack the U.S.”

(via Facebook)
Nominate Bradley Manning as MLB / People’s Tribute to Heros before May 17 Info for nominating Bradley: First Name: Bradley  Last Name: Manning Email Address: courage@riseup.net  Favorite Team: Nationals  Date of Birth: 12/17/1987 Gender: Male Branch of Military Service: Army  Duration of Military Service: 1-5 yearsPersonal and Professional Accomplishments (500 characters or less): PFC Bradley Manning, is the only U.S. soldier to be nominated three times for the Nobel Peace Prize & is one of the most influential whistle blowers of our time. In short, he’s been charged with exposing war crimes & telling us the truth about US foreign policy. He’s been held with no trial for nearly 3 years & endured torture & solitary confinement for the first 10 months of his incarceration. Given the crimes exposed, he should be given a medal of honor for his selfless acts.  Military Service and Acts of Heroism (500 characters or less): He courageously shared a video of a US helicopter attack that killed 11 civilians and wounded 2 children in Iraq. He also gave the world an unprecedented view of the realities of U.S. foreign policy by sharing the Iraq and Afghanistan war logs, Guantanamo case files, and embarrassing US State Dept cables. The documents have added significantly to public knowledge of war crimes, civilian casualties, and government corruption, and significantly contributed to ending the war in Iraq. Community Service (500 characters or less): Bradley has served communities all across the nation and the world by exposing truths that directly affect the people of those communities. At Home, providing transparency, Manning showed what the government is doing with our tax dollars in our name. Globally, contributing to recent pro-democracy and justice movements. Bradley has also been active and participated in the hacker and LGBT communities. Bradley is clearly motivated by a commitment to justice standing up for human rights everywhere.

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Nominate Bradley Manning as MLB / People’s Tribute to Heros before May 17

Info for nominating Bradley:
First Name: Bradley
Last Name: Manning
Email Address: courage@riseup.net
Favorite Team: Nationals
Date of Birth: 12/17/1987
Gender: Male
Branch of Military Service: Army
Duration of Military Service: 1-5 years

Personal and Professional Accomplishments (500 characters or less):
PFC Bradley Manning, is the only U.S. soldier to be nominated three times for the Nobel Peace Prize & is one of the most influential whistle blowers of our time. In short, he’s been charged with exposing war crimes & telling us the truth about US foreign policy. He’s been held with no trial for nearly 3 years & endured torture & solitary confinement for the first 10 months of his incarceration. Given the crimes exposed, he should be given a medal of honor for his selfless acts.

Military Service and Acts of Heroism (500 characters or less):
He courageously shared a video of a US helicopter attack that killed 11 civilians and wounded 2 children in Iraq. He also gave the world an unprecedented view of the realities of U.S. foreign policy by sharing the Iraq and Afghanistan war logs, Guantanamo case files, and embarrassing US State Dept cables. The documents have added significantly to public knowledge of war crimes, civilian casualties, and government corruption, and significantly contributed to ending the war in Iraq.

Community Service (500 characters or less):
Bradley has served communities all across the nation and the world by exposing truths that directly affect the people of those communities. At Home, providing transparency, Manning showed what the government is doing with our tax dollars in our name. Globally, contributing to recent pro-democracy and justice movements. Bradley has also been active and participated in the hacker and LGBT communities. Bradley is clearly motivated by a commitment to justice standing up for human rights everywhere.

It was part of a fascinating few days in the history of the Manning story — resonating with implications for free speech, national security and the American military at war — but you wouldn’t have known much about it if your only source of information was The New York Times. The Times didn’t cover Mr. Coombs’s remarks and, far more important, did not send a staff reporter to the first eight days of a pretrial hearing in the case, including riveting testimony by Private Manning.
The N.Y. Times navel gazing about the Bradley Manning story in An Empty Seat in the Courtroom
Bradley complained about the restrictive conditions, and psychiatrists said that they were detrimental to Bradley’s health, because they amount to solitary confinement. Bradley wasn’t able to speak to any other detainees, as his adjacent cells were empty, he only got 20 minutes outside of his 6′x8′ cell each day, and when he left the cell the entire brig was in “lockdown” and he had to wear metal shackles on his hands and feet and be escorted everywhere he went. Guards and officials have testified that Bradley is far and away the only detainee they’ve ever seen or kept on POI for this long – previously, the longest they’ve seen a detainee on POI was merely a few days, or two weeks at most, while Bradley was kept in isolation for nine months. Military psychiatrists say these conditions can be detrimental to a detainee’s mental health, especially as they last this long.

Questioned for several hours yesterday by defense lawyer David Coombs, MSGT Blenis said that Bradley’s previous history was cause for concern: in Kuwait, disoriented and isolated in what he called an “animal cage,” Bradley had considered committing suicide. Upon arriving at Quantico, Bradley wrote on an intake form that regarding suicide he was “always planning, never acting.” However, Bradley testified this week that he didn’t feel suicidal at Quantico, and that the intake remark wasn’t serious: he had guards standing over him who ordered him to “write something” and he knew that he’d be placed on Suicide Risk watch no matter what he wrote. Furthermore, brig psychiatrists Cpt. William Hoctor and Cpt. Kevin Malone testified this week that they didn’t consider those incidents to be long-term problems – they said that suicidal thoughts are frequently temporary, and by mid-August, Bradley posed no risk to himself and didn’t require these harsh conditions.

Save human rights whistleblower Bradley Manning!

Accused WikiLeaks whistleblower and Nobel Peace Prize nominee Bradley Manning will spend the rest of his life in prison for telling the public the truth, if US officials get their way. Government conduct, apparently aimed at discouraging whistle-blowers, has ignored due process and made a fair trial impossible. But, in the past, outrageous government conduct has led judges to dismiss the charges against whistle-blowers. Tell the judge in Bradley’s military Court Martial to do the same!

  • Bradley was held in pre-trial solitary confinement for 11 months, in conditions condemned by the UN Rapporteur on Torture as “cruel, inhuman and degrading,” including being stripped and made to stand naked at roll call. This was a clear violation of the US military’s Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ: Article 13). Yet, only worldwide outrage—including over 500,000 Avaaz members signing a petition—ended this illegal treatment.
  • Both President Obama and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Dempsey have declared publicly, prior to trial, that Bradley “broke the law.” Their statements make a mockery of presumption of innocence and have prejudiced the proceedings with Unlawful Command Influence (UCMJ: Article 37).
  • Article 10 of the UCMJ promises defendants a speedy trial. However, Bradley was imprisoned for nearly two years before his pretrial proceedings even began, and his court-martial trial has yet to start.
  • The prosecution has withheld key evidence which the defense believes will show that Bradley’s alleged actions have not damaged US national security. And there is clear evidence that the leaks were motivated entirely by conscience. Yet the military says that Bradley’s intention should not even be considered by the court, and that he should be convicted of ‘Aiding the Enemy’ and sentenced to life in prison, regardless of any moral motive, lack of harm, or overwhelmingly positive results of the disclosures. Against all Justice, this would make any kind of whistle-blower defense impossible.

Call on Judge Lind to acknowledge the outrageous government conduct in Bradley’s case, and dismiss the charges against him, and tell President Obama to pardon him in the event of any conviction!

The information released has helped inform public understanding of the realities of the War on Terror, and revealed governmental and corporate corruption and collusion. It has contributed to the ending of the Iraq War and to positive people-power movements such as the Tunisian Revolution and the Occupy Movement. Tens of thousands of regular citizens worldwide have supported Bradley and funded his legal defense (See: www.bradleymanning.org). It is time for US officials to stop obstructing democracy and free Bradley Manning!


Sincerely,
Daniel Ellsberg, Pentagon Papers whistleblower
Center for Constitutional Rights
Bradley Manning Support Network
For a period of about eight months at Quantico, Manning was subjected to extraordinarily harsh conditions. This was done, the military claimed, for his own protection under a so-called “prevention of injury” order or POI.

The unidentified witnesses that Coombs wants to call include a military psychiatrist who consistently recommended to Manning’s captors at the brig at Quantico that the prisoner should be removed from restrictive conditions. But his advice was ignored and Manning continued to be subjected to solitary confinement, being stripped naked, held in a bare cell and made to wear a rough smock at night.

Witnesses will testify, the defense motion states, that when the psychiatrists objected to the conditions, they were told by the military chiefs in the brig: “We will do whatever we want to do.”

The defense also wants to call witnesses from Fort Leavenworth in Kansas where Manning was moved in April 2011 following an international outcry about his treatment.

After the move, the soldier was allowed much greater freedom under medium-security arrangements. The defense argues that his successful transfer shows “he was improperly held to begin with”.
The judge presiding over his trial at Fort Meade in Maryland has ordered the US government to hand over several confidential documents relating to the massive leak to the whistleblower website WikiLeaks.

In particular, the Obama administration must now disclose to Manning’s lawyers some of the damage assessments it carried out into the impact of the leak on US interests around the world.

Should those assessments reveal that the US government found that the fallout from WikiLeaks was limited, that could be used by Manning’s defence to argue his innocence against some of the charges he faces, such as aiding the enemy. If the soldier is found guilty, the information might then prove invaluable in reducing any sentence.

As a result of the ruling, Manning’s defence team was handed the main findings of a state department investigation into the impact of WikiLeaks on Tuesday evening.
The whole civil libertarian message only really seems to catch fire among liberals when there’s a Republican in the White House,” says (Chase) Madar. When there’s not a bumbling Texan to inveigh against, all the sudden issues that were morally black and white become complex, and liberal media starts finding nuance where there wasn’t any before.