Thinking of Bradley Manning 55


My thoughts today are with Bradley Manning, on trial in the USA. He has been subject to solitary confinement, abuse and humiliation, with the sexual humiliation overtones (being kept naked) which seem to permeate US military culture in so many ways.

The BBC is a disgrace. The reporter on BBC World just questioned “Whether Julian Assange manipulated and controlled an impressionable young man?” There has been absolutely zero direct evidence produced of any meeting or communication between Assange and Manning. There is the hearsay word of a hacker informant, whom someone should point towards a potter’s field. Both Assange and Manning deny any communication – a fact the BBC did not consider worth reporting.

The relationship between Adam Werritty and Matthew Gould was key to the events which led to the resignation of Britain’s defence minister. There is a great deal more evidence for the Gould-Werritty relationship than for the Assange-Manning relationship, yet the BBC refused to carry a single word on Gould-Werritty telling me it was “speculative”. The neo-con agenda at the BBC is something they no longer seek to disguise.


55 thoughts on “Thinking of Bradley Manning

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  • Fedup

    Smeggypants,
    Ditto.
    ,
    The future generations will come to know Manning for his heroic deeds in confronting evil. Sad to see the “ye olde good German” re-enacting of the Yanks, whom have lost total sense of freedom, and justice.
    ,
    Constitution is no longer to be upheld, and the cries of long live the king have taken over, US appears to be no longer a republic, as reflected in the comments of “evidently” Yanks.

  • Mary

    Not a bad bone in the body of this fresh faced boy photographed here. So unlike the wizened crones Hillary Clinton and Madeleine Albright and the twisted visages of Kissinger, Pancetta, Rumsfeld or any of the myriad war criminals who share the same nationality of Bradley Manning but who do not possess an ounce of his moral fibre.
    .
    Ann Wright reports here. She is an ex US Army Colonel who resigned over the Iraq war. She has also been on the Free Gaza boats.
    .
    Trial of Bradley Manning — Rule of Law or Rule of Intimidation, Retaliation & Retribution
    by Ann Wright
    .
    Yesterday, December 16, 2011, 40 supporters of Bradley Manning saw him in person in the military courtroom at Fort Meade, Maryland and another 60 saw him on a video feed from the court, the first time Manning has been seen by the public in 19 months. Over 100 other supporters, including 50 from Occupy Wall Street who had bused down from New York City, were at the front gates of Fort Meade in solidarity with Manning.
    Hundreds of supporters will gather today, Saturday, December 17, for a large rally and march.
    .
    For his first court appearance, Bradley was in what looked to be a new military uniform and typically military, he had a fresh haircut. He was not in shackles in the courtroom, but it appeared in a photo that he was shackled in the van that brought him to the court. Manning talked freely with his civilian defense counsel and his two military legal counsels.
    [..]
    http://www.pacificfreepress.com/news/1/10461-manning–rule-of-law-or-rule-of-intimidation.html

  • Abe Rene

    John Goss: “that says more about you”

    A good example of American justice was Denny Chinn’s treatment of the conman Bernie Madoff. I approve of the way that Madoff was dealt with.

    So far as Manning is concerned, he is adequately fed, watered and kept in hygienic conditions. He had his clothing taken away to prevent him using it to harm himself. The defense will probably argue as mitigating factors his mental instability, and his conviction that he was disclosing war crimes. But the prosecution will point out the large and indiscriminatory nature of his disclosure. He had better be prepared for a long time in prison.

  • John Goss

    So Abe Rene, 150 years for 70 year old conman Bernie Madoff, from Judge Chin? It is hardly a sentence he will fully serve. Although I do not approve of Madoff this sentence shows Chin not have a grip on reality. Because a sentence can be given does not mean it should. But Manning and Madoff are two different people. The former told the truth, the latter was convicted of securities fraud.
    .
    The defence may not argue about Manning’s fragile mental state. He has shown himself to be very strong despite the beatings (did you see the photograph?) Your legal system is a disgrace. You failed to address the statement about your Gulags. There are bound to be people like you who think patriotiem is more important than justice. But as Smeggypants and others have told you, he has done his country proud. He is the real voice of America because he tells it as it is. If people had not told it as it was we would never have learnt of Abu Ghraib, extraordinary rendition or the torture that went on in Guantanamo Bay. He is the real hero. Your brother Americans who shot down unarmed civilians and gloated about it, (exposed by Wikileaks) are a sad representation of what a once great country has now become. Of them you should be ashamed. Of Bradley Manning you should be proud. It seems to me, however, that you have already passed judgment on the hero, and forgiven the culprits! Hang your head in shame!

  • nuid

    Funny, I thought Abe Rene was British. But maybe I got it wrong.
    .
    “I approve of the way that Madoff was dealt with.”
    Abe, that wasn’t a military court, for starters. And were you aware that the prosecution in Manning’s case requested 20 witnesses, all of which were granted. But the defense was allowed only two of the 38 witnesses they sought?
    “Which was actually better than what the prosecution wanted, as they had argued that the defense should not be allowed to call any of their witnesses except for the ones that were on the prosecution’s own list.”
    http://news.antiwar.com/2011/12/16/manning-hearing-head-rejects-bias-charge-refuses-to-step-down/
    .
    Not a good start at all.

  • glenn

    I thought old Abe Rene was British too (and at least 120 years old). This touching faith in institutions reminds me of his equally trusting nature in the good intentions of war criminal Jack Straw, when he was bribing voters by the thousand in his “treating” of them before the last general election. (Abe just kept repeating at the time, “I believe Jack Straw acted in good faith” or somesuch.)
    .
    No, Abe, his clothes were not taken from him by a benevolent institution “to prevent him using it to harm himself”, no more than he’s prevented from doing any exercise or sleeping during prohibited hours is for his own good.
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    Take a look at this short film:
    .
    http://preventionofinjury.com/
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    and see if that looks like a guy who’s being treated well and fairly, where the only interests are for his own good. It looks to me like a person being psychologically broken down (as happened to Jose Padilla), have his personality destroyed, to gain total compliance. The end goal is doubtless to have Assange implicated so these war mongering bastards can teach us all a lesson in compliance.
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    But then, old Abe thinks the Reader’s Digest is a comprehensive and objective guide to the world, so what would one expect.

  • Abe Rene

    I am a British citizen. The Reader’s Digest is indeed an excellent magazine. Some of my favourite spy stories were published in it, subsequently published in John Barron’s books about the KGB in the 70s and 80s.

    Denny Chinn’s sentencing remarks (see http://www.usatoday.com/money/_pdfs/madoff-sentencing-transcript.pdf ),
    together with the statements by Madoff’s victims, are well worth reading. He said that the victims were doing what they were supposed to do, namely put their trust in their system of justice.

    As for Bradley Manning, he is a military person and such suspects are tried by court-martial. No doubt he will get a fair trial and a just punishment if he is found guilty.

  • glenn

    There you go again, Abe, with your particular brand of wide-eyed naivety. The Reader’s Digest is simplified Mom-And-Apple-Pie utter tosh specifically designed for people like you, so it’s not surprising you find it “excellent”. That’s why you have child-like faith that “No doubt [Manning] will get a fair trial and just punishment…”
    .
    Only the most credulous old fool, with a brain softened by over a century of reading the R.D., could make such a statement. Your good mate Ronald Reagan also thought the R.D. gave as complete a worldview as was needed, and he certainly had the brain necessary to reach such a conclusion.
    .
    By the way, all Buddhists (such as the Japanese) could be defined as “godless” too. Do you cheer every time one of them dies? Did you cheer when Fukushima went up?

  • Abe Rene

    PS. Now that North Korea’s “Stalin 2” is no more, I hope that glasnost, perestroika and democracy will come to pass, and soon.

    As for Buddhists, they are not Communists and the area of Christian-Buddhist dialogue is a fruitful one, for example the books of William Johnston.

    Ronald Reagan was not too narrow minded to do business with Makhail Gorbachev and so helped to keep the world stable during the collapse of Comunism in Europe. He therefore merited his honorary knighthood.

  • John Goss

    Perhaps I made a mistake, Abe Rene, but it is understandable when we spell it “defence” and the Americans spell it “defense”. Still that’s sorted that! It hasn’t sorted the despicable way protesters are arrested attending the hearing of Bradley Manning. But what can be expected in your idyllic haven of justice! Dan Choi has been prohibited from attending any of the hearings for no apparent reason, if his version is correct.
    .
    http://www.politico.com/blogs/under-the-radar/2011/12/dadt-activist-dan-choi-barred-from-bradley-manning-108027.html

  • David H

    Manning may be a hero for what he did, depending on your point of view, but he will get punished and it’s difficult to justify any other outcome. Unless you are suggesting he may not be guilty? But at this point, it seems even his supporters are assuming he did it.
    .
    If he’d only leaked the Iraq stuff then perhaps he could claim some sort of whistleblower status. But most of it was just regular diplomatic communications. At points embarrasing in their frankness, but definately not incriminating.
    .
    The US was lax in its security proceedures so it was their fault really that such a lowly operative could steal so much data? I can’t see that standing up in court. In any case, for the diplomatic reports to be useful, they need to be available to a fairly broad audience of intelligence analysts.
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    He’s been mistreated and humiliated? Well, he did join the US military (surely the biggest mistake of his life). How do you think they achieve military discipline? It’s like joining a rugby club and complaining you got pushed over in the mud.
    .
    If he did it, there’s no way to argue that he didn’t knowingly commit a crime and the only defence I can see even slightly working is to claim some sort of diminished responsibility, mental stress, whatever. That may at least mitigate the punishment.
    .
    In any case – the guy’s a hero. If he did it.

  • Njegos

    Craig –

    Spot on. Manning’s treatment does not surprise me in the least when you look at this:

    http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article30034.htm

    This is one of the saddest and most sickening episodes of the Iraqi war. It reveals, as if we didn’t already know, how corrupt and ugly the American military is. But it also shows how the American army runs an internal Guantanamo and Abu Ghraib to deal with those in its ranks who dare to speak out about what they have seen.

    Is this what that clown Obama meant when he said American soldiers had discharged their duties in Iraq with honour?

    Be warned that the images are very graphic.

  • Clark

    The US authorities bear more responsibility than just their lax security procedures. Most of the material leaked to Wikileaks could be regarded as inappropriately classified. It is daft to create an enormous database with extremely varied content, give access to tens of thousands of people, and then pretend it is in some way “secret”.
    .
    Yes, whistleblowers need to be charged, I cannot see an alternative to that. But it would be good if the civilian courts could claim authority over such cases so that a public interest defence could be argued.
    .
    If Manning indeed leaked to Wikileaks he should be acquitted of any “aiding the enemy” charges, because Wikileaks’ declared purpose and observed actions have been to publish leaked data rather than to sell it to an enemy of the source.

  • David H

    Ingo – ‘he can’t possibly get a fair trial when the prosecution is already speaking of his guilt before the trial is over.’

    Isn’t it the prosecution’s job to argue a defendant’s guilt? How is a trial going to work if the prosecution is not allowed to speak of the defendant’s guilt until the trial is over??

    Agree, though. As it’s such a big case, the trial should be a civilian one, not military. How can the military be the injured party, the prosecution, the judge, the jury and the executioner? And even be present on the defence team also. Even if they come to the right decision, it can’t then be defended as a fair process.

    The issue should be one of law and evidence, not politics or retribution. Is there law that prohibits taking and distributing this material? What’s the evidence that he actually did it?

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