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RSN reports: "Reader Supported News has filed a MOTION TO INTERVENE with the United States Army First Judicial District in the matter of the court marshal of Pfc. Bradley Manning. According to the Army, 350 reporters applied for credentials to the trial of Bradley Manning. Less than 100 received credentials meaning over 250 were denied. Reader Supported News was one of the publications denied."

Bradley Manning Graphic (illustration: Marc Ash/RSN)
Bradley Manning Graphic (illustration: Marc Ash/RSN)


RSN Files Media Access Motion in Manning Trial

By Scott Galindez and Marc Ash, Reader Supported News

1 June 13

 

eader Supported News through counsel William Simpich has filed a MOTION TO INTERVENE with the United States Army First Judicial District in the matter of the court-martial of Pfc. Bradley Manning.

Manning is facing 21 criminal charges that include "aiding the enemy" and could face a life sentence if convicted of the most serious charges.

According to the Army, 350 reporters applied for credentials to the trial of Bradley Manning. Fewer than 100 received credentials, meaning over 250 were denied. Reader Supported News was one of the publications denied. The Army in its notification of denial said, "The U.S. Army Military District of Washington made every effort to ensure a variety of media were credentialed to provide the public (local, national, international) a continuous news feed of the legal proceedings." However the criteria for approval remains vague at best.

The Military District of Washington's media relations department has set up a two-tier system for coverage of the court-martial. They encourage reporters who were denied credentials to attend the hearings as members of the public. The public viewing area will allow those who were denied the ability to watch the proceedings, but they will not be allowed the tools of their trade. The reporters who received credentials will have access to their computers.

The reason given for the denial was that there was only room for 70 in the media center. We are requesting that they provide additional space for the media.

The lack of transparency is also an issue: with no access to transcripts, the media should be granted full access. Money was raised to provide a court reporter for the media to access. The stenographer who was hired was also denied access. Without access to transcripts the media reporting will not be as complete or accurate as it could be.

We are also arguing that if the members of the public and the media are allowed to view the proceedings on closed circuit tv, then why not let the public as a whole view the event? We are asking the judge to give the media access to the video feed for broadcast and/or streaming.

Our reporters and others were denied press credentials, and are now forced to struggle for a spot in the overflow room without knowing the basis for their exclusion. If the court does not increase the size of the media center, we deserve to know why our application was denied.

The Motion:

IN THE UNITED STATES ARMY
FIRST JUDICIAL CIRCUIT

UNITED STATES
v.
MANNING, BRADLEY E., PFC
U.S. Army, xxx-xx-9504
Headquarters and Headquarters Company
U.S. Army Garrison, Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall
Fort Myer, VA 22111
REQUEST FOR PUBLIC ACCESS;
OR, IN THE ALTERNATIVE, MOTION TO INTERVENE
TO VINDICATE THE RIGHT TO PUBLIC ACCESS
DATED: May 31, 2013

RELIEF SOUGHT

1. Pursuant to Rules of Court-Martial 806(a), 806(b) and 806(c), Petitioners William Simpich, Scott Galindez, and Kay Rudin of Reader Supported News make a request for public access; or, in the alternative, move to intervene to vindicate the right to public access and seek an order permitting full public and media access to the proceedings of the Manning court-martial.

BURDEN OF PERSUASION AND BURDEN OF PROOF

2. The burden of persuasion is placed on the moving party. R.C.M. 905(c)(2). The party that is seeking to prevent the media right of access has the burden of proof to show, in specific, on the record, findings that (1) closure is essential to preserve higher values or compelling interests; (2) individualized, case-by-case findings that justify each closure; (3) closure is narrowly tailored to serve the compelling interest. Press Enterprise Co. v. Superior Court, 464 US 501, 513 (1984); Press Enterprise v. Superior Court, 478 US 1, 9-14 (1984).

ARGUMENT

3. PFC Bradley E. Manning was arrested in May 2010 and eventually was charged in this court-martial with various offenses arising from his alleged leaking of government documents to Wikileaks. His trial is scheduled to begin on June 3, 2013, at the Ft. George G. Meade military installation in Anne Arundel County, Maryland.

4. Manning's trial and his treatment during his confinement have been the subject of intense national and international media scrutiny. Nevertheless, although the public has been permitted to attend some portions of Manning's pretrial court-martial proceedings, petitioners allege that reasonable media access to the trial proceedings has been denied in the following ways:

5. The courtroom has ten seats for the media and the public. A media operations center outside of the courtroom has been created to seat 70 members of the media corps, who will have access to their laptop computers to type their observations. In the past, a theater was made available as an "overflow room," which may be made available again for the more than 270 members of the media, as well as the general public, who will be unable to access the press room or the courtroom.

A. Based on past experience, the media and public barred from the courtroom and media operations center will be consigned to the overflow room, where they will only be able to passively watch these transmissions and write down their observations with pen and pencil. This situation creates a two-tier system - those who can type their observations, and those who cannot.

B. The court is exercising its discretion to have the military provide video and audio transmissions to the press and the public in the press room and the overflow room. However, the press and the public will not be allowed to capture the video and audio even though the military will retain the ability to capture these transmissions. This situation creates a two-tier system - those who can capture the transmissions, and those who cannot.

C. Two courtroom artists have been given access to the courtroom throughout the proceedings, and that relationship seems likely to continue. Petitioner Kay Rudin, the courtroom artist with Reader Supported News, deserves an equal opportunity to access the courtroom. A courtroom artist cannot accurately convey to the public what is going on in the courtroom without direct access to the courtroom itself. This situation creates a two-tier system - those who can portray the proceedings, and those who cannot.

D. Petitioners William Simpich and Scott Galindez are reporting on the Manning trial for Reader Supported News. They were mandated to provide articles on their previous military coverage as a prerequisite for obtaining credentials. These previous articles were critical of the military and its procedures. Mr. Simpich, Mr. Galindez, and Ms. Rudin have been denied press credentials, and are now forced to struggle for a spot in the overflow room without knowing the basis for their exclusion. These petitioners believe it is on the basis of their reporting and/or their association with one another. These petitioners are also informed that the stenographer hired by the Guardian newspaper from the United Kingdom at considerable expense was denied access to the media observation room, which means that she cannot perform her duties which would aid the entire media corps and the public.

6. Due to the facts above, these petitioners, as well as the media and the public, are unable to engage in careful observation and analysis in one of the most important cases involving the alleged disclosure of classified information since the Pentagon Papers.

7. Rule of Court-Martial 806(a) states that the court-martial shall be open to the public. The Discussion of this rule states that "when public access to a court-martial is limited for some reason, including lack of space, special care must be taken to avoid arbitrary exclusion of specific groups or persons. This may include allocating a reasonable number of seats to members of the press and to relatives of the accused." This directive is made more specific by Rule 806(b), which states that when specific persons are excluded from the courtroom, "the military judge must make findings on the record establishing the reason for the exclusion, the basis for the military judge's belief that exclusion is necessary, and that the exclusion is as narrowly tailored as possible." The petitioners have the right to know the process that was used to determine who was excluded from the courtroom and/or the media room, and whether the judge made the narrowly tailored findings as mandated by Rule 806.

8. Rule 806(c) states that video or audio transmission is generally barred, but that "the military judge may, as a matter of discretion, permit contemporaneous closed-circuit video or audio transmission to permit viewing or hearing ... by spectators when courtroom facilities are inadequate to accommodate a reasonable number of spectators."

9. Neither Judge Lind, nor any other government official, has indicated in the military court proceedings that the denial of public access as described is necessitated by a need to preserve secrets or classified information or to promote any other legitimate governmental interest.

10. A cloak of secrecy has been drawn over the Manning proceedings despite written requests made by several of the named plaintiffs (made on their own behalf and on behalf of the public) and by various other media organizations to the military court seeking greater public access on issues involving access to pretrial hearings and specific documents. On these issues, Judge Lind construed a letter from the Center for Constitutional Rights as a motion to intervene for the purpose of seeking to vindicate the right of public access to the Manning proceedings, and denied the motion. The Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces (CAAF) ultimately held, in a recent 3-2 decision, that the military appellate courts lacked jurisdiction over plaintiffs' claims. As the CAAF dissenters suggested, the Center for Constitutional Rights has now filed an action in an Article III Court.

11. As set forth herein, the public and press have First Amendment and common law right to prompt and contemporaneous access to the records of proceedings of the court-martial trial proceeding. It is also critical to honor the rights of equal protection under the law.

12. Petitioners are likely to succeed on the merits of their claim that defendants are violating petitioners' rights under the First Amendment and common law by refusing access to court-martial documents and proceedings. As the Supreme Court has repeatedly held, even minimal infringement upon First Amendment values constitutes irreparable injury sufficient to justify injunctive relief. The intense public interest in the Manning court-martial would be served by enjoining the military from continuing to deny adequate access to this proceeding.

13. If necessary, members of the press and public may bring actions for injunctive relief directly under the First Amendment. In addition, under 28 U.S.C. § 1361, "district courts shall have original jurisdiction of any action in the nature of mandamus to compel an officer or employee of the United States or any agency thereof to perform a duty owed to the plaintiff." This First Amendment right to access applies in military courts as well. Globe Newspaper Co. v. Superior Court, 457 U.S. 596, 603-05 (1982); ABC, Inc. v. Powell, 47 MJ 363, 365 (1997) ("When an accused is entitled to a public hearing, the press enjoys the same right and has standing to complain if access is denied".) Furthermore, the petitioners' right to equal protection under the law has been denied when the military failed to issue press credentials in a transparent process and without the requisite findings by the military judge.

14. Nixon v. Warner Communications, Inc. 435 US 589, 597 (1978) specifically addresses the right of access to information presented at trial, stating that both the media and the public have a First Amendment right to attend, see, and hear what transpires in a courtroom. In Nixon, the media was provided transcripts of the audiotapes. In Nixon, there was no issue of the government trying to prevent information from reaching the public. In Manning, the most crucial aspects of the trial are being actively prevented from reaching the public.

15. If the media or the public in the media room or the overflow room are denied the right transcribe the proceedings by typing their observations; or to capture the video or audio transmissions presented outside of the courtroom; or to adequately portray the proceedings inside the courtroom; or to obtain access to the courtroom, the media observation center, or the overflow room by means of a transparent process, valuable information will not reach the public while equal protection and Amendment rights are violated. It is the understanding of the petitioners that some of Judge Lind's views on this topic have been published - see Lt. Col. Denise R. Lind, Media Rights of Access to Proceedings, Information, and Participants in Military Criminal Cases, 163 Mil. L. Rev. 1 (2000). http://www.loc.gov/rr/frd/Military_Law/Military_Law_Review/pdf-files/27608D~1.pdf As recognized in the aforementioned article, "right of access is the right to attend a proceeding and to hear, see, and communicate observations about it." Also see Richmond Newspapers, Inc. v. Commonwealth, 448 US 555, 576 (1980).

16. The Supreme Court considers an attempt by the government to delay publication of information as a prior restraint. Prior restraints are presumed to be unconstitutional. Nebraska Press Association v. Stuart, 427 US 539, 559-561 (1976) found a government order to delay publication to be a prior restraint. Preventing the media and the public from typing their observations in a room that cannot possibly disrupt the court proceedings is a similar type of prior restraint. Withholding the video and audio transmissions from the media and the public but not the military is an even more serious prior restraint. Delay will result because a reporter can type far more quickly than write with a pen or pencil. Nor is there any good reason to prevent the media and the public from capturing the video and audio transmissions of the trial. Security is not compromised in any conceivable way. If we can observe these transmissions, why can't we communicate these transmissions directly to the public?

CONCLUSION

17. Petitioners ask the Court to act on this request for full public access, with complete transparency, and to honor the request for equal protection under the law, pursuant to the First Amendment and the procedures as set forth in R.C.M. 806 as soon as possible, and ideally before the close of business on Friday, May 31, 2013. Copies of this request are being served on the judge and on the offices of the prosecution and the defense.


Reader Supported News is the Publication of Origin for this work. Permission to republish is freely granted with credit and a link back to Reader Supported News.

 

Comments   

We are concerned about a recent drift towards vitriol in the RSN Reader comments section. There is a fine line between moderation and censorship. No one likes a harsh or confrontational forum atmosphere. At the same time everyone wants to be able to express themselves freely. We'll start by encouraging good judgment. If that doesn't work we'll have to ramp up the moderation.

General guidelines: Avoid personal attacks on other forum members; Avoid remarks that are ethnically derogatory; Do not advocate violence, or any illegal activity.

Remember that making the world better begins with responsible action.

- The RSN Team

 
+27 # maddave 2013-06-01 10:45
Knowing full well that subjectivity and selectivity were factors in determining who was and who was not allowed credentials. And acknowledging that there is no court room in the world large enough to accomodate all of the credential applicants plus others aspiring attendees, one is of the opinion that the "deciders" must publish their criteria and methods of picking the chosen few. Eg; Hypothetically, why FOX and not Al Jazerra/Current ?

After the Iraq/Afghanista n correspondent-e mbedment and news control processes openly exercised by the U S Military, their fair judgement and integrity have been as diminished as their capacity and proclivity toward propaganda has been enhanced.

A lottery is the only fair and unbiased way to have dispensed access credentials.
 
 
+28 # Scott Galindez 2013-06-01 11:07
We acknowledge that there is not a courtroom large enough, but can't the Army provide a media center for more than 70? all they need to provide is 350 chairs at tables with access to outlets, and a large enough screen for everyone to watch the closed circuit broadcast.
 
 
+16 # Scott Galindez 2013-06-01 11:10
actually I doubt 350 were reporters needing their laptops, I'm guessing their were lots of support staff for the broadcast crews.
 
 
+10 # maddave 2013-06-01 17:38
With three major Academies and numerous Staff, War, PG, Logistics, etc Colleges and Schools, the military has the space and the capacity to do whatever the DOD choose to do. The major objective here is, as with all trials, is to bring closure to the matter and to keep a lid on both the trial and the news that it generates.

BTW: Why does the DOD not have a "Peace College" to complement our long-of-tooth War College?
 
 
+28 # babaregi 2013-06-01 11:27
WOW!

Our little rag-tag group is actually making some noise (ala Oliver Twist asking for more porridge).

We're not just grumbling to ourselves anymore but taking a stand!
 
 
+32 # reiverpacific 2013-06-01 11:38
So which reporters received credentials?
Fox, Wall Street Journal, US News and World Report (any foreign media?)? Have they even made public such a list?
Why were the credential recipients selected? Lottery, random pin in paper list? Donkey's tail method.
Are they going over the many recorded trials of Roland Freisler, Hitler's "blood judge" for inspiration on how to conduct this "vengeance is mine"-based covert show-trial?
The world is watching, in spite of the fierce attempts at repression.
Get after 'em RSN -how can we help?
 
 
+18 # Scott Galindez 2013-06-01 11:45
We will have a better idea monday...they did not send out a list of who did or didn't get approved..
 
 
+13 # Nebulastardust 2013-06-01 12:11
I would really like to know which news organizations are being permitted to view these Court-Martial proceedings.

Uniform Code of Military Justice does not need a formal court room in which to make decision according military law. This is not a civilian court in any manner.

Therefore a big area could be used to give everyone the picture of the goings on.

I think it best for Bradley Manning to have as many people of various outlooks to watch this military court try to be 'fair' if that is their intention.

I think, too, that it's about time the US military was honest and up front about its not following up at all upon the continuous war crimes that it has been guilty of.

I do not, for one instant, agree with the attitude of the military and the government being held to higher levels than others.

Much the opposite is true as the USA ignores its continued war crimes and arrests and holds without trial or a date to be taken home.

Also, the military tribunal finding Omar Khadr guilty of a war crime as a boy is totally ridiculous considering the continued and obvious war crimes stacking up high as the Tower of Babel.
 
 
+1 # Scott Galindez 2013-06-05 05:20
We have requested a list of organizations approved and denied. We hope to get a response soon...

space is no longer an issue, but we gave not been allowed a spot in the media center based on not being listed in a database provided to them by a media monitoring center they hired. Story coming on that soon...
 
 
+20 # Sunflower 2013-06-01 12:19
Bravo Reader Supported News!!!
 
 
+19 # phrixus 2013-06-01 12:19
OMG! Someone has actually found a way to DO something. Kudos to RSN.
 
 
+8 # tbcrawford8 2013-06-01 12:59
Who, where do we write/call to complain? Action instructions, please!
 
 
+1 # barbaratodish 2013-06-01 13:05
It's great that rsn.org through counsel William Simpich,et al,is making noise and being "inconvenient" to the status quo and the powers that be. I'd prefer that Bradley manning try going before & after ALL law (f/law?), military &/or criminal/civil/ common, even soveriegn/ etc.,law (f/law?). Perhaps he might try to transcend communication altogether when he is asked to "Identify" himself as PFC. Bradley Manning. For instance, he might say he is limiless in identity instead of, or in addition to being an "Identity" called Pfc. Bradley Manning, because (The issue is) he's us all, and he represents us all in an attempt to provide limitless information
that has been misconstrued/co nstructed to
be a security leak, when the only real security is to cooperate instead of compete with each other regarding information.
Of course such an anti? legal tactic might result in his having added charges (contempt of court).That could be addressed by him, counsel, etc., saying that before ther can BE contempt of anything, there first must BE something, and since the law (f/law?) is constructed, it's yet to be anything other than a figment of our limited (therefore F/LAWED) universal group consciousness. Law (f/law?) is an attempt to limit our right to limitless freedom. Or, he can state in his defense that instead of having any intent at all to commit any crime, any intent to commit any crime had him!If I can be of any assistance(I attended CUNY Law School contact me at btodish@kean.edu
 
 
+7 # Erdajean 2013-06-01 13:10
This is just another experiment to see how far they can go with their "military" secret-keeping, their dissing the public's right to know, their arrogant contempt for all dissent and disregard for all us "little people in the village." Of course most of their rule-making makes no sense -- it's just another push to keep us in our insignificant, obedient little "place."

RSN, thank you for (in effect) mooning these wannabe Nazis. All we need to do to lose EVERYTHING this country has stood for is to cower and "go along." That way lies worse than death.
 
 
-34 # JackB 2013-06-01 13:48
Why the surprise. There would be a better chance of planting a successful botanical garden on the moon than in getting unbiased reporting on this subject from RSN.

A 25 year old disgruntled Army PFC takes American secret documents & sends them to someone who has no use for America & will surely publish them.

To the folks on this board that disgruntled 25 year old Army PFC is the best person on the planet to decide what American secrets should be made public. Not only do they know Manning is the one to lead us on this, they also know that everything outside the US is the Garden of Eden & there is no risk at all that someone out there would use the info to take advantage of us.

Bradley Manning is a disgrace to his uniform & a traitor to his country. Anyone who thinks he should be the gatekeeper of America's secrets should not be allowed out without supervision.
 
 
+3 # RobertMStahl 2013-06-01 14:52
Without a reply like this, how else would one know they were pursuing the right course? Who cannot drift with evolution here?
 
 
+5 # ladymidath 2013-06-01 20:09
Quoting JackB:
I was not referring to reporters when I made that statement. I was referring to ANYONE who honestly believes a 22 year old (at the time) disturbed & disgruntled Army PFC should be allowed to determine what Government secrets should be made public.

Only a blithering idiot would argue that the country's secrets should be entrusted to someone like that.

Warts & all. BS. For reasons I cannot comprehend liberals always seem to choose the rest of the world over the US. How the rest of the world would benefit from a media circus is easy to understand. But how does the US benefit. Expose more secrets? Have the crazies line up for a chance to tell the world what a garbage country the US is? How beautiful the world would be without us? One big - Mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa.

The idea that we should have no secrets or that someone like Manning should be their gatekeeper is blatant stupidity.

Quoting RobertMStahl:
Without a reply like this, how else would one know they were pursuing the right course? Who cannot drift with evolution here?


Bradley Manning saw something wrong and had the courage to expose it. There should be more people like him and if there were, perhaps Governments and the military will think twice before creating mindless slaughter and endless wars that help no one except the mega rich. Having written this, my own son in law is in the Australian Special Forces and has served in Afghanistan.
 
 
+4 # skeptick 2013-06-01 15:22
Quoting JackB:
Why the surprise. There would be a better chance of planting a successful botanical garden on the moon than in getting unbiased reporting on this subject from RSN.

A 25 year old disgruntled Army PFC takes American secret documents & sends them to someone who has no use for America & will surely publish them.

To the folks on this board that disgruntled 25 year old Army PFC is the best person on the planet to decide what American secrets should be made public. Not only do they know Manning is the one to lead us on this, they also know that everything outside the US is the Garden of Eden & there is no risk at all that someone out there would use the info to take advantage of us.

Bradley Manning is a disgrace to his uniform & a traitor to his country. Anyone who thinks he should be the gatekeeper of America's secrets should not be allowed out without supervision.


Supposing all your assertions are right, JackB, how would the presence of a random sample of biased reporting be "without supervision."? Can you name a reporter whose lack of bias would be utter and unimpeachable, and do you know if this happy reporter is among the chosen? Let's have the selection process and the trial open to public scrutiny, and let's hear the points of view, biases, warts and all.
 
 
-12 # JackB 2013-06-01 17:46
I was not referring to reporters when I made that statement. I was referring to ANYONE who honestly believes a 22 year old (at the time) disturbed & disgruntled Army PFC should be allowed to determine what Government secrets should be made public.

Only a blithering idiot would argue that the country's secrets should be entrusted to someone like that.

Warts & all. BS. For reasons I cannot comprehend liberals always seem to choose the rest of the world over the US. How the rest of the world would benefit from a media circus is easy to understand. But how does the US benefit. Expose more secrets? Have the crazies line up for a chance to tell the world what a garbage country the US is? How beautiful the world would be without us? One big - Mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa.

The idea that we should have no secrets or that someone like Manning should be their gatekeeper is blatant stupidity.
 
 
+3 # phrixus 2013-06-02 18:30
"Dissent is the highest form of patriotism."
 
 
0 # Nebulastardust 2013-06-04 09:26
Oh, bother. Blaming liberal thinkers for the problems of the conservative lovers of violence again.

I would suggest thinking through things without a bias in either direction would be the best way to go here rather that jumping upon one band wagon or the other.
 
 
+11 # babaregi 2013-06-01 15:34
To JackB

You speak for those that believe in the authoritarian rule and propaganda that we have in this country. I mean you really believe it!
This attests to the power and control that the elite have over many of us. Brute force isn't necessary if psychological means are used effectively. The most effective prison is the one you don't know that you're in.
 
 
-8 # JackB 2013-06-01 23:27
A true liberal. You have zero knowledge of who I speak for (if anyone). It is simply your belief that I speak for someone other than myself. Then, based on your zero knowledge, you promote your belief into a fact.

Then you use your newly minted "fact" as an example of the power the elite have over us.

For a true liberal the distinction between truth & creative writing is meaningless.

Not sure what the "brute force" bit is intended to mean.

I like the effective prison idea. Whether someone is put into that sort of prison or puts himself there it is escape proof unless the person makes changes. I suspect that even if he become aware of his predicament it would be very difficult to change.
 
 
+3 # babaregi 2013-06-02 11:29
To JackB

All State Systems utilize control (of some kind) over their people.

By "Brute Force" I mean things like government repression in the form of beatings, killings, and such, to control the populace.

But in your case it's not necessary because you've already bought into the propaganda and don't recognize that it's propaganda.

In the USA, it's commonly understood that Russia, China, North Korea and other countries with Military Might use Public Information to shape people's opinion.
They're rank amateurs compared to the sophistication of the USA/Corporate Spin Machine.

With all due respect, you think that you speak only for yourself but you are what Lenin would have called a tool or a "useful idiot".

Manning saw the utter corruption and disregard for human rights recorded in the "classified" documents and wanted the American public to know about it. It's our right to know since we pay for it.

Sensitive military secrets were redacted and a government agency admitted that no one was hurt by the remaining information in an Intra-governmen t memo. Publicly, however, we're told that Manning's actions put people at risk.

If being a "True Liberal" instead of a gullible Authoritarian that defends an increasingly secretive government is the best invective you can throw at me, then
it really doesn't hurt my feelings much.

Being an American citizen requires holding our goverment accountable or "Freedom" will just be an empty word.
 
 
-1 # Nebulastardust 2013-06-04 09:29
Obama, in one of his multitude of lies said he would protect whistle blowers.
 
 
+2 # phrixus 2013-06-02 17:00
You refer to Manning as "disgruntled." Do you include Daniel Ellsberg that same category? Do neither qualify as a "whistleblower? " Does anyone in your view?
 
 
-1 # Nebulastardust 2013-06-04 09:28
My, my your hatreds and belligerent bias is aflame on this page!
 
 
+12 # Third_stone 2013-06-01 16:34
Bradley Manning is a hero who has served his country far better than the men trying him. He has given evidence of crimes to the public because the military had concealed evidence of crimes.
He gave them to a leading international news organization, which is also under attack in ways that are clearly outside the law.
Whistleblowers have always been important to keeping government honest, and today our nation makes war on them.
No enemy was aided, unless you call we the people the enemy. Do you think the Afghans did not know Karzai was getting rich in American money?
 
 
-7 # JackB 2013-06-01 23:41
Manning is a hero????

A 22 year old disturbed & disgruntled Army PFC with zero credentials for analyzing military secrets votes himself the gatekeeper of those secrets & makes them available to the world.

Did you read what you wrote before you posted? Your argument is absurd. I would love to read your paper on Benedict Arnold being the country's first hero because he gave away military secrets.
 
 
+3 # reiverpacific 2013-06-02 11:11
Quoting JackB:
Manning is a hero????

A 22 year old disturbed & disgruntled Army PFC with zero credentials for analyzing military secrets votes himself the gatekeeper of those secrets & makes them available to the world.

Did you read what you wrote before you posted? Your argument is absurd. I would love to read your paper on Benedict Arnold being the country's first hero because he gave away military secrets.

Actually you are full of sound and fury signifying nothing -a true reactionary.
Au contraire mate, Manning was able to speak to Amy Goodman on "Democracy now" and in a couple of other written statements through his lawyer described in some detail how he joined up and was trained and rose a position of specialist in "secret" documents, which is how he became disillusioned by what he was being asked to hide and the devastating effects in many countries and the US cannon-fodder troops in the field and the survivors on their return home.
So there now -he WAS fully-qualified to interpret the intent of such messages, do what he was doing in full and growing comprehension of the cesspool of secrets he was asked to be witness to.
"Zero credentials"? I think not!
O' well, I've a feeling I'm wasting my digits and you are stuck with your mean-spirited faux-patriotic half-truths in a determined head-in-the-san d attempt to view the status-quo as always right -a bit like the humorless, blinkered bible-thumpers who treat the Bible the same way.
By-ee.
 
 
+4 # phrixus 2013-06-02 18:11
"A 1996 article in The New York Times said that the Pentagon Papers "demonstrated, among other things, that the Lyndon Baines Johnson Administration had systematically lied, not only to the public but also to Congress, about a subject of transcendent national interest and significance".

It would appear (historically at least) that the US government may be the LEAST qualified to act as the gatekeeper of secrets.
 
 
+3 # reiverpacific 2013-06-02 09:46
Quoting JackB:
Why the surprise. There would be a better chance of planting a successful botanical garden on the moon than in getting unbiased reporting on this subject from RSN.

A 25 year old disgruntled Army PFC takes American secret documents & sends them to someone who has no use for America & will surely publish them.

To the folks on this board that disgruntled 25 year old Army PFC is the best person on the planet to decide what American secrets should be made public. Not only do they know Manning is the one to lead us on this, they also know that everything outside the US is the Garden of Eden & there is no risk at all that someone out there would use the info to take advantage of us.

Bradley Manning is a disgrace to his uniform & a traitor to his country. Anyone who thinks he should be the gatekeeper of America's secrets should not be allowed out without supervision.

Simply in reply, can you say "FINK"?!!! -Look in the mirror -it might be 'Cracked from side to side-!
The likes of you need mental and blinker-removal surgery and are an example of why the US cannot be even mildly termed either a 'democracy', nor 'civilized'.
NOW -get back into goose-step!---- : RIGHT-STEP, LEFT-STEP, (SHOUT) "EIN, VOLK, EIN REICH EIN DICTATORSHIP!!!!"
Hein?? DEATH to the TRUTH-SEEKERS, CONFORMITY FOREVER!!!
 
 
0 # Nebulastardust 2013-06-04 09:23
Actually, by law, all war crimes must be reported and they must be dealt with. These are conclusions drawn up in the Nuremberg Trials and the Japan Tribunals.

These are a part of the Geneva Conventions, the the USA ignores at its own pleasure.

These are laws by the International Criminal Court in the Hague the the USA uses only at its own pleasure.

It is the uniform that is in disgrace here and not the young man in it. The continued breaking of the laws governing war by the USA is the tragedy here and most certainly not a disgrace to Bradley Manning.
 
 
+9 # Paul Scott 2013-06-01 17:56
The military will try and convict Manning, because they can. Justice has nothing to do with this charade it is all about keeping future leaks of criminal activity under wraps. If Manning were the issue the entire Military Court would consist of PFC’s.
 
 
+2 # RnR 2013-06-01 18:49
Thank you :)
 
 
+9 # Uranus 2013-06-01 20:21
I don't know what I admire most, that you did this, that you have the basic courage to talk about it, or that you understand how important the issue is.

That I called the Military Commissions Act of 2006 "loathsome" and pointed out it would create guys like Manning made me the most censored loudmouth on fake news sites. The list of prior restraint sites grows all the time.

It's the most sensitive subject I've addressed. Notice that you don't see this sort of thing on other sites? They're afraid words will get them into trouble. Oh gawd, not that.

Silence is treason, and RSN is America's best friend.
 
 
+5 # SeniorCitizen31 2013-06-02 07:35
When I was in the military, there was a saying: "Three ways to do something, the right way, the wrong way, and the Army way."

Today is seems that the wrong way and the Army way have become synonymous.
 
 
+4 # Kathymoi 2013-06-02 10:56
Well, without knowing what the criteria are for allowing a reporter access or denying access, it's hard to know if there will be fair coverage. For instance, can you get in touch with reporters from Truthdig, Truthout, Common Dreams and see if they have access? If not, who will report fairly? WE can not count on any of the major media to give a fair account.
 
 
+2 # geema 2013-06-07 15:05
I see a lot of people commenting out of ignorance. The Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ) REQUIRES Military Personnel to pursue their knowledge of WAR CRIMES. Manning tried to go up his chain of command and they blew him off. What do do next? He's 22, what does he know. Publicizes as best he can.
For an awful long time, I thought The United States of America would not do War Crimes. My Lai taught me different. NOW, I'm saddened to find that so many people just Do Not Want To Be Told, and are perfectly willing to KILL THE MESSENGER. Bradley Manning is a hero, even though he tried hard not to be.
 
 
+1 # tm7devils 2013-06-11 23:20
Millions of dollars; thousands of man hours; thousands of pages of useless rhetoric - all for a defendent who should be given the Medal of Honor and sent home.
It's obvious that critical thinking is not our governmental and military leaders strong suit.
We have the greatest defense machine ever assembled...and I feel as safe as a worm on a hook.
In case anyone wants to know, I quit being a patriot when Reagan was elected and nothing I have seen since then has indicated to me that I should become one.
From the greatest country in the World...to one of the worst - in just 33 years(or more). What a waste.
 
 
0 # balconesfalk 2013-07-06 00:31
I find it curious that we have a government that by law and policy maneuvers to know about all our emails, our phone conversations and essentially our thoughts while everything done by the government and their military is "classified." What is wrong with this picture? Could it be that democracy is dead--that we live under a totalitarian regime that, in addition to two hot wars, is secretly conducting World War III right there in the Oval Office?
 

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