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Sledge reports: "Reporters have become accustomed to running a gauntlet of bomb-sniffing dogs and court-record declassification procedures to cover the trial of Bradley Manning. But secrecy and security may have reached new heights during closing arguments on Thursday."

Bradley Manning's Attorney David Coombs shows the collateral damage video during closing arguments. (art: Kay Rudin/RSN)
Bradley Manning's Attorney David Coombs shows the collateral damage video during closing arguments. (art: Kay Rudin/RSN)


Army Ramps Up Security for Bradley Manning Trial's Closing Arguments

By Matt Sledge, Huffington Post

27 July 13

 

RSN Special Coverage: Trial of Bradley Manning

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eporters have become accustomed to running a gauntlet of bomb-sniffing dogs and court-record declassification procedures to cover the trial of Bradley Manning. But secrecy and security may have reached new heights during closing arguments on Thursday.

Armed military policemen patrolled the aisles in the media center and searched reporters with handheld metal detectors. Meanwhile, key testimony and evidence referenced by prosecutor Cpt. Ashden Fein during his closing statement have yet to be released to the public.

Col. Denise Lind, the judge overseeing the case, ordered the increased security measures "because of the repeat violations of the rules of the court both in the courtroom and the media operations center with regard to broadcasting and electronics," the Military District of Washington said in a emailed, unsigned statement. "The Military Police are to screen personnel to ensure no one is bringing prohibited electronics into the building and to ensure compliance with the rules of the court."

Several journalists expressed displeasure with the developments.

The heightened media-room safeguards may have been motivated in part by an incident that occurred during Manning's court martial in February. Someone attending a pre-trial hearing recorded a plea statement Manning made accepting responsibility for 10 of the 22 charges against him. Lind registered her strong displeasure with that action, a violation of courtroom rules, but did not significantly alter security procedures.

Aside from the MPs peering over journalists' shoulders and the lack of wireless Internet access in the remote media room - another new development Thursday - coverage of the trial was perhaps more hampered by the military's refusal to publish key documents Fein used to build his closing argument.

Among the files yet to be declassified or released: chat logs between Manning and a correspondent the government alleges was WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, and testimony in closed session from Defense Information Agency expert Daniel Lewis about the value of leaked war logs to foreign powers.

Fein said the chats show Manning knew WikiLeaks was "anything but a journalistic enterprise." He also said that Lewis's analysis proved the Afghanistan War Logs would have been worth at least $1.3 million to a foreign intelligence service, and the Iraq logs $1.9 million.

But without the release of those logs and Lewis's testimony, at least in declassified form, it's difficult for the press or the public to evaluate those claims.

A group of journalists and activists, including Assange, sued the military in civilian federal court before Manning's trial began to gain greater access to military court records. But after the military claimed that it would adopt a 1- to 2-day "goal" of publishing court records, the judge tossed the lawsuit. That goal has been only sporadically met.

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+54 # DaveM 2013-07-27 10:58
Perhaps WikiLeaks could "leak" this material, which I presume they have in their possession. That ought to take the wind out of their sails.

As to the alleged "value" of certain information, that is irrelevant. The point is not that someone "could" (allegedly) have sold the information in question. The point is that Bradley Manning did nothing of the sort.
 
 
+62 # tedrey 2013-07-27 11:18
According to the U. S. Military Code, all even suspected war crimes should be investigated, and if appropriate, charged. In fact, although brought to light, most have been ignored Those aware of these possible war crimes who do not report them, or who cover them up, are also to be investigated, and if appropriate, charged. None of the hundred of known officers thus described have been even investigated.

The covering up of war crimes is itself a crime. The Bradley Manning court martial is itself a crime.

Not ruling on Manning's guilt or innocence at the moment, it is clear that the military establishment itself is profoundly guilty, and that no judgment by this court can be legitimate in the slightest.
 
 
+8 # Kathymoi 2013-07-27 14:46
thank you for these clear statements.
 
 
+14 # reiverpacific 2013-07-27 11:27
A suggestion.
We could start referring to Manning, with Wikileaks, Assange, Snowden and other courageous whistle blowers who will emerge to shine the unwelcome light of truth on the Military-Corpor ate state with it's decades-long violations of human rights and dignity, collectively as the "New White Rose" and their judge(s) as "Friesler the Latter"!
Spread it around folks.
 
 
+19 # mickeynow 2013-07-27 11:53
What a bunch of crap. Where is America heading with nonsense like this?
 
 
0 # jamesnimmo 2013-07-27 13:26
There's nothing to prevent a journalist from taking short-hand notes is there?

clip Someone attending a pre-trial hearing recorded a plea statement Manning made accepting responsibility for 10 of the 22 charges against him. Lind registered her strong displeasure with that action, a violation of courtroom rules, but did not significantly alter security procedures.
 
 
+16 # grandma lynn 2013-07-27 14:47
For his birthday "card" I sent Pres. O. a postcard that calls Manning and Snowden heroes, "but not you, President Obama."

Don't know what else to do. It feels feeble, but I am so let down by the official bias against whistle-blowers / whistle-blowing . I agree with Snowden's father that Attorney General Holder's promising that Snowden wouldn't get the death penalty and wouldn't be tortured if he returns to the U.S. - already shows bias and assumption of guilt. As Snowden's Dad said, Holder should have been voicing "rule of law," and "trial by peers," etc. "Presumption of innocence until proven guilty." Why is Holder so uninformed as to go with the bias he shows? Have we no adults left on the scene? Well, young adults Manning and Snowden certainly earn "adult" label. They've voluntarily put themselves into the scene.
 
 
+10 # Kathymoi 2013-07-27 14:58
$1.3 million to a foreign intelligence service, and the Iraq logs $1.9 million.
--- umm, is Bradley Manning being charged with releasing for free information that could have been sold (by whom) to a foreign intelligence service? Or, is he charged with releasing for free information which would save the foreign intelligence $1.9 million to acquire via their own efforts? Or, is he charged with releasing for free information that the foreign intelligence could then use to save itself $1.9 million in military efforts? What is the crime and what does the dollar value of the information refer to? How does it relate to the safety of American citizens or residents of the United States? It has never been clear what danger Bradley Manning's releases ever posed to the safety of our country, of our citizens, or of the residents of this United States.
 
 
+14 # reiverpacific 2013-07-27 15:25
Quoting Kathymoi:
$1.3 million to a foreign intelligence service, and the Iraq logs $1.9 million.
--- umm, is Bradley Manning being charged with releasing for free information that could have been sold (by whom) to a foreign intelligence service? Or, is he charged with releasing for free information which would save the foreign intelligence $1.9 million to acquire via their own efforts? Or, is he charged with releasing for free information that the foreign intelligence could then use to save itself $1.9 million in military efforts? What is the crime and what does the dollar value of the information refer to? How does it relate to the safety of American citizens or residents of the United States? It has never been clear what danger Bradley Manning's releases ever posed to the safety of our country, of our citizens, or of the residents of this United States.

Aye, only to those who are the real traitors, finks and nepotists. Wonder if he's had any information through his hands about the Iraq "missing billions"?
I'll bet my kilted toosh that KBR/Haliburton/ Cheyn-gang/Dimw its/Blair want him shut up!
 
 
+3 # phrixus 2013-07-28 09:16
I suspect the "increased security" is adjunct to implying that since Manning is a "traitor" his so-called trial may attract other "traitors" some of whom may be "terrorists." It's another way of suggesting he's guilty before the court renders an official verdict.
 
 
0 # babalu 2013-07-31 05:34
Copyright violation? This might appear to be off-thread, but this could explain why they brought up the value of the secrets. He stole government-owne d information and there is an economic value to that information that could support a copyright violation. However, we HOPE the government itself is not selling such information. In government hands and by government dissemination (many generals go on the news shows and spill the beans), these secrets do NOT have economic value, only to a "traitor" would would sell them.
 

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