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Nash writes: "The punishment of Bradley Manning goes directly against the Uniform Code of Military Justice's own laws, namely Section 813 article 13, which basically states, 'No punishment before trial.'"

Rock star Graham Nash argues that the treatment of Bradley Manning violates military law. (photo: Rolling Stone)
Rock star Graham Nash argues that the treatment of Bradley Manning violates military law. (photo: Rolling Stone)


Punishment Before Trial

By Graham Nash, Reader Supported News

15 January 13

 

read the news about Colonel Denise Lind's ruling in the case against Bradley Manning with great interest. She ruled that Manning, the U.S. soldier accused of releasing thousands of military and diplomatic emails and cables to Wikileaks was indeed subjected to excessively harsh treatment whilst in military detention and this must surely be seen as a small victory for the Manning defense team.

The punishment of Bradley Manning goes directly against the Uniform Code of Military Justice's own laws, namely Section 813 article 13, which basically states, "No punishment before trial." This law was obviously broken. People in this country are entitled to a "speedy trial," which is normally between 100 and 120 days from the date of the crime. Bradley Manning has been incarcerated for more than 1,000 days before his trial has begun and even a United Nations investigation confirmed that Manning was being held in inhumane conditions that was tantamount to torture.

In my humble opinion, the judges' ruling, granting Manning a 112-day reduction in any sentence he might receive, is welcome but far short of true justice. If the military broke its own laws and President Obama even declared publicly that Manning had broken the law, then how can anyone say that this could be a "fair" trial? Which military judge is going to go against the statements of his or her commander in chief?

An internal investigation by the Marine Corps, which operates the prison in which Manning was being held, stated that Manning's jailers violated their own policies in imposing oppressive conditions. The Obama administration's own State Department spokesman, PJ Crowley, denounced the detention conditions as "ridiculous and counterproductive and stupid" and was fired for his outspokenness.

President Obama, a constitutional lawyer, pays great lip service to "whistle blowers," maintaining that the U.S. needs people who will attempt to tell the truth, that the country needs people of courage to step forward when they witness wrongdoing of any kind, but cannot see the need to protect Bradley Manning. Perhaps the greatest crime that Manning committed was one of embarrassing the military and disturbing the status quo and one also has to wonder why the newspapers that profited from the publication of the events are not being brought to task. Manning is accused of aiding the enemy but surely the members of Al-Qaeda can read the newspaper.

When Bradley Manning saw and was asked to take part in things that troubled his heart and soul he went through the normal channels, bringing his concerns to his superiors only to be disregarded. As a U.S. soldier Manning swore an oath to protect the constitution of the United States and when he witnessed murder and mayhem being carried out in the name of the American people he felt it necessary to reveal what he knew. I truly believe that he wanted, above all, to start a serious dialog about what was really being done in our name.

When Daniel Ellsberg released the Pentagon Papers to the American public in 1971, the case against him was thrown out when it was discovered that the Nixon administration had illegally broken into his offices. If, as the judge in Manning's case declared, he was subjected to excessively harsh treatment in military detention then surely he case against Bradley Manning should be held to the same standards.

I became a citizen of this country more than 30 years ago and it is an honor and a privilege to be a small part of the USA. I came here to "the land of the free" because of the wonderful people I met and the beauty of the country I saw. The fact is that we are supposed to be a nation of laws, but when we break our laws and very little is done about it then I begin to question one of the primary reasons I came here in the first place.

 

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+41 # brux 2013-01-15 11:43
Hmmm, well, I agree with the article ... but I wonder if Mr. Nash became a citizen of the US to be a small part of the US, or to quit paying such high taxes where he came from. In any case, I would take the logic one step further and say that because of the barbaric treatment , against its own laws and codes that the case against Bradley Manning should be dropped and he should be released, if not compensated for his illegal treatment.
 
 
+88 # indian weaver 2013-01-15 13:09
The least we can do is write Obama and send him copies of this and associated articles. That is what I do for now. I send Obama packages of multiple articles every few months, with my unsolicited commentary. Better than nothing for now. To me, I feel hopeless considering all of the laws being broken daily in a wide range of issues, both Geneva Conventions and our own Constitutional Law. Seems to me a rogue nation out of control with no rule of law is darn hard to deal with, rationally anyhow.
 
 
+6 # joedeane 2013-01-15 15:26
Write to Obama? What for? He is an imperial monster with no regard of our rights and liberities, no regard for the law or the constitution. In other words, he is a tyrant. For all the wrong reasons, the far right is correct about that.
 
 
+20 # SOF 2013-01-15 16:34
Congressional offices and i assume, the White House are required to keep track of citizen opinion. It is the reason I consistently write to my AZ senators, even tho I know they will vote against my wishes every time. Besides that, remember that Romney would be far worse on women's rights and somewhat more in the corporate pocket. And he would not care one bit about the citizens he calls freeloaders, who have fallen into what's left of a safety net thru the job-reducing practices of corporate Republicans,
 
 
+23 # Third_stone 2013-01-15 18:06
I write to Obama every week telling him to free Bradley Manning and Julian Assange. Oddly, he does not heed my direction. He also has not lifted the illegal embargo against Wikileaks as I have directed him, nor has he prosecuted the perpetrators. Naturally I am very surprised at this, but I do not give up. Somebody else has more pull with him, and I don't know who it is. Whose interests are being served, at the expense of our legal code?
 
 
+7 # indian weaver 2013-01-16 07:44
I had to laugh. Yes Obama seems not to care either about what I say, send or need to survive. I'm not surprised anymore.
 
 
+21 # Lowflyin Lolana 2013-01-15 18:12
This article and the one by Daniel Ellsberg, both for Reader Supported News, are excellent reasons to subscribe. I'm poor but surely getting these articles is worth ten dollars a month.
Thanks.
And thanks to Graham Nash and all who care about this very, very important story. Back when vets stormed Obama's campaign offices here in Los Angeles (and elsewhere in CA) I forwarded the articles to a number of local officials. I didn't get a response, but sending articles, especially via snail mail, is the best way to be heard. From now on that's what I'm going to do, because if it's just online, with nothing to hold in your hands, it doesn't seem quite as real, for some reason. So --the person who said send articles is sending them somewhere, and someone will read them. The President may not read them---but he's not the only human being over there in Washington, DC. Every little bit helps, and if everyone pushes just a little bit, wonderful things can happen.
Plus, it's good for the US Postal Service, which is a most excellent and American institution under threat from the Net.
 
 
+20 # Hey There 2013-01-15 20:01
The real reason the Post Office is in financial trouble.
HR2309 proposed by Representative Darrell Issa is being pushed as a remedy to the problem Congress created with passage of HR6407
Issa claims he is striving to save the USPS yet he is ignoring expenses that can be deleted without disrupting the service.
#1. The Postal Accountable and Enhancement Act needs to be rescinded. In 2006 the PAEA signed by Bush, mandated that the USPS fund 75 years of retiree health benefits in 10.
#2. Overpayments of 50 to 75 Billion the USPS made to the Civil Service RetirementServi ce should be returned.
#3. Overpayments the USPS made to FERS need to be retrieved.
#4.The USPS needs to charge more for delivering UPS parcels to places UPS don’t.
#5. Adjust the ratio of managers to workers.
#6 Quit giving deep discounts to large businesses. Issa’s solution is to cut the workforce by at least 100,000, and make Postal Workers’ wages and benefits depend on a separate board when a contract isn’t agreed upon. This is a case where Issa’s cure would cause the death of the USPS as a public service and have it revived as a business with lower paid workers, higher rates and less service. .http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=09ybkkiH2Ho
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=am4wez1ShPY
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dsPIY9bFFZY
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-chx0j3_8IU
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fRcBoDSfisg
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZDJNamOGSe
s a former Postal employee I thank you.
 
 
+14 # indian weaver 2013-01-16 07:49
The postal service is critically important for any democracy. It is our one cheap reliable communication service. Many cannot affored to be on the internet but can afford to send and receive mail. Our government was founded on the understanding that citizen communications are required. Isn't something to this effect in the Bill of Rights and / or Constitution. The founding fathers knew that the old free handbill distribution during revolutionary times made the difference between losing and winning the Revolutionary War. The situation remains the same. Gutting the postal system is tantamount to treason and a major step to control of media and information by the government. I think that is why it is being promoted, for enhanced control of the citizenry.
 
 
+6 # hammermann 2013-01-16 18:23
Great thoughts. Why don't you write a commentary. I love the USPS, they are one of the first institutions in America and are an essential fabric of our nation and life (try getting that 1/2oz flash drive from Ebay by Fedex or UPS. In fact they are such a mom + apple pie symbol that it's no surprise the Repubs want to destroy them. Like Santorum, the despicable Issa probably has investments in private post cos.
 
 
+6 # Hey There 2013-01-15 19:39
Good for you!
 
 
+6 # brux 2013-01-15 21:54
Yeah, about once a month or so I go the President's website and leave my thoughts ... trying not to sound too angry! ;-)

How do you call the President a liar and a Republican?

I am disappointed in him the man, but also in the system for giving us the choice between a rabid Republicans and somewhat more moderate Republicans we call Democrats. Ugh!
 
 
-1 # indian weaver 2013-01-16 07:51
I write to the president and say what I think of him: a coward and liar as starters. And yes, someone is likely actually reading letters in the mail as opposed to comments online. That is why I write. I never communicate critical comments online, seems useless to me.
 
 
+5 # 666 2013-01-16 15:34
Nash writes: "President Obama ... pays great lip service to "whistle blowers," maintaining that the U.S. needs people who will attempt to tell the truth, that the country needs people of courage to step forward when they witness wrongdoing of any kind"

-- you mean the same obama who has persecuted more whistle-blowers than bush?
 
 
+1 # shawnsargent2000 2013-01-16 11:51
You, are exactly right indian weaver, hw can I send these articles to the President as well?
 
 
+10 # cafetomo 2013-01-15 15:53
What I wonder, is why he would bother hanging about to provide for your edification, when others would view his motives far more charitably, perhaps even allowing him credit for doing more to shape American society than we ever will. Consider instead, why a cultural icon of such proportions would care to be heard on the subject. Especially if you might trouble yourself to look into the context of the individual he happens to be.
 
 
+62 # lisamoskow 2013-01-15 14:16
This is a stain on the reputation of Obama who promised us he would end torture and close Guantanamo.
 
 
+48 # Dotty 2013-01-15 14:18
i AGREE WITH BOTH OF THE ABOVE WRITERS. I AM ASHAMED OF MY COUNTRY AND SURPRISED AT OBAMA FOR ALOWING THIS TO GO ON.HE SEEMS TO BE THE WORSE ONE ABOUT WHISTLEBLOWERS.
 
 
+9 # DaveM 2013-01-15 14:25
This is absolutely true. Similarly, American law forbids collective punishment and a variety of practices that are in common use today.

One could argue that the present rush to impose restrictions on firearms ownership is a form of "punishment before trial". 300+ million Americans may well end up losing a Constitutional right as the result of the action of one American. And even if freed with his name cleared, Bradley Manning, despite serving his country honorably, will not be able to purchase a gun.
 
 
+11 # soularddave 2013-01-15 19:06
Who is "he", the cultural Icon to whom you refer? Graham Nash, or Barack Obama? Both have shaped American culture, but the contrast is great.
My own credo has been shaped by Nash songs, particularly the one about protesters who died at the hands of US troops at Kent State University. Those shootings had an effect on the end to the War in Viet Nam, as did the military shooting video purportedly made public by Bradley manning have an effect on the end of the Iraq War.

Brad Manning, if he claims, or is nailed to that video, could also take his place as a cultural icon.
 
 
+3 # indian weaver 2013-01-16 07:59
Remember, just after the Kent State massacre by the Ohio National Guard, another student massacre occurred at Jackson State College. For some reason, this massacre hasn't stuck in our collective minds like Kent State, but they are one and the same. I was a student at Indiana U. 1966-74. When that happened, I totally lost faith on our government, and lost my respect for authority forever. I still fear authority due to those massacres, and just about everything associated with the Viet Nam War. It all continues, the crimes our government is committing domestically and internationally , and has deteriorated horribly since Viet Nam, which was a horror story already, signaling our collapse as a democratic nation.
 
 
+2 # indian weaver 2013-01-16 07:55
Anyone can purchase a gun just fine, forever into our future, even Manning if freed. And any felon can purchase a gun just fine, in any alley or gun show, from anyone else who wants to sell them privately. That is because this country does not control private weaponry as we should. Look at "Fast and Furious" where the government sold 1000s of assault weapons to the Mexican drug cartels! All illegal, an action undertaken by our government! Who are they / we kidding, weapons of mass destruction are everywhere and unregulated (at least, regulations in place are not enforced). We are talking only about banning assault weapons (again) only, not the guns which do not qualify as weapons of mass destruction.
 
 
+59 # Poconobuc 2013-01-15 14:59
There are quite a number of things that Obama has said and done that lead me to question his commitment to justice - but the Bradley Manning case is the most egregious. When one is in the military one gives up certain rights and privileges that civilians enjoy - but never the right to be treated with simple human decency, and never the right to be presumed innocent before trial. This fits an alarming pattern that began with the bipartisan, uncritical passage of the Patriot Act and the establishment of the Department of Homeland Security. Even the names of these things have an eerily Fascist sound to them. I have been astonished and gravely disappointed that a Democratic President has not acted to at least repeal the Patriot Act. This failure feeds my growing belief that the two-party system where there are substantive and tangible differences - is largely a pretty illusion.
 
 
+9 # MsAnnaNOLA 2013-01-15 18:57
Quoting Poconobuc:
This failure feeds my growing belief that the two-party system where there are substantive and tangible differences - is largely a pretty illusion.

Yes absolutely. It is all political theater that reinforces the status quo. Whichever party wins the result is largely the same. Right eroded and war goes on no matter who wins. Corruption is rampant on both sides. See Sibel Edmunds. Read her book. It is enlightening. I had already come to this realization before reading her but her story just confirmed that no one wants to rock the boat. If you expose unbelievable corruption and no one is interested in pursuing it really hits home that we have a two tiered justice system. One system for the powerful or rich and another for the rest of us peons. This is not the country I learned about in school where no person not even the president was above the law. We have entered an era where the parties collude to exclude people from consideration who will not tow the line and protect the status quo. Obamas rise as the first black president seems a lot less remarkable when you look back at his first term. He has protected the status quo completely one could hardly tell the difference than if we had a republican president. War continues. Drone strikes and torture continues. Bank bailouts continue. The only candidate who wanted to be elected without corporate money was shut out by the parties and big media.. Buddy Roemer. He would have changed the discourse.
 
 
+4 # indian weaver 2013-01-16 08:02
The name Homeland Security comes from the Nazi use of Homeland for the same reason - to help and support fascist terrorism at home committed by the government, and used for punishing the civilians who act against their crimes. We have adopted other Nazi terminology in our names for new government institutions.
 
 
+34 # frederico 2013-01-15 15:12
Thanks Graham, you are a shining light. I wish more celebrities were aware of the big picture and would speak out against the military madness, as you have done for many years. You've spoken out in the lyrics of your songs, and in your everyday life, like in this article and in your support of our community radio station here at home. Bradley Manning is much more of a Man of Peace than our shameful Nobel Prize winning President, who continues to preside over the genocide of all but the !%. If Obama had the integrity and the courage and the compassion to speak out, as you do, there just might be a chance that the human race can climb back out of the vile pit it has created, and that Peace and Justice can begin to reign on Mother Earth.
 
 
+9 # Jack Gibson 2013-01-15 17:07
No, because if he did, he'd be assassinated, like JFK was when he was going to dissolve "al CIAduh!" and the Federal Reserve. The powers-that-be couldn't have that; so, boom, a U.S. president was dead, and his brains literally disappeared (aka the evidence, and his assassination has been covered up ever since). That doesn't excuse Obama AT ALL, of course; but, if he, as you put it, "had the integrity and the courage and the compassion to speak out", and to make substantive changes to restore our Constitution, Bill of Rights and republic, he'd be brought down one way or another. Not that, if he was a true hero (which, clearly, he isn't), he shouldn't do so anyway; but, since we've in truth lived in an extremely corrupt, authoritarian, autocratic national security state for decades, it's not going to happen. And, besides, he's a conscious part of intentionally doing the opposite, destroying the U.S. and bringing about one-world government and religious enslavement, the restoration of the inquisition and death to all of the "heretics", those who dissent against all of this unconstitutiona l, increasingly totalitarian, repressive madness. Bradley Manning is just one of the many symptoms of the evil taking over completely; so we haven't seen anything yet. Mass-insanity is breaking loose in the U.S. on an express train to hell on earth; and, as I've said before, it's all almost over except the fat cats singing for joy over their domination of the U.S. and the entire planet.
 
 
+29 # motamanx 2013-01-15 15:44
So it takes an Englishman to show us how incredibly wrong we are about our own.
 
 
+16 # Merschrod 2013-01-15 16:33
Nicely and simply stated - the Pres is a disappointment from the get go.
 
 
+21 # tpmco 2013-01-15 17:02
Thanks, Mr. Nash, for expanding on this point of pre-trial incarceration. I have believed from the git go that Bradley Manning should be granted bail. You can't do much from the inside to aid in your defense, and I would bet you that not many people reading this article would not even make that connection. They've just never been there.

Once upon a time, some states did recognize this unjust situation, and provided law to differentiate convicts from detainees. But that has largely gone by the wayside, mostly because of judicial (case) law, and our incarceration system has adopted the one-size-fits-a ll approach. I could argue that convicted prisoners are given more favorable treatment than pre-trial detainees.

Just so people don't harbor any misconceptions about their ability to access resources while detained, you can kiss your cell phone goodbye. You will now be allowed to call collect to call your attorney, if you have one, your bank will not accept your calls, and very likely your friends will be unable to receive collect calls on their cell phones. And there aren't any computers to email from.

You will be allowed to purchase pencil and paper if you have money on your book. And if you do have money on your book, it will take a couple weeks to complete the purchase. Your credit card is useless.

It's sad, but it's real. I still favor granting Bradley Manning bail.
 
 
+16 # jlg 2013-01-15 17:09
As another Englishman and now an American,
I am broken-hearted to find how far the US has strayed from its image when I was a lad in the '50s. What a terrible waste of a global reputation for a humane society in which anyone could rise by application. Pvt Manning's experience seems to exemplify how far down this beautiful country has sunk.
 
 
+4 # Jack Gibson 2013-01-15 17:30
Graham Nash, the offices broken into by Nixon's "plumbers" were not Daniel Ellsberg's offices, but those of Ellsberg's psychiatrist. And you need to correct the grammatical error in the last sentence of the second to last paragraph as well, from "he" to "the".

Otherwise, you are of course right. Because of all the madness that is taking over, the U.S. is going down the tube. It's all by design of, and being engineered by, the globalist powers-that-be, and it's only going to get worse. Brad Manning is but one "citizen-(and-p risoner-)of-con science" of many who have been and/or are going to be persecuted for standing up for constitutionali ty, the rule of law, accountability and true sanity (unless We the People put a stop to it; which, I don't hold my breath that we will). Look at Aaron Swartz, who was very likely murdered by the government and it made to look like a so-called "suicide". We live in an increasingly-ev il country, the U.S., and far too little is being done to save this country and world from degenerating back into "Dark Ages 'draconianism'" , totalitarianism , repression and insanity.
 
 
+4 # eadg 2013-01-15 17:59
Well said, lad. Thanks for having the courage to come out and say it. I hope they don't bother you, Graham.
RUbber side down, lad,
P
 
 
+7 # Firefox11 2013-01-15 18:16
Thank you Graham Nash for highlighting this injustice. After moving back to the US about thirty years ago, having lived abroad for ten years, I was surprised at the changes that were taking place here, starting with Mr. Reagan. Iran-Contra was a real wake-up call to me as a citizen. Eternal vigilance is the price of freedom.
 
 
+3 # robcarter.vn 2013-01-15 19:07
USA is government of people by Profit and a VIP breed called Politicians, not by people (They are not people Sup. CT says Corps. are People)for people, sorry its for themselves. They lie all times CIA worse, Army bad too, Constitution is not part of what they do.

ave you not read:-
Many U.S. My Lai-Type Massacres in Vietnam Covered Up by Pentagon, Reporter Charges
By Sherwood Ross (about the author)    
General News 1/14/2013 at 13:49:03
Sherwood Ross worked as a reporter for the Chicago Daily News and contributed a regular "Workplace" column for Reuters. He has contributed to national magazines and hosted a talk show on WOL, Washington, D.C. In the Sixties he was active as public
 
 
+5 # CarolynScarr 2013-01-15 20:06
Manning's whistle blowing was a necessity because the US military has prevented reporters from coming on the scene and taking pictures like the Vietnamese children who were burned with napalm and running down the street with the skin dangling from their arms.

Can't have that kind of picture horrifying the American public. So first chance the get, military requires reporters to be in bed with US soldiers. Only way we can get the real picture of the bombing of reporters and press photographers is if someone blows the whistle on what is happening in Iraq.
 
 
+5 # futhark 2013-01-15 21:07
What else were you expecting Barack "Preventive Detention" Obama to do in the case of Bradley Manning? As a servile lackey of the surveillance state apparatus, Mr. Obama has no choice but to keep Mr. Manning locked safely away in the Army's equivalent of the Chateau d'If.

Bradley Manning had become a clear and present danger to the fabric of lies and deceptions upon which Mr. Obama has ascended to his high office. Such threats need to be preemptively neutralized, as Mr. Obama has repeatedly stated. If the Bush Administration was murky, the Obama Administration is opaque.
 

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