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Military Judge Runs A Shell Game

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That there are "reasonable policies and procedures" is not self-evident and continues to be widely challenged. 

More importantly, Rule 806 does not provide for the judge to outsource her responsibility for the courtroom to a third party who is neither answerable nor accountable in reasonably timely manner within the time-pressure of a court-martial. 

 

"Four. 806C prohibits photography and broadcasting to include audio and video recording." 

 

This is absolutely true, but only if you stop after the first sentence of Rule 806(c). 

The second sentence begins, "However, the military judge may, as a matter of discretion permit contemporaneous closed-circuit video or audio transmission".

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By making this finding, Judge Col. Lind effectively admits that she has chosen to use her discretion to severely limit public access to the court-martial under conditions explicitly anticipated in the rule -- "when courtroom facilities are inadequate to accommodate a reasonable number of spectators." 

In what way are the judge's deliberate truncating of public access not clear violations of at least the First and Fourth Amendment rights of the public and the press? 

 

"Five. The two parties to this trial are the United States and PFC Manning. Unless authorized by the rules for court-martial, or in special circumstances recognized by the Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces, only parties to the

trial have standing to file motions to be considered by this court. ABC Inc. versus Powell, Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces, 1997."

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The opinion cited is not on point, as it deals with an investigative hearing, not a court-martial, and the issue leading to closing the hearing to the public was the protection of women whose sexual histories were likely to be explored during their testimony. 

The question of parties to the trial is not at issue in the opinion cited.  The petitioners in the case were media companies (ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN, Fox, and the Washington Post).   They filed a Writ of Mandamus requesting the court to open the hearing in question to the press and public. 

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Vermonter living in Woodstock: elected to five terms (served 20 years) as side judge (sitting in Superior, Family, and Small Claims Courts); public radio producer, "The Panther Program" -- nationally distributed, three albums (at CD Baby), some (more...)
 

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And everyone knows it... after all, it's from the ... by mrk * on Sunday, Jun 16, 2013 at 6:17:03 PM
Interesting.  The portrait you paint or rathe... by Bill Dugan on Monday, Jun 17, 2013 at 6:55:50 AM