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President Obama speaks on Manning and the rule of law

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Protesters yesterday interrupted President's Obama speech at a $5,000/ticket San Francisco fundraiser to demand improved treatment for Bradley Manning. After the speech, one of the protesters, Logan Price, approached Obama and questioned him. Obama's responses are revealing on multiple levels. First, Obama said this when justifying Manning's treatment (video and transcript are here):

We're a nation of laws. We don't let individuals make their own decisions about how the laws operate. He broke the law.

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The impropriety of Obama's public pre-trial declaration of Manning's guilt ("He broke the law") is both gross and manifest. How can Manning possibly expect to receive a fair hearing from military officers when their Commander-in-Chief has already decreed his guilt? Numerous commentators have noted how egregiously wrong was Obama's condemnation. Michael Whitney wrote: "the President of the United States of America and a self-described Constitutional scholar does not care that Manning has yet to be tried or convicted for any crime." BoingBoing's Rob Beschizza interpreted Obama's declaration of guilt this way: "Just so you know, jurors subordinate judging officers!" And Politico quoted legal experts explaining why Obama's remarks are so obviously inappropriate.

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For the past 10 years, I was a litigator in NYC specializing in First Amendment challenges, civil rights cases, and corporate and securities fraud matters. I am the author of the New York Times Best-Selling book, How Would A Patriot (more...)
 

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We're a nation of laws. We don't let individuals m... by zonie on Sunday, Apr 24, 2011 at 12:31:56 PM
that the mistreatment Manning has received will ca... by Rob Kall on Sunday, Apr 24, 2011 at 7:13:04 PM
Ummm, try another tactic.Hope is useless.I think t... by Ned Lud on Monday, Apr 25, 2011 at 6:22:18 AM
In the words of President Theodore Roosevelt it is... by greg timmons on Sunday, Apr 24, 2011 at 8:21:24 PM
I would like to point out one very important facto... by Attaboyslim on Monday, Apr 25, 2011 at 6:20:11 AM
Prosecute those who report criminal activity. Let ... by Dennis Kaiser on Monday, Apr 25, 2011 at 7:39:32 AM