Share on Google Plus Share on Twitter Share on Facebook 3 Share on LinkedIn Share on PInterest Share on Fark! Share on Reddit Share on StumbleUpon Tell A Friend (3 Shares)  
Printer Friendly Page Save As Favorite View Favorites View Stats   5 comments

OpEdNews Op Eds

The Trial of Bradley Manning -- Rule of Law or Rule of Intimidation, Retaliation, Retribution?

By (about the author)     Permalink       (Page 1 of 2 pages)
Related Topic(s): ; ; ; ; ; , Add Tags Add to My Group(s)

Must Read 1   Supported 1   Valuable 1  
View Ratings | Rate It

opednews.com Headlined to H2 12/17/11

Become a Fan
  (34 fans)
- Advertisement -

(Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Yesterday, December 16, 2011, 40 supporters of Bradley Manning saw him in person in the military courtroom at Fort Meade, Maryland and another 60 saw him on a video feed from the court -- the first time Manning has been seen by the public in 19 months. More than 100 other supporters, including 50 from Occupy Wall Street who had bused down from New York City, were at the front gates of Fort Meade in solidarity with Manning.

Hundreds of supporters will gather today, Saturday, December 17, for a large rally and march.

For his first court appearance, Bradley was in what looked to be a new military uniform and typically military, he had a fresh haircut.   He was not in shackles in the courtroom, but it appeared in a photo that he was shackled in the van that brought him to the court. Manning talked freely with his civilian defense counsel and his two military legal counsels.

He did not turn around and look at the people in the court, but as he was brought in and taken out during the various recesses of the court, he no doubt noticed supporters in Bradley Manning T-shirts.

Bradley Manning has been imprisoned for 19 months, since May, 2010, without a trial. Yesterday, December 16, 2011, an Article 32 hearing began at Fort Meade, Maryland, in which an investigating officer will determine whether there is sufficient evidence of the crimes with which the military has charged him for the case to be referred to a General court-martial.

In July, 2010, Manning was charged with transferring classified information onto his personal computer and communicating national defense information to an unauthorized source. In March 2011, 22 more crimes were charged, including "aiding the enemy," which is a capital offense. Defense Department prosecutors said they would not seek the death penalty. In April, 2011, Manning was found fit to face a court martial.

Defense Challenges Impartiality of Investigating Officer

- Advertisement -

Yesterday, Manning's civilian lawyer, David Coombs, challenged the impartiality of investigating officer US Army Reserve Lieutenant Colonel Paul Almanza, citing Almanza's civilian employment as a lawyer in the Department of Justice which has conducted investigations on Manning, Julian Assange and Wikileaks. The defense team had requested that 38 witnesses be allowed to testify in the Article 32 hearing. Coombs also said that the decision of Almanza to allow only two defense witnesses other than the 10 allowed for the prosecution demonstrated a bias by Almanza.

Coombs told Almanza, "That simple fact alone, without anything else, would cause a reasonable person to say, "I question your impartiality." However, stating that his office of child exploitation in the Department of Justice had nothing to do with the Wikileaks investigation or with national security issues, Almanza denied Coombs' request for recusal.

Almanza told Coombs and Manning, "I do not believe a reasonable person, knowing all the circumstances, would be led to the conclusion that my impartiality would be reasonably questioned. I thus deny the defense request to recuse myself."

After that, Coombs filed a writ with the Army Court of Criminal Appeals to stay the proceedings until a decision can be made on whether Almanza should continue to preside. According to military law experts, the hearing can proceed while the appeals court makes its determination.

Manning under harsh imprisonment at Quantico reeked of intimidation and retaliation

- Advertisement -

The military's treatment of Manning has reeked of intimidation and retaliation.

Until citizen activist protests six months ago in March 2011 brought sufficient attention to the harsh conditions of Manning's pre-trial confinement, the US military was treating him as if he were beyond the scrutiny of the law -- as if he were an "enemy combatant" in Guantanamo or Abu Ghraib.

Amnesty International and the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Torture expressed great concern about the conditions under which Manning was being held -- in a maximum-security, single-occupancy cell; placed on a prevention-of-injury order and allowed to wear only a suicide-proof smock at night.

Next Page  1  |  2

 

www.voicesofconscience.com

Ann Wright is a 29 year US Army/Army Reserves veteran who retired as a Colonel and a former US diplomat who resigned in March, 2003 in opposition to the war on Iraq. She served in Nicaragua, Grenada, Somalia, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Sierra Leone, Micronesia and Mongolia. In December, 2001 (more...)
 

Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon


Go To Commenting

The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.

Writers Guidelines

Contact Author Contact Editor View Authors' Articles
- Advertisement -

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

Rape in the Ranks: The Enemy Within

Israeli Violence Finally on Trial

Israeli Envoy calls "Estelle" a Provocation While 7 Parliamentarians Sail to Break the Blockade of Gaza

Disinvited To Be a Passenger on The Swedish Boat to Gaza "Estelle"

U.S. Joins Israel in Blockading Higher Education Opportunities for Students in Gaza

No Speedy Trial for Bradley Manning

Comments

The time limit for entering new comments on this article has expired.

This limit can be removed. Our paid membership program is designed to give you many benefits, such as removing this time limit. To learn more, please click here.

Comments: Expand   Shrink   Hide  
5 people are discussing this page, with 5 comments
To view all comments:
Expand Comments
(Or you can set your preferences to show all comments, always)

table.MsoNormalTable { font-size: 10pt; font-famil... by Michael Daly, artist on Saturday, Dec 17, 2011 at 4:42:46 PM
  the treatment of Bradley Manning is spe... by Paul Repstock on Saturday, Dec 17, 2011 at 5:03:16 PM
That, it appears, was his mistake. What he did was... by molly cruz on Sunday, Dec 18, 2011 at 10:55:23 AM
Please do yourself a favour and quit playing FOX's... by Arend Rietkerk on Sunday, Dec 18, 2011 at 6:55:00 PM
It is a shame that probably less in 100 has a real... by Steven G. Erickson on Monday, Dec 19, 2011 at 9:06:12 AM