Tuesday, April 26, 2011

President Obama Speaks on Manning and the Rule of Law

Who Dat?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.
Image by Louis Turner


Wikileaks: A Win Against Torture

Two weeks ago, more than 500,000 Avaaz members from around the world called on President Obama to end the brutal isolation and inhumane treatment of Bradley Manning, the alleged source of leaked cables publicized by Wikileaks. Just days later, the US government bowed to mounting pressure and announced that Manning would be transferred to a medium-security prison and receive proper mental health treatment, and members of the press were invited to verify that his torture had ended. Public pressure worked


Image by Louis Turner

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Bradley Manning arrives at Kansas jail...


Press release: Military moves to further isolate Bradley...


'Wikileaks' soldier Bradley Manning moved to new prison

Pte Manning, in a handout photo Pte Bradley Manning served in Iraq
The US soldier accused of leaking a trove of secret government documents later published by the Wikileaks website is to be moved to a military prison in Kansas, officials have said.
Pte First Class Bradley Manning has been held pending court martial at a Marine Corps base in Virginia.

His transfer comes amid international concern over his treatment.

His supporters say he has been confined to a cell for 23 hours a day and forced regularly to undress.

Last week, UN special rapporteur on torture Juan Mendez said US officials had blocked his requests for unmonitored visits to Pte Manning, in part aimed at determining whether he had been mistreated.

Ray McGovern, a member of the Bradley Manning Support Network's Advisory Board, said this was "unprecedented".

"What it is, pure and simple, is an intimidation technique, lest any of Bradley Manning's colleagues, any of the other people in the armed forces, be tempted to do what Bradley Manning did, and that was to expose war crimes," he told the BBC World Service.

'Best interest'

At a press conference at the Pentagon on Tuesday, defence department general counsel Jeh Johnson said Pte Manning would be moved imminently to a pre-trial jail at Fort Leavenworth, in the Mid-western US state of Kansas.

Mr Johnson and other military officials said the Fort Leavenworth jail - which was opened in January - was better equipped to handle long-term pre-trial stays than the Marine Corps base at Quantico, Virginia.

Among other things, the Fort Leavenworth jail has better mental health support and, should officials permit it, better exercise facilities and more opportunities for interaction with other detainees, officials said.

"We have assessed this is in Pte Manning's best interest to move him at this juncture in the case," Mr Johnson said.

"All things considered, we concluded that going forward this is the best facility for him."
Mr Johnson said the transfer should not be interpreted as a criticism of Pte Manning's treatment at Quantico, though he acknowledged senior defence officials had been involved in the process.


Pte Manning's civilian lawyer David Coombs has said the soldier has been under 24-hour surveillance and has been forced to relinquish his clothing before bedding down for the night, then forced to stand naked at roll call.

Defence department general counsel Jeh Johnson: "Fort Leavenworth is the most appropriate facility for Private Manning"
Officials have repeatedly denied Pte Manning has been mistreated, although last month a top US state department official, spokesman PJ Crowley, resigned after saying the military's treatment of the Wikileaks suspect was "ridiculous and counterproductive".

Pte Manning, an intelligence analyst who joined the US Army in 2007, is suspected of leaking 720,000 diplomatic and military documents, including a database of military records from the Iraq war, Afghan war records, classified diplomatic cables and other materials.

In the past year, Wikileaks has published troves of documents it titled the Iraq War Logs and the Afghan War Diary, and reams of secret US state department cables spanning five decades.

Pte Manning has been charged with using unauthorised software on government computers to download classified information and to make intelligence available to "the enemy", and other counts related to leaking intelligence and theft of public records.

He is currently undergoing a mental health evaluation aimed at determining his competence to stand trial, officials have said.


Sunday, April 17, 2011

Free Bradley Manning GIG Sunday April 17th LONDON.....


My Experience Dealing With the Department of Defense Regarding Pfc. Bradley Manning Has Been Kafkaesque


Sat, 2011-04-16 14:18
I wrote the following predawn a couple of weeks ago for another joust elsewhere. With minor re-editing it’s a good fit here though. Want ‘easy answers’ that don’t disturb your programming.. then don’t bother with this, move on.
Private Manning did his duty. Rightly so. He reported to those he lawfully serves only, we ourselves, a massive conspiracy of monstrous crimes against us, we embodied in our Constitution which he and we must uphold, obey, and protect. I thank the heavens for Bradley Manning doing that..
Dennis Kucinich is doing his duty.. and placing himself in great jeopardy to do it.
Private Manning is in harm's way.. serious harm.. for all of us. Including all you insane u$aInc military operators out there torturing, murdering, and pillaging the world for CrimeCo instead of acting on our own shores in your only legitimate role, if even needed, Constitutionally mandated and only National Defense. Repel enemies.. not be the enemy, wholesale murderers abroad and here at home. Wake up! If indeed Bradley carried out what is alleged, he has dutifully acted for your benefits you bloody circumcised head idiots, since none of you will. 'Our troopies' are the terrible evidence of, and servants of what has become of us, mentally enslaved by our enemies within so that we are now our own worst enemies, that is not the oath you all swore. Only violate. The rest of you corporately nuked citizens spun by CrimeCo’s psycho-path-iatrists into the same dysfunctional self destroying state of mind? Yep. To wit: 'National Security Matter'.. or the code of criminal silence.. omertà? Gosh.. which is it.. what happened to our free, fair, open society.. full transparency thus democracy.. that worked so happily and well.. that our wiser forefathers sacrificed to give us a quarter of a thousand years ago. We’ve lost our minds with more than a little criminal assistance. Only criminals hide what they are and do. See your dictionary, two words, organized, and crime, review everything you know, every institution you now cavalierly accept, organized religions, everything.. history.. with the definition of those two words in your minds. Start connecting the dots.. then correctly reconnect our nation together.. and our attacking enemies are there identified. Forget their hollywood 'don corleone' spin job feinting you off into a blinded fantasy so that you no longer grasp what organized crime factually is, dictionary simple, the real face of evil is now in everything and has been made yours. Each of you have betrayed us all in making yourselves in your dumbly shifted loyalties their incorporated 'property'. The enemy within wipes their feet on our Constitution, and most of you, citizen and gummit ape alike, in your incomprehension wipe your asses with it. Fitting since that is all most of you have proved yourselves to be. And more terribly, bluffing cowards, demented torturers and murderers. You have chosen to work for it, obey it, refuse to acknowledge it, refuse to report it, refuse to act against it, you are full collaborators and the servants of evil.
Crime against yourselves, and Punishment. You are ‘state property’ now. Do not question. Conform. Obey. Inform. Enforce upon others. You have made yourselves prisoners all.
I know very personally what betrayal is. I know very personally what 'white torture' is. I know very personally what has been and will be injected into Private Manning. BioHorror. Permanent torture. I know very personally what he is being radiated with, interdimensionally crushed, stretched, and torn with. Cell by cell. Julian Assange no doubt suffering the same. I can only imagine Bradley Manning's personal suffering and ticking second by endless ticking seconds the strength that he has to maintain and draw upon, resolutely, to hold himself together no matter what. Isolated from Life. Continually cold. Viciously, systematically deprived and intimidated. 'Medically' assaulted. Entombed in their concrete and iron, chained alone and naked against a realm of ratchet clicking criminals swirling about him just out of view, but not he theirs, no safety, no privacy whatsoever. No idea if it is day or night or how many have passed, or what will happen next at any time unannounced.. in this world of backturning numbskull cowards he is trying to protect. As I myself have so terribly learned through my decades, suffering my own young Son poisoned, even our dogs, our home, private informations and my papers covertly violated at criminal will. On this dark level from my fellow amerikans there is no aid or protection from anyone, often betrayal. Many of you are poisoners.. rat poison crazies.. what have we come to? Whattaya do.. call a cop? Or the Federal Bureau of Intimidation? These are the actions of an occupying criminal force, a murderous force. You are fools, they already have their 'slow bullet' poisons in all of you, uncomprehended roasting you alive and turning up the gas valve, you are next. Just remember the experiment where a frog is placed in a pot of water which it is freely able to leap out of. The heat is then slowly turned up, until finally the unwitting frog is boiled alive. You though shoot the messenger warning you.. in the back. You kill yourselves. Your own children. Shame upon you all.
I know what our nation's oath of service is, what it means, demands. I was brought to make that oath into the agencies nearly forty years ago and I did not violate it. I upheld it, and uphold it still. To not do so under that responsibility is and correctly so a criminal act. In essence you in military and government 'service' are to uphold and defend our Constitution, not the mordant political 'will'. You are to defend against not only foreign threats, but of equal importance internal threats. The enemy within, that most terrible of all. Quislings. The stench that Bradley bravely wafted to you. You are to carry your legitimate orders. Legitimate orders from legitimate givers, not those criminally made and imposed by the enemy within. You have an equal duty to refuse illegitimate unlawful 'orders'. Absolutely. All such orders must be fully consistent with our Constitution and the UCMJ. And specifically stated in the UCMJ, you must refuse unlawful orders from even your Commander in Chief, the prez. Got that!? I can quote you psalm and verse on this from the UCMJ.. so.. fair warning criminal uniformed peckerheads.. do not wonder for whom the hemp noose tightens.. it tightens upon you. By your own bloody minds and bloodied hands. The rest of you better get a leg up and quick. At least I and my close military agency fellows greatly aided in ending the bloody Viet Nam "police action", the crime of conscription, and the continued tenure of Nixon. What are you remote control 'gi joe' puffadders going to do.
Nothing. Exactly what you have been doing all along. Turn your backs in blustering cowardice. Nonchalantly polish your brass, your hobnail boots, and the nearest promotion apple. Visit your chapel to justify what you hide within yourselves and numb your Conscience. Torture and Murder another to reinforce your twisted reality. And reward Bradley Manning's lucidity and rare integrity by continuing to let this young man rot alive by torture in and at the hands of treasoning u$aInc's organized criminal enforcers in their veritable Hell.. Quantico. That fairly sums far too many of you amerikan 'service persons' up. Sad to say.. but justified.. given the lifelong sacrifices I and others have made or forcefully been made to make on your cruelly sanctimonius behalves.. and how you continue to disgracefully comport yourselves. I was a conscriptee, I would know. An agency conscriptee of no small ability so I would know 'far too much'. In that, far too much for your comfort about many of you, what you really are, what you are really there to do. Bloodily so. How you pinheads are being ‘used’. You are burning in the hell that you have foolishly though willfully been criminally led to make upon innocents of opportunity. Your further crime is that all the rest of us who have tried our best lifelong to live by truth and right to preserve and evolve a good society, are with our children by your cold blooded betrayals burning with you. 'Burning Man' Bradley Manning's suffering personifies your evil natures.
You are.. what you do.. and don't do. Prove me.. and thousands of years of military despot history.. wrong. Do it. Do your right duty as American soldiers. For one of your own, who has served U.S. extraordinarily well at that. Do what needs to be done to free Bradley from these slavers.. and yourselves. Your Nation.
The slaver's criminality knows no bounds and history shows us is neverending. Dead or alive your ass is of potential value to such. And that is all it is to them, a commodity. The Wikileaks releases are all of material of the lowest most casual 'classification', omerta, remaining is the vaster body of far grimmer criminal communications and documents that we are yet denied, just its distorted history and the rivers of bloody evidence of it. What we of our nation must know if we are to restore our society. You all owe Bradley Manning and many others a great debt because now you understand that all that shed blood speaks true, and of horridly worse.
It is so and it is a great crime that they are bearing down upon us. End it before it ends you. Those are your choices. Fall. Or Rise. I imagine that you have little more time than the rising light of the summer solstice. We must peacefully confront but of sufficient calm force take control of them, our resources and facilities they have hijacked, and all evidences. Willful murder, or aiding it's commission in silent apathy of confederation, thereby collaboration, is fully murder either way. Murder of an individual or of a nation, even as many of you imagine legitimized by way of 'popular acclaim', is still murder undiminished. The murder of one by many, or many by one, one and the same, murder. Torture, is slow murder. Be it by applied stress, cold, malnutrition, foul innoculation, poison, asphyxiation, electricity, RF or nuclear radiation, the vise or the knife, coming to its final consequence even years later, is still murder. The torturer/murderer has willfully hastened assuring the death of their victim beyond their evident hand. A bullet is quick and obvious, heart attack by sustained stress is easily obscured, poison can be slow and is simply enough hidden from you as cause. No amerikan doktor will aid you. Ten thousand agents of harm and ten thousand ways to obscurely assault each one of them upon their chosen victim.. victims. Where do we draw the line.. we don't.. all one and the same. Murder. At every turn that it advantages them they deceptively name and rename torture and murder, and the means of it, but they remain irrefutably what they are. Murder is not justifiable, period. No one, no one, man or woman or entity is somehow 'exempt' from the consequences of their wrong actions and guilt. One of them is sitting next to you.. or is you. Deeply uncomfortable, painful.. as it is for many of us, if in correct light we cooly examine, between us we do know who is guilty. Upright and innocent though they well studied and practiced present themselves, they are murderers who are aiding by their silence or more directly acting to murder you as you read this. You will obey their masters or mysteriously suffer and die. Unspin this crime, you are not “the terrorists”, they are. We must somehow safely take the next step, out them all, no exceptions none, and without enabling their violent suppression utilize minimal force to achieve the just sequestration for lawful trial the millions among us responsible for this enormous complex of crimes.. Crime. Root every bit of this evil out of our world or die doing it.. you certainly will if you don't. This is their doing, their crime.. not yours, unless you fail your children. Spin your heads back straight. Our history informs us well. In all their guises they are criminals, they have long planned and have set this atrocity in place. In spite of the great harm they do us, and certainly will, we must not harm them, we must fully identify and secure each one of them, they are a great body of critical evidence between them. They know best and most fully where the 'body is buried'. We will need that 'body' in order to end their criminal nightmare upon us once and for all. Those of this mind have enveloped and infiltrated you, massively deceived you, clandestinely cuckolded, corrupted, and overthrown your lawful constitutional government, disarmed you, control what was once your defense and peace forces, control your courts, looted and paralyzed your economy, turned you out of your homes, control your communications and information systems, threaten your personal autonomy, freedom of expression and association, violate your homes, private informations, and papers at criminal will, have created, possess and control murderously immoral chemical, nuclear & biological weapons, control all medical, vaccinations, and drugs, control all your food, energy, and infrastructure, have scabrously harmed and are accelerating those biological damages to you and your children, control all transportation types and corridors even imaging you naked, peering at and fondling your children’s privates.. knowing the consequences have effectively enslaved you.. and are quite prepared as they are currently demonstrably doing, to murder anyone they must to succeed, or every one of U.S. Anyone anywhere. 'Open Season', no judicial oversight. Crime of the Millennia, worldwide enslavement. Our very Earth, as is Bradley Manning, shackled and poisoned. Murdrum ~ Genocide
Our National Defense Forces eh? “Humanitarian bombers” they have recently characterized themselves as. None of their 'activity' is humane. Truly human. Or feels that way to their 'subjects of interest'. Unwarranted, our experiences as human beings have become very bad ones. Ask any frightened Arab family hiding in their basement from invading Zionists, and our Christian Morlocks, headhunters. Take the hint.. Amerika has become a nesting of evil that is just out of this world. Buggers, Crusaders & Inquisitioners Incorporated, the Vatican and its occulted Jesuit forces, have publicly stated that we should regard these as our “friends”. Butchers and slavers. Old wisdom, with ‘friends’ like theirs.. who needs enemies.
tongue in toxed cheek..
Ye shall know the Great Satan by its Minions poisoning your minds, your Hearts, your bodily temples, your lands…
Getting sick of it all, body and soul, their vicious, poisonous assaults even upon your own children? Well..
Life is what you make it.. or betray it. Ultimately, we are each what we have done, and what we have not done that we should have.
Get Bradley Manning.. and Julian Assange.. many others.. outa those HellHoles to safety and honest medical assistance. Immediately! Else you deserve.. and are getting.. no better.
Greater power, light and good, cannot aid you in anything less.
Peace Love Joy
BobbyBaxter HCVeteran&MarihuanaFelon
United States Army Security Agency 1969 - 1972.
Founder and technology creator 1974 Sierra Vista Arizona, Alternative Energy Systems.
Betrayed into “exile on main street” everafter.
Post Script: "..the US military unveiled 22 additional charges against Manning including the serious offense of ‘aiding the enemy,’ which carries a potential death sentence. But the army said he would face possible life in prison." Let me just 'unveil' this to these goose stepping military boner heads. You are not above the law. Your duty, first and foremost, is to uphold and defend our Constitution. You swore that oath, and misapplying the UCMJ to these present odious ends certainly puts you in the dock under those very charges with many million others in this beleaguered nation. Not the way around you are trying to deceive upon U.S. and our fellow citizens trapped in your 'service'. You are not honoring your oath, you are the betrayers of it, of U.S., all life. You are a mutiny ‘aiding the enemy’ which those beneath you in rank and authority there transcend and by lawful duty must end. The enemy.. is the enemy within.. not the poor folks you are torturing, robbing, and murdering all through our world. And right here at home.

Bradley Manning and the not so secret world of Intel...


Wednesday, April 13, 2011

UN: free acces to Bradley Manning 'blocked'


Bradley Manning Overtakes Julian Assange In Time.com Influence Poll

If all had gone according to plan–alleged plan, at least–Bradley Manning would be an unknown Army private with a massive secret, not a household name. As it is, the young soldier accused of leaking millions of pages of documents to WikiLeaks has come to be seen as one of the most influential people in the world. Even more influential, in the temperamental opinion of the Internet, than Julian Assange himself.

As of Tuesday afternoon, Manning had overtaken Assange in Time.com’s Time 100 poll, an unscientific online survey designed to rank the world’s most influential people. Manning currently stands in 8th place with three days until the poll ends. Just yesterday, Manning was ranked 29th, which was already a large jump from his earlier placement in the list’s also-rans.

Assange, who last week was among the top five names in the poll, has dropped to 10th.
Time’s poll, of course, shows nothing more consequential than which name on the list can rouse the most online supporters. And Manning’s ongoing harsh treatment in a Quantico military prison, where he’s kept without frequent human contact or exercise, has kept him in the news for months, even as many Americans have lost interest in WikiLeaks’ ongoing release of the secrets that Manning is accused of spilling.

Last month, former State Department spokesperson P.J. Crowley resigned from his position after criticizing the military’s treatment of Manning, and followed up with an op-ed in the Guardian. Outrage has only grown as Senator Dennis Kucinich and a U.N. human rights investigator have both been denied visits to Manning.

For whatever reason, it’s noteworthy to see Assange’s alleged source become the focal point instead of the brilliant and controversial Australian himself. At least until WikiLeaks’ next bombshell drops.


WikiLeaks Suspect Bradley Manning

U.N. Diplomat Denied Private Meeting With By Ellen Nakashima

April 11, 2011 "
Washington Post" - -A United Nations diplomat charged with investigating claims of torture said Monday that he is “deeply disappointed and frustrated” that U.S. defense officials have refused his request for an unmonitored visit with Pfc. Bradley Manning, the Army intelligence analyst accused of passing classified material to WikiLeaks.

Juan E. Mendez, the U.N. special rapporteur on torture, said his request for a private interview with Manning was denied by the Defense Department on Friday. Instead, he has been told that any visit must be supervised.

Mendez has been seeking to determine whether Manning’s confinement at a military brig at Quantico amounts to torture, following complaints about his treatment and an incident in which the private was forced to strip in his cell at night and sleep without clothing.

“My request . . . is not onerous: for my part, a monitored conversation would not comply with the practices that my mandate applies in every country and detention center visited,” Mendez said in a statement Monday, noting that at least 18 countries have allowed unmonitored interviews.

Manning, 23, has been held at Quantico since July 29 and is awaiting a possible court-martial on charges that he endangered national security by allegedly leaking classified military and diplomatic information.

For most of this time, military officials have kept Manning under “prevention of injury” watch, asserting that he poses a risk to himself. That means he spends 23 hours a day alone in his cell, with one hour allowed for exercise, and has no contact with other prisoners. He is allowed visitors for a few hours on the weekends. He must give up his prison uniform at night, though jail officials have now issued him a smock to wear.

U.S. officials have denied that Manning is being mistreated and have said that the circumstances of his confinement comply with U.S. law and Defense Department regulations.

Last month, however, P.J. Crowley, then the spokesman for the State Department, said the conditions of Manning’s confinement were “counterproductive and stupid” — a comment that angered the White House and prompted Crowley’s resignation.

On Sunday, the New York Review of Books published a letter signed by more than 250 lawyers, professors and authors, including Harvard University constitutional law professor Laurence H. Tribe, that called the conditions of Manning’s confinement “illegal and immoral.” The British government has also raised concerns about the issue.

In an interview, Mendez said that “at first glance,” Manning’s case seems to be “of interest to my mandate,” which is to investigate cases of cruel, inhumane or degrading treatment and report them to the U.N. Human Rights Council.

To do his job, he said, he needs to be able to speak to Manning without witnesses, including guards patrolling nearby. Otherwise, he said, “I cannot be sure Manning is being absolutely candid and honest with me if he knows that he’s being monitored.”

He said he is willing to see Manning nonetheless, if Manning wishes to see him.

The Defense Department has also denied requests for unmonitored visits with Manning by a representative of Amnesty International and by Rep. Dennis J. Kucinich (D-Ohio), according to the soldier’s attorney.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Bradley Mannings torture continues BUT there is another Abu Ghraib taking place in Afghanistan...Americans continue to torture....



Bradley Manning: top US legal scholars voice outrage at 'torture'

Obama professor among 250 experts who have signed letter condemning humiliation of alleged WikiLeaks source

Bradley Manning Rally
A man protests about the detention of Bradley Manning. More than 250 legal scholars have signed a letter expressing outrage. Photograph: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images
More than 250 of America's most eminent legal scholars have signed a letter protesting against the treatment in military prison of the alleged WikiLeaks source Bradley Manning, contesting that his "degrading and inhumane conditions" are illegal, unconstitutional and could even amount to torture.

The list of signatories includes Laurence Tribe, a Harvard professor who is considered to be America's foremost liberal authority on constitutional law. He taught constitutional law to Barack Obama and was a key backer of his 2008 presidential campaign.

Tribe joined the Obama administration last year as a legal adviser in the justice department, a post he held until three months ago.

He told the Guardian he signed the letter because Manning appeared to have been treated in a way that "is not only shameful but unconstitutional" as he awaits court martial in Quantico marine base in Virginia.

The US soldier has been held in the military brig since last July, charged with multiple counts relating to the leaking of thousands of embassy cables and other secret documents to the WikiLeaks website.

Under the terms of his detention, he is kept in solitary confinement for 23 hours a day, checked every five minutes under a so-called "prevention of injury order" and stripped naked at night apart from a smock.

Tribe said the treatment was objectionable "in the way it violates his person and his liberty without due process of law and in the way it administers cruel and unusual punishment of a sort that cannot be constitutionally inflicted even upon someone convicted of terrible offences, not to mention someone merely accused of such offences".

The harsh restrictions have been denounced by a raft of human rights groups, including Amnesty International, and are being investigated by the United Nations' rapporteur on torture.

Tribe is the second senior figure with links to the Obama administration to break ranks over Manning. Last month, PJ Crowley resigned as state department spokesman after deriding the Pentagon's handling of Manning as "ridiculous and counterproductive and stupid".
The intervention of Tribe and hundreds of other legal scholars is a huge embarrassment to Obama, who was a professor of constitutional law in Chicago. Obama made respect for the rule of law a cornerstone of his administration, promising when he first entered the White House in 2009 to end the excesses of the Bush administration's war on terrorism.

As commander in chief, Obama is ultimately responsible for Manning's treatment at the hands of his military jailers. In his only comments on the matter so far, Obama has insisted that the way the soldier was being detained was "appropriate and meets our basic standards".

The protest letter, published in the New York Review of Books, was written by two distinguished law professors, Bruce Ackerman of Yale and Yochai Benkler of Harvard. They claim Manning's reported treatment is a violation of the US constitution, specifically the eighth amendment forbidding cruel and unusual punishment and the fifth amendment that prevents punishment without trial.

In a stinging rebuke to Obama, they say "he was once a professor of constitutional law, and entered the national stage as an eloquent moral leader. The question now, however, is whether his conduct as commander in chief meets fundamental standards of decency".
Benkler told the Guardian: "It is incumbent on us as citizens and professors of law to say that enough is enough. We cannot allow ourselves to behave in this way if we want America to remain a society dedicated to human dignity and process of law."

He said Manning's conditions were being used "as a warning to future whistleblowers" and added: "

I find it tragic that it is Obama's administration that is pursuing whistleblowers and imposing this kind of treatment."

Ackerman pointed out that under the Pentagon's own rule book, the Uniform Code of Military Justice, Manning's jailers could be liable to prosecution for abusing him. Article 93 of the code says "any person who is guilty of cruelty toward any person subject to his orders shall be punished".

The list of professors who have signed the protest letter includes leading figures from all the top US law schools, as well as prominent names from other academic fields. Among them are Bill Clinton's former labour secretary Robert Reich, President Theodore Roosevelt's great-great-grandson Kermit Roosevelt, the former president of the American Civil Liberties Union Norman Dorsen and the novelist Kwame Anthony Appiah

Saturday, April 9, 2011

UK Goverment 'draws US attention' to Bradley Manning concerns

Imprisoned Wikileaks soldier insists he's not a Brit

The UK government has formally raised concerns with the USA regarding the treatment of the imprisoned US soldier Bradley Manning, who is charged with various offences under military regulations and the US criminal code.

It is widely believed - though not proven - that Manning was the source of much of the classified US government material published in recent months by the Wikileaks website: in particular the secret diplomatic cables whose revelation has caused various minor furores around the world.

Manning's lawyer has complained that the regime under which he is held in the US Marine brig at Quantico, Virginia, amounts to unlawful pre-trial punishment. He is kept solitary in his cell 23 hours a day, his clothes are taken away at night, and if he can't be clearly seen by his jailers (for instance due to having his face covered by a blanket) he will be awakened every five minutes at night.
The US Marines say that these are normal measures they are compelled to take for any military prisoner regarded as being a suicide risk - which they consider Manning to be. Nonetheless Manning's supporters have branded the treatment inhumane.

Owing to the fact that his mother came from Wales, Manning would be able to claim British nationality if he chose to do so: however, his lawyer says he makes no such claim and doesn't seek any British assistance.

Meanwhile President Obama has stated that he is personally satisfied with Manning's treatment. An Obama administration official, P J Crowley, who publicly criticised the brig regime, has lately been forced to resign.

Against this background Labour MP Ann Clwyd has tabled an early-day motion in the House of Commons which has gained cross-party support, which was debated in the Commons yesterday. The motion says:
This House expresses great concern at the treatment of Private First Class Bradley Manning, currently detained at the US Quantico Marine Base; notes the increasing level of interest and concern in the case in the UK and in particular in Wales; appeals to the US administration to ensure that his detention conditions are humane; and calls on the UK Government to raise the case with the US administration.
Clwyd added that she was not raising the matter because of Manning's potential claims to British nationality, which were in her view "something of a red herring. I am not raising Bradley Manning's case because he is a British national but because I believe his treatment is cruel and unnecessary."

Yesterday in parliament, the Conservative MP Julian Lewis spoke in support of this position, saying that "if Private Manning is guilty of the leakage of which he is charged, he did a very terrible thing indeed", but that "it is fatal to snatch defeat from the jaws of a sort-of victory by focusing attention on the conditions in which he is being held".

These remarks were endorsed by Henry Bellingham, parliamentary undersecretary for foreign affairs, as "wise" while responding on behalf of the British government. Bellingham described what the British government has done in the case:
A senior official in our embassy in Washington called on the US State Department on 29 March. He drew its attention to her concerns over Private Manning and handed over a copy of the uncorrected transcript of [an earlier debate on the matter among MPs] and a copy of her early-day motion ... He also drew attention to the debate taking place today as a measure of the level of parliamentary interest in the subject. The State Department took note and agreed to convey the information to all those dealing with the case.
Bellingham added that "I will instruct our officials at our embassy in Washington again to report the concerns of this House to officials in the State Department", for what that might be worth. However, on the point of Manning's status as a Briton he said "we must respect his wishes on the matter and recognise the limitations on UK involvement"

Two British officers try to follow in Bradley Mannings footsteps... were they about to disclose something they knew was illegal and a war crime ?


Thursday, April 7, 2011

Right now, Wikileaks whistleblower Bradley Manning is being tortured in a US military prison.

Dear friends,

Wikileaks whistleblower Bradley Manning is being subjected to brutal torture in a US military prison, part of a broader effort to silence and intimidate those behind any further leaks. The government is split on Manning's abuse. President Obama cares about the US global reputation -- a massive global outcry can push him to stop the torture:

Right now, Wikileaks whistleblower Bradley Manning is being tortured in a US military prison. Manning is subjected to utter isolation that can drive many people insane, with short periods each day where he is stripped naked and abused by jeering inmates.

Manning is awaiting trial for releasing secret military documents to Wikileaks – including a video of US soldiers massacring Iraqi civilians. And his brutal treatment appears to be part of an intimidation campaign to silence whistleblowers and crack down on Wikileaks. The US government is split on this issue, with diplomats publicly criticizing the military for Manning's treatment, but President Obama has stood aside so far.

Obama cares about the US's global reputation - we need to show him that it's at stake here. Let's build a massive global call to the US government to stop torturing Manning and uphold the law. Sign the petition below -- our message will be delivered through hard-hitting ads and actions in Washington DC as soon as we reach 250,000 signatures:


On paper the United States opposes torture. The US Constitution forbids “cruel and unusual punishment". And, along with almost a hundred other countries, the US has signed an international convention promising to treat all prisoners “with humanity and with respect for the inherent dignity of the human person”. But today, Bradley Manning is utterly isolated in a cell without sheets, not allowed to exercise and is being subjected to brutal humiliation that is causing serious mental harm. This violates US and international law.

Bradley is being held under 'prevention of injury' status despite 16 reports from military mental health professionals that he should be removed from these severe conditions. His lawyers are trying to enforce his basic Constitutional and international human rights in court, but so far the military tribunal responsible for Bradley’s fate has ignored his suffering.  

There has been a crack down on Wikileaks since the explosive revelations of US military crimes in Afghanistan and Iraq. Many speculate that this brutal pressure on Bradley is intended to force him to implicate WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange. But Obama promised Americans and the world that he would protect, not persecute, whistleblowers:

"Often the best source of information about waste, fraud, and abuse in government is an existing government employee committed to public integrity and willing to speak out. Such acts of courage and patriotism, which can sometimes save lives and often save taxpayer dollars, should be encouraged rather than stifled."

Bradley's cruel treatment does the opposite and sends a chilling message to others who may want to expose important information. Let's act quickly to put massive international pressure on the United States government to honor its commitment to human rights and the protection of whistleblowers and end the shockingly cruel treatment of their own citizen. Sign the petition below:


Bradley Manning claims he is a patriot and has admitted to releasing information that he felt the world had a right to know. While reasonable people can disagree about the approach of Wikileaks and the the rights or wrongs of those who delivered information to them, the illegal torture of Bradley Manning, who has yet to receive a fair trial or be convicted of any crime, is a shameful violation of human rights and human dignity.

With hope and determination,

Emma, Ricken, Pascal, Janet and the rest of the Avaaz team


Check out Obama's statement on the importance of whistleblowing released on his official website http://change.gov/agenda/ethics_agenda/

PJ Crowley resigns over Bradley Manning remarks, The Guardian

Soldier's inhumane imprisonment, LA Times

US: Explain Conditions of Bradley Manning’s Confinement, Human Rights Watch

Stripped naked every night, Bradley Manning tells of prison ordeal, The Guardian

WikiLeakers and Whistle-Blowers: Obama's Hard Line, Time

The Implications of the Inhumane Treatment of Bradley Manning, Huffington Post

U.S. Pledges Rights Improvements, New York Times

Bradley Manning: charge sheet

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