update 16 july Judge Considers Request to Dismiss 7 Charges Against Pfc. Bradley Manning
Verdict day for Bradley Manning looms | Support goes warp speed | Tribute from ska band The Specials
In just over a week from now, the sentencing phase of Bradley Manning’s court martial will commence. Some time in August we will know the verdict on all outstanding charges, as well as the sentence in relation to those charges of which, if any, he has been found guilty. Depending on what happens over the next couple of weeks, a maximum sentence of life imprisonment may still be on the cards. Even if the more serious charges are dismissed, he could still face severe sentencing.
And, so, we are at that critical point when all stops have to be pulled out – for every day, every minute, every second – until the verdict is announced. In short, it’s make or break time. And this is not just about Bradley Manning – it never was – for if he falls, then so do we all.
Though the justice system will deny this, it is a fact that the court of public opinion has significant influence on a trial’s outcome, particularly in the case of a political trial. Moreover, in the land where celebrities are cast as gods, it is inevitable that they too can influence events and decisions, including those of a political nature.
So, to everyone who believes they have influence and that the true criminals in this case are those in Government: this is the time to do whatever you can to make a bold and uncompromising statement – whether that be in the mainstream press, on television, via the Internet or by any other means.
Finally, to those thousands of people around the world who knew that Bradley – a thrice Nobel Peace Prize nominee and acclaimed by three Nobel laureates – should never have been charged in the first place, know that whatever the outcome of this farcical trial if we have the same courage as Manning has shown from day one then we will prevail and see, sooner or later, his liberation.
Note: the above video features a song for Bradley by the UK ska band, The Specials. Below is a copy of a full-page advertisement to be published in the New York Times on July 25 (assuming costs are recouped in time – see here to add your name to the ad). An earlier video tribute by celebrities and well known political commentators is also featured once more.
Worldwide protests in support of Manning are called for July 27. To see where, click here .
Go for it!
1. The U.S. government ended its five-week case against Manning in the first week of July, after
providing no evidence that he had “aided the enemy” by passing military and diplomatic documents to WikiLeaks.
2. Manning’s defense then filed four motions to direct a verdict of not guilty on most of the greater offenses he’s charged with, including “aiding the enemy,” violating the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, and stealing government property. If we take just one of these four charges that of ‘Aiding the enemy’… In January Judge Denise Lind asked the prosecutors, “Would you have pressed the same charges if Manning had given the documents not to WikiLeaks but directly to the New York Times?”. Their reply: “Yes Ma’am.” This reply was interesting in that it equated Wikileaks with all other media, which means, basically, that any media publishing anything about war crimes is in the eyes of the Government, ‘aiding the enemy’: the enemy here being the public. Also, by selectively prosecuting Manning and not, say, the New York Times, the Government demonstrates that this trial is an absurdity and entirely political.
3. An important defense witness was Yochai Benkler, a Law professor, who explained how Wikileaks is a publishing house that uses new methods of gathering and disseminating information. Excellent commentary on Benkler’s testimony is given by Kevin Gosztola. Here is a full transcript of Benkler’s testimony.
4. For commentary by the Bradley Manning Support Group on all the four charges that the defense is seeking dismissal, click here .
5. Here are all the transcripts of the trial to date.
Posted from the via Android.
The Manning trial grapples with the question of whether WikiLeaks is a media entity (gigaom.com)
Bradley Manning defence rests after calling just 10 witnesses (guardian.co.uk)
Bradley Manning Defense Says U.S. Wants To Put ‘A Hammer Down On Any Whistlebower’ (huffingtonpost.com)
Support for Bradley Manning in Wrexham this week – Support Bradley Manning everywhere! (wiseupaction.info)
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