The London Expat American Meetup Group Message Board › Bradley Manning, WikiLeaks and Afghanistan - US Citizen in Guantanamo

Bradley Manning, WikiLeaks and Afghanistan - US Citizen in Guantanamo

Wilber W.
WilberWebb
Group Organizer
London, GB
Post #: 4,209
Con.....

Tom BeardshawGreat to hear that David saw it ok with friends in NY

Tim PriceIt's so good you found the time to join us. Kai could you tell us your thoughts about Bradley's hearings this week?

Lucy Daviesthanks so much everyone for patience and perseverance, tonight of all nights we lost connection and streamed thru an iPhone - lovely to have you with us here in the NTW snug

KaiIt was intense. Really. By the time the Judge was about to announce her ruling on the 'aiding the enemy' charge I was shaking.

Lucy Davieshow does he seem?

KaiHe seemed very focussed all three days. He was definitely more agitated on the last day, chatting to his lawyers a lot, taking notes, looking for papers, playing with the pen in his hand.

Naomi ColvinDid he acknowledge his supporters in the court room?

21:54
KaiThey don't want him to have any contact whatsoever to the supporters, that is for sure. But people were sitting in the gallery behind him with Tshirts saying 'TRUTH' which was awesome.At least six of them, looked really cool (1/2)

Lindi CarterThere's a great new photo David Coombs has just posted - Bradley looks quite serene in it http://www.armycourtm...­

National Theatre WalesWho doesn't want him to have contact Kai? His team or the prosecution/miliatry?

KaiAnd at the end of each hearing the supporters stodd up and said some sentences for everyone to hear, like 'thank you Bradley' and 'we need our governments to tell us the truth' etc.

Naomi ColvinYeah, it was cool to hear that :)
KaiThe Military. It's taken care of that no-one speaks to him or anything.

Kai
Apparently Coombs went out to speak to the supporters though, in one of the breaks, and told them that Bradley appreciates what they're doing and that they're there and he wanted them to know that.

National Theatre WalesNew picture - direct link: http://bit.ly/JMN6NI...­ <- amazing look

KaiYes, the Ellsberg incident - unbelieveable.

Naomi Colvin... and then he (Ellsberg) gets thrown out.

KaiYes. Wow.

Tim PriceHow did he look Kai? His uncle came to see the show in West Wales, and he visited him in Quantico and he told us, that when he saw him, he said 'he didn't look like a boy anymore. He looked old'.

21:59
KaiI couldn't see him in detail, so can only give some vague answers here. He seemed very focussed and serious, definitely not like a 'boy'. When he spoke (only 'yes ma'am' in the beginning) his voice was loud and clear and firm.

Tim PriceNaomi/Kai/Lindi what can we do next?

Lindi CarterA lot of people have reported that the same as Kai just said - that he looks calm and attentive and speaks clearly

Lindi Carter
at the hearings in general I mean

22:02
Lindi CarterAnything at all to get noticed - to make it clear to USG we aint gonna stand for it - what we do depends on where we are, the resources we have

Naomi ColvinIncreasing awareness of what is happening at the hearings is pretty important.

Naomi Colvin
On Thursday, the presiding judge made a ruling which means that the US can essentially charge any soldier with treason/aiding the enemy for posting messages online...

Naomi Colvin
... no matter what their intent in doing so is.

National Theatre WalesThere are some pretty huge implications of todays decision - see ACLU post which says it's unconstitutional: http://bit.ly/IoGqqC...­

Naomi ColvinYeah, that's a good post to read.

National Theatre WalesWelcome to John McGrath

Lindi CarterAnd kicking off at US officials when the Support Network targets them - sign up to bradleymanning.org for email notifications

Naomi ColvinHi John!

Naomi Colvin
... and not just the US.

John McGrathHi all. Sorry to hear about the connection problems tonight. It would happen on our big chat night!

John McGrath
But I hear there were some good conversations

Naomi ColvinThe UK Government should really be sending an observer to Bradley's pretrial; they are refusing to do so at the moment.

Lindi CarterComplaining to the US Embassy - creating and maintaining demos/vigils/banner hangs

National Theatre WalesIs that something we could pressure them to do Naomi? Who are the key decision makers? FO presumably?

Naomi ColvinYep, the FCO.

Anjana Vasanhello all and on behalf of the cast, thank you for watching tonight.

Naomi ColvinWe're at the stage where they need to be embarrassed into acting.

National Theatre WalesWelcome Anjana

Tom Beardshaw@Naomi is there a mechanism for that?

Naomi Colvin... which means either public pressure (via your MP), NGO pressure (ask Amnesty, Reprieve, Avaaz to send observers there)... and ask that the media give more substatial coverage. This recent hearing was better covered than previous ones, but there's more than can be done.

Lindi Carteras well as an edm in the UK parliament, there's a statement of opinion in the Assembly - hassle your MP/AM

Naomi ColvinYep, at all levels.

Naomi Colvin
The list of bodies which have made statements/sent official letters is pretty staggering.

Tim PriceI am ashamed the Welsh Assembly has not supported Bradley's family and his campaign more.

Naomi Colvinall the way from the Un Special Rapporteur, to the Council of Europe and the European Parliament.

Tom Beardshawlooking at the Assembly, is there an assembly petition? They have their own system, so we could force a debate or an investigation - Lindi?

Lindi CarterBethan Jenkins is the Cross Party Chair of the Human Rights Group in the Welsh Assembly and we have been drafting a letter with her for AMs to sign

Naomi ColvinIt would be great to see a really strong statement from Wales; getting supporters to petition their AMs has to be a big part of that.

Naomi Colvin
There's both a statement of support and a petition, I believe.

Tom BeardshawYou only need 10 signatures on a petition to force the petitions committee to consider it. Do you have a link Lindi?

Tim PriceThe Icelandic government has done more for Bradley than the Welsh one. And he's never even been there.

Naomi ColvinKai, you need to do some more lobbying in Germany ;)
Lindi CarterWe've already done the petition and it's been discussed which is why we're at the stage of drafting a letter

Naomi Colvin(again, they've actually been pretty good)

Lindi Carterbut people really should raise the matter with their AM

KaiI really do! You're quite right actually. Germany is very positive towards Bradley Manning and WikiLeaks. And that means, we can lobby them to apply more pressure on other countries to do something.

Tim PriceWe should try and put the play on in the Senedd - Lucy? A one-off?

Naomi ColvinI actually think that a really good way for us to embarrass the UK gvt into sending someone to Brad's trial could be to get the Germans to do it first ;)
Lucy DaviesBritain has the Chair of the Council of Europe and is pushing themes of human rights and rule of law - one of their officers saw the show in HWest and called me afterwards about it

Tim PriceWTF? Is that right Lucy?

Naomi ColvinNow that is interesting

Lindi CarterHey Lucy - what did they say?

KaiInteresting!

Tim PriceCome on Lucy. Open your kimono

Carl Morris!

Tom BeardshawWe could push out a call for pressuring Ams through social media.

Naomi Colvinthat's a very good idea

National Theatre Waleswelcome Jacob Gough, technical stage management for the show

Tim PriceGreat work Jacob!
Wilber W.
WilberWebb
Group Organizer
London, GB
Post #: 4,210
Con.....

Lucy DaviesShe was making contact on her own behalf, not in an approved professional capacity, but she was keen to discuss the future life of the show

Lindi CarterThe idea of a performance for the Senedd is great, Tim! Yes, Tom - I really think anything people can do to hassle AMs is good - we've written a letter to all of them which we haven't yet sent and it's trying to imply the stuff about which side do you want history to see you as having been on - usi

Jacob GoughIt's quite mind numbing and can get really repetitive but sometimes just getting as many people as possible to phone, email and write a specific department or individual requesting information on something can prove quite succesfull at getting people to do something.

Michael SalmonHeart breaking that all his mum wants is to see her son. She can't afford it, and Welsh Gov presumabally won't help! How can we putpressure on that?

Tom Beardshaw@Lindi let's get our heads around the key messages and links etc - I have emails/twitter details for all AMs

Naomi Colvinparticularly if they're the kind of people who aren't used to getting messages

Jacob Goughexactly

Tim PriceThat's a v good point Naomi

Jacob Goughthey then tend to move the complaints up the chain

Tim PriceI read this today: 'A conservative is one who admires radicals centuries after they're dead' - Leo Rosten.

Lindi Carterusing Coombs statement 'History will ultimately judge my client' The new Plaid leader is very sympathetic, too

MeTim- There has been no hostile responce; in Wales certainly. We did however get invited to the Chapter Arts Centre, then promptly asked to leave by management! But welsh folks, like everyone have been solid and supportive (in my experience)

Tom BeardshawI saw that too Tim - love it.

Tim PriceGeneral....do you have a magnificent beard?

Lindi CarterYea, Tom - that would be good!

Mehaha

Lindi Carterha ha GT

Mehey Lindi, x

Lindi Carterxxxxx

Mewhat's the word from Levenworth? How are things from the view of Kai and others who are out there watching the trial now?

Me
sorry- TRIBUNAL< x

KaiYou mean Fort Meade?

Meer, yeah

KaiHe's being transferred to Ft Meade for the trial.

Tom BeardshawFort Meade is the home of the NSA, right?

Mewhat is your view on things; having witnessed the tribunal first hand?

KaiFort Meade is the weirdest place ever. If you enter the base through the gates, you feel like entering the Truman Show.

Kai
Tom: Yes.

Tom Beardshaw...which "dwarfs the CIA"...

Meoh, dear- welcome to America!

Me
read Clive Satf smith book on Guantanamo- said simmilar things

Tim PriceTom, could you give us a brief summary of our livestream reach?

MeKai- I'm shocked by the death penalty being put back on- and more than a little frightened for Bradley

KaiYes. We all are. frankly, it was to be expected. But it is still so shocking.

Kai
For putting info on the Internet you can get the death penalty now - it's freakin' unbelievable.

Tom Beardshawthat's shocking - I didn't realise this. What did the prosecution say?

Carl Morrisand a lot of it is info which confirms what we basically knew already

Menot if you are in CIA press realese

KaiWell, the prosecution said a while back, they're not gonna seek the death penalty, so it would be life in prison.

Kai
But who knows really.

Lindi CarterIt's just that the charge of 'aiding the enemy' has been retained, Tom

Tom Beardshaw@Tim before tonight we had seen 7000 people from about 65 countries

Naomi Colvinit's not actually up to them, though - setencing is always in the hands of the judge

Carl Morriswe don't have the stats from tonight yet!

MeUS militarry brass total cowards, beurocrats- will not be the judge but a later

KaiNaomi, yes. That's the thing.

Meneed to revam efforts

Lindi Carterand it does mean that, whatever the prosecution says, that is a possibility - attached to the charge

KaiExactly.

Tim PriceNaomi's right - it's the judge who decides what the punishment is, not the prosecutors.

KaiYes, I just said the prosecution is not going to 'seek it'.

Naomi ColvinWhat we have also seen, over the past couple of hearings, is the assertion that - once you get into the territory of classified information - the gvt effectively doesn't have to prove its case.

Tom BeardshawThat's really pushed the limits of credibility and it seems inevitable that it'll go to the Supreme court if he's convicted, surely?

KaiTom, yes, that's what I think.

Naomi ColvinThere's a crazy quote from the last hearing about the prosecution claiming that the fact something is classified implies it is true.

MeWashington heads let off simmilar relaeses of unclassified info all the time to the press; can we seek the death penalty for them?

Naomi ColvinTom - yes, that seems to be the general opinion.

Lindi CarterBut, whilst the horrendous prospect of either Life or the Death Penalty should spur us to put other things on hold and fight for Brad and our own freedom now,

Tom BeardshawBradley's ordeal may be a long one

Methey have never denied the facts on the gound- historical documentation; legaly admissible for future war crimes

Me
we hope it to be- a long life with a possible release

Lindi Carterwe shouldn't let it cause us to despair, and that's really easy to do - to be apathetic

KaiYesyesyes Lindi! Correct.

Kai
Alright guys, I think I have to leave for now, sorry...

Lindi Carterbecause it seems hopeles - IT ISN'T!!!

MeI think it all might crumble- read Micheal Ratners latest piece

Me
yes lindi- far from hopeless

Carl Morrisdo you have a link to that General Tao? thanks

Methey are just ullies

Naomi ColvinAnd, furthermore, I would say - be very alive to the fate of whistleblowers everywhere. This includes in the UK - what's happening in the US is a move towards the crazy official secrets situation we have here.

Mebullies and bureucrats

Tim PriceKai, it's been so good to have you on here, thank you and solidarity in the States, good luck with NDAA. XXX

Lindi CarterI think we have to fight with the strong belief that we can overcome - it's the only way that ever works

Lindi Carter
Cheers Kai x

Naomi Colvinyeah, ttfn!

Methanks, Kai

KaiThank you so much Tim! And thanks all for having me. And most importantly thanks for this awesome play and that you livestream it for people all over thw world to watch - you're rockstars! :)
National Theatre WalesThanks for your time and for sharing Kai

John McGrathThanks Kai

Naomi ColvinOK, yep, I think I might take this opportunity to log off too. What you guys have been doing here is really important. best of luck for the last night of the run tomorrow!

Naomi Colvin
Cheers, Naomi

Lindi Carterbye x

Tim PriceThink it might be a good time to wrap it up. Does anyone have any last thoughts to share?

National Theatre WalesWho's got the keys to Flintshire Council?

Lindi Carterback to the Supreme Court - Kevin Gosztola said Weds that it was almost certainly gonna go that way

Meyeah, is david house and NYC gang still online?

Tim PriceDavid couldn't make it Anthony he sent his best wishes, and enjoyed the show

Lindi CarterOh and I forgot - the leader of Cardiff City Council wrote a letter - we need to do a press release but have been so busy

MeTim- See this in Edinburgh?

Lindi CarterSee this EVERYWHERE, Tim!
Wilber W.
WilberWebb
Group Organizer
London, GB
Post #: 4,211
Con.....

Meyeah, is david house and NYC gang still online?

Tim PriceDavid couldn't make it Anthony he sent his best wishes, and enjoyed the show

Lindi CarterOh and I forgot - the leader of Cardiff City Council wrote a letter - we need to do a press release but have been so busy

MeTim- See this in Edinburgh?

Lindi CarterSee this EVERYWHERE, Tim!

Tim PriceHopefully, next year! Lucy and John will have more info but they're keeping their cards close to their chests!

John McGrathNo cards close to my chest guys!

Mesure -hope for the best. I'm up there in August with a comedian mate of mine

Lindi Carterand everywhere it goes, supporters need to follow and make the most of the opportunities

John McGrathI'd love to do it again - particularly if it can have an effect

Tom BeardshawA performance in the Senedd would be amazing

John McGraththe involvement of the campaign has been hugely important and impressive Lindi

MeI think it is

Carl Morristhe Senedd or maybe the Pierhead?

John McGrathwe will be talking to theatres wherever we can

Carl Morris(both are buildings in Cardiff Bay)

Lindi Carterit has REALLY helped to be working on the 'back' of the play, Tim, John, Tom, Jacob - gives a real focus

Carl MorrisSenedd has deep symbolic value tho

John McGrathAnn Clwyd wants us to do it at the House of Commons! Now there's a venue!

Carl Morriswow

National Theatre WalesJohn - Westminster Hall - do you think they'd have the power or would we need the genny?

Tom Beardshawsorry John - that from me - wrong browser!

Tim PriceJohn is absolutely right Lindi - it's been wonderful to forge links with all you wonderful people.

John McGraththat's a great thought about bringing our own generator to Westminster

Lindi CarterI think it's urgent to continue in the same vein - this works

John McGrathshall we bring our mobile phone for the livecast?!

Tim PriceWe should do, Westminster Hall, Senedd, Holyrood and Stormont.

Tom BeardshawWouldn't that be an incredible venue John

MeCan get David Johnson, West End producer on board-

Tim PriceAnd then the White House.

Menot likeley! x

Tom Beardshawlol - getting a reliable connection in Westminster - wonder how easy that would be?

Melook up John Edwards.....

Me
won't see a friendly white house in our lifetime, or until the next collapse; until Brazil starts running our affairs. x

Tim PriceRight gang, you'll have to excuse me I just have to co-ordinate an Anonymous DDOS attack on Flintshire council. Thanks again to Carl and Tom for stirling work in trying circumstances. See you all tomorrow night. Drinks are on John.

Tim Price
XXXX

John McGrathGood night everyone - an improvisational but very worthwhile evening

Lindi CarterCheers, all xxxx

MeThanks, Tim. Thanks all

Tom BeardshawI'll join you Tim - aim low orbit ion cannons.....

Tom Beardshaw
All the best everyone

Carl Morris
thanks Tim... excellent work on the script

Me
(General Tao)

National Theatre Wales
This chat will be closing in 2 minutes. Thanks everyone who has participated.
(22:52 April 27th, 2012)

http://www.meetup.com...­
Wilber W.
WilberWebb
Group Organizer
London, GB
Post #: 4,212


Isn't it the obligation of a soldier to report war crimes when they see it....
3 and a half people had access to the Non top secret documentation released
http://www.jadaliyya....­
http://lawanddisorder...­
http://www.chelseagre...­

"What I believe is simple: Social change comes through principled opposition to the worst excesses."
http://www.nolandgrab...­

Bradley Manning: a show trial of state secrecy
The US government's suppression of all accountability and transparency in prosecuting the WikiLeaks suspect is totalitarian
http://www.guardian.c...­
http://michaelratner....­



On 24 April, a hearing in one of the most important court martial cases in decades will take place in Fort Meade, Maryland. The accused faces life in prison for the 22 charges against him, which include "aiding the enemy" and "transmitting defense information". His status as an alleged high-profile whistleblower and the importance of the issues his case raises should all but guarantee the proceedings a prominent spot in major media, as well as in public debate.

Yet, in spite of the grave implications, not to mention the press and public's first amendment right of full and open access to criminal trials, no outside parties will have access to the evidence, the court documents, court orders or off-the-record arguments that will ultimately decide his fate. Under these circumstances, whatever the outcome of the case, the loser will be the transparency necessary for democratic government, accountable courts and faith in our justice system.

In the two years since his arrest for allegedly leaking the confidential files that exposed grand-scale military misconduct, potential war crimes and questionable diplomatic tactics, army private Bradley Manning has been subjected to an extremely secretive criminal procedure. It is a sad irony that the government's heavy-handed approach to this case only serves to underscore the motivations – some would say, the necessity – for whistleblowing like Manning's in the first place.

The most well-known of the leaked files, a 39-minute video entitled "Collateral Murder", depicts three brutal attacks on civilians by US soldiers during the course of just one day of the Iraq war. The footage, recorded from the cockpit of a US Apache helicopter involved in the attacks, shows the killing of several individuals, including two Reuters journalists, as well as the serious injury of two children. Beyond the chilling images of US soldiers eagerly pleading for chances to shoot, the release of this footage placed a spotlight on the military's blatant mischaracterization of the events, in which a spokesman claimed that there was "no question" that the incident involved engagement with "a hostile force", and underscores the vital role that public scrutiny plays in government accountability.



As an attorney with the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) and a legal adviser to WikiLeaks and Julian Assange, I continue to attend Manning's hearings and can only describe them as a theater of the absurd: the trial involves numerous and lengthy off-the-record conferences, out of sight and hearing of the press and public, after which the judge provides an in-court summary that hardly satisfies standards of "open and public". Perhaps more remarkable is the refusal even to provide the press and public with a pre-trial publicity order, which was signed by the judge – an order that details what lawyers can and cannot reveal about the case. Yes, even the degree to which proceedings should be kept in secret is a secret, leaving the public and media chained in a Plato's Cave, able only to glimpse the shadows of reality.

The press and advocacy groups, however, have not been quiet about the trampling of their rights. The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, on behalf of 46 news organizations, urged the Department of Defense to take measures that would allow the news media to view documents prior to court arguments. The committee pointed out that the trial for the "alleged leak of the largest amount of classified information in US history" is of "intense public interest, particularly where, as here, that person's liberty is at stake". The Center for Constitutional Rights, too, has requested access in the interest of an "open and public" trial, but neither appeal has been answered.

This is a clear violation of the law, but it will likely take burdensome litigation to rectify this lack of transparency. The US supreme court has insisted that criminal trials must be public, and the fourth circuit, where this court martial is occurring, has ruled that the first amendment right of access to criminal trials includes the right to the documents in such trials.

The greater issue at hand is why this process should be necessary at all. As circuit judge Damon Keith famously wrote in Detroit Free Press v Ashcroft, "Democracies die behind closed doors." Yet it is evident from the many layers of secrecy around Manning's arrest, imprisonment and prosecution that the government shows no sign of relinquishing its claimed powers to obscure rightfully transparent judicial proceedings. The doors appear to be tightly shut.

Unless we challenge the growing culture of secrecy within our government, and counter the ever-increasing, reflexive claims of "national security" by claiming our own constitutional rights, we risk finding those doors shut indefinitely.

• This article originally misstated that the pre-trial publicity order was not provided to the defense; in fact, it has not been provided to the press and public. The article was amended at 11am (EST; 4pm UK time) on 25 April 2012.




United States vs. Manning & Assange
Michael Ratner:
Army is trying to pressure Manning into implicating Julian Assange so that he too can be charged and extradited to US
http://therealnews.co...­





Wilber W.
WilberWebb
Group Organizer
London, GB
Post #: 4,213
Afghan Activists Want US Out, No Deal with Taliban
Sonali Kolhatkar: RAWA women do not want any power sharing deal with Taliban but want US out now
http://therealnews.co...­
http://www.presstv.ir...­

Families of Soldiers Call for Investigation into Deaths After Military Hazing
Hearings will take place in Afghanistan, though advocates and the soldier’s family want them to take place within the US
http://therealnews.co...­
Wilber W.
WilberWebb
Group Organizer
London, GB
Post #: 4,214
Coombs Defends Accused 'Wikileaker'
The Providence Journal's Katie Mulvaney profiles Adjunct Professor David Coombs, in an article focusing on the WikiLeaks defender's RWU Law ties.
From the PROVIDENCE JOURNAL: "Local ties for WikiLeaks defense: Adjunct Roger Williams School of Law professor is part of defense team for accused soldier" by Katie Mulvaney
http://law.rwu.edu/st...­

BRISTOL, Dec. 21, 2011 –– A defense lawyer in the case of an Army intelligence analyst accused of leaking a trove of classified military information to Wiki-Leaks website has ties to Rhode Island’s first and only law school.



David E. Coombs, a lawyer who specializes in court-martial defense, taught trial advocacy and evidence as an adjunct professor at the Roger Williams School of Law in 2009 and 2010. His wife, Tanya J. Monestier, too, has been an associate professor at the school of commercial law and class action suits for the past two years.

David A. Logan, dean of the law school, praised Coombs and Monestier Tuesday. Coombs, he said, has been an extremely popular member of the faculty whose “deep expertise in litigation has informed his teaching.” He described Monestier as high-performing.



Most recently, Coombs has appeared in the national media as the oft-quoted lawyer for Bradley Manning, the Army private facing possible court-martial over allegations that he leaked military secrets that were then published on the anti-secret Wikileaks website. The hearing into whether 24-year-old Manning will be court-martialed began last week at an Army post in Maryland. He could face up to life in military prison.

Manning is accused of releasing hundreds of thousands of documents that included Iraq and Afghanistan war logs, confidential diplomatic cables and a classified military video that showed an American helicopter shooting and killing a Reuters news photographer and his driver in 2007.

His lawyers have argued that the troubled Manning should never have had access to classified material and that workplace security was unduly lax.



Coombs has blogged regularly about Manning’s treatment in military prison, charging that Manning was held illegally in solitary confinement and was cruelly forced to stand naked during roll call. The Army found that the commander did not exceed his authority or abuse his discretion when he kept Manning isolated for 23 hours a day in maximum custody.

A lieutenant colonel in the Army Reserves, Coombs came to Roger Williams after years with the Army JAG Corps. As a prosecutor and then a defense lawyer, Coombs worked on cases ranging from murders to fraud in the United States, Italy, Iraq and Kuwait, according to his resumé. He also mentored Iraqi prosecutors and judges as part of a task force aimed at redesigning Iraq’s judicial system.

Today, his Fall River-based private practice focuses on representing Army soldiers facing court-martial or other administrative actions. Coombs could not be reached for comment this week


Wilber W.
WilberWebb
Group Organizer
London, GB
Post #: 4,215
Why the Pentagon Papers matter now
While we go on waging unwinnable wars on false premises, the Pentagon papers tell us we must not wait 40 years for the truth
Daniel Ellsberg
http://www.guardian.c...­



Daniel Ellsberg was in Fort Meade, Md., to support Manning in his court martial. Manning is sometimes compared to Daniel Ellsberg, the former military analyst who turned whistleblower. Mr Ellsburg was physicaly thrown out of the hearing for voicing his support to the militarily isolated young man.

http://www.ellsberg.n...­
http://twitter.com/#!...­
http://inthearena.blo...­
http://www.spartacus....­



Julian Assange's lawyer Jennifer Robinson, left, talks with Pentagon Papers leaker Daniel Ellsberg, centre, outside the courthouse at Bradley Manning's hearing at Fort Meade, Maryland.

Obama Gave Manning “Verdict First, Trial Later.”
http://www.ellsberg.n...­

Truthdigger of the Week: Daniel Ellsberg
http://www.truthdig.c...­
http://www.nytimes.co...­
http://globetrotter.b...­

Anderson: Why is this happening now?

Ellsberg: I’ve asked many people about this, and nobody knows. All presidents have hated leaks and leakers, but they’ve generally concluded that they don’t have a law with which to punish them. Obama is using the Espionage Act with the assumption that it can be read this way. I think he’s assuming that it’s intimidating enough for people to go through this process, that even if they’re vindicated, it’s an intimidating process that’ll deter them. He’s brought five cases. That’s not because there are more leaks now than before, or that he’s the first president to be enraged by them—not because they’re more serious than they used to be. We went through the whole Cold War with the Soviet Union with two cases—mine and one other. What we have is Obama totally violating his promise to run a more transparent government. This is one aspect of that. He is being as opaque and secretive as any administration we’ve ever seen, perhaps more so.

Before Obama there were three such cases. Obama has brought five cases in two years … and he’s investigating whether to bring a sixth one against Julian Assange from WikiLeaks.

So, he is involved in a war against leakers, against whistle-blowers.

Ellsberg speaks to students on legacy
Monday April 2, 2012
BRATTLEBORO -- Famed whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg drew parallels from his experiences dating back to the Vietnam War with the ongoing conflict in Afghanistan during a speech Thursday at Brattleboro Union High School
http://www.reformer.c...­
http://www.agoracosmo...­

"Don't do what I did. Don't wait until the bombs are falling, or the tornado has hit or thousands of people have died before you at least consider doing what I wish I had done as early as ‘64, ‘65 when I had those documents before the war got big," Ellsberg said.

"Go to the press, go to Congress, put it on the net if the press won't take it, that's a real possibility, go to WikiLeaks and put it up, consider it."


Wilber W.
WilberWebb
Group Organizer
London, GB
Post #: 4,216


WikiLeaks looks to bypass US funding ban
http://www.tgdaily.co...­
https://www.eff.org/...­

American supporters of WikiLeaks are planning to establish a foundation that could break a long-standing "banking blockade" effectively banning donations to the the whistle-blowing organization.



Indeed, WikiLeaks had little choice but to suspend most of its publishing operations in October 2011 after US senator Joe Lieberman demanded companies - such as Visa, MasterCard and PayPal - stop processing donations to the website.

Daniel Ellsberg and John Perry Barlow are at the forefront of the blockade busting initiative.

Neither men are strangers to controversy, as Ellsberg leaked the Pentagon Papers to the media way back in 1971, while Barlow, a former lyricist for the Grateful Dead, is the co-founder of the prominent Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF).

"The foundation will aim to support Wikieaks and others, like bloggers, who have been targeted by such blockades," Barlow explained. 



"We hope this will make a moral argument that will change these companies' minds, but it could also be the basis of legal challenges."

As The Guardian's James Ball notes, a US-based foundation would likely be in a "stronger position" to challenge threats to the First Amendment, which ensures the right to free speech and press.

 However, Barlow warned that the power of organizations to stifle free speech in the private sector is growing exponentially.



"We now have organizations with the ability to stifle free expression with no bill of rights that applies to them – just terms of service," he told The Guardian.

 "The EFF have investigated everything we can think of [against this], and all we can find is anti-trust law, and we're not nearly rich enough for that kind of action."



Meanwhile, WikiLeaks issued an official statement confirming that it has kicked off legal against various payment processing companies around the world. 



"Five hundred days have passed since a cartel of the world's largest financial players, Bank of America, Visa, MasterCard, PayPal and Western Union instituted a consolidated, extrajudicial financial blockade against WikiLeaks," it read.

"The financial blockade was imposed at a point at which the public wished to express its support unequivocally through millions of dollars in small donations. The blockade cuts WikiLeaks off from its small donors, the vast majority of our donor base. The financial cartel has so far acted with impunity in an attempt to censor WikiLeaks and curtail our supporters' economic rights."


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Wilber W.
WilberWebb
Group Organizer
London, GB
Post #: 4,217
Americans who tell the truth: bradley manning
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Americans Who Tell the Truth
pfc Bradley Manning
2012 Robert Shetterly

Pfc. Bradley Manning Biography

Whistleblower of Military Misconduct b.1987

"If you had free reign over classified networks and you saw incredible things, awful things… things that belonged in the public domain --- what would you do? God knows what happens now. Hopefully worldwide discussion, debates, and reforms… I want people to see the truth. Because without information, you cannot make informed decisions as a public."

U.S. Army intelligence analyst Bradley Manning had access to classified information that bothered his conscience. When he released it to the online whistleblowing organization WikiLeaks, he was arrested, subjected to treatment widely considered torture, and faces life in prison if found guilty of “aiding the enemy,” the most serious of the 34 charges against him.

Included in the leaked information is a video dubbed “Collateral Murder” that shows U.S. military personnel killing suspected but apparently unarmed insurgents, as well as two Reuters journalists.
Also included are thousands of classified documents detailing American actions around the globe: “Crazy, almost criminal political backdealings...the non-PR-versions of world events and crises...all kinds of stuff, like everything from the buildup to the Iraq War…to what the actual content of ‘aid packages’ is...There’s so much...it affects everybody on earth...Everywhere there's a US post...there's a diplomatic scandal,” wrote Manning in an online chat.



Manning was held for several weeks after his May 2010 arrest without being charged with a crime. Without a trial or conviction, he was placed in “Maximum Custody,” the military’s most restrictive form of detention. Allowed only one hour of free movement per day, Manning was held at a Marine base in Quantico, Virginia, in what amounted to solitary confinement—without a pillow, blanket or clothing at night—for 10 months in 2010/11. He wrote in a letter to his attorney that he was also subjected to humiliating forced nudity for morning inspection and was harassed by his guards. Manning was not fully charged until March of 2011, and court martial proceedings are not expected to begin until the end of the year.

Manning’s treatment at Quantico spurred protest worldwide, including a request by a United Nations torture investigator to meet privately with Manning to determine his condition. The request was denied, but he has been transferred to a military prison in Leavenworth, Kansas, where conditions are less restrictive.
Many, including U.S. Congressman Dennis Kucinich, consider Manning’s solitary confinement a violation of the Eighth Amendment of the Constitution, which forbids cruel and unusual punishment.

Though much of the media coverage of Manning’s act paints him as an unstable misfit, he can perhaps more accurately be seen as an ordinary young man in extraordinary circumstances.
Like many young people, Manning had problems growing up (he was small compared to other guys his age and gay) and faced challenges both inside and outside his home.

He excelled at science fairs, computers, and grade point averages rather than sports. He was teased and bullied in public school and later picked on and assaulted in the Army.

Before joining the military, he’d tried to further his education in community college but had to work several jobs at the same time and wound up dropping out. Manning joined the Army at his father’s urging and intended to use his veteran’s benefits to go to college someday. He wrote in an online chat that he hoped to get a doctorate if he was “smart enough.”

Manning’s closest boyhood friend described him as someone who “loved America.” Before all this happened to him, Manning wrote online: “…Maybe I’m just young, naive, and stupid...[but] I want people to see the truth...regardless of who they are.”

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The Pentagon Papers
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Wilber W.
WilberWebb
Group Organizer
London, GB
Post #: 4,218


History Will Judge Bradley Manning And Laud Him For Telling The Truth
A former career intelligence officer and longtime critic of America's overseas debacles compares Bradley Manning to America's greatest patriots. December 21, 2011
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Bradley Manning’s courage hits a personal nerve in me. At age 28, I had an opportunity to blow the whistle on the lies of the senior U.S. military in Saigon. The evidence was documentary (a SECRET/EYES ONLY cable from Saigon); indeed, it was hard for me to believe the generals would put their deceit so explicitly in writing, but they did.

If independent-minded Web sites, like WikiLeaks or, say, Consortiumnews.com, existed 43 years ago, I might have risen to the occasion and helped save the lives of some 25,000 U.S. soldiers, and a million Vietnamese, by exposing the lies contained in just one SECRET/EYES ONLY cable from Saigon.

Younger readers need to be reminded that, at the time (August 1967) there was no WikiLeaks, but the New York Times was an independent newspaper prone to publishing documentary evidence critical of the government. The Times had not yet gotten into the habit of seeking prior approval from the White House.

Six years older than Bradley Manning was when he summoned the courage to do the right thing — and with college courses in ethics in my moral quiver — I nonetheless, well, quivered.

I blew a unique opportunity to let Americans know that, duty, honor, country be damned, unconscionable corruption at senior levels in Saigon and in Washington had badly misled us on the war and that our GIs and the Vietnamese were being chewed up in a March of Folly.

And that opportunity came months before so many got chewed up in the January-February 1968 Communist countrywide offensive, ushering in the second half of the bloody war in Vietnam. (I discussed this last year, in connection with the WikiLeaks disclosures, in “How the Truth Can Save Lives.”)

Bradley Manning’s courage hits a personal nerve in me. At age 28, I had an opportunity to blow the whistle on the lies of the senior U.S. military in Saigon. The evidence was documentary (a SECRET/EYES ONLY cable from Saigon); indeed, it was hard for me to believe the generals would put their deceit so explicitly in writing, but they did.

Younger readers need to be reminded that, at the time (August 1967) there was no WikiLeaks, but the New York Times was an independent newspaper prone to publishing documentary evidence critical of the government. The Times had not yet gotten into the habit of seeking prior approval from the White House.

Six years older than Bradley Manning was when he summoned the courage to do the right thing — and with college courses in ethics in my moral quiver — I nonetheless, well, quivered.

I blew a unique opportunity to let Americans know that, duty, honor, country be damned, unconscionable corruption at senior levels in Saigon and in Washington had badly misled us on the war and that our GIs and the Vietnamese were being chewed up in a March of Folly.

And that opportunity came months before so many got chewed up in the January-February 1968 Communist countrywide offensive, ushering in the second half of the bloody war in Vietnam. (I discussed this last year, in connection with the WikiLeaks disclosures, in “How the Truth Can Save Lives.”)

Bradley Manning’s courage hits a personal nerve in me. At age 28, I had an opportunity to blow the whistle on the lies of the senior U.S. military in Saigon. The evidence was documentary (a SECRET/EYES ONLY cable from Saigon); indeed, it was hard for me to believe the generals would put their deceit so explicitly in writing, but they did.

Younger readers need to be reminded that, at the time (August 1967) there was no WikiLeaks, but the New York Times was an independent newspaper prone to publishing documentary evidence critical of the government. The Times had not yet gotten into the habit of seeking prior approval from the White House.

Six years older than Bradley Manning was when he summoned the courage to do the right thing — and with college courses in ethics in my moral quiver — I nonetheless, well, quivered.

I blew a unique opportunity to let Americans know that, duty, honor, country be damned, unconscionable corruption at senior levels in Saigon and in Washington had badly misled us on the war and that our GIs and the Vietnamese were being chewed up in a March of Folly.

And that opportunity came months before so many got chewed up in the January-February 1968 Communist countrywide offensive, ushering in the second half of the bloody war in Vietnam. (I discussed this last year, in connection with the WikiLeaks disclosures, in “How the Truth Can Save Lives.”)

When I was asked to speak at last Saturday’s rally at Fort Meade in support of Pvt. Bradley Manning, I wondered how I might provide some context around what Manning is alleged to have done. (In my talk, so as not to think I had to insert the word “alleged” into every sentence, I asked for unanimous consent to using the indicative rather than the subjunctive mood.)

What jumped into my mind was the letter Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. wrote from the Birmingham City jail in April 1963, from which I remembered this:

“Like a boil that can never be cured as long as it is covered up, but must be opened with all its pus-flowing ugliness to the natural medicines of air and light, injustice must likewise be exposed, with all of the tension its exposing creates, to the light of human conscience and the air of national opinion before it can be cured."

I suggested that this is precisely what Bradley Manning did when he saw the need to uncover war crimes like the indiscriminate murder of civilians and torture he witnessed in Baghdad and read about in cables.

What he had become witness to was the inevitable result of aggressive war, which the post-World War II Nuremberg Tribunal called the “supreme international crime,” differing from other war crimes only inasmuch as it contains within itself the “accumulated evil of the whole.” Was he to obey orders to keep his mouth shut? Or was he to follow his conscience and lance this ugly boil of accumulated evil?

What I especially admire in Bradley Manning is this: his ability, at the age of 22, to discern that there can be a hierarchy of sometimes conflicting values, and that from a moral standpoint some values dwarf others in importance.
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