U.S. military shutting down public access to trial of Bradley Manning

| December 22, 2011 | 1 Reply

If the U.S. military authorities were proud of the way they were conducting the trial of Bradley Manning, they would give easy and wide-open public access to the proceedings. They are doing the opposite, as reported by Rainey Reitman at The Nation:

Unfortunately, the military is taking steps to block access by the media and the public to portions of the trial, robbing the world of details of this critically important trial. The details of Bradley Manning’s prosecution aren’t making their way into the public domain in large part because there is no full transcript being made public. During a recess from the hearing, I questioned a Public Affairs Officer who refused to provide his name about when a transcript would be made available. He said that it would likely be three to four months before any transcript would be available to the public—long after the media interest had faded . . . The government has denied any recording devices, audio or video, to be in the media center or the courtroom . . . When Nathan Fuller applied for a press pass to attend the hearing and take notes from the media center, his request was granted—and then rescinded. Among other things, Fuller is an intern with the Bradley Manning Support Network . . .

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Category: Orwellian, Secrecy, Whistle-blowers

About the Author ()

Erich Vieth is an attorney focusing on consumer law litigation and appellate practice. He is also a working musician and a writer, having founded Dangerous Intersection in 2006. Erich lives in the Shaw Neighborhood of St. Louis, Missouri, where he lives half-time with his two extraordinary daughters.

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  1. Erich Vieth says:

    Glenn Greenwald points out that Bradley Manning has been accused of doing something very much like what Daniel Ellsberg did, or even less serious of a secrecy breach than Ellsberg:

    Manning’s harshest critics have contended that while Ellsberg’s leak was justifiable and noble, Manning’s alleged leaks were not; that’s because, they claim, Ellsberg’s leak was narrowly focused and devoted to exposing specific government lies, while Manning’s was indiscriminate and a far more serious breach of secrecy. When President Obama declared Manning guilty, he made the same claim: “No it wasn’t the same thing. Ellsberg’s material wasn’t classified in the same way.”

    One problem for those wishing to make this claim is that Ellsberg himself has been one of Manning’s most vocal defenders, repeatedly insisting that the two leaks are largely indistinguishable. But the bigger problem for this claim is how blatantly irrational it is. As Ellsberg clearly details in this Al Jazeera debate, he — Ellsberg — dumped 7,000 pages of Top Secret documents: the highest known level of classification; by contrast, not a single page of what Manning is alleged to have leaked was Top Secret, but rather all bore a much lower-level secrecy designation. In that sense, Obama was right: “Ellsberg’s material wasn’t classified in the same way” — the secrets Ellsberg leaked were classified as being far more sensitive.

    http://www.salon.com/writer/glenn_greenwald/

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