Court secrecy dominates one of the biggest government leak trials in history.

May 29, 2012 | By | Reply More

Bradley Manning will be tried by the U.S. government, and there will not be open media access to the proceedings. This might suggest to a reasonable person that the U.S. government has something to hide. That’s what the U.S. government would say about some other country that is not giving the media easy access to the proceedings. Kevin Gosztola of FDL explains:

A challenge against secrecy in court martial proceedings for Pfc. Bradley Manning, who is accused of releasing classified information to WikiLeaks, was filed in the Army Court of Criminal Appeals (ACCA) on Thursday. The challenge—a petition for extraordinary relief—is being submitted to order the judge to grant the press and the public access to court filings, such as government motions, court orders and transcripts of proceedings. . . .

While I have concerns about the constitutional implications posed by a government intent to convict Manning in secret, I find that my experience as a credentialed media reporter, who has been attending Manning’s legal proceedings since December of last year, gives me the authority and obligation to oppose the ridiculousness that is the judge’s decision to dismiss concerns from the press about lack of access to court filings. And so, I support this challenge as a member of the press whose job has been complicated unnecessarily by the government’s penchant for secrecy in the Manning proceedings. . . .

Secrecy makes it likely Manning’s trial will be improper and unfair. As a soldier who is accused of one of the biggest leaks or security breaches in history, Manning deserves a trial that is much more open.

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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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