Mar. 24, 2012, 5:48 AM
Manning has been in confinement for 664 days. His trial will most likely take place this summer.
A coalition of news organizations and the lawyer of Julian Assange have each written a letter to the U.S. Government requesting that documents pertaining to Bradley Manning’s court-martial trial be made public, Courthouse News Service reports.
Documents and information filed in the Manning case are not available to the public anywhere and there has been no prior notice of issues to be litigated in the case, raising serious First Amendment concerns.
Manning, 24, has been held in pretrial detention since May 2010 on suspicion that he sent WikiLeaks hundreds of thousands of files that included global diplomatic cables, incident reports from the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, and footage of a July 12, 2007, Baghdad air strike that killed 11 people (including two Reuters journalists).
He is charged with charged with 22 counts, including aiding the enemy.
Manning stepped into a court for the first time last December in Fort Meade, Md., in an Article 32 hearing (i.e. the military equivalent of a grand jury). On February 23 he deferred a plea in a military court arraignment, marking the first step in the court-martial that could land him in prison for life.
The government has not released motions, rulings and transcripts of any of the proceedings.
The coalition of 40 news organizations sent a letter with the subject line “Re: Access to records in the court-martial of Pfc. Bradley Manning” to Pentagon lawyer Jeh Johnson that raised the concerns:
Supreme Court and the nation’s highest military courts have said the American press and public have a First Amendment right of access to criminal proceedings. But by refusing to provide reasonable and proper notice of such proceedings and the nature of the documents filed in connection therewith, the military justice system has severely undercut this foundational tenet of American democracy.
Click Here to continue reading.
- RT: Bradley Manning treatment cruel, inhuman – UN special rapporteur (jhaines6.wordpress.com)
- Bradley Manning Prosecution Incurably Infected by Government Misconduct (the2012scenario.com)
- Bradley Manning: Fait Accompli (wmmbb.wordpress.com)