Published on Jul 16, 2012
This is an excellent film about the legal implications of Bradley Manning’s side of the WikiLeaks story, produced by JourneyMan Pictures.
I was lucky enough to attend the opening day of Manning’s trial at Fort Meade last month and I was utterly shocked at the relative gentility and respect afforded to citizens who wished to spectate these legal proceedings by the military’s security detail. Keep in mind that Fort Meade is surrounded by the vast NSA complex. My personal expectations were that we would be summarily brutalized, if we were to be let in, at all. It was quite the contrary.
My fears were based on dozens of personal experiences at US airports in the post-9/11 era. The deportment of the service people in charge of checking in the civilians at Fort Meade *and their cars* (mind you!) really showed up the TSA for the pathetic thugs that they truly are. I am certainly not looking forward to submitting their their hijinks at JFK next week. But I digress…
Like Manning’s lawyer, I feel that Manning’s trial, which resumes on February 4, 2013 “…is by far the most important military case, but it’s a case that is significant for all of us…[because] We live in a country that is built on freedom of speech. We live in a country that is built on government accountability and informed citizens.”
Thanks to the release of the documents in question, American journalists and citizens have a far greater window into the reality of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, Guantanamo Bay, and secret corporate influence on foreign policy and while no specific harm resulted from the release of this information, PFC Manning faces life in military prison, if convicted.
For his part Coombs, who is representing Manning civilly but was a Lieutenant Colonel in the Army Reserves, with 12 years of active duty and 15 years experience practicing and teaching law; he said that Brad is one of the smartest young men he’d ever met, who does things from the heart. Coombs relayed a conversation he had about Bradley’s future goals: ”And he told me that his dream would be to go to college, go into public service, and perhaps one day, run for public office. Coombs asked Brad, why would he want to do that? And he said, ‘I want to make a difference. I want to make a difference in this world.”
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Second only to Julian Assange, Bradley Manning is the most important figure in the Wikileaks controversy; he is alleged to have handed over hundreds of thousands of secret US war files and diplomatic cables. But, while the world watches Assange’s trial with baited breath, Manning is already wasting away in solitary confinement; this is the story of his daring intelligence heist. We hear the only recording of Bradley Manning’s voice and we listen to the logs of alleged conversations with the man who ultimately betrayed him. Brought to you by Journeyman.