RT: Stupid and criminal’: Lawyer for Bradley Manning speaks out

Published: 05 December, 2012, 20:25

US Army Private Bradley Manning (AFP Photo/Brendan Smialowski)

US Army Private Bradley Manning (AFP Photo/Brendan Smialowski)

The lawyer representing Bradley Manning, the US Army private accused of leaking classified information to the whistleblowing website WikiLeaks, has issued a damning indictment of his client’s “criminal” treatment in solitary confinement.

“Brad’s treatment at Quantico will forever be etched in our nation’s history as a disgraceful moment in time,” Manning’s defense attorney David Combs said in his first-ever public appearance regarding US v. Manning.

“Not only was it stupid and counterproductive – it was criminal,” he continued in his scathing condemnation of the “unlawful pretrial punishment” that PFC Manning was subjected to for nine months while held at the Marine Corps Base in Quantico, Virginia.

Combs first public comments since becoming Manning’s lawyer two years ago were timed to correspond with the conclusion of the Article 13 hearing – a defense motion alleging Manning had endured unlawful pre-trial punishment.

Manning spent the first nine months of his pretrial detention in a 6-by-8 foot cell in solitary confinement, conditions which Combs described as “draconian.”

Under constant surveillance, Manning spent around 23 hours each day confined to his “cage-like” cell, and was denied basic items such as toilet paper and bedclothes.

The strict conditions were a result of Manning’s designation as a “suicide risk,” though the 24-year-old said during a pre-trial hearing late last month that he “didn’t want to die,” he just wanted to “get out of the cage.”

He was later transferred to another detention center in Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, in April 2011.

“As far as his mental state or how he is …I can tell you that he is very excited about having his case go forward and it’s in the process now. It’s been a long time,” Combs explained.

Speaking before a crowd of over 100 behind the pulpit of All Souls Church in Washington, DC, on Monday, Coombs described the case as a vast government machine “standing against me and Brad.”

“I was intimidated, especially when the president of the United States says your client broke the law. Especially when Congress members say your client deserves the death penalty,” he said.

However, Coombs said that he no longer felt daunted by the challenge, thanks to the outpouring of public support for his client, which had also given him “unlimited personnel and resources.”

Coombs also pointed to the fact that Obama had recently signed into law the Whistleblower Protection Enhancement Act, just as the unlawful pre-trial punishment motion began: “How can you reconcile the two? I don’t know the answer to that question.”

The outcome in “the most important military case” in history would resonate at America’s very core, he added. “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.”

Manning, an army private and intelligence analyst, was arrested in May 2010 and is being tried on 16 charges, including aiding the enemy by handing over hundreds of thousands of military reports, US diplomatic cables and videos to WikiLeaks.

If convicted, he could face the death penalty or life in prison.

Due to extensive witness testimony, the ongoing pre-trial motion phase at Fort Meade, Maryland, has been prolonged and will reconvene on Wednesday.

Manning’s court martial is scheduled to commence on February 3, 2013.

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6 Responses to RT: Stupid and criminal’: Lawyer for Bradley Manning speaks out

  1. Nora says:

    OK, so what is his “real” crime if any?

  2. amosouldeer says:

    You’re welcome, Sas our friend !
    The Bradley Manning story provides a metaphor for contemporary humankind.
    That of an innocent, unsuspecting populus that has been set-up and duped into carrying an overloaded can that they have not themselves filled, in the interests of a hidden minority bent (in every sense of the word!) upon diverting the former’s recognition of, their implicit sovereignty.

  3. General post,

    I am a veteran of the Viet Nam era who has held security clearances over the past 40 years at levels ranging from Top Secret to Confidential and “Public Trust.” I know something about classified information and how the Defense Department, the State Department, and any other “Department” for that matter would safe guard CLASSIFIED INFORMATION.

    The Government’s prosecution would have us believe that a 22-year-old private in the United States Army (who had just learned how to use Clearasil on his zits) just copied 7 gigabytes of CLASSIFIED information ranging from military to State Department information, documents, and e-mails to a DVD or CD ROM and waltzed out of the “Intelligence Center” with it on his person later sending it on its way to Julian Assange.

    What a load of bullshit!

    ACCESS TO ALL INTELLIGENCE INFORMATION IN THE UNITED STATES GOVERNMENT IS RESTRICTED BY A SECURITY PROTOCOL DEFINED AS “LIMITED ACCESS OR LEAST PRIVILEGE ACCESS.” IT … IS … A … RIGIDLY … ENFORCED … CONTROL! Yes, brothers and sisters, the infamous “NEED-TO-KNOW” paradigm. The president of the United States of America doesn’t even have that kind of “blanket” access to such information and we’re EXPECTED to believe that a callow youngster like poor Bradley Manning had it?

    I don’t think so!

    I think he was manipulated and I think that he was soft-shoed into grabbing the information. I’ll bet you dollars-to-donuts that he was stroked, framed, and eventually betrayed by a team of asshats who probably think themselves clever, cunning, and SOPHISTICATED for having led a DWEEBE down the primrose path to enable yet … another … false … flag. Will these morons please stop the damned bubble machine! We’re all tired of this now.

    22-year-old Army privates ARE NOT EXPERIENCED INTELLIGENCE ANALYSTS! Forty year veterans with purple hearts, countless hours, days, weeks, months, and years of training and experience under supervised mentored instruction become “INTELLIGENCE ANALYSTS!”

    I’ve been blocked, restricted, forbidden, and barred from access to sensitive information because I did not have S … C … I …! — A SECURITY CLEARANCE WITH THE APPROPRIATE SENSITIVE COMPARTMENTALIZED INFORMATION CLEARANCE! I didn’t have the “NEED TO KNOW!” Even the technicians who maintain the data on a disk drive have to have that kind of clearance and then, the information is broken up into many different domains so that the Intelligence Agency can control access on a “Least Privilege” basis.

    This kid is being RAILROADED and the “powers that were” ought to knock it off before that Karmic wheel comes around and kicks their behinds up underneath their chins! We’re all on to all of you now! The sleeper has awakened!

    Okay … sorry … I had to vent but I’ve been there. I beg your indulgence, brothers and sisters.

    Kind regards,

  4. I hope he gets a fair trial and gets out ooner then Feb.This government must be afraid of something,They keep trying to cover all of thier lies,even if it means punishing a brave person for trying to help clean up the mess.

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