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Ear to the Ground

Bradley Manning’s Pretrial Hearing Begins

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Posted on Dec 16, 2011
AP via YouTube

Supporters of Pvt. Bradley Manning gather near the Fort Meade, Md., courtroom where his pretrial hearing began Friday.

Friday marked the first day of Pvt. Bradley Manning’s hearing at Fort Meade, Md., and it wasn’t without some courtroom commotion. Lawyer David Coombs, who is representing the accused WikiLeaks informer, came out swinging by requesting that the investigating officer in charge of Manning’s case recuse himself. Meanwhile, supporters gathered outside the military court to signal their loyalties to the 23-year-old detainee.  —KA

BBC:

Defence lawyer David Coombs said Lt Col Paul Almanza, a former military judge, was “biased”.

Lt Col Almanza is a former military judge who now works for the Department of Justice. His refusal to accept all but two of 38 defence witnesses meant the defence could not adequately make their case, Mr Coombs said.

Following two recesses and arguments by the prosecution and the defence, the investigating officer refused to recuse himself and the hearing continued.

Proceedings are expected to last around five days, after which recommendations will be made to a military general, who will decide whether to proceed to a full trial, according to Mr Coombs.

The BBC’s Paul Adams says the soldier’s defence team is likely to argue that little harm came of the leaks, and that their release was in the greater public interest.

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PatrickHenry's avatar

By PatrickHenry, December 21, 2011 at 6:05 am Link to this comment

IMax,

Manning disclosing this information to the public which he serves makes him the hero.

For Mannning to disclose this or any other information to a specific nation would have made him a traitor in my eyes.

Systems which handle classified material typically have safeguards in place overseen by a Security Manager and his subordinates.  They either turned a blind eye that day or or were derelict in their duties.

When handling truely classified material there are protocols in place to where a PFC can’t get access to copies, in fact there are no PFC’s in the chain.

Certainly Manning shares responsibility for violating standing orders regarding the release and disclosure of classified information, but considering that that information brought to light was information hidden on frendly fire incidents, information that has no business being classified, his sentence should be reduced and he should be set free.

Report this
IMax's avatar

By IMax, December 20, 2011 at 8:36 pm Link to this comment

Manning’s defense attorneys are attempting to portray him as an emotionally troubled young man whose behavioral problems should have prompted
his superiors to revoke his access to classified information.

Not a positive sign for Manning.

Report this
IMax's avatar

By IMax, December 20, 2011 at 6:38 am Link to this comment

Common sense:

A private in the armed forces does not, and should not, posses the right to decide which state secrets may be released to other states. Those who argue otherwise have an agenda.

A solid argument can be made that the U.S. Government classifies far too much information, however, that is not the issue. Manning is charged with countermanding protocols designed to prevent corruption, sabotage and espionage. - One of the charges leveled against Manning is that he knowingly exceeding his authorized access to a secret IP router network computer. Doing that, for whatever reason, is obviously against the law.

-

PatrickHenry,

If PFC Manning had done everything in the same manner, but had given protected information only to Israel, would you be making the same argument? Would Manning be a hero in your eyes?

Report this

By heterochromatic, December 19, 2011 at 5:45 pm Link to this comment

objective observer——executed????? that’s not going
to happen.

Major Hasan would be eligible for a death sentence, not
Manning.


whatever are you thinking?

Report this

By heterochromatic, December 19, 2011 at 5:26 pm Link to this comment

ardeee~~~~ the question of harm is sure to be important
to some of the charges and the sentencing, should
Manning not make a deal….

Report this

By ardee, December 19, 2011 at 5:14 pm Link to this comment

heterochromatic, December 19 at 6:35 am Link to this comment

ardee~~~ how much of what was leaked was read by Manning?

An excellent question but not really relevant to the point I made earlier. I do know that every single one was vetted and re-vetted prior to publication by any newspaper. The Guardian refuse to publish without a complete investigation into the question of harming an individual. In fact it handed off many of the documents to be checked by the Times among others as it couldn’t vet them all.

In supporting the opinions of those polled by the Marists you blatantly put political ideology before accurate discussion of the facts. As you usually do I must note. It will be rather revealing, as the trial gets under way, what harm was done by Manning and Wikileaks according to the prosecution.I’ve actually heard of none.

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PatrickHenry's avatar

By PatrickHenry, December 19, 2011 at 5:04 pm Link to this comment

unobjective observer,

Fortunately most of Americans are not drones as your post would have them.

I personally know of a couple of Marines who defied orders and at risk of their own lives and rescued others. They were given medals but no rank, you have to kiss butt to get rank and defying orders does not get you that, it demonstrates that you are a free thinker and the military will curtail that.

Manning did not sell secrets to a foreign power for money, he disclosed them to the public for free, enlightening those of us who pay the bills to the acts being done in our name and I for one am grateful that he did.

So take your unobjective “honor” and stick it where the sun don’t shine, you have no idea what word means.

Report this

By objective observer, December 19, 2011 at 2:05 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

blueokie, berniem, et al:

i find it hard to believe troubled PFC would have access to the documents released, but if he is found guilty, he should be hung for treason.  he took an oath, wore the uniform and had no problem collecting the pay and benefits that the oath and uniform provided.  if he had a problem with warfare, he should have declared his homosexuality and been discharged.  he is truly without honor.  those of you who call him a “hero” are without honor.  in fact the lot of you are cowards.

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By heterochromatic, December 19, 2011 at 7:35 am Link to this comment

ardee~~~ how much of what was leaked was read by Manning?

Report this

By heterochromatic, December 19, 2011 at 7:34 am Link to this comment

PatH~~  you didn’t read correctly. It didn’t say that the sample was mostly older
Republicans.

Try re-reading.

Maybe you’ll understand it the second time.


And then perhaps you’ll try to learn the difference in sampling technique
between a reputable and professional survey….and the sort of stuff to which
you were linking.

This isn’t a pissing contest, Pat and when you put up links purporting to be
reflective of the view of the American public, try to draw from something
soundly based.

Report this

By ardee, December 19, 2011 at 4:12 am Link to this comment

heterochromatic, December 18 at 4:19 pm Link to this comment

According to a telephone survey of 1,029 US residents age 18 and older, conducted by the Marist Institute for Public Opinion in December 2010, 70% of American
respondents – particularly Republicans and older people – think the leaks are doing more harm than good by allowing enemies of the United States government to see confidential and secret information about U.S. foreign policy.

Thanks ever so much for the early Monday morning laugh….How many of these puffed up repugs actually read anything of what was leaked I wonder? Darn few I’d wager.

Am I the only poster here who sees a growing similarity in the posts of the multicolored propagandist and a certain GRYM? Maybe.

Links anyone?

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PatrickHenry's avatar

By PatrickHenry, December 19, 2011 at 3:54 am Link to this comment

hetero,

When citing Wikpedia include the entire link so the entire comment can be viewed and its source identified.

A Marist poll targeting mostly older Republicans…...how objective.

For such a major news item I am suprised on the obvious lack of public polls surrounding Manning and what the public thinks should be done with him.

The comments to the polls do have troll comments much like here.

Report this

By heterochromatic, December 18, 2011 at 6:17 pm Link to this comment

gerard~~~ the treatment of Manning since his arrest has
been deplorable, The arrest itself is absolutely fair
and his likely conviction, given the overwhelming
evidence, is hard to dispute.

life must be tough for you if you expect justice from
any set of men…all we have to offer is law.

Manning broke it.

Report this

By heterochromatic, December 18, 2011 at 5:23 pm Link to this comment

PatH~~~~ you sent three links, one to an Australian
paper~~~

and two are just people self-selected ...hardly a
valid method….


and even then most of the people in the last link
want Manning to be imprisoned or executed.

did you actually read and understand the stuff before
you sent it?

Report this

By heterochromatic, December 18, 2011 at 5:19 pm Link to this comment

According to a telephone survey of 1,029 US residents
age 18 and older, conducted by the Marist Institute
for Public Opinion in December 2010, 70% of American
respondents – particularly Republicans and older
people – think the leaks are doing more harm than
good by allowing enemies of the United States
government to see confidential and secret information
about U.S. foreign policy. Approximately 22% –
especially young liberals – think the leaks are doing
more good than harm by making the U.S. government
more transparent and accountable. A majority of 59%
also want to see the people behind WikiLeaks
prosecuted, while 31% said the publication of secrets
is protected under the First Amendment guarantee of a
free press.[83]

Report this

By gerard, December 18, 2011 at 2:17 pm Link to this comment

“—takes itself seriously” = acts legally and with equal judiciousness in all cases at all times regardless of race, creed, color or particular circumstance.

“—takes itself too seriously” = acts illegally and with injudicious (extra-legal or unconstititional) behavior toward persons it feels threaten its authority, and brings the full weight of unfair imprisonment, punishment before conviction, and military trial procedures to bear without consideration of a fair appraisal of all the facts in the case.Etc.

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By heterochromatic, December 18, 2011 at 10:38 am Link to this comment

Most definitely Pat….minority.    you’re giving me a poll form the UK in which
only a tiny number of motivated people are represented .  ... that don’t really
represent much about how the citizens here see Manning.


(and he still only got a minority of the vote)

Report this
PatrickHenry's avatar

By PatrickHenry, December 18, 2011 at 10:00 am Link to this comment

hetero,

Minority?

Yes those pesky polls and what others who vote governments in and out, think.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/news/blog/2011/oct/06/bradley-manning-reader-poll-nobel-peace-prize

If the U.S. sentences him to any significant time other that that served, Manning will join the ranks of Mandela.

Report this
sallysense's avatar

By sallysense, December 18, 2011 at 9:44 am Link to this comment

(once more from my original comment…

hence for short attention spans)...

http://bradleymanning.org

(again… and last time here)...

(you may enjoy spotlighting divergent excuses like big shots do…
one convenient hiding zone so deceit won’t need to change…
illusive distraction goes nowhere but that’s all they know…
and don’t look for me to join in for more of the same)...

Report this

By heterochromatic, December 18, 2011 at 9:17 am Link to this comment

Dear sallysence~~~~~hiya heterochromatic…

how quickly the army field manual…

and remedies and reprisals…

and crimes under international law…

disappear as the subject at hand…~~~~

————

I would be happy to focus on those things….please show how Manning’s actions
in releasing a couple of hundred thousand diplomatic documents are pertinent
to those subjects.

kinda easy to allege a bunch of stuff, sally, but doing the actual reading and
proving that there’s linkage is more difficult.

I expect that you won’t be joining in doing that.
you’re more interested in tit for tat
calling someone you don’t know some kind o’ fat cat
and really, sally, there ain’t no sense in that

Report this

By heterochromatic, December 18, 2011 at 9:09 am Link to this comment

Pat~~~ I completely respect that you have every right to serve on the jury of public
opinion and when it comes time to poll that jury you have every right to cast one
of the few minority votes for “not guilty”.

I wish that young Manning had consulted that jury before foolishly deciding that
he should supplant the will of the majority and act immorally ...

I join you in thinking that he meant well, and can only repeat that his actions
didn’t match good intentions.

Report this
sallysense's avatar

By sallysense, December 18, 2011 at 8:43 am Link to this comment

hiya heterochromatic…

how quickly the army field manual…

and remedies and reprisals…

and crimes under international law…

disappear as the subject at hand…

hence lest misdirection leads one to forget…

once again for that short attention span…

you can invite any idea under the sun to ride through your skies of imply…
and as you do current misbehaviors keep bleeding constitutionality dry…
they do this all the time in government and see how much gets done…
what’s your conscience tell your own self about the bottom line?...
you may enjoy spotlighting divergent excuses like big shots do…
one convenient hiding zone so deceit won’t need to change…
illusive distraction goes nowhere but that’s all they know…
and don’t look for me to join in for more of the same…

Report this
PatrickHenry's avatar

By PatrickHenry, December 18, 2011 at 6:48 am Link to this comment

hetero,

I do serve on a jury watching the Manning case, the jury of public opinion.

There is crime and there is punishment and in many American eyes Manning deserves little punishment for his alleged crimes against the people who he informed.

My enlistment{s} ended over 30 years ago.

Report this

By heterochromatic, December 17, 2011 at 11:51 pm Link to this comment

Blue,

Libby is a convicted felon and the despicable
“outing” of Plume wasn’t any worse than Manning’s
crimes.

I loathe every molecule of Dick Cheney and all of his
“boys” and do not feel that Manning is an evil person
as are they.

Manning belongs in prison or in a psych unit.

He was wrong.

Report this

By heterochromatic, December 17, 2011 at 11:41 pm Link to this comment

PatH~~~~ government doesn’t derive it authority from
the consent of a single unstable teenager, Pat.

It
s not up to some kid to decide that there are no
secrets allowed….and that he can steal the documents
and without ever knowing what the hell was in them,
decide that he knows better than the grown-ups.

and Pat, if you want to be on the “jury” for this,
hurry up and enlist.

Report this
Blueokie's avatar

By Blueokie, December 17, 2011 at 9:27 pm Link to this comment

Manning’s mistake was exposing the conspiracies and war crimes of the Empire. Had he done something truly “patriotic”, like say outing an undercover C.I.A. agent working on stopping nuclear proliferation, as revenge for their spouse not cooperating in the propaganda effort of an unprovoked and unsuccessful war, he
would have had 2/3 of the government and plutocratic pundits bemoaning his prosecution as being “political” and gotten a walk.  But then he was just a soldier, and not a Vice President.

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PatrickHenry's avatar

By PatrickHenry, December 17, 2011 at 8:52 pm Link to this comment

hetero,

and I want a government that takes itself seriously enough to be outraged when some 19 year old kid decides that he can substitute his judgment for that of a government of 300 million people.

Remember that governments “derived their just powers” by and from “the consent of the governed.”

The people have now had a good taste of what our government has been keeping from us by the select release of ‘classified’ documents which in reality had very little intelligence value.

Like I said I would like to sit on the jury for this, Manning would go free.

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By heterochromatic, December 17, 2011 at 8:29 pm Link to this comment

gerard~~~ that a government takes itself seriously is
mete….and Manning didn’t offer criticism and he’s
not getting punished for offering criticism.

There’s no justification for dumping the enormous
bulk of it without even knowing what was in it….

and I want a government that takes itself seriously
enough to be outraged when some 19 year old kid
decides that he can substitute his judgment for that
of a government of 300 million people.

exposing something clearly wrong is one thing,
deciding to empty out any and every thing is a whole
other ball of wax.

Report this

By gerard, December 17, 2011 at 6:47 pm Link to this comment

heterochromatic:  Any linkage is in the attitude and behavior of a government that takes itself far too seriously and responds to criticisms with more vengeance than common sense.

Report this

By heterochromatic, December 17, 2011 at 4:04 pm Link to this comment

IMax, more than merely worry over the concentration of
wealth, OWS also questions whether the average citizen
has unwisely ceded or unfairly been stripped of
citizenship rights.

Report this
IMax's avatar

By IMax, December 17, 2011 at 3:46 pm Link to this comment

gerard,

Now Bradley Manning too is an OWS issue?

OWS is a product of economic uncertainty in the minds of Americans. - Jobs, housing, banking. We should take care in how we assign our own
issues and passions to these demonstrations.

Report this

By heterochromatic, December 17, 2011 at 3:44 pm Link to this comment

Dear sallysense,

do you have any idea how many thousand documents
Manning appropriated and released?

And how many of them haven’t anything to do with war
crimes?

Report this
sallysense's avatar

By sallysense, December 17, 2011 at 11:48 am Link to this comment

(don’t war crimes do…
to those who use them…
an injurious service too?)...

~~~

from the Army Field Manual THE LAW OF LAND WARFARE (INCL C-1):

Section I. REMEDIES AND REPRISALS

495. Remedies of Injured Belligerent

In the event of violation of the law of war, the injured party may legally resort to remedial action of the following types:

a. Publication of the facts, with a view to influencing public opinion against the offending belligerent.

~~~

((whether it knows it or not… any country that commits war crimes… not only hurts another… it hurts its own self too))...

~~~

from the Army Field Manual THE LAW OF LAND WARFARE (INCL C-1):

Section II. CRIMES UNDER INTERNATIONAL LAW

499. War Crimes

The term “war crime” is the technical expression for a violation of the law of war by any person or persons, military or civilian. Every violation of the law of war is a war crime.

500. Conspiracy, Incitement, Attempts, and Complicity

Conspiracy, direct incitement, and attempts to commit, as well as complicity in the commission of, crimes against peace, crimes against humanity, and war crimes are punishable.

~~~

when a nation that’s bound by fair play…
gets turned around into war crimes…
its survival of decent principles…
needs truth being admissible!...

http://bradleymanning.org

Report this

By gerard, December 17, 2011 at 11:20 am Link to this comment

It has become crystal clear that we have both a government in disarray and an economic system that is dysfunctional, yet neither is operated by people who are capable of admitting mistakes and self-correcting. Is that inability caused by stupidity or fear, or both? 
  The State Department cables release, treated as whistle-blowing, was an excellent opportunity for the government to welcome needed changes. Punishing the messengers and the Internet is entirely counter-productive.
  The reasons for the rise of an Occupy Movement are logical, even inevitable, and clubbing young people over the head and shooting poison gases into their faces is entirely reactionary, and more than a little hysterical.
  An ardent hope for 2012 would be for both of these top-heavy agencies to admit that they are not infallible, and to voluntarily correct their excesses and their destructive methods of operation.

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prisnersdilema's avatar

By prisnersdilema, December 17, 2011 at 9:55 am Link to this comment

Mr.Mannings mistreatment after arrest is a violation of military law and the military code
of ethics. Those violations discredit the entire process of his trial, and provide direct
evidence that his arrest and continued detention are unlawful.

The continued classification of any classified military information at this time serves
only to protect the military from the discovery by the public that the military itself is
operating outside of the law. The designation of information as classified is extremely
broad and in and of itself discourages oversight by the public, in such a way as to
render itself meaningless. It has created a vast and largely secret enterprise functioning
outside of constitutional controls, fed by a black budget projects that represent the major
share of the military budget.

This has created a de facto secret government, that is inimitable to the interests of
freedom and the people of the United States.

Our only choice, to ensure our survival as a free country,  is to declassify and make
public every shred of classified information, or be consumed by paranoia, and lies.

Report this

By Jim Yell, December 17, 2011 at 7:33 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Bradley Manning did not commit treason, however our Right Wing and Corporate bought Government does treason every day of the year.

Bradley Manning did not harm the country, our government and the Right Wing hurts the country all the time.

Report this
PatrickHenry's avatar

By PatrickHenry, December 17, 2011 at 7:12 am Link to this comment

There is a challanging process which one can protest the classification of material which may be used to hide damaging information or crimes committed instead of the means and methods of obtaining the information the secrecy classification system was originally designed to protect.  With the spiraling increase of classified material I suspect this challanging process is being stifled and certainly a career ender.

From much of the information I have seen released Bradley Manning did disclose much information which did not meet the critera of State secret which could pose a grave, serious or unknown threat to the security of the United States. 

Most of the classified items which Manning disclosed were crimes and fuck ups by the Military and gossip by the State Department.

A 19 year old PFC causing such an uproar really makes me laugh when others like Lt. Col North caused much more direct harm against this nation and walked.

I just wished I served on that jury.

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IMax's avatar

By IMax, December 17, 2011 at 6:33 am Link to this comment

If memory serves PFC. Manning has
admitted to stealing and disseminating
classified and/or protected information.

It seems unlikely that Manning
understood the full scale of the information he’d
stolen and released.

Question: Would Mr. Manning be heralded a hero if
he had released the names, birth-dates,
and social security numbers of 500,000
Americans?

Report this

By ardee, December 17, 2011 at 6:06 am Link to this comment

Manning is guilty of the charges against him, certainly that is not an unreasonable statement.
Yet Bradley Manning is a hero.

“He that would make his own liberty secure must guard even his enemy from oppression; for if he violates this duty he establishes a precedent that will reach to himself.”
Thomas Paine

“I do not believe in a fate that falls on men however they act. But I do believe in a fate that falls on men unless they act.”
G.K. Chesterton

Report this

By heterochromatic, December 16, 2011 at 7:28 pm Link to this comment

gerard~~~~ I’m not sure what you mean by what I
claim.

I claim that he doesn’t have any chance if he argues
that he didn’t appropriate the proprietary
information and pass it to unauthorized person(s).
If you mean that claim, then yeah, there’s plenty of
evidence and it will be produced.

If you mean my claim about the defense strategy and
the claim that the witnesses were excluded as not
having testimony pertinent to the charges, then I’ve
no evidence and offered nothing but opinion.

Report this

By gerard, December 16, 2011 at 7:00 pm Link to this comment

heterochromatic:  Any evidence for what you claim? Sounds more like guilty before being proven so—and disallow any evidence to the contrary, doesn’t it?

Report this

By heterochromatic, December 16, 2011 at 6:27 pm Link to this comment

gerard, if Manning wants to call all sorts of people
who have no direct connection to the case, such as
President Clinton, Obama, Mullah Omar of the Taliban,
Karzai of Afghanistan, General Petraeus…and any
other such folks they may be rejected.

As Manning is certain to be found guilty of leaking
the documents, Manning’s lawyer’s only hope is to
challenge the entire system of classifying documents
and insisting that all the 700,000 different docs
that Manning took for his own use were not within the
authority of the Federal govt to withhold.

Likely his witness list focused on that contention,
rather than whether or not Manning swiped them.

The strategy for Manning is to atatck the govt and
put the govt on trial.

and the trial judge likely ruled that witnesses not
going to testify about whether Manning committed the
offenses charged….disallowed them.

And so… Manning’s attorney is moving to attack the
disallowal. there isn’t another option for Mannings
defense.

Report this

By heterochromatic, December 16, 2011 at 5:48 pm Link to this comment

Cheney on trial suits me well, but Manning is no
fucking hero and belongs on trial.

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By gerard, December 16, 2011 at 5:47 pm Link to this comment

If someone here knows, please explain the significance of the judge rejecting 36 out of 38 witnesses for the defense?  And is this unusual?
And does it have any special significance in a military, not a civilian, trial? It would be helpful to have some of the fundamental points clarified.

Report this

By no name, December 16, 2011 at 5:21 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Criminals running things and putting honest and moral people to death or in indefinite or lifetime confinement is as old as civilization itself. Why are we so surprised it is happening here?

Report this

By berniem, December 16, 2011 at 3:15 pm Link to this comment

A travesty of justice even before it begins! Why aren’t bush, cheney, and, yes, obama in the dock instead of this TRUE AMERICAN HERO!!!!!

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