If a federal judge doesn’t sentence him to life in prison, Pfc. Bradley Manning, the former Army intelligence analyst accused of handing hundreds of thousands of diplomatic cables to the whistle-blowing website WikiLeaks, may want to run for public office.

Through his lawyer David Coombs, Manning has said he may be willing to plead guilty to a set of charges that would put him in jail for up to 16 years. The charges the government is pursuing could land him in prison for life.

In a rare public speech outside Manning’s courtroom this week, Coombs condemned the soldier’s conditions in solitary confinement, saying “Brad’s treatment at Quantico will forever be etched into our nation’s history as a disgraceful moment in time.”

“Not only was it stupid and counterproductive, it was criminal,” he continued. “An entire group of individuals, who I have no doubt were honorable, chose to turn a blind eye to how he was being treated. … They cared about something more: the media impact.”

— Posted by Alexander Reed Kelly.

The Guardian:

Coombs made his criticism in his first and what will probably his only speech in a civilian setting since he became Manning’s lawyer two years ago. He explained to the audience that he has consciously avoided all public engagements and interviews with the press partly on Manning’s instructions and partly because the soldier “deserved an attorney entirely focused on the courtroom”.

… The comments on Quantico are all the more poignant because the Article 13 hearing – a defence motion alleging unlawful pre-trial punishment of the WikiLeaks suspect – is still ongoing at the court martial in Fort Meade Maryland. Coombs had timed Monday night’s speech to mark the end of the hearing and the transition from the motion phase to the trial phase of the proceedings, but there has been such lengthy witness testimony, including two days in the stand by Manning, that it has been extended and will reconvene on Wednesday.

Read more

Your support matters…

Independent journalism is under threat and overshadowed by heavily funded mainstream media.

You can help level the playing field. Become a member.

Your tax-deductible contribution keeps us digging beneath the headlines to give you thought-provoking, investigative reporting and analysis that unearths what's really happening- without compromise.

Give today to support our courageous, independent journalists.