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Bradley Manning's Full Court Statement Released: AUDIO

Wikileaks soldier Bradley Manning's 1 hr and 7 minute speech to a military court was leaked by the Freedom of the Press Foundation today and posted as a Soundcloud file by Buzzfeed, along with an edited clip of Manning describing a 2007 video he gave to Wikileaks and the reasons he did so.

ManningSays Manning in the latter clip:

"At first I did not consider the video very special, as I have viewed countless other war porn type videos depicting combat. However, the recording of audio comments by the aerial weapons team crew and the second engagement in the video of an unarmed bongo truck troubled me ...

It was clear to me that the event happened because the aerial weapons team mistakenly identified Reuters employees as a potential threat and that the people in the bongo truck were merely attempting to assist the wounded. The people in the van were not a threat but merely "good samaritans." The most alarming aspect of the video to me, however, was the seemly delightful bloodlust they appeared to have."

Watch and listen to the above-referenced clips, AFTER THE JUMP...

Writes Glenn Greenwald:

The Freedom of the Press Foundation (FPF), the group I recently helped found and on whose board I sit, has received a full, unedited audio recording of the one-hour statement Manning made in court two weeks ago, and this morning has published that recording in full. In that statement, Manning details at length what he did and, more important, the reasons he chose to do it. I'm personally unaware of who made the recording and am not aware of how it was made, but its authenticity has been verified. Last week, the superb independent journalist Alexa O'Brien, who has covered the proceedings from start to finish, created the best transcript she could of Manning's statement, which was published, among other places, in the Guardian. But this audio recording provides the first opportunity to hear Manning, in his own voice, explain his actions; that, presumably, is why whoever recorded Manning's statement risked violating the court-martial rules to do so.

The unofficial transcript is also posted here.

Continue reading "Bradley Manning's Full Court Statement Released: AUDIO" »


Judge Awards Wikileaks Soldier Bradley Manning Sentencing Credit, Deems Pretrial Conditions 'Excessive'

The judge in the trial of Wikileaks soldier Bradley Manning, who faces 22 counts including aiding the enemy for his role in the release of classified information, awarded him nearly four months of credit off any sentence he might receive because of the way he has been treated in confinement, the AP reports:

ManningCol. Denise Lind made the ruling during a pretrial hearing at Fort Meade for Pfc. Bradley Manning. Lind found that Manning suffered illegal pretrial punishment during nine months in a Marine Corps brig in Quantico, Va. She awarded a total of 112 days off any prison sentence Manning gets if he is convicted.

Manning was confined to a windowless cell 23 hours a day, sometimes with no clothing. Brig officials say it was to keep him from hurting himself or others.

The judge said that Manning's confinement was "more rigorous than necessary." She added that the conditions "became excessive in relation to legitimate government interests."

Manning's trial begins on March 6.


Judge Accepts Language Of Bradley Manning's Proposed Plea

ManningCol. Denise Lind, the military judge presiding over Bradley Manning's Wikileaks pre-trial, this morning accepted the language of the six charges to which Manning plans to plead guilty.

These pleas have not formally been accepted, but here's a breakdown:

Under the proposal, Manning would admit to willfully sending the following material: a battlefield video file, some classified memos, more than 20 Iraq war logs, more than 20 Afghanistan war logs and other classified materials. He would also plead guilty to wrongfully storing classified information.

The government is still considering how to move forward on the 15 other charges against Manning, including aiding the enemy by revealing classified information.


Former Marine Base Commander Testifies He was Worried About Handling of Bradley Manning

Pre-trial hearings have begun in the case of Wikileaks soldier Bradley Manning, with the questioning of the former commander of Quantico marine base in Virginia, the Guardian reports:

ManningDaniel Choike told a pre-trial hearing in Fort Meade, Maryland, that when Manning arrived at the brig on 29 July 2010, having been arrested in Iraq on suspicion of being the source of the massive WikiLeaks dump of state secrets, he informed his superior officer in the Pentagon that in his opinion Quantico was not the right place for the soldier should his detention last long.

"I didn't feel that PFC Manning should be detained more than 90 days in the brig," he said.

In the end, Manning spent nine months at Quantico – three times the maximum Choike thought appropriate. The soldier's treatment there prompted international protests from the UN, Amnesty International and other organisations that likened it to torture.

Choike's admission that he had been aware of problems relating to Manning's incarceration at the Quantico brig came on Tuesday, at the end of an intense first day in the latest pre-trial hearing in the soldier's court martial...

...After about seven hours of questioning, Choike told the judge presiding over the court martial, Colonel Denise Lind, that he had been concerned from the beginning that the brig at Quantico was unprepared for the long-term detention of such a high-profile case as Manning. He said he was worried about dealing with the media, about co-ordination of command and about medical handling of the detainee.

He added that he "constantly" told his superior, Lieutenant General George Flynn, based in the Pentagon, that there were problems with the soldier's prolonged detention in Quantico.

Manning could possibly be questioned in the trial, and it would be the first time he has spoken publicly. He is trying to have the charges against him dropped on account of his pretrial treatment.

And New York mag adds this detail about the recent hearing:

At one point, the guards confiscated Manning's underwear after he allegedly said, "I have everything I need right here to be able to harm myself. The waistband of my underwear can do this," the Associated Press reports. That inspired one of the guards to pen a version of Dr. Seuss's Green Eggs and Ham that Manning's attorney David Coombs read aloud in court:

"I can wear them in a box,
I can wear them with a fox,
I can wear them in the day,
I can wear them so I say,
But I can't wear them at night,
My comments gave the staff a fright."


Lady Gaga and Wikileaks' Julian Assange Have Dinner: PHOTO

Gaga_assange

Lady Gaga posted a photo last night of herself in a pointy witches hat with Wikileaks founder Julian Assange.

They had dinner at the Ecuadorian embassy in London, the Telegraph reports:

The WikiLeaks founder, who is wanted in Sweden over alleged sex attacks on two women, has been holed up there since June and has claimed asylum.

Lady Gaga is said to have spent five hours with him, emerging at midnight after the two had shared a meal.

Earlier, singer M.I.A. had tweeted a message to Lady Gaga saying: “If ur at harrods today, come visit Assange at the Ecuador embassy across the st. im there. Ill bring TEA and CAKE (sic).”


UN Torture Investigator Says U.S. Military Treatment of Wikileaks Soldier Bradley Manning was 'Cruel and Inhumane'

A UN investigation into the treatment of Wikileaks soldier Bradley Manning in Camp Arifjan in Kuwait and in Quantico in Virginia, where he was held in solitary confinement and made to strip naked at night, has been described as  not 'definitive' because the UN rapporteur "has consistently been denied permission by the US military to interview the prisoner under acceptable circumstances."

As you may recall, in March 2011, Obama said of Manning's situation:

"I have asked the Pentagon whether or not the the procedures that have been taken in terms of his condition are appropriate and are meeting our basic standards. They assure me that they are."

The Guardian reports: Manning

Juan Mendez has completed a 14-month investigation into the treatment of Manning since the soldier's arrest at a US military base in May 2010. He concludes that the US military was at least culpable of cruel and inhumane treatment in keeping Manning locked up alone for 23 hours a day over an 11-month period in conditions that he also found might have constituted torture.

"The special rapporteur concludes that imposing seriously punitive conditions of detention on someone who has not been found guilty of any crime is a violation of his right to physical and psychological integrity as well as of his presumption of innocence," Mendez writes.

The findings of cruel and inhuman treatment are published as an addendum to the special rapporteur's report to the UN general assembly on the promotion and protection of human rights. They are likely to reignite criticism of the US government's harsh treatment of Manning ahead of his court martial later this year.

Bradley Manning's treatment was cruel and inhuman, UN torture chief rules [guardian]


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