“We are a nation of laws. We don’t let individuals make decisions about how the law operates. He[Bradley Manning] broke the law!” – President Obama
The rogues' gallery of those eager to participate in the persecution of whistleblower Bradley Manning will go down in infamy.
|Credit: Courtroom artist Deb VanPoolen, bradleymanning.org|
Presumably someone further down the chain of command gave Lind orders to read out the charges against Manning so rapidly that reporters were unable transcribe them accurately during the pre-trial hearings. And, the same government that came into office bragging about how transparent they would be also declined to produce a written transcript of the legal proceedings. (Crowd funding hired a stenographer for the people after that shameful display of bias, and full transcripts are available to us here.)
Lind denied many of the witnesses Manning's defense team wished to call. As the trial progressed, it became evident that the prosecution had a rather weak case -- which probably accounted for the 3+ year delay in bringing the court martial to trial, in clear violation of the military's own code of law which stipulates 120 days. No one could find the acceptable use policy allegedly signed and violated by Manning, and at least in public no one could demonstrate that any of the low classified or unclassified information Manning admits providing to Wikileaks caused harm to anyone. The prosecution was allowed to make the argument that Manning aided the enemy because he knew the information he shared would be available on the Internet -- and "Al Qaeda" uses the internet. Wow. The U.S. government would deserve to lose a 6th grade debate contest using that kind of logic.
|Jihrleah Showman testifies by Clark Stoeckley @Wikileaks truck|
In a cynical move, the government prosecution recalled former Specialist Jihrleah Showman, a supervisor against whom Manning had filed an Equal Opportunity complaint. Following Manning’s complaint, Showman was admonished for her use of homophobic language in conversation and workplace signage. In the years since, she has vied for media appearances, augmented by her own vitriolic Tweets, attacking Manning as well as his supporters. Now, at the eleventh hour, she claims to recall a conversation with the 25-year-old army private in which he allegedly shared anti-American opinions.
According to the defense, Ms. Showman is lending an intentional and inaccurate spin to comments Manning made regarding his refusal to follow any authority blindly as an “automaton” (in Manning’s own words) so that they conform to the prosecution’s characterization of someone disloyal to the United States.
No other witness from the prosecution or defense ever testified that Manning harbored any anti-American sentiments, including Ms. Showman herself during previous trips to the stand in this case. In fact, several witnesses offered just the opposite.And while we're constructing this hall of shame, let's not forget the corporate "news" outlets that spurned Manning when he tried to share the Iraq and Afghanistan war logs files prior to contacting Wikileaks. For shame, New York Times. For shame, Washington Post. For shame, Politico. You all only jumped on the publishing bandwagon after Wikileaks had stuck its neck out (and Julian Assange has been hounded ever since, residing today under virtual house arrest at the Ecuadorian embassy in London, where he continues to do good work).
|Ret. Col. Daniel Choike, Quantico Brig commander when Manning was imprisoned there (Sketch by Clark Stoeckley)|
Ditto the man or woman who denied UN Special Rapporteur on Torture Juan Mendez an interview with Manning. (Mendez was also denied an opportunity to testify in Manning's trial as a witness for the defense.)
I leave you with Manning's immortal words:
We are all human and we are killing ourselves and no one seems to care.