[act-ma] 12 16 & 17: Bradley Manning's defense argues Obama must testify; Join us at Fort Meade Fri., Sat.

pf soto pfsoto at mynas.com
Tue Dec 13 00:49:42 PST 2011


*Bradley's defense argues Obama must testify*

manning <http://bradleymanning.org>
Fort Meade Main Gate (map 
Vigil Friday, Dec. 16th, 8am-5pm
Rally Saturday, Dec. 17th, noon
bradleymanning.org <http://bradleymanning.org>

*Legal team for Army PFC Bradley Manning fights for fair deal at 
pre-trial “Article 32” hearing, supporters rally*

Jeff Paterson
Courage to Resist
December 12, 2011

Lead lawyer for accused WiliLeaks whistle-blower US Army PFC Bradley 
Manning, attorney David Coombs released the defense’s witness list for 
his pre-trial hearing 
<http://www.politico.com/static/PPM170_111204_defense32.html>, known as 
an “Article 32” hearing in military lingo, last week. On December 16th, 
PFC Manning may finally get his first day in court following his arrest 
in May 2010. The pre-trial phase is scheduled to begin at Fort Meade, 
just northeast of Washington DC, and last through December 22nd. The 
witness list represents an expansive range of 48 witnesses that offer 
significant insight into the brewing legal battle.

PFC Manning, a 23-year-old Army intelligence analyst, is accused of 
blowing the whistle on the “Collateral Murder” video of a US helicopter 
attack that killed a dozen unarmed Iraqis, the “Iraq War Logs”, the 
“Afghan Diaries”, the “Gitmo Files”, and a trove of embarrassing US 
State Department cables by providing these files to the WikiLeaks 
website. In short, he is being charged with telling us the truth.

The actual charges are “various offenses under Article 92 and Article 
134” of the Uniform Code of Military Justice, noted Mr. Coombs in last 
week’s court filling. “The offenses deal with the incorporation, under 
Article 134, of the Espionage Statute 18 U.S.C 793(e),” along with 
property and computer fraud statutes. According to the Army, PFC Manning 
faces “confinement for life”, followed by a dishonorable discharge.

The most significant witnesses listed are President Barack Obama, 
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and former Secretary of Defense 
Robert Gates. Two health care professionals on staff at the Quantico 
Marine Brig--where PFC Manning was subjected to torturous conditions for 
nine months--are also noteworthy.

      President Obama’s unlawful declarations and commitment to
      transparency questioned

headline witness requested by the defense is President Barack Obama. 
While all witness names were redacted, the identity of witness #36 is 
not in question. The court document reads:

    The defense requests the presence of --- in order to discuss the
    issue of Unlawful Command Influence (UCI)... Under the Uniform Code
    of Military Justice (UCMJ), a superior officer in the chain of
    command is prohibited from saying or doing anything that could
    influence any decision by a subordinate in how to handle a military
    justice matter. As the --- made improper comments on 21 April 2011,
    when he decided to comment on PFC Manning and his case. On that
    date, he responded to questions regarding PFC Manning’s alleged
    actions by concluding that “We’re a nation of laws. We don’t let
    individuals make their own decision about how the laws operate. He
    [PFC Manning] broke the law.” The comments by --- are UCI. The
    defense intends to question --- on the nature of his discussions
    with members of the military regarding this case and whether he has
    made any other statements that would either influence the
    prosecution of this case or PFC Manning’s right to a fair trial.

In addition to President Obama’s views of the release of Afghanistan 
related documents by WikiLeaks, the defense believes Obama will:

    Testify about the problem of over-classification within the
    government. Specifically, that he supported and signed into law the
    Reducing Over-Classification Act on 7 October 2010. Additionally, he
    will testify that on his first full day in office, 21 January 2009,
    he issued two memoranda for the head of Executive Departments and
    Agencies that were related to transparency in government. The first
    memorandum focused on the administration of the Freedom of
    information Act (FOIA), and the second focused on transparency and
    open government. --- will testify that the transparency memorandum
    he wrote committed the administration to “an unprecedented level of
    openness” and to the establishment of a “a system of transparency,
    public participation, and collaboration.”...

These requests represent an aggressive attempt by PFC Manning’s legal 
team to get at the heart of the issues at play in this continuing 
persecution: Government transparency or the lack there of, and the 
over-classification of documents for no legitimate security purposes.

Read more... 



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