[act-ma] 12 16 & 17: Bradley Manning's defense argues Obama must testify; Join us at Fort Meade Fri., Sat.
pfsoto at mynas.com
Tue Dec 13 00:49:42 PST 2011
*Bradley's defense argues Obama must testify*
Fort Meade Main Gate (map
Vigil Friday, Dec. 16th, 8am-5pm
Rally Saturday, Dec. 17th, noon
*Legal team for Army PFC Bradley Manning fights for fair deal at
pre-trial “Article 32” hearing, supporters rally*
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
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.
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