A Victory for Bradley Manning’s Defense (VIDEO)
Pfc. Bradley Manning, the soldier accused of releasing classified information to WikiLeaks, was back in court yesterday for an afternoon hearing. The judge ordered military prosecutors to hand over key damage reports from the CIA, FBI, State Department and the Office of the National Counter Intelligence Executive (ONCIX). She also ordered prosecutors to do an accounting of what they had done to search for evidence discoverable to the defense.
I appeared on “The Alyona Show” and was interviewed by Kristine Frazao, who was filling in for Alyona Minkovski. Frazao and I discussed the “small victory” Manning’s defense won on Monday, how the rulings ensure the prosecutors aren’t misrepresenting what evidence they know exists to the defense and how the media center press normally use to cover proceedings was booked for a retirement party. I mention how WL Central’s Alexa O’Brien was threatened with being detained by a military police officer.
We briefly touch upon WikiLeaks editor-in-chief’s request for political asylum in Ecuador and a letter of support for Assange that Noam Chomsky, Bill Maher, Glenn Greenwald, Thomas Drake, Michael Moore, Danny Glover, Jesselyn Radack, Jacob Appelbaum and many others including myself have signed.
Additionally, if video is not your kind of medium to get news from, I was interviewed by Free Speech Radio News on the latest developments in the court martial proceedings. You can listen to that interview here. I also was interviewed for Out-FM’s LGBT Pride special. I talked about Manning’s “gayness” and his gender identity issues. You can listen to both parts of the interview, which aired on July 24 and 26, here.
Finally, some news: followers of my reporting on the court martial might know that I am a plaintiff in a lawsuit being brought by the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) that demands the press and public be granted access to records from the court martial proceedings. Others who have signed on as plaintiffs are Salon blogger Glenn Greenwald, Amy Goodman of Democracy Now!, The Nation magazine, Nation national security correspondent Jeremy Scahill, WikiLeaks, publisher Julian Assange and author of The Passion of Bradley Manning and contributing editor to The American Conservative, Chase Madar.
The news is CCR filed an appeal to the Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces (CAAF). The appeal is being filed because nearly a week ago the Army Court of Criminal Appeals (ACCA) denied the request for access to records and gave no explanation. The denial was one-sentence long.
Here’s a bit from the filed appeal:
…No public notice of any motion by the government to seal parts of the judicial record here was made such that members of the press and public would have an opportunity to object. Moreover, the Center’s legal representative at the April 23 hearing was not given the opportunity to address the court. If there had been notice and an opportunity to be heard, this Court might now be reviewing a record of the trial Court’s reasoning, sharpened by adversarial challenge, and any factual support for its conclusions. The government bears the burden of proof, and “must demonstrate a compelling need to exclude the public … the mere utterance by trial counsel is not sufficient.” United States v. Hershey, 20 M.J. 433, 436 (C.M.A. 1985). Here, there is no evidence that the government met this heavy burden…