The Show Trial Of Bradley Manning

I still do not see any difference between what Bradley Manning is alleged to have done and what Daniel Ellsberg did in the case of the Pentagon Papers. But Manning, presuming he goes to trial as scheduled on Sept. 21, is charged with every crime in the book, with a penalty measurable in decades. And his pretrial hearing (link is to Kevin Gosztola’s Day 2 notes) reveals a lot about the government’s motivations.

Here is what is apparent to this point:

  • The judge denied a defense motion to dismiss the charges with prejudice.
  • The judge denied a defense motion to consolidate multiple charges related to each single act into one charge each, thereby increasing the possible penalties from (according to defense) 10 years upward to 20 years.
  • The judge denied a defense request for any files resulting from CID investigations and presented to the grand jury, but simultaneously stated that “government has had access to one or more files that must be disclosed to the defense” and  “government has a duty to investigate and disclose exculpatory information to the defense.” (How those two statements are compatible with the judge’s denial is beyond my comprehension.)
  • Unsurprisingly, the judge denied a request to release grand jury proceedings to the defense.

There will be more of the pretrial hearing and there will be a trial. The result, with certainty, will be “guilty” on all charges, and the maximum penalty assessed. No adjustment for time served… remember, Bradley Manning has been in jail for over a year already, and subjected to deliberately degrading treatment even when (as was the case for much of that time) he had not even been charged yet. But there will be no adjustment for that deliberately delayed… hence denied… justice.

And this will all take place as I have predicted for one reason:

President Barack Obama.

Only the president has the raw power to meddle in this trial behind the scenes. Apparently he also believes he has a reason to do so.

This is Obama’s personal message to anyone who discloses anything about his administration, however innocuous or incriminating, properly or improperly classified, public business (as, e.g., the Pentagon Papers most certainly were) or not public business: fuck with Barry Obama and your life as you knew it is at an end.

Have a nice day!

UPDATE Wed. after close of hearing for the day: It gets worse, as Gosztola addresses in a separate post. If the government follows its apparent course here in its pursuit of other whistleblower prosecutions, it could essentially deny First Amendment speech rights on the internet altogether to serving members of the military, threatening any service member who posts to the internet with a charge of “aiding the enemy.” Whatever you think of Bradley Manning, ask yourself if you want all speech by a service member on the publicly available internet criminalized with a charge that can carry the death penalty. Un-American, you say? I can’t argue with you there!

UPDATE Wed. evening about 7:30PM CT: I wrote this in reply to a comment by M of MandT, but I think it deserves promotion to this blog post:

Our House contains (that I can remember) two bathrooms for humans, one Clever Cat® litter box for cats, two stand fans, one ceiling fan and four tabletop fans, not counting the ones built into the A/C system. Based on my experience with all of the above, I believe I can state unequivocally that with the beginning of legal proceedings against Bradley Manning, the shit has hit the fan. Just where it will be flung remains to be seen.

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Comments

  • MandT  On Wednesday April 25, 2012 at 6:12 pm

    Steve, thanks for staying on this. We gave you a link today. peace, M

    • Steve  On Wednesday April 25, 2012 at 7:13 pm

      Thanks, M.

      Our House contains (that I can remember) two bathrooms for humans, one Clever Cat® litter box for cats, two stand fans, one ceiling fan and four tabletop fans, not counting the ones built into the A/C system. Based on my experience with all of the above, I believe I can state unequivocally that with the beginning of legal proceedings against Bradley Manning, the shit has hit the fan. Just where it will be flung remains to be seen.

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