Bradley Manning's defense is expected to wrap up today and the current news cycle is abuzz that Brad himself may speak. Alexa O'Brien Tweets from Fort Meade:
Monday April 5, 2010, WikiLeaks released military video of a July 12, 2007 assault in Iraq. 12 people were killed in the assault including two Reuters journalists Namie Noor-Eldeen and Saeed Chmagh. Monday June 7, 2010, the US military announced that they had arrested Bradley Manning and he stood accused of being the leaker of the video. Leila Fadel (Washington Post) reported in August 2010 that Manning had been charged -- "two charges under the Uniform Code of Military Justice. The first encompasses four counts of violating Army regulations by transferring classified information to his personal computer between November and May and adding unauthorized software to a classified computer system. The second comprises eight counts of violating federal laws governing the handling of classified information." In March, 2011, David S. Cloud (Los Angeles Times) reported that the military has added 22 additional counts to the charges including one that could be seen as "aiding the enemy" which could result in the death penalty if convicted. The Article 32 hearing took place in December. At the start of this year, there was an Article 32 hearing and, February 3rd, it was announced that the government would be moving forward with a court-martial. Bradley has yet to enter a plea. The court-martial was supposed to begin before the November 2012 election but it was postponed until after the election so that Barack wouldn't have to run on a record of his actual actions. Independent.ie adds, "A court martial is set to be held in June at Ford Meade in Maryland, with supporters treating him as a hero, but opponents describing him as a traitor." February 28th, Bradley admitted he leaked to WikiLeaks. And why.
Bradley Manning: In attempting to conduct counter-terrorism or CT and counter-insurgency COIN operations we became obsessed with capturing and killing human targets on lists and not being suspicious of and avoiding cooperation with our Host Nation partners, and ignoring the second and third order effects of accomplishing short-term goals and missions. I believe that if the general public, especially the American public, had access to the information contained within the CIDNE-I and CIDNE-A tables this could spark a domestic debate on the role of the military and our foreign policy in general as [missed word] as it related to Iraq and Afghanistan.
I also believed the detailed analysis of the data over a long period of time by different sectors of society might cause society to reevaluate the need or even the desire to even to engage in counterterrorism and counterinsurgency operations that ignore the complex dynamics of the people living in the effected environment everyday.
For truth telling, Brad was punished by the man who fears truth: Barack Obama. A fraud, a fake, a 'brand,' anything but genuine, Barack is all marketing, all facade and, for that reason, must attack each and every whistle-blower. David Delmar (Digital Journal) points out, "President Obama, while ostensibly a liberal advocate of transparency and openness in government, and of the 'courage' and 'patriotism' of whistleblowers who engage in conscientious leaks of classified information, is in reality something very different: a vindictive opponent of the free press willing to target journalists for doing their job and exposing government secrets to the public."
Richard A. Serrano (Los Angeles Times) reports of yesterday's events in the military proceeding that Bradley's defense argued there were signs that should have forced the military not to deploy him and, once deployed, that should have ended his deployment. These signs, the defense argued, included:
Another time, he pounded his fists and flipped over a table of computers before he was wrestled into submission. And in April 2010, Army Pfc. Bradley Manning emailed his sergeant a mug shot of himself wearing makeup, dark lipstick and a flowing blond wig.
Alexa O'Brien shares the contents of the e-mail:
"This is my problem. I've had signs of it for a very long time. It's caused
problems within my family. I thought a career in the military would get rid
of it. It's not something I seek out for attention, and I've been trying
very, very hard to get rid of it by placing myself in situations where it
would be impossible. But, it's not going away; it's haunting me more and
more as I get older. Now, the consequences of it are dire, at a time when
it's causing me great pain it itself.
As a result, I'm not sure what to do about it. It's destroyed my ties with
my family, caused me to lose several jobs, and it's currently affecting my
career and preventing me from developing as a person. It's the cause of my
pain and confusion, and turns even the most basic things in my life
I don't know what to do anymore, and the only "help" that seems to be
available is severe punishment and/or getting rid of me. All I do know, is
that fear of getting caught has caused me to go to great lengths to
consciously hide the problem. As a result, the problem and the constant
cover-up has worn me down to a point where it's always on my mind, making it
difficult to concentrate at work, difficult to pay attention to whatever is
going on, difficult to sleep, impossible to have any meaningful
conversations, and makes my entire life feel like a bad dream that won't
Like I said, I don't know what to do and I don't know what's going to
happen, but at this point, it feels like I'm not really *here* anymore, and
everyone's concerned about me and afraid of me. I'm sorry.
Paul Lewis (Guardian) reports on yesterday's testimony of Master Sergeant Paul Adkins:
Asked on Tuesday by Manning's defence lawyers why he did not inform a more senior officer upon receipt of the email, Adkins said he was worried that would result in the image being "disseminated among brigade staff".
"And I really didn't think at the time that having a picture floating around of one of my soldiers in drag was in the best interests of the intel mission," he said.
"I thought at the time that it was something that was being handled by his therapists and, had I forwarded it [to commanders], I was concerned that the photo would be disseminated among the staff."
You can find reports and Tweets of people saying it's a cigar or a penis substitute or what have you. What I mean is some reports say the photo is proof that Brad is suffering from gender identity issues while others say it is proof that he's gay.
What it is actually is a photo of Brad dressed in women's clothes and make up. That could indicate someone's a transvestite, that could indicate that someone's a transsexual, it could indicate -- as so many episodes of M*A*S*H* featuring Klinger did -- that someone's trying to get a discharge, it could indicate any number of things.
As usual, Brad's defense fumbles repeatedly and wants to point to a mountain they've hinted at previously but never been to.
I really find it interesting the way the photo and e-mail are interpreted as opposed to reported on. (To its credit, AP reports without jumping to their own interpretation.)
I also find it interesting that David Coombs is an awful attorney and yet I'm the only one who can say that. Yes, he's finally brought up the issue of others above Bradley getting punished or not. But we have pointed out here repeatedly -- as the military presented their argument and then as the defense did their own -- that this should have been done with every witness who served above Bradley as soon as the witness first took the stand. Repeatedly, we have pointed out the defense flaws here and slowly the defense has adapted. Possibly, if others had done the same, Bradley might have had an okay defense earlier. As it stands, he's had a lousy defense during the previous stage and it hasn't been much better as the military proceeding, presided over by a colonel, has moved into sentencing.
Bradley may speak today. AP and Boing Boing's Xeni Jardin say he will according to Coombs. Ian Simpson (Reuters) notes:
The former junior intelligence analyst could end that silence on Wednesday when his attorneys read a statement to the court, a military spokesman said.
Its content is unknown. It would be the first time Manning has spoken publicly at length since late February, when he read a 10,000-word statement in a pre-trial hearing.
As bad as things have gone, I'm picturing Coombs advising Bradley to toss over a table or have an outburst. Who knows what today will bring? If the defense wraps, there's a chance Bradley could receive his military sentence today. (Colonel Denise Lind could also take several days to consider arguments before pronouncing the sentence.)
The e-mail address for this site is firstname.lastname@example.org.
the los angeles times
the associated press
iraq iraq iraq iraq iraq iraq iraq iraq iraq iraq iraq iraqiraq iraq iraq iraq iraq iraq
iraq iraq iraq iraq iraq iraq iraq iraq iraq iraq iraq iraqiraq iraq iraq iraq iraq iraq
iraq iraq iraq iraq iraq iraq iraq iraq iraq iraq iraq iraq iraq iraq iraq iraq iraq iraq