Thursday, November 24, 2011

The Latest From The Private Bradley Manning Support Network-Free Bradley Manning Now! All Out In Support of Bradley’s Pre-Trial Hearing On December 16th Vigil &17th March And Rally At Fort Meade, Maryland

Click on the headline to link to the Private Bradley Manning Support Network for the lates information in his case.

From the American Left History blog, dated March 17, 2011

Why I Will Be Standing In Solidarity With Private Bradley Manning At Quantico, Virginia On Sunday March 20th At 2:00 PM- A Personal Note From An Ex-Soldier Political Prisoner

Markin comment:

Of course I will be standing at the front gate to the Quantico Marine Base on March 20th because I stand in solidarity with the actions of Private Bradley Manning in bringing to light, just a little light, some of the nefarious doings of this government, Bush-like or Obamian. If he did such acts. I sleep just a shade bit easier these days knowing that Private Manning (or someone) exposed what we all knew, or should have known- the Iraq war and the Afghan war justification rested on a house of card. American imperialism’s house of cards, but cards nevertheless.

Of course I will be standing at the front gate to the Quantico Marine Base on March 20th because I am outraged by the treatment of Private Manning meted to a presumably innocent man by a government who alleges itself to be some “beacon” of the civilized world. The military has gotten more devious although not smarter since I was soldier in their crosshairs over forty years ago. Allegedly Private Manning might become so distraught over his alleged actions that he requires extraordinary protections. He is assumed, in the Catch-22 logic of the military, to be something of a suicide risk on the basis of bringing some fresh air to the nefarious doings of the international imperialist order. Be serious. I, however, noticed no "spike” in suicide rates among the world’s diplomatic community once they were exposed, a place where such activities might have been expected once it was observed in public that most of these persons could barely tie their own shoes.

Now the two reasons above are more than sufficient reasons for my standing at the front gate to the Quantico Marine Base on March 20th although they, in themselves, are only the appropriate reasons that any progressive thinking person would need to show up and shout to the high heavens for Private Manning’s freedom. I have an addition reason though, a very pressing personal reason. As mentioned above I too was in the military’s crosshairs as a soldier during the height of the Vietnam War. I will not go into the details of that episode, this comment after all is about soldier Manning, other than that I spent my own time in an Army stockade for, let’s put it this way, working on the principle of “what if they gave a war and nobody came.” Forty years later I am still working off that principle, and gladly. But here is the real point. During that time I had outside support, outside civilian support, that rallied on several occasions outside the military base where I was confined. Believe me that knowledge helped me through the tough days inside. So on March 20th I am just, as I have been able to on too few other occasions over years, paying my dues for that long ago support. You, brother, are a true winter soldier.

Private Manning I hope that you will hear us, or hear about our rally in your defense. Better yet, everybody who read this join us and make sure that he can hear us loud and clear. And let us shout to those high heavens mentioned above-Free Private Bradley Manning Now!
And, of course I will be standing in support of Private Manning at Fort Meade, Maryland on December 16th and 17th.
Army schedules Dec. 16 pretrial hearing for PFC Bradley Manning
November 21, 2011.

Bradley Manning Support Network.

Today the United States Army scheduled an Article 32 pretrial hearing for PFC Bradley Manning, the Army intelligence specialist accused of releasing classified material to WikiLeaks. The pretrial hearing will commence on December 16 at Fort Meade, Maryland. (Army News Release PDF)

This will be PFC Manning’s first appearance before a court and the first time he will face his accusers after 17 months in confinement. In a blog post this morning, Manning’s lead counsel, David Coombs, notified supporters that the pretrial phase is scheduled to last five days.

Here is the full text of his update:

“The Article 32 hearing for PFC Bradley Manning will begin on December 16, 2011 at Fort Meade, Maryland. The hearing is expected to last approximately five days. With the exception of those limited times where classified information is being discussed, the hearing will be open to the public.

The primary purpose of the Article 32 hearing is to evaluate the relative strengths and weaknesses of the government’s case as well as to provide the defense with an opportunity to obtain pretrial discovery. The defense is entitled to call witnesses during the hearing and to also cross examine the government’s witnesses. Each witness who testifies is placed under oath; their testimony can therefore be used during the trial for impeachment purposes or as prior testimony should the witness become unavailable.

Our office is committed to providing the best representation for PFC Manning during this upcoming hearing. Achieving this goal is the sole focus of the lawyers, experts, and administrative staff working on this case. Given our focus, we will not be granting any media interviews or responding to any media inquiries. However, recognizing the public’s interest and the growing support for PFC Manning, we will be issuing regular public releases. The goal of these releases is to keep PFC Manning’s supporters informed and to assist the media in providing accurate information about this case.”

Supporters will be present outside Fort Meade when he arrives on December 16 and as part of a day of action on his 24th birthday, December 17.

“The charges against Bradley Manning are an indictment of our government’s obsession with secrecy,” said Daniel Ellsberg, who released the Pentagon Papers and accelerated the end of hostilities in Vietnam forty years ago. “Manning is accused of revealing illegal activities by our government and its corporate partners that must be brought to the attention of the American people. The Obama administration lacks the courage to confront the crimes and injustices that now stand exposed.”

Manning’s supporters assert that the information he is accused of making public was wrongly and illegally classified, and that whoever leaked the information should be protected as a whistle-blower. The WikiLeaks revelations include the “Collateral Murder” video, which shows the killing of Iraqi civilians and Reuters journalists, as well as diplomatic cables that have embarrassed governments and corporations around the world. Another cable related to the cover-up of a war crime contributed to the early exit of troops from Iraq by the end of this year.

PFC Manning’s confinement conditions drew strong reactions and protests from legal scholars, politicians, and human rights advocates from around the world. He was confined for ten months at a Quantico Marine base, where he faced extreme conditions in which he was forced to stand naked and was kept in isolation. P.J. Crowley, then-spokesperson for Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, was forced to resign after he called Manning’s treatment “ridiculous, counterproductive and stupid.” Juan Mendez, the United Nations’ rapporteur on torture, still seeks to meet with Manning, unmonitored, as part of an official investigation of evidence of abuse.

The Bradley Manning Support Network will continue to provide updates as they become available.
Vigil for Bradley, attend the pre-trial hearing


Fort Meade Main Gate
Maryland 175 & Reece Rd
Fort Meade, MD 21113 (map)

Rally for Bradley at Fort Meade leaflet PDF

VIGIL (or attend the hearing)
Friday, December 16th, 8am to 5pm

Saturday, December 17th, Noon to 3pm

The Fort Meade Main Gate is located in Odenton, Maryland, 25 miles northeast of Washington DC, between Washington DC and Baltimore, Maryland.

After a rally and vigil, supporters will march via the sidewalk along MD 175/Rouse Pkwy/Annapolis Rd, one mile, to Maryland 175 & Llewellyn Ave (the military court room is located on Llewellyn Ave one mile from the gate). Afterwards, we’ll march back to the main gate.

Shuttle van will be made available from the Odenton MARC train station, located on the MARC Penn Line between Washington, D.C. and Baltimore, MD. It is 2.5 miles from the Fort Meade Main Gate. The station is on Amtrak’s high-speed Northeast Corridor; however, Amtrak does not stop at this station.

From Washington, DC: Go to MD-295 N towards BALTIMORE to US 175 EAST. Follow 175 EAST until you come to the Reece Road intersection (there is a traffic light). From Baltimore, MD: Go to MD-295 S towards WASHINGTON to US 175 EAST. Follow 175 EAST until you come to the Reece Road intersection (there is a traffic light).

Those wishing to attend the proceedings should go to the Visitor Control Center (near the intersection of Maryland 175 & Reece Rd, Fort Meade, MD 21113) when it opens at 7:30am (and certainly no later than 8:15am). All other gates are for military I.D. card holders only.

You do not need to pre-register. Each person will need a valid state or federal photo ID such as a driver’s license or state photo ID card.

Anyone driving on to Fort Meade will be required to submit their driver’s license, vehicle registration, and printed (not digital) proof of insurance. Your vehicle will be subject to search. Consider walking on base if there are any questions at all regarding your vehicle and paperwork.

The proceedings are likely to start at 9am daily at the Magistrate Court, 4432 Llewellyn Ave, Fort Meade, MD 20755. The court room is 1.5 miles from the Visitor Control Center. The pre-trial hearing will break from Friday, December 23 until January 2 if needed.

Contact the Fort Meade Public Affairs office for information at 301-677-1361

Contact Courage to Resist at 510-488-3559

an injury to one is an injury to all, ANTI-IMPERIALISM, anti-militarism, free all class-war prisoners, free bradley manning, PARTISAN DEFENSE COMMITTEE

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