The Latest From The Private Bradley Manning Support Network-Free Bradley Manning Now! Bradley Manning to be arraigned at Fort Meade Today Feb. 23rd
Click on the headline to link to the Private Bradley Manning Support Network for the latest information in his case.
Bradley Manning to be arraigned at Fort Meade Feb. 23rd
Court Martial expected in early May.
February 13, 2012. Bradley Manning Support Network.
The US Army last week scheduled a formal arraignment hearing for PFC Bradley Manning, the accused WikiLeaks whistle-blower. The arraignment is scheduled for 1:00 PM EST, February 23, 2012 at Fort Meade, Maryland, just northeast of Washington DC. While the hearing itself is expected to be brief, PFC Manning is expected to be present, and the proceedings are open to the media and public. Washington DC area supporters of the Support Network are encouraged to attend the arraignment.
Bradley’s show trial will begin in earnest with this arraignment. This proceeding will set the dates for a series of hearings on pre-trial motions likely to occur in March and April. Finally, the arraignment will set the date for the full court-martial—which we currently expect to begin in early May.
If the Obama administration is the least bit concerned with providing even the appearance of a fair trial, they will allow Bradley’s legal defense team to explore the critical issues at the heart of this case, including: President Obama’s recorded unlawful command influence over the proceedings, the illegal and torturous conditions that Bradley was subjected to for nine months at the Quantico Marine Brig, the over-classification of all of the documents in question, and the lack of any harm to national security from the release of the documents.
So far military officials have blocked nearly every request by Bradley’s defense team, led by Iraq War veteran David Coombs, for access to evidence and witnesses that could explore these core issues. During the Article 32 pre-trial hearing held in December, the defense was denied access to over three dozen critical witnesses (while the prosecution was allowed access to every one of two dozen witnesses requested). This allowed military officials to limit the hearing to little more than a discussion of mitigating factors related to Bradley’s emotional health.
If Bradley had been a member of the US Marine squad that admitted to systematically murdering two dozen innocent Iraqi men, women, and children in Haditha, Iraq, he’d be walking free today. Instead, he faces the real prospect of life in prison for telling the truth.
Next week’s arraignment comes just after Bradley was nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize by members of the Icelandic Parliament. A blog post by MP Birgitta Jónsdóttir explained their rationale for the nomination:
“According to journalists, his alleged actions helped motivate the democratic Arab Spring movements, shed light on secret corporate influence on our foreign policies, and most recently contributed to the Obama Administration agreeing to withdraw all U.S. troops from the occupation in Iraq.”
Join us at a mass rally for Bradley at Fort Meade to coincide with the beginning of his court martial! The date(s) of the rally will be announced after the trial date is set—we’re currently anticipating early May. If you can’t make the trip to the Washington DC area, organize or take part in one of over a hundred solidarity events worldwide.
Individuals who can help organize events in your town/city: Sign our Trial Action Pledge to help organize support for Bradley!
Organizations that wish to endorse these events and potentially help publicize and organize them: Check out our new Organizational Endorsement Pledge!
We have about 100 days to save Bradley from over 100 years in prison—learn more at bradleymanning.org
Donate at bradleymanning.org/donate
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
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 a 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 reads this piece 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!
February 23, 2012-And, of course, I will be standing in support of Private Manning as long as he is not freed from the clutches of his jailers.