Saturday, March 02, 2013

Poet’s Corner- Claude McKay-If We Must Die-In Honor Of The 94thAnniversary Of The Communist International

…they had heard that a group of White Guards, a first detachment on horse, maybe from the dreaded mercenary Czech Legion that were running amok from Siberia to the Urals, paid for by who knows, some said the English some said the French, or worst maybe the dreaded Cossacks, who needed no outside pay but only their Ataman’s word to bend contemptible peasant heads to size, and who took no prisoners, none, were heading their way, heading right for their line of defense in the city ready to take back Kazan for the asking, so those Whites thought. Kazan fallen then the road to Moscow lay wide open and perhaps the end of the Soviet experiment in that dragged on second year of hellish civil war. But Commissar Vladimir ( assigned that title because he, a little more literate, a little cooler under pressure, than the vast bulk of lumpish peasants who had signed up to fight and to die for the land, their land from what they had heard, was listened to by that mass unlike the city boy reds) and his band of comrade brothers, five in all, (and one sister, one stray Red Emma, they called her who learned of revolution and sex, young love smitten sex even in war-torn Kazan with young Zanoff, in that exact order while in their company and proved as fierce a fighter both ways, according to that same Zanoff, as any man), the last remnant from the old Orlov estate who survived the bloody endless Czar war swore, swore a blood oath on their tattered red flag, the previous day that they would retreat no further, that here was their stand, their last stand if necessary, but no more moves away from Moscow.

It had not always been that way with them, not even with Vladimir, not by a long shot. They had all farmed, like their fathers going back eons before them, the same fruitless task (for them) land for Orlov, the richest landowner in Omsk, and never lifted their heads when the Social Revolutionaries had come before the war and during that last revolution, the one back in 1905, with glad tidings (and before them other city radicals, narodniks or something like that, had spoken to their fathers and grandfathers). They just shoveled the dirt, kept shoveling, and kept their heads down.

Then the war came, the bloody world war as it turned out, and the Czar’s police (Orlov’s really but in the name of the Czar so the same thing) came and “drafted” them into some vast ill-fed, ill-clad, ill-armed peasant force which proved no match for the methodical Germans as they were slaughtered by the millions in and around those foul trenches. And still they kept their heads bent. Kept them bent until the February revolution stirred things up although they held to the front since no one told them not to leave and in the fall of 1917 they had just followed their fellows out of the trenches and went home. Not the first ones out, nor the last but just out. Went home to farm Orlov’s land again they figured with bent heads again. Even when the Bolsheviks took power in November and decreed the land of Orlov’s theirs they kept their heads bent. It was not until Orlov, his agents and his White Guard friends came back and took the land, their now precious land, theirs, that they roared back. And joined one of Trotsky’s red brigades passing through on a recruiting drive. They had moved here and there as the lines of battle shifted but mainly back, mainly retreats or break-ups since then and hence the blood oath, and no more retreats. The peasant slows in them had been busted, busted good.

Just then a messenger came to their line, a messenger from the river in front of Kazan. The message said that Trotsky himself had decided to fight and die before Kazan if necessary to save the revolution, to save their precious land. Vladimir and his comrades, including Red Emma, Red Emma who if the truth be told despite her tender years of sweet sixteen was the best soldier of the lot, and should have been the commissar except those lumpish peasants would not have listened to her, reaffirmed their blood oath. If they must die they would die in defense of Kazan, and maybe just maybe somebody would hear of their story, the story of five peasant boys and a pretty red-hearted city girl as brave as they, and lift their heads and roar back too….

If We Must Die

If we must die, let it not be like hogs
Hunted and penned in an inglorious spot,
While round us bark the mad and hungry dogs,
Making their mock at our accursèd lot.
If we must die, O let us nobly die,
So that our precious blood may not be shed
In vain; then even the monsters we defy
Shall be constrained to honor us though dead!
O kinsmen! we must meet the common foe!
Though far outnumbered let us show us brave,
And for their thousand blows deal one death-blow!
What though before us lies the open grave?
Like men we'll face the murderous, cowardly pack,
Pressed to the wall, dying, but fighting back!

From The Boston Bradley Manning Support Committee Archives (September 2012)

Let’s Redouble Our Efforts To Save Private Bradley Manning-Make Every Town Square In America (And The World) A Bradley Manning Square From Boston To Berkeley to Berlin-Join Us At Ashmont Station, Dorchester –Tuesday August 7, 2012 From 4:00-5:00 PM

The Private Bradley Manning case is headed toward a late fall/early winter trial. Those of us who support his cause should redouble our efforts to secure his freedom. For the past several months there has been a weekly stand-out in Greater Boston across from the Davis Square Redline MBTA stop (renamed Bradley Manning Square for the vigil’s duration) in Somerville on Friday afternoons but we have now changed the time from 4:00-5:00 PM on Wednesdays. This stand-out has, to say the least, been very sparsely attended. We need to build it up with more supporters present. Please join us when you can. Or better yet if you can’t join us start a Support Bradley Manning weekly vigil in some location in your town whether it is in the Boston area, Berkeley or Berlin. And please sign the petition for his release. I have placed links to the Manning Network and Manning Square website below.

News has reached us that some of the folks at the Dorchester People for Peace (DPP) have started a stand-out for Private Manning to be held weekly beginning on Tuesday July 24, 2012 at 4:00 PM. The next stand-out is on August 7, 2012 at Ashmont Station in Dorchester. Ashmont Station is an easily reachable stop via the MBTA Redline.The next stand-out is August Please join them.
Bradley Manning Support Network

Somerville Manning Square website

The following are remarks that we have been focusing on of late to build support for Bradley Manning’s cause.

Veterans for Peace proudly stands in solidarity with, and defense of, Private Bradley Manning.

We of the anti-war movement were not able to do much to affect the Bush- Obama Iraq War timetable but we can save the one hero of that war, Bradley Manning.

I stand in solidarity with the alleged actions of Private Bradley Manning in bringing to light, just a little light, some of the nefarious war-related doings of this government, under Bush and Obama. If he did such acts they are no crime. No crime at all in my eyes or in the eyes of the vast majority of people who know of the case and of its importance as an individual act of resistance to the unjust and barbaric American-led wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. I sleep just a shade bit easier these days knowing that Private Manning may have exposed what we all knew, or should have known- the Iraq war and the Afghan war justifications rested on a house of cards. American imperialism’s gun-toting house of cards, but cards nevertheless.

I am standing in solidarity with Private Bradley Manning because I am outraged by the treatment meted out to Private Manning, presumably an innocent man, by a government who alleges itself to be some “beacon” of the civilized world. Bradley Manning had been held in solidarity at Quantico and other locales for over two years, and has been held without trial for longer, as the government and its military try to glue a case together. The military, and its henchmen in the Justice Department, have gotten more devious although not smarter since I was a soldier in their crosshairs over forty years ago.

These are more than sufficient reasons to stand in solidarity with Private Manning and will be until the day he is freed by his jailers. And I will continue to stand in proud solidarity with Private Manning until that great day.

Immediate Unconditional Withdrawal of All U.S./Allied Troops And Mercenaries From Afghanistan! Hands Off Iran! Free Private Manning Now!

Government tries to block Bradley Manning’s defense from interviewing classified witness

Pretrial hearing ends with a closed session. The government wants to call a witness that the defense says is both irrelevant and prejudicial. But the government doesn’t believe the defense should be allowed to interview him before he testifies.
By Nathan Fuller, Bradley Manning Support Network. March 1, 2013.
Bradley Manning reading his plea statement in court, sketched by Clark Stoeckley of the Bradley Manning Support Network.
Bradley Manning reading his plea statement in court, sketched by Clark Stoeckley of the Bradley Manning Support Network.
This week’s pretrial hearing for PFC Bradley Manning has ended, at least for the press and public. The court moved to another closed session after about an hour of open-court litigation over elements of the “aiding the enemy” charge.
Prosecutors want to introduce evidence from the May 1, 2011, raid on Osama bin Laden’s compound in Pakistan to prove its charge that Bradley “aided the enemy.” They say bin Laden requested national defense information found on WikiLeaks’ website and that an Al Qaeda member responded with cables he found. They argue this is proof that America’s enemies “received” the unauthorized transmission from Bradley Manning, through WikiLeaks.
The defense opposes the move, because ‘receipt’ is not a required element of the charge (UCMJ Article 104). Rather, defense lawyer David Coombs said, the offense is committed as soon as the communication issues from the accused.
Though this may appear an effort to lower the burden of proof for the government, because it removes an element that prosecutors would have to prove, the defense opposed the evidence because it’s irrelevant and prejudicial. Coombs says that prosecutors are using bin Laden’s name in a politically charged effort to implicitly malign Bradley’s character. As he observes, the government charged Bradley with “aiding the enemy” on March 1, 2011 — two full months before the Abbottabad raid even occurred.
If the judge rules against the defense, the government wants to call a classified witness referred to as ‘John Doe.’ Prosecutors say ‘John Doe’ retrieved digital media from bin Laden’s compound, and many speculate that he’s a member Navy Seal Team 6.
The Secretary of Defense has invoked a privilege on ‘John Doe,’ which means that his identity and other elements of his prospective testimony are classified or are to remain concealed. The prosecution contends this privilege means that the defense shouldn’t be allowed to interview the witness before he testifies.
But invoking a privilege doesn’t negate Bradley’s 6th Amendment right to talk to a witness, Coombs says.
The defense could learn plenty of relevant information without eliciting classified information – for example, whether ‘John Doe’ has had memory issues, or has relevant biases, or has made inconsistent statements that would undercut his credibility.
Coombs also said the defense should be allowed to ask about the digital media allegedly found at the raid: where were they located, how were they found, what their condition was, whether he was the only person who collected them, and whether he decided to collect some and not other information. Hypothetically, Coombs said, “John Doe” could’ve found the media at the bottom of a trashcan. These are the types of things he could determine in an interview before testimony. Coombs agreed to speak to the witness telephonically if he was allowed to testify, to protect his identity.
The government says there are still classified facts regarding the raid – in response, Coombs observed that books have been written and a movie has been made about the raid. The prosecution’s exasperated Ashden Fein said the books and movie were made by private citizens, not the government.
Once again this week, litigation became too difficult to proceed in open court, as the government wanted to make arguments that required discussing, if not divulging, classified information. Judge Denise Lind moved to a closed session and adjourned the court to the press and public until Bradley’s next hearing, April 10-12.
Out In The Film Noir Night-Out In The Hills And Hollows-Robert Mitchum’s Thunder Road

DVD Review

Thunder Road, Robert Mitchum, Keely Smith, Gene Barry, United Artists, 1958

…he came out of the hills and hollows (I know, I know, hollas but let’s leave it at and get to the good stuff and not get stuck on that cultural gradient business), came out in any fast-back 1950s sedan (Fords and Chevys favorites, all tooled up, all geared up to rip out the best the cops, the fed cops, the whiskey tax boys, could run against him and any other civilian hound-doggers who wanted to try, and they did and got more, much more than they bargained for) converted to dark night whiskey runs that he could put together and hold together on those back woods thunder roads. Proud of it or not proud of it, that is what he, Luke Doolin, did, ran whiskey, corn whiskey, white lightening, and if anybody didn’t like it, well, they could eat his dust, and they usually did. Ran it all around the Appalachian valleys just like his daddy and his daddy before him going back to mist of America times, pioneer times when people tired out of eastern seaboard clutter and picked up and moved west, eternally moved west, except his people lost the wanderlust early and stayed put on the worked out land, and then got wise to the name of the game.

Yes, Luke Doolin was a piece of work, something out of the olden times, old world times, old Irish times, when a man counted himself a man because he was a man and acted the part, maybe not a hero, no, definitely not a hero, but not a man to be pushed around, not with that couple of centuries pedigree out in those stark mountains, mountains where he fit in or didn’t fit in depending on his mood but where he was doomed to end his days, whenever and however that fate was dealt.

And of course Luke had that jut-jawed look, that take a punch and still stand look, that primitive man look but with some sensitive feelings, feelings that he learned to express a little when he was in the “real world,” the cities and the war fight that rounded out his education that drew women to him like a magnet. Made those women toss and turn all night, some nights anyway, thinking, thinking hard about what exactly they were going to have to do, what seductions they were going to have to perform to draw Luke’s attentions. Needless to say, mountain man that he was, only one woman, one hard-headed woman, would win the brass ring but others would surely try, try or of have more restless mountain wind nights.

Women were the least of it though, although he had had his share, maybe more that the share due him in his line of work. Trouble was brewing, always trouble when cheap jack liquor and dough combined, and maybe throw in some tough-nosed federals looking to bust the untaxed trade. See some guy, some city guy usually, because mountain people usually didn’t run to big adventure ideas-just brew the corn-run it to the cities – collect the dough and make some more, easy and done- yes, some city guy wanted corner the market, run the whole show himself. Even the thought of the idea should have sent that city guy packing, packing the first time he proposed to Luke and to the other backyard distillers the deal he had for them, the deal, or else. But once a guy gets that corner the market lust in his blood he begins to make odd-ball decisions and so there you have it. In the end it was Luke’s way too, or no way.

And as fate would have it, a fate Luke had signaled one night to one of his lady friends- “he was born of the hills and hollows just like other men were born of the sea, it was in his blood, no, more it was a way of thinking about things, about how you wanted to be treated, about what you would, or would not, take, maybe, not like other men who would give a little here, give a little there and then before you knew it they were hollow men, men working for some clock, or something like that. All he knew was that at night, in the middle of the night, with the moon blasting away, the driver window down, maybe on the passenger side too, a cigarette hanging from his sullen lip, taking the turns all sweet and gentle one minute all tense and taut the next he felt alive, felt part of something, felt like the mountain wind’s own brother.” Let leave it at this, he said , it was hard to explain, hard to explain to a woman, a woman with her home-seeking ways, but if that didn’t explain it then just this- “he was a transporter, and that was what he did, and so he would play his hand that way –there was no other way out.”

Hell, they still talk about old Luke and how he got it, got it just like he lived it that night he ran that last run out of the hills and hollows of thunder road and how he did it his way, his way alone, and about how they didn’t make them like Luke any more…

And hence this film


In Honor Of The 94th Anniversary Of The Founding Of The Communist International-Take Two –A Child Of The Revolution

From The Pen Of Frank Jackman
He was a child of the revolution, the big old Bolshevik Revolution that had enveloped Russia couple of years back, back in November 1917 (new calendar, new like everything else that was good happening in that formerly benighted land although there was plenty that was still bad, bad as human experience could fathom going on), if anybody was asking. And if while you were asking you wanted a name to attach to that child then Boris Yanoff (or Yanov, if you like), all of sixteen but already with a couple of revolutionary years under his belt. See Boris had lost his father in one of those ill-advised Russian Army advances against the Germans on the eastern front, maybe at Tannenburg, or some place like that and around that time so he would tell everybody that was where his father fell defending the Czar, the bloody bastard Czar.

The upshot of that father death was that Boris had travelled to Moscow from his wretched family farm in Omsk to find work in the textile mills that were in need of help to supply the huge needs of the Russian in advance, or retreat, mostly the latter. Hell, that family farm thing was really a joke it only barely a garden plot, and the crops wouldn’t show up half the time and all that but he was done with that he was a working now, a proud young worker.

Boris, like a lot of fourteen -year old coming to the city, any city but particularly Moscow, was kind of a hayseed, kind of a know-nothing kid when he came to get that factory work. But he was a fast learning, fast learning how to operate the machinery but also to figure out where he stood in the world, his new working class world. So when the Bolsheviks in the textile plant in summer of 1917 started going on and on about the wretched war, about how the Czar and now the bourgeois government, some coalition between socialists and capitalist, wanted to stay in the damn war, wanted to let the big landowners keep their land, wanted to let the factory owners keep their blood-stained profits he was all ears. It was icing on the cake when one Bolshevik rank and filer whom he worked with got him going by saying that if he went with the Bolsheviks that would help avenge his father’s cruel death for no reason out in some forgotten Czarist killing field. So Boris was in, read the newspapers, and, more importantly joined the factory defense committee and learned how to shoot, shoot for real, not that silly goose pop gun stuff back on the farm.

Then the day of reckoning came. November 7, 1917 (again new calendar to herald a new era). He had heard through the factory grapevine that the Bolsheviks had risen in Saint Petersburg and had declared the Provisional Government null and void, the war null and void, and the big landowners and capitalists null and void and in their place the Soviets, the workers, peasants, and soldiers councils, the people’s voice. Right after that his factory committee was put on notice that they would try to take power in Moscow and while Saint Petersburg’s had been relatively bloodless they, he and his comrades, had a hell of fight, a bloody fight where he lost more than a few shop mates, before they could declare the Moscow Soviet.

As he sat at his bench reading a much passed copy ofPravda now in early March 1919 he thought about that bloody fight, about how he had joined the Red Guards after that, had been called up a couple of times to go out on the outskirts of Moscow and defend the city against the White Guard bastards who were trying to take the land and factories back. No way, no way in hell not after what he and his father had been through in Old Russia. Now they, his Bolshevik comrades, were going to hold a conference, and international conference, where the idea was that what he and his comrades had done in Russia would get done all over the world. That idea, that idea of other countries getting their soviet power and then helping poor Russia appealed to him. He was not so sure about Lenin, although he was the head of the government and he had heard him speak in Red Square after the government had moved here to Moscow when things got tough but he read where Trotsky was all for this Communist International and was going to speak at the conference . And if Trotsky and his fighting phantom train mates were for it then it must be okay. He kind of got a lump in his throat when he thought about that, about how, for once, he was among the first to be fighting for that new world that got him motivated in1917. Yes, he was a child of the revolution and he hoped juts that minute that he would see it through to the end…


V. I. Lenin


The Third, Communist International

Recorded: End of March 1919;
First Published: Published according to the gramophone records; Organization of these speeches was accomplished by Tsentropechat the central agency of the All-Russia Central Executive Committee for the Supply and Distribution of Periodicals between 1919 and 1921. 13 of Lenin’s speeches were recorded.
Source: Lenin’s Collected Works, 4th English Edition, Progress Publishers, Moscow, 1972 Volume 29, pages 240-241
Translated: George Hanna
Transcription/HTML Markup: David Walters & Robert Cymbala
Copyleft: V. I. Lenin Internet Archive ( 2002; Permission is granted to copy and/or distribute this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License.

In March of this year of 1919, an international congress of Communists was held in Moscow. This congress founded the Third, Communist International, an association of the workers of the whole world who are striving to establish Soviet power in all countries.

The First International, founded by Marx, existed from 1864 to 1872. The defeat of the heroic workers of Paris-of the celebrated Paris Commune-marked the end of this International. It is unforgettable, it will remain for ever in the history of the workers' struggle for their emancipation. It laid the foundation of that edifice of the world socialist republic which it is now our good fortune to be building.

The Second International existed from 1889 to 1914, up to the war. This was the period of the most calm and peaceful development of capitalism, a period without great revolutions. During this period the working-class movement gained strength and matured in a number of countries. But the workers' leaders in most of the parties had become accustomed to peaceful conditions and had lost the ability to wage a revolutionary struggle. When, in 1914, there began the war, that drenched the earth with blood for four years, the war between the capitalists over the division of profits, the war for supremacy over small and weak nations, these leaders deserted to the side of their respective governments. They betrayed the workers, they helped to prolong the slaughter, they became enemies of socialism, they went over to the side of the capitalists.

The masses of workers turned their backs on these traitors to socialism. All over the world there was a turn towards the revolutionary struggle. The war proved that capitalism was doomed. A new system is coming to take its place. The old word socialism had been desecrated by the traitors to socialism.
Today, the workers who have remained loyal to the cause of throwing off the yoke of capital call themselves Communists. All over the world the association of Communists is growing. In a number of countries Soviet power has already triumphed. Soon we shall see the victory of communism throughout the world; we shall see the foundation of the World Federative Republic of Soviets.

Friday, March 01, 2013

Pardon Private Bradley Manning Stand-Out-Central Square, Cambridge, Wednesdays, 5:00 PM -Update –March 1, 2013

Let’s Redouble Our Efforts To Free Private Bradley Manning-President Obama Pardon Bradley Manning -Make Every Town Square In America (And The World) A Bradley Manning Square From Boston To Berkeley to Berlin-Join Us In Central Square, Cambridge, Ma. For A Stand-Out For Bradley- Wednesdays From 5:00-6:00 PM


Since September 2011, in order to publicize Private Manning’s case locally, there have been weekly stand-outs (as well as other more ad hocand sporadic events) in various locations in the Greater Boston area starting in Somerville across from the Davis Square Redline MBTA stop on Friday afternoons and later on Wednesdays. Lately this stand-out has been held each week on Wednesdays from 5:00 to 6:00 PM at Central Square, Cambridge, Ma. (small park at the corner of Massachusetts Avenue and Prospect Street just outside the Redline MBTA stop, renamed Manning Square for the duration of the stand-out) in order to continue to broaden our outreach. Join us there in calling for Private Manning’s freedom.President Obama Pardon Private Manning Now!


The Private Bradley Manning case is headed toward an early summer trial now scheduled for June 2013. The news on his case over the past several months (since about April 2012) has centered on the many pre-trial motion hearings including recent defense motions to dismiss for lack of speedy trial. Private Manning’s pre-trial confinement is now at over 1000 days and will be over well over 1000 days by the time of trial. That motion has now been ruled on by Military Judge Lind and she had denied the defende motion for dismissal, the last serious chance for Bradley Manning to go free before the scheduled June trial. She ruled furthermore that the various delays were inherent in the nature of this case and that the military authorities except in one short instance had been diligent in it efforts to move the proceedings along. For those of us with military experience this is a classic, if perverse, case of that old army slogan-“Hurry up, and wait.” This is definitely tough news for Private Manning although perhaps a good appeal point in some future civilian review.


The defense contends that the charges should be dismissed because the military by its own statutes (to speak nothing of that funny old constitutional right to a speedy trial guarantee that our plebeian forbears fought tooth and nail for against the bloody British and later made damn sure was included in the Amendments when the founding fathers“forgot” to include it in the main document) should have arraigned Private Manning within 120 days after his arrest. They hemmed and hawed for almost 600 days before deciding on the charges and a court martial. Nobody in the convening authority, as required by those same statutes, pushed the prosecution forward in a timely manner. In fact the court-martial convening authority, in the person of oneColonel Coffman, seems to have seen his role as mere “yes man” to each of the government’s eight requests for delays without explanation (and without informing the defense in order to take their objection). Apparently the Colonel saw his role as a mere clearing agent for whatever excuse the government gave, mainly endless addition time for clearing various classified documents a process that need not have held up the proceedings. The defense made timely objection to each governmental request to no avail.

Testimony from military authorities at pre-trial hearings in November 2012 about the reasons for the lack of action ranged from the lame to the absurd (mainly negative responses to knowledge about why some additional delays were necessary. One “reason” sticks out as a reason for excusable delay -some officer needed to get his son to a swimming meet and was thus “unavailable” for a couple of days. I didn’t make this up. I don’t have that sense of the absurd. Jesus, a man was rotting in Obama’s jails and they let him rot because of some damn swim meet). The prosecution, obviously, has argued that the government has moved might and main to move the case along and had merely waited until all leaked materials had been determined before proceeding. We shall see.

The defense has also recently pursued a motion for a dismissal of the major charges (espionage/ indirect material aid to terrorists) on the basis of the minimal effect of any leaks on national security issues as against Private Manning’s claim that such knowledge was important to the public square (freedom of information issues important for us as well in order to know about what the hell the government is doing either in front of us, or behind our backs). Last summer witnesses from an alphabet soup list of government agencies (CIA, FBI, NSA, Military Intelligence, etc., etc.) testified that while the information leaked shouldn’t have been leaked that the effect on national security was de minimus. The Secretary of Defense at the time, Leon Panetta, also made a public statement to that effect. The prosecution argued, successfully at the time, that the mere fact of the leak of classified information caused irreparable harm to national security issues and Private Manning’s intent, even if noble, was not at issue.

The recent thrust of the motion to dismiss has centered on the defense’s contention been that Private Manning consciously and carefully screened any material in his possession to avoid any conflict with national security and that most of the released material had been over-classified (received higher security level than necessary).(Much of the materials leaked, as per those parts published widely in the aftermath of the disclosures by the New York Times and other major outlets, concerned reports of atrocities in Iraq and Afghanistan and diplomatic interchanges that reflected poorly on that profession.) The Obama government has argued again that the mere fact of leaking was all that mattered. That motion has also not been fully ruled on and is now the subject of prosecution counter- motions and a cause for further trial delay.

A defense motion for dismissal based on serious allegations of torturous behavior by the military authorities extending far up the chain of command (a three-star Army general, not the normal concern of someone so far up the chain in the matter of discipline for enlisted personal) while Private Manning was first detained in Kuwait and later at the Quantico Marine brig for about a year ending in April 2011 has now been ruled on. In late November and early December Private Manning himself, as well as others including senior military mental health workers, took the stand to detail those abuses over several days. Most important to the defense was the testimony by qualified military mental health professionals citing the constant willful failure of those who held Private Manning in close confinement to listen to, or act, on their recommendations during those periods

Judge Lind, the military judge who has heard all the pre-trial arguments in the case thus far, has essentially ruled unfavorably on that motion to dismiss given the potential life sentence Private Manning faces. As she announced at an early January pre-trial hearing the military acted illegally in some of its actions. While every Bradley Manning supporter should be heartened by the fact that the military judge ruled that he was subject to illegal behavior by the military during his pre-trial confinement her remedy, a 112 days reduction in any future sentence, is a mere slap on the wrist to the military authorities. No dismissal or, alternatively, no appropriate reduction (the asked for ten to one ratio for all his first year or so of illegal close confinement which would take years off any potential sentence) given the seriousness of the illegal behavior as the defense tirelessly argued for. And the result is a heavy-handed deterrent to any future military whistleblowers, who already are under enormous pressures to remain silent as a matter of course while in uniform, and others who seek to put the hard facts of future American military atrocities before the public.

Some other important recent news, this from the November 2012 pre-trail sessions, is the offer by the defense to plead guilty to lesser charges (wrongful, unauthorized use of the Internet, etc.) in order to clear the deck and have the major espionage /aiding the enemy issue (with a possibility of a life sentence) solely before the court-martial judge, Judge Lind (the one who has been hearing the pre-trial motions, not some senior officer, senior NCO lifer-stacked panel. A wise move, a very wise move.). Also there has been increased media attention by mainstream outlets around the case (including the previously knowingly oblivious New York Times), as well as an important statement by three Nobel Peace Laureates (including Bishop Tutu from South Africa) calling on their fellow laureate, United States President Barack Obama, to free Private Manning from his jails.


Check the Bradley Manning Support Network - for details and future updates.

*Contribute to the Bradley Manning Defense Fund- as the trial date approaches funds are urgently needed! The government has unlimited financial and personnel resources to prosecute Bradley. And the Obama government is fully using them. We have a fine defense civilian lawyer, David Coombs, many supporters throughout America and the world working hard for Bradley’s freedom, and the truth on our side. Still the hard reality of the American legal system, civilian or military, is that an adequate defense cost serious money. So help out with whatever you can spare. For link go to for

*Sign the online petition at the Bradley Manning Support Network (for link go to )to the Secretary of the Army to free Bradley Manning-1000 plus days is enough! The Secretary of the Army stands in the direct chain of command up to the President and can release Private Manning from pre-trial confinement and drop the charges against him at his discretion. For basically any reason that he wishes to-let us say 1000 days is enough. Join the over 25,000 supporters in the United States and throughout the world clamoring for Bradley’s well-deserved freedom.

*Call (Comments”202-456-1111, write9 The White House, 1600 Pennsylvana Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20500, e-mail-(’contact/submitquestions-and comments) the White House to demand President Obama pardon Bradley Manning- The presidential powers to pardon is granted under Article II, Section 2 of the Constitution:

“The President…shall have power to grant reprieves and pardons for offenses against the United States, except in case of impeachment .”

In federal cases, and military cases are federal cases, the President of the United States can, under authority granted by the U.S. Constitution as stated above, pardon the guilty and the innocent, the convicted and those awaiting trial- former President Nixon and former Secretary of Defense Caspar Weinberger, for example among others, received such pardons of their heinous crimes- Free Bradley Manning ! Free the whistleblower!

Live-blog: updates from Ft. Meade where Bradley Manning to explain guilty plea and WikiLeaks releases

Check back here for updates throughout the day from the courtroom in Fort Meade, MD, where PFC Bradley Manning will discuss his submission of a guilty plea and discuss releasing documents to WikiLeaks.
Bradley Manning, sketched by Clark Stoeckley of the Bradley Manning Support Netowrk
Bradley Manning, sketched by Clark Stoeckley of the Bradley Manning Support Network
By Nathan Fuller, Bradley Manning Support Network. February 28, 2013.
5:25 PM: Court is in recess for the day. After going through all specifications at issue in Bradley Manning’s plea of guilty to lesser-included offenses and not guilty to the remaining charged offenses, and confirming that he understands them, Judge Lind accepted the plea as provident. The government said it will still prosecute the original 22 offenses. Bradley can withdraw the guilty plea at any time before trial.
Tomorrow, the parties will go on record at 10 AM ET for a short discussion in which parties will offer briefs relating to Article 104 (aiding the enemy) and its history, and any potential updates to the case calendar. Then they’ll move to another closed session to discuss how to handle classified information at trial, which the press and public won’t be allowed to see.
3:27 PM: Brief recess. We just learned that Bradley released the Iraq and Afghanistan War Logs while on mid-tour leave at a Barnes and Noble in Maryland, USA.
Judge Lind is continuing to question Bradley to ensure that he understands and still agrees with each element of his plea. He said he knew he was violating the law when he chose to remove classified documents from his T-SCIF in Iraq but did so anyway.
12:55 PM: Bradley finished reading his entire statement, a nearly two-hour defense of whistleblowing, transparency, and the refusal to be complicit in that which you cannot abide. “I believed and still believe these are some of most important documents of our time,” he said of the war logs he passed to WikiLeaks. Bradley affirmed his belief that the documents he released needed to be in the public realm (specifically the American public), that he “only wanted docs I was absolutely sure wouldn’t cause harm to the United States,” and that he’d hoped the release would result in domestic debate and a reevaluation of the United States’ war on terror.
He “became depressed with the situation we were mired in” in Iraq. In counterterrorism operations, he said, the U.S. became ‘obsessed with capturing and killing people.’
Bradley discussed his horror at the ‘Collateral Murder’ video of US Apache soldiers gunning down Reuters journalists and those who came to rescue the injured. He said the U.S. gunner who wanted to shoot the wounded in Collateral Murder video “seemed similar to a child torturing ants w/ a magnifying glass.” He was also aghast at the way that David Finkel had characterized the killings in his book, The Good Soldiers. When he learned that Reuters had attempted to acquire the video and was stonewalled by the U.S., Bradley said he’d wanted to try to get the video to Reuters so they’d be able to view the incident and the U.S. rules of engagement so their journalists could better avoid this from happening again.
He also revealed that while he was on a mid-tour leave in the U.S., he’d wanted to give documents to the Washington Post, but that the reporter or editor he talked to didn’t seem interested, especially without more information. He then called the New York Times’ public editor and left a message leaving his phone number – no one called him back. He’d wanted to try to talk to Politico about sharing documents with them, but he was stranded in Maryland when a blizzard hit. He then turned to WikiLeaks.
He said he had many conversations in anonymous, secure chat rooms with someone who called him/herself ‘Nathaniel,’ whom Bradley believed to be someone who worked for WikiLeaks, namely Julian Assange or Daniel Domscheit-Berg. He said that he would occasionally propose certain documents to ‘Nathaniel,’ but that “no one from [WikiLeaks] pressured” him to give more information.
The “decisions to send were my own,” he said, “and I take full responsibility.”
After lunch, at 2:00 PM ET, we’ll return from recess and Judge Lind will begin questioning Bradley on issues arising from his statement and his plea.
10:55 AM: 15-minute recess after Judge Lind reviewed Bradley’s plea aloud. She ensured that he understood his plea, understood that he’s waiving his right to 6th Amendment and RCM 707 protections of a speedy trial. She also ensured that Bradley gets that this is a “naked plea,” meaning it’s not the result of an agreement with the government, so prosecutors don’t have to prove what he’s pleading guilty to. Also, they can use his plea of lesser-included offenses to prove up the greater offenses. After the break, Bradley will read his 35-page statement to orient the court as to facts about his plea. Then the providence inquiry will begin and Judge Lind will ask her questions. In addition to ensuring he understands the plea and his rights, the inquiry is supposed to “explore whether there are valid defenses” available.
Bradley’s pleading guilty to having unauthorized possession of one classified Army intelligence agency memo, more than 20 classified CIDNE Iraq documents, more than 20 CIDNE Afghanistan documents, more than 5 classified documents regarding Farah, and a video (Collateral Murder). He’s also pleading guilty to willfully communicating those to an unauthorized person and that doing so was service discrediting to the Armed Forces and was prejudicial to the good order and discipline of the Armed Forces. He’s not pleading guilty to the fact that those documents related to the national defense or that he had reason to believe that the disclosure of the documents could be used to harm the United States or to the advantage of any foreign nation. A foreign nation need not be a nation-state. Back at the next recess, likely our lunch break.
Original post
Today PFC Bradley Manning is scheduled to engage in a providence inquiry with Judge Denise Lind, wherein she’ll question him at length about his offer to plead guilty to several lesser-included offenses, and to plead not guilty to the majority of the government’s charges. It’s important to note that Bradley’s plea is not part of an agreement with the government; he’s proffering the plea for the judge to accept or reject, and the government may still attempt to prove up the offenses it has charged.
Here’s Alexa O’Brien’s rundown of Bradley’s anticipated plea. He is expected to plead guilty to 10 of the 22 specifications against him: 9 of those are lesser-included offenses, meaning they are altered versions of what the government is charging, striking federal statutes to modify the culpability and mens rea elements and to lower maximum possible sentences from 10 years to 2 years in prison. He’s expected to plead not guilty to the remaining 12 offenses, including the most serious charge of ‘aiding the enemy.’
The objective of today’s inquiry is for the judge to determine if Bradley is pleading ”voluntarily, knowingly, and intelligently,” meaning he wasn’t coerced and that he understands the offenses and why they violate the UCMJ. However, on Tuesday of this week, we learned that Bradley had submitted a statement to the court giving background on his releasing documents to WikiLeaks. It’s yet to be determined if Judge Lind will allow Bradley to read that statement today in part or in full, but we learned that it included that Bradley hoped that the release of Iraq War Logs would ‘spark a domestic debate on the role of our military and foreign policy in general,’ so the discussion could delve into Bradley’s more personal and political beliefs, if the judge allows.
Due to the expected statements from Bradley under oath, today’s press pool is likely the most full yet — nearly two dozen reporters here. Proceedings are expected to start at 10:00 AM ET.

Report from Bradley Manning’s hearing, 2/27/13

Closed session deals with classified information, Judge Lind rules on the defense’s over-classification witnesses, and the Department of Defense finally publishes legal filings
By Nathan Fuller, Bradley Manning Support Network. February 27, 2013.
Judge Denise Lind. Sketch by Clark Stoeckley, Bradley Manning Support Network.
Judge Denise Lind. Sketch by Clark Stoeckley, Bradley Manning Support Network.
A pretrial hearing for PFC Bradley Manning at Fort Meade, MD, ended early for the press and public today, as the court moved to a closed session in the afternoon to litigate how to handle classified information during trial. Prosecutors intend to call 141 witnesses during the trial, and they expect testimony from 73 of those to include classified information.
The defense proposes to substitute, redact, or summarize the classified material, or to use code words to refer to secret names, dates, or places. But the government argues that 33 of its witnesses will discuss material too complex to be summarized or referred to by code, and it requests closing the sessions for those portions of their testimony. Judge Denise Lind challenged that assertion, agreeing with the defense that she needs to know more about what the witnesses will discuss before deciding to close future sessions.
Judge Lind continued to argue for keeping the courtroom open as much as possible during trial, saying the parties should exhaust all alternative methods before closing sessions. She asked for just one of the government’s witnesses to come to a pretrial hearing, to give a test run that would inform how to handle the remainder of the witnesses at trial. The government objected to this, but said it’d submit a formal response to the judge’s request later.
When it became clear that litigation couldn’t continue without more information, Judge Lind ordered a closed session for after lunch, so the government could privately explain to the defense and judge in more detail what it expects witnesses to divulge. The parties could then explore potential alternatives to closing the court during trial.
Prosecutors said they might be able to remove witnesses from their list after discussion of Bradley Manning’s plea, depending on what’s revealed. Tomorrow, Bradley and Judge Lind will have a ‘colloquy,’ or a discussion in which she asks him questions about the plea he’s offering and issues surrounding it.
The plea gives Bradley an opportunity to take responsibility for releasing some documents to WikiLeaks while opposing the way that the government has charged him. He submitted a statement supplementing the plea to Judge Lind, we learned yesterday. The colloquy gives him a chance to explain some of his reasoning at greater length. For instance, his statement to the court is said to explain that Bradley hoped that the Iraq War Logs release would ‘spark a domestic debate on the role of our military and foreign policy in general.’
Defense witnesses and evidence regarding over-classification
Judge Lind largely granted a government motion that prevents PFC Bradley Manning’s defense from calling witnesses to testify regarding U.S. over-classification. The defense wants to call witnesses who could explain that some of the documents Bradley is accused of releasing could not be reasonably expected to incur harm to the U.S. The defense says the witnesses could discuss rampant over-classification – i.e. needlessly making documents secret (which the Support Network wrote about in January 2012) – to give context for Bradley’s state of mind at the time of the disclosures.
But the judge did say she’d take judicial notice of two of the defense’s proposed adjudicative facts. She took notice of the fact that Congress made findings in section two of the Reducing Over-Classification Act (though not of the act itself). Therein, Congress found that the so-called 9/11 Commission determined that “security requirements nurture over-classification and excessive compartmentation of information among agencies.”
Furthermore, Congress said,
“The 9/11 Commission and others have observed that the over-classification of information interferes with accurate, actionable, and timely information sharing, increases the cost of information security, and needlessly limits stakeholder and public access to information.”
Judge Lind also said that she would take notice of statements from J. William Leonard, director of the Information Security Oversight Office, if proven relevant. For example, Leonard has discussed findings of an ISOO study, concluding that only 64% of documents they studied were properly classified.
Even though many of the defense’s witnesses weren’t accepted, these judicially noticed facts can help the defense prove that Bradley knew that over-classification was a serious problem in the military and that releasing the documents he did would not harm the U.S.
Some court documents are finally available
The biggest news of the day may have come from outside the proceedings, as the Department of Defense announced that it’s made 84 judicial orders and rulings in Bradley Manning’s court martial publicly available online, and will continue to release filings. The release comes after over a year of protest from journalists and activists demanding access to basic court documents. Reporters and lawyers have said Bradley’s proceedings have had less press access than secretive military tribunals at Guantanamo Bay. Journalists covering the case have long complained that the lack of public filings makes covering the case extremely difficult, not least because Judge Lind reads her lengthy rulings too quickly to transcribe.
The move may be an effort to circumvent the lawsuit levied by the Center for Constitutional Rights seeking public access to the documents. When Judge Lind rejected that, the CCR appealed to the Court of Appeals of the Armed Forces for a First Amendment ruling that would ensure press access to filings in all U.S. courts martial. The appeals court has yet to rule on the CCR’s suit.
The Support Network has previously pressured the military to make documents public when Judge Lind refused to. In October, hundreds of supporters flooded Fort Meade’s public affairs office phone lines with calls for an open trial.
Still, the vast majority of the 30,000 pages in Bradley’s case remain unavailable. The Washington Post’s Julie Tate called the DoD’s announcement “an important symbolic step toward long-awaited transparency in the case.” Speaking to the Guardian, the CCR’s president emeritus Michael Ratner criticized the DoD for releasing only a tiny portion of the legal filings.

Rally for Bradley Manning. Join us at Fort Meade on June 1, 2013.

Join us at Fort Meade in support of Bradley Manning. By the time his court martial begins in June, he will have spent more then 3 years in prison. All for having done the right thing, for having exposed war crimes!
Join us at Fort Meade in support of Bradley Manning. By the time his court martial begins in June, he will have spent more then 3 years in prison. All for having done the right thing, for having exposed war crimes! Saturday, June 1, 2013 RALLY FOR BRADLEY AT FORT MEADE
By the Bradley Manning Support Network, February 25, 2013.
• 1pm Gather (Reece Road and US 175, Fort Meade, Maryland)
• 2pm March
• 3pm Rally and Speak Out

Sponsored by the Bradley Manning Support Network and the national Veterans for Peace organization, with the help of Courage to Resist, and many other groups.
After more than three years of imprisonment, including nine months of torture, Nobel Peace
Prize nominee Bradley Manning’s trial is finally scheduled to begin June 3, 2013, at Fort Meade,
Maryland. The outcome of this trial will determine whether a conscience-driven 25-year-
old WikiLeaks whistle-blower spends the rest of his life in prison. Bradley believed that the
American people have a right to know the truth about what our government does around the
world in our name. We the People must send a message to the military prosecuting authority,
and President Obama, that Bradley Manning is a patriot and heroic truth-teller.
June 1st is the International Day of Action to Support Bradley Manning. Join us at Fort Meade on
the eve of Bradley’s court martial. Solidarity actions are welcome at bases, recruiting centers and US
embassies worldwide. We ask that Veterans for Peace join us in cosponsoring these historic events.
Monday, June 3, 2013
8:30 am, enter Fort Meade at Reece Road and US 175, Fort Meade, Maryland
9:00 am scheduled daily start of hearings at Magistrate Court
4432 Llewellyn Avenue, Fort Meade, MD. It is 2 miles from the Main Gate.
The court martial is expected to last 6-12 weeks. Supporters are encouraged to attend as many days of
this trial as they are able.
Parking for Saturday, June 1, 2013. We hope to come to an understanding with local
authorities regarding the best place for supporters to park for the Saturday rally. Parking is
available about one mile south near Blue Water Blvd (Weis Market) and US 175. We’ll try to
help shuttle folks as needed.
Portable toilets are expected to be available.
Join us in the courtroom for the trial beginning June 3, 2013. Drive (or taxi) to the Fort Meade Visitor
Control Center at the Fort Meade Main Gate (all the other gates are for military ID holders only), Reece
Road and US 175, Fort Meade, Maryland. We suggest arriving when the visitor center opens at 7:30am,
and certainly before 8:15am. The proceedings are scheduled to begin at 9am daily. The multiple layers
of security take time to navigate, and procedures often change from day to day. Each person will need
a valid state or federal photo ID such as a driver’s license, state photo ID card, or passport. Foreign
passports are accepted. 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, and you may be required to cover over political bumper stickers on your vehicle. Consider
walking on base if there are any questions at all regarding your vehicle and paperwork.
The proceedings will be held at the Magistrate Court, 4432 Llewellyn Ave, Fort Meade, MD
20755 (this is one mile from the Visitor Center). Electronic devices, including cell phones,
computers, cameras, are not allowed in the courtroom, and should be left in your vehicle.
There are no pre-registration requirements for the public to attend the proceedings. However,
those wishing to attend as credentialed media should contact the US Army Military District of
Washington Public Affairs Office at 202-685-4645.
The Fort Meade Main Gate is less than 10 miles south of the Baltimore-Washington DC
International (BWI) airport. It is located between Washington DC and Baltimore MD.
From Washington, DC, take MD-295 N towards BALTIMORE to US 175 EAST, then follow
175 EAST until you come to Reece Road. From Baltimore, MD, take MD-295 S towards
WASHINGTON to US 175 EAST, then take 175 EAST until you come to Reece Road.
We hope to charter buses for supporters from both downtown Washington DC and Baltimore,
There is regional bus service from BWI Airport to the Arundel Mills Shopping Center (Bus 017).
Then take the CTC K to the Main Gate. For a Google Maps public transit view of this option:
Note that the nearby Odenton MARC train station serves commuter trains only and does not
run on the weekend. Amtrak does not stop at this station.
There are many hotels serving this area just south of the BWI Airport. The closest of these are
5-6 miles from the Ft. Meade Main Gate. One option is Aloft Arundel Mills, 7520 Teague Rd,
Hanover, MD, 21076 (866-539-0036), $80-$100 night. A search of the area turns up
rooms nearby starting at $60 a night. The only lodging really close to the Ft. Meade Main Gate
is the White Gables Motel; however, for a number of reasons, we strongly suggest avoiding it.

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Bradley Manning’s speedy trial motion denied, despite nearly three years without trial

In a pretrial hearing at Fort Meade, MD, Judge Denise Lind denied the defense’s motion to dismiss charges for lack of a speedy trial. She listened to arguments over government evidence, a written statement from Bradley, and an updated plea offer. Bradley will get a chance to explain his releases to WikiLeaks in a public discussion with the judge on Thursday.
By Nathan Fuller, Bradley Manning Support Network. February 26, 2013.
Defense lawyer David Coombs and PFC Bradley Manning, sketched by Clark Stoeckley of the Bradley Manning Support Network.
On PFC Bradley Manning’s 1,005th day in prison without trial, military judge Denise Lind ruled that the government has not deprived him of his due process right to a speedy trial. Rules for court martial require the military to arraign defendants within 120 days, and more than 600 passed before prosecutors arraigned Bradley. Judge Lind denied the defense motion to dismiss charges, ruling that the delays excluded by the Convening Authority were justifiably removed from the speedy trial clock.
Judge Lind repeatedly referenced the “complexity” of the case and the “voluminous” set of documents at issue. She did say that prosecutors mishandled discovery documents and were not justified in delaying 6 days from the speedy trial clock shortly following the Article 32 pretrial hearing in December 2011. However, those caveats didn’t outweigh her decision that the government was otherwise largely diligent.
The ruling, a verbose litany of dates, delays, and correspondence, took more than two hours to read and was virtually impossible to transcribe in full. Judge Lind refuses to make her rulings, or any filings or transcripts for that matter, publicly available, so reporters are left to scramble and summarize.
Defense, Judge Lind question government’s prejudicial evidence
Judge Lind then questioned the prejudicial nature of the government’s request to submit evidence allegedly retrieved at Osama bin Laden’s raided compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan. Prosecutors said they want to prove that the United States’ enemy “received” documents that Bradley’s accused of releasing. But defense lawyer David Coombs said that the government could show evidence from anyone to prove that the documents were in fact published on the Internet, and that this move is intended to incur prejudice against Bradley, either from a potential jury or in the court of public opinion. Prosecutors have chosen bin Laden, Coombs implied, to impugn Bradley’s character in connecting him to America’s enemies.
Furthermore, Coombs said that this request contradicts the government’s previous contention that events after the fact – such as the lack of damage done to national security – are irrelevant to whether Bradley committed the offense. The defense is not allowed to show that WikiLeaks’ releases brought no harm to the U.S. on the grounds that later harm isn’t relevant.
Bradley Manning to make his case on Thursday
Finally, the defense has submitted a written statement explaining Bradley’s offer to plead guilty to several lesser-included offenses and not guilty to some of the major specifications. Bradley is expected to proffer to plead guilty to lesser offenses, such as “unauthorized possession” of documents instead of “exceeds authorized access,” that would carry a maximum of 20 years in jail. The plea offer triggers an in-session colloquy between Bradley and Judge Lind, currently scheduled for Thursday, in which she’ll ask him a series of questions to ensure he understands to what he’s pleading. Bradley submitted the supplemental statement, which is at least 25 pages long, to educate Judge Lind ahead of the discussion.
The government objected to the statement, claiming many of the personal and political factors Bradley wishes to discuss are irrelevant to the charged offenses. By way of these objections, we learned that included in the statement are some of Bradley’s explanations and feelings about WikiLeaks’ releases. For instance, he wrote to Judge Lind that he’d hoped the release of the Iraq War Logs would ‘spark a domestic debate on the role of our military and foreign policy in general.’
The statement also alludes to the seminal incident in the Army in which Bradley objected to Iraqi Federal Police detaining political dissidents for distributing literature. As he told Adrian Lamo in chat logs published by Wired, Bradley reported the repressive arrests to his superiors but was told to keep quiet and continue helping Iraqi police. This stonewalling, it was implied, led Bradley to look for alternative outlets to expose this abuse.