Manning’s defense seeks public access to court filings

Seeking greater transparency, Manning’s defense asked to publish its filings online; the government rejected this request, but the defense is working to publish redacted versions instead

By David Coombs. March 30, 2012.

Courtroom sketch of Bradley Manning's pretrial hearing. David Coombs is at left, in blue.

Our office has received several inquires regarding access to court filings by the parties. The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press and the Center for Constitutional Rights have both submitted letters indicating that the public is not adequately being informed of the proceedings. Each organization has stated that the lack of accessibility to court filings promotes the perception that issues are being decided behind closed doors. The organizations also believe the lack of transparency undercuts the public’s confidence in the fairness of the military justice system.

The Defense, in an effort to address the above concern, has requested authority to publish its motions and the Government’s responses on our website. The Government has opposed this request. The Court has issued an Interim Order that the Defense may publish appropriately redacted versions of its motions, but only after the Government is provided with an opportunity to review the redacted filings and raise any objection with the Court.

The Defense is currently in the process of redacting the various motions filed at our last hearing on March 16, 2012:

a) Defense Motion to Compel Discovery;
b) Defense Reply Motion to Compel Discovery;
c) Defense Motion to Compel Depositions;
d) Defense Motion for Bill of Particulars; and
e) Defense Motion to Dismiss All Charges and Specifications with Prejudice

The Defense is also redacting its filings submitted on 29 and 30 March 2012:

a) Defense Motion to Dismiss the Aiding the Enemy Offense;
b) Defense Motion to Dismiss Specification 1 of Charge II;
c) Defense Motion to Dismiss Based Upon Unreasonable Multiplication of Charges; and
d) Defense Renewal of Motion to Compel Discovery of Computers

In accordance with the Court’s guidance, the Defense will submit the redacted motions to the Court and Government on April 2nd. The Government will have until April 17th to state any objection that it has to the redacted filings. If the Government does not have any objections, or if any objection can be easily resolved, the Defense will be permitted to publicly release its filings. If the Government’s objection cannot be resolved, the Defense will not be permitted to publicly release its filings and the issue will be addressed during our next hearing on April 24th through the 26th.

David Coombs is PFC Bradley Manning’s chief legal counsel. This post first appeared at Coombs’ blog.

9 thoughts on “Manning’s defense seeks public access to court filings

  1. ” The organizations also believe the lack of transparency undercuts the public’s confidence in the fairness of the military justice system. ”

    You’re kidding, right? The ‘public’ has never had any confidence in the fairness of the military justice system… of the fairness of anything to do with the military… to undercut!

    ‘Redacted motions’… everything about this show-trial evokes a profound nostalgia for a United States of America that is no more… that perhaps never was.

    The NDAA… Obama/Holder arrogating to themselves the ‘right’ to murder people, including American citizens, anywhere on earth.,. the National Defense Resources Preparedness (NDRP) order, in effect the notice of Obama’s coup d’etat… we have allowed control of our government, our sovereignty, to slip through our fingers.

    • Right on brauddah, you said it right. the military is its own juggernaut. It simply answers to no one including any civilian authority including the LHN.
      Yes, I wonder why the people hasn’t rebelled and hung that LHN and the other Holder.

      As far as I can see the people are all sheeple, cowards and have certainly lost their way. It seems there is no salvation for them.

      I’ll be damned to see this fascist regime.

  2. What I want to see from the USA government is a clear description of the process according to which these Court Proceedings are redacted. What are the criteria, who has established them and what is their goal and legal basis??

  3. @John Frances Lee, i agree completely with your comment.
    What the court is forgetting is that we, the civilians, have also a mind of our own, that we are even quite intelligent. And that we easily see through there, very childish, excuses.

    The reasoning of the court is an amazing see through of there argument. They are not really arguments, they have not any honest and justifiable content, they are not even a smoke screen, so easily you can see through their argumentations.
    There is only one thing behind it, and that is to give Bradley a dishonest trial and to condemn him to life in prison. No other reason. And for that reason they tell us all kinds of childish stories.
    But they forget that in the eyes of the normal American citizen they by far have lost any credibility.
    We are not children whom you can tell a fairy tale, you have to come with intelligent and strong reasoning and argumentation in a situation where Bradley already has show that he does want to present the American people as an honest bunch, by showing the things that they should not do in front of the rest of the world. Because in the rest of the world, i am French, we are beginning to get a very peculiar view on the Americans, while we know that most or the ordinary inhabitant of the States is normal and decent.


  4. Apparently the U.S. people aren’t intelligent enough. Yes they are intelligent enough for some things but when it comes to protecting their safety and rights they aren’t intelligent. They avoid applying the solution by organizing and uniting in their drive to holding their so-called officials accountable. The easiest and most productive way is to hold a proper and thorough criminal investigation of the incident 9/11. Then a whole dragnet based on the investigation will haul in a whole bunch of upper crust high criminals. When these criminals are either executed or jailed it will bring all things into a neat little line.
    I’m deeply disturbed that counsel for Manning, including Combs, is encouraging him to roll over on Assange. I believe that would only serve to close off our access to whistleblowers and the information they bring. This would be a chilling effect on revealing crimes, abuse and racketeering within gov’t. and industry. We must protect all those involved in bringing the truth so the people can make informed decisions should they decide to act.

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