Update 6/27/12: Bradley wins discovery documents in court, Alexa O’Brien harassed at Ft. Meade

Bradley Manning at Ft. Meade

On Monday, June 25, Bradley Manning’s defense won a battle over discovery documents the prosecution has been hiding throughout the trial. Ed Pilkington details the legal victory for the Guardian:

In Monday’s hearing, Coombs crystalised his objections, accusing the prosecution lawyer army Major Ashden Fein of failing to afford Manning a fair trial. “Normally, these games are not played. You hand over discovery and let the facts speak. You don’t play hide the ball, and that’s what the government’s been doing,” Coombs said, according to a report by the Associated Press.

By ordering the prosecution to prepare a “due diligence statement”, the judge is casting a light on what the prosecution has – or has not – done to disclose evidence to the defence. She gave the army until 25 July to draft the statement.

Lind also came down on the side of Manning when she ordered the military prosecutors to hand over to the court so-called “damage assessments” prepared by a range of government agencies including the CIA, FBI, state department and the Office of the National Counterintelligence Executive, Oncix.

Kevin Gosztola further discussed the due diligence order with RT:

Journalist Alexa O’Brien was threatened with arrest and loss of credentials for investigating at Fort Meade. O’Brien, who has covered Bradley Manning’s trial in detail from its inception, was attempting to learn why the press room at Ft. Meade was closed during Bradley’s most recent motion hearing. When she started asking questions, Ft. Meade personnel told her she was being “disruptive,” that she’d broken rules, and that she could be arrested or have her credentials revoked.

O’Brien recorded audio of her discussions and included the recordings in her report of the incident.

This is far from the first account of journalist-intimidation at Ft. Meade. In fact, working to winnow out media access has been the general rule for Bradley’s trial. Rainey Reitman chronicled early media access problems for the Nation, expanded on by Nathan Fuller.

Shayana Kadidal has written about how the façade of access to Manning’s trial is more insidious than a full media blackout, which would stir controversy whereas choking off access slowly just makes it difficult to cover. Kadidal is a lawyer for the CCR, which is legally petitioning the military for public access to court documents. That petition was rejected, but the CCR is filing an appeal with the Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces.


4 thoughts on “Update 6/27/12: Bradley wins discovery documents in court, Alexa O’Brien harassed at Ft. Meade

  1. Just by having PFC Manning detained for 73o days without a trial, the US Military puts itself in the wrong.

  2. Let’s Redouble Our Efforts To Save Private Bradley Manning-Make Every Town Square A Bradley Manning Square From Boston To Berkeley-Join Us In Davis Square, Somerville -Beginning July 4th The Vigil Will Be Every Wednesday From 4:00-5:00 PM


    Click on the headline to link to a the Private Bradley Manning Petition website page.

    Markin comment:

    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 vigil in Greater Boston across from the Davis Square Redline MBTA stop (renamed Bradley Manning Square for the vigil’s duration) in Somerville from 4:00-5:00 PM on Wednesdays. This vigil 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 or Berkeley. And please sign the petition for his release. I have placed links to the Manning Network and Manning Square website below.

    Bradley Manning Support Network


    Manning Square website


    The following are remarks that I 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 500 days, and has been held without trial for much 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 Bradley Manning Now!

  3. Remarks in soliarity with Private Manning made by a member of Veterans For Peace at the May 9th 31 Saint James Street Boston rally in solidarity with our embattled SEIU sister and brother janitors.

    Sisters and brothers, hermanas y hermanos, we of Veterans for Peace stand in solidarity with our hard-working fellow workers trying to get some justice in this wicked old world and not let them lose their jobs to some faceless corporation seeking to play “the race to the bottom” for their own profits.

    I, personally, stand in solidarity as well, because back in the day I too worked for a time as a janitor right over here at Emerson College in the dark of night. That was just to earn some dough. Later, when I got more politically savvy, I was a janitor in a unionized automobile plant. So I KNOW that the brother and sister janitors working at 31 Saint James Street are hard-working. Buffing the floors, vacuuming the rugs, dusting this and that, emptying wastepaper baskets, and, well, cleaning the restrooms, and no offense to the mujeres, in the audience, theirs were the worst to clean. You janitors know what I mean, right? The office buildings, the factories, the industrial and high tech parks don’t just clean themselves. It takes honest work by the forgotten and unseen obreros to do it. And they should be paid well and have job security for their efforts.

    Now Veterans for Peace is best known for its militant anti-war work, especially in these days of permanent war just now centered in Afghanistan but next year who knows where once the imperial government rears its hind legs. And the defense of whistleblower Private Manning. But VFP has also participated in the anti-capitalist struggles around Bank of America and home foreclosures and the like. Think about it though, the struggle against war, the struggle against the profit-gouged banks and their predatory practices and the struggle against the race to the bottom capitalists for labor dignity and some social and economic justice. Mi amigos they are all the same struggle, the same fight. So as the old time militant labor slogan goes- an injury to one is an injury to all. Venceramos.

  4. Yep. Re: the façade of access to Manning’s trial is more insidious than a full media blackout, which would stir controversy whereas choking off access slowly just makes it difficult to cover. This is no different than the intimidation of people like Dan Choi and everyone else that supports Democracy and not this neo-fascism that is becoming the new America, neo-America.

    They are playing the ‘game’. This only serves to hide the corruption and shield war criminals, nothing more or less. Isn’t the Nation the oldest running political publication about Democracy in the country?

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