Wednesday, 20 March 2013

Bradley Manning Speaks to the world



Today Bradley Manning spoke to the world. This was thanks to a recording of the entire verbal statement he gave at his military tribunal some two weeks ago. There’s a delicious irony here, of course, in that the statement of the world’s most prominent whistleblower was secretly recorded, leaked, then published by scores of online newspapers and bloggers. That the prosecution of Manning is a farce was never in question, but now Manning himself has made it clear to the world who the real guilty party is – the US Government… 
 
A government guilty of committing war crimes.
A government guilty of covering-up those war crimes.
A government guilty of persecuting the very person who exposed those war crimes.
A government guilty of perverting the course of justice.

Thus, the US Government can no longer hide behind ‘due process’. It has been found out. And it has been found lacking, for their crimes are nothing less than an affront to the security and integrity of the American people, if not the world.

The more that is revealed about the sorry affair, the more Americans will understand and know that this Administration should not only be prosecuted for its failures but its Commander-in-Chief should be subject to impeachment. 
 
And in bullying Bradley Manning, the US authorities made a serious misjudgement. They clearly thought he would crack and implicate Julian Assange. They were so wrong. Not only has Manning stood firm but his recent statement – electrifying – proved to the world that he has every intention of turning the tables on this farce of a prosecution.

Moreover, the contemporaneous persecution of Wikileaks, which published the material Manning supplied about the war crimes, should cease. As Daniel Ellsberg commented… “And Manning in saying he took responsibility for the leaks and describing in great detail how he did it was able to say Julian Assange and Wikileaks had nothing to do with his decision to leak. WikiLeaks had not giving him any special means beyond what a normal newspaper would do. Now, there’s really no excuse for the grand jury chasing Julian Assange for conspiracy to commit espionage to continue. If they’re not going to indict the New York Times – and there is no constitutional basis for them to do so – there’s no reason for them to investigate or indict Assange or WikiLeaks. As the former general counsel of the New York Times James Goodale once said, “Charging Julian Assange with ‘conspiracy to commit espionage’ would effectively be setting a precedent with a charge that more accurately could be characterized as ‘conspiracy to commit journalism.’”

For our part, over the coming days and weeks, we will continue to catalogue, compile and analyse the evidence that Bradley Manning has provided and other evidence that has subsequently come to light that proves the case against the US Government. Visit OUR website for more information.

In the meantime, we urge all lawyers, wherever they are in the world, who have aligned themselves to human rights, to collaborate on bringing forward the case against the US Government and to demand Manning be released immediately. 
 
The audio recording
Statement from the Freedom for Press Foundation:
“Freedom of the Press Foundation is dedicated to supporting journalism that combats overreaching government secrecy. We have been disturbed that Manning’s pre-trial hearings have been hampered by the kind of extreme government secrecy that his releases to WikiLeaks were intended to protest. While reporters are allowed in the courtroom, no audio or visual recordings are permitted by the judge, no transcripts of the proceedings or any motions by the prosecution have been released, and lengthy court orders read on the stand by the judge have not been published for public review.”

Here is a Freedom of the Press Foundation (FPF) page with the recording (plus transcripts) broken into sections.




Note: the above video includes extracts from the leaked audio recording of Bradley Manning describing his response to the July 12, 2007 Baghdad Apache airstrike video that documented the killing of two Reuters journalists.

See also:
https://www.pressfreedomfoundation.org/blog/2013/03/fpf-publishes-leaked-audio-of-bradley-mannings-statement
http://dissenter.firedoglake.com/2013/03/12/leaked-audio-us-citizens-can-now-hear-bradley-manning-give-his-statement/
http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2013/mar/12/bradley-manning-tapes-own-words
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/daniel-ellsberg/bradley-manning-military-court-speech_b_2859353.html 

Thank you to Darker Net for permission to repost this Article in the Enlightening Times.