ABC News reports: “Private First Class Bradley Manning, the American soldier accused of leaking hundreds of thousands of classified and confidential military and diplomatic documents to the anti-secrecy website WikiLeaks, took the stand in a military court [Thursday] to make his first public statements since his arrest in 2010.”
KEVIN GOSZTOLA [email], @kgosztola
Co-author of Truth & Consequences: The U.S. vs. Bradley Manning, Gosztola is covering the Manning trial at Firedoglake.com. He said today: “Bradley Manning has been in pretrial confinement for over 900 days and, in this current hearing, his defense is arguing he was ‘unlawfully punished’ while imprisoned at the Quantico Marine Brig for nine months. They hope to have the charges dismissed or be awarded credit for time served and are putting key commanding officers on the witness stand to show how the Brig was more concerned with media attention and scrutiny from senior officials in the Pentagon and Washington than they were with Manning’s health.” Gosztola’s and Fuller’s availability is limited as they are physically covering the trial.
NATHAN FULLER [email], @nathanLfuller
Fuller is with the Bradley Manning Support Network. He recently wrote the piece “Quantico psychiatrist: Bradley Manning treated worse than death row inmates.” He said today: “Bradley Manning testified about his abusive treatment at Quantico, his futile efforts to remove himself from restrictive Prevention of Injury status, and his much-improved conditions when he was transferred to Ft. Leavenworth. The fact that Ft. Leavenworth officials felt he was immediately ready for medium security treatment and wasn’t at risk to harm himself reveals the senselessness of the conditions at Quantico. Furthermore, Manning testified that a brig official told him that his psychiatrist recommended his POI treatment, while that psychiatrist was actually attempting to reduce Manning’s restrictions. Quantico officials claimed Manning’s treatment was in his best interest while ignoring its detriment to his mental health.”
THOMAS DRAKE, [reachable via twitter, @Thomas_Drake1] Drake was a senior executive of the U.S. National Security Agency. He recently and successfully concluded a legal ordeal with the federal government including an Espionage Act centered indictment over the past several years. He blew the whistle on vast illegal electronic surveillance and data mining inside the U.S. and other government wrongdoing. He has recently been given awards for his role as a whistleblower.
He has been tweeting:
“As fellow whistleblower & truth teller I stand with #Manning. Unlawful pre-trial punishment is horrific price for courage of his convictions”
“#Manning’s own testimony clearly&dramatically reveals he was subject of rendition, incarceration & torture in total violation of UCMJ. Free.”
“Believe gov’t at highest command levels willfully chose 2 punitively punish, abuse & torture #Manning in order 2 break him as a person (1/2)”
“#Manning on receiving end of cruel &unusual punishment’-pathological projection by gov’t as pre-conviction 4 his ‘crimes’ of conviction 2/2″
“#Manning as accused has rights. Gov’t severely violated UCMJ pre-trial conditions&procedures. Citizen protections stripped. Dark side mirror”