Video from press conference: statements from lawyer, Bradley Manning, and family


Watch the entire press release by Bradley’s attorney David Coombs

Bradley Manning was sentened to 35 years in prison today. He issued a statement through his lawyer calling for a presidential pardon.

Bradley Manning was sentenced to 35 years in prison today. He issued a statement through his lawyer calling for a presidential pardon. Sign the petition in support! 

Bradley Manning’s lawyer David Coombs answered questions and responded to the outrageous 35 year sentence that Judge Lind levelled against Bradley Manning.  He also read out a powerful letter by Bradley that will be delivered to president Obama asking for a presidential pardon:

The decisions that I made in 2010 were made out of a concern for my country and the world that we live in. Since the tragic events of 9/11, our country has been at war. We’ve been at war with an enemy that chooses not to meet us on any traditional battlefield, and due to this fact we’ve had to alter our methods of combating the risks posed to us and our way of life.

I initially agreed with these methods and chose to volunteer to help defend my country. It was not until I was in Iraq and reading secret military reports on a daily basis that I started to question the morality of what we were doing. It was at this time I realized that (in) our efforts to meet the risk posed to us by the enemy, we have forgotten our humanity. We consciously elected to devalue human life both in Iraq and Afghanistan. When we engaged those that we perceived were the enemy, we sometimes killed innocent civilians. Whenever we killed innocent civilians, instead of accepting responsibility for our conduct, we elected to hide behind the veil of national security and classified information in order to avoid any public accountability.

In our zeal to kill the enemy, we internally debated the definition of torture. We held individuals at Guantanamo for years without due process. We inexplicably turned a blind eye to torture and executions by the Iraqi government. And we stomached countless other acts in the name of our war on terror.

President Obama: Pardon Bradley Manning!

Supporters held an emergency rally in Washington DC, and then marched to the White House.

Patriotism is often the cry extolled when morally questionable acts are advocated by those in power. When these cries of patriotism drown out any logically based dissension, it is usually the American soldier that is given the order to carry out some ill-conceived mission.

Our nation has had similar dark moments for the virtues of democracy — the Trail of Tears, the Dred Scott decision, McCarthyism, and the Japanese-American internment camps — to mention a few. I am confident that many of the actions since 9/11 will one day be viewed in a similar light.

As the late Howard Zinn once said, “There is not a flag large enough to cover the shame of killing innocent people.”

I understand that my actions violated the law; I regret if my actions hurt anyone or harmed the United States. It was never my intent to hurt anyone. I only wanted to help people. When I chose to disclose classified information, I did so out of a love for my country and a sense of duty to others.

If you deny my request for a pardon, I will serve my time knowing that sometimes you have to pay a heavy price to live in a free society. I will gladly pay that price if it means we could have a country that is truly conceived in liberty and dedicated to the proposition that all women and men are created equal.

Bradley Manning’s family also responded to the sentence through David Coombs:

We are saddened and disappointed in today’s sentence. We continue to believe that  Brad’s intentions were good, and that he believed he was acting in the best interests of his country.

We would again like to thank his extraordinary defense team for their tireless efforts on his behalf, and of course we want to thank Courage to Resist and the Bradley Manning Support Network and the thousands of supporters around the world who have stood with Brad throughout this ordeal.

Please know that his fight is not over.

 

See also: 

White House petition to pardon Bradley Manning!
Pardon Bradley Manning campaign launched – sign the petition and show your support!
Bradley Manning sentenced to 35 years, defense moves for Presidential Pardon.

 

 

 

8 thoughts on “Video from press conference: statements from lawyer, Bradley Manning, and family

  1. I understand the message being sent by requesting a presidential pardon, and also by gathering signatures for a petition sent to the White House. It’s also strategically important for Bradley’s case.

    I also think it’s important, however, to re-iterate that we would be deluding ourselves to expect any sort of justice from the same administration which has not only persecuted more whistle-blowers than any other (most recently Snowden), but beyond that, the same President who openly declared Manning guilty more than two years ago.

    We would further be deluding ourselves into thinking that the American government has ever represented justice above its imperial & corporate interests. I’d go as far to say that injustice is inherent in war, it requires it. Occasionally, we are privileged to have a select few people honourable enough to fight against that injustice. Bradley Manning is clearly one of those people. We cannot expect the current regime to respect select few people. For many, what I’m saying is not new, and the verdict of this trial has come as no surprise. But what I’m getting to is this:

    I believe, if we truly want justice for Bradley, the kind of pressure that needs to be applied must be done so physically. That is to say, I believe we could have Bradley released tomorrow if 100,000 people, instead of signing a petition, were to march together to the White House. Like all civil rights before it, when people show their strength in numbers, and prevent politicians from ignoring it by showing up at the doors of congress, at the jails, etc – that is when pressure turns into progress.

  2. The Chairman of the Supreme Court of Sweden, Justice Stefan Lindskog, said on 3rd April 2013 in Adelaide: Ït”should never be a crime to make known crime of a state”". Unless Obama investigates and prosecutes those who comitted these criminal acts any American voting for the current USA government would be gilty of betraying his country, his world, humanity and himself. People want war criminals, constitution breakers put before courts instead of Bradley Manning.

  3. Emergency Bradley Manning Stand-Out –Park Street Station-Boston –August 21, 2013 –Report

    President Obama Pardon Bradley Manning

    (This report was written prior to the announcement that Bradley Manning, as of August 22, 2013, wants to be called Chelsea and referred to by use of the feminine pronoun. In the interest of historical accuracy this report will use the old forms.)

    Approximately 100 supporters of Private Bradley Manning responded to the call of the Boston Bradley Manning Support Committee, Veterans for Peace, and other activist organizations to an emergency stand-out at Park Street Station in Boston after his outrageous 35 year sentence was imposed by a military judge at his court-martial down in Fort Meade, Maryland. A number of speakers emphasized that the sentence imposed on Private Manning for telling the truth was harsher than many sentenced imposed on those who committed war crimes in Afghanistan and Iraq. Others mentioned the importance of continuing the fight to free Bradley by every political and legal means possible including immediately contacting the convening officer of the court martial, General Buchanan, to reduce the sentence and President Obama to grand a pardon. All speakers agreed that although it was a tough day for whistle-blowers and truth-tellers and their supporters that it was necessary to continue the fight to free Bradley. One speaker evoking the spirit of the old radical labor Joe Hill said-“Don’t Mourn, Organize! And we will.

    Over one hundred dollars was raised by passing the hat to aid in providing funds for Bradley’s future legal expenses as he, and his lawyer David Coombs, pursue the reduction of sentence by General Buchanan, presidential pardon, and any military or civilian court appeals. People were also urged to contribute on-line at the Bradley Manning Support Network http://www.bradleymanning.org/

    August 21, 2013 almost mark a new focus on the campaign to free Private Manning. The central theme of the day and of the new campaign is –“President Obama Pardon Bradley Manning.” An immediate task is to begin organizing around the call by Amnesty International and the Bradley Manning Support Network to sign an on-line petition directed to the President. The goal is to get 100,000 on-line signatures by September 20, 2013 to make our case loud and clear. All pardon petition efforts should focus on the on-line petition to send that message as one voice.

    Below is a link to the Amnesty International/Bradley Manning Support Network to sign the on-line petition. The process is a little more cumbersome than other such petitions, including having to set up an account with an e-mail but since they (and you know who the they are (first letter N) have all our e-mail addresses anyway push on. This is for Bradley.

    https://petitions.whitehouse.gov/petition/restore-united-states’-human-rights-record-and-grant-clemency-pvt-bradley-manning/L7zHZv4r

  4. Thank you Chelsea Manning for shedding light on the atrocities our country is committing by fueling war and of course we all know you will not get a pardon from our President, as he is a war criminal abroad and a thief at home, supporting the war machine that is fueled by the IRS and that against the American people that is fueled by suppression of our Constitutional right to own property (medicine). You have proved your faith in our ability to regain our Constitutional rights and your faith that we can indeed be a country under God, if not here then in the next life. I hope that you win the Nobel so that you can appeal your sentence and live free.

  5. I don’t particularly appreciate the apologetic tone of these letters, necessary as it may be. Bradley has absolutely nothing to apologize for.

  6. God bless Bradley Manning for all he has done, and for all he will be suffering, going forward.
    I have to express my deep disappointment with his defense.
    While it is true that his defense team was systematically denied the ability to present the mountains of evidence and witnesses, that would have shed meaningful light, and MAY (and should) have exonerated him.
    The fact that the defense changed its strategy, during the trial, is inexcusable.
    How can you not have foreseen this foreseeable response of the mainstream media, when you introduced all these BS issues about unit’s dysfunction, and his gender identity as a means to explain/excuse Bradley’s actions.
    Why not simply stick to your guns to the bitter end? Sure, go ahead and show the disconnect that existed, and that it resulted in an inaction, on the part of his unit. But other than that, what could you have imagined, other than that the media has been handed all the ammunition they need to paint Bradley as a mixed up cross dresser who failed to keep his mouth shut?
    Now you have helped any and all persons who were riding the fence, on whether this was an act of honor and courage, or an act of betrayal and a dereliction of duty. Fence riders are eager to fault the messenger, so why load the guns and cock the trigger for them?
    Because of your lack of sound judgment, Bradley will forever be characterized as a mixed up boy with an identity crisis, instead of a courageous soldier who took his oath seriously.
    His unnecessary apology, and your blessings of it, are all that was needed to undo everything you had hoped to gain in his defense.

  7. Pingback: Secrets Result in Abuse of Power: The New Era Is Becoming One of Transparency | Janet Wise

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