Manning judge alters charges to assist Gov’t ahead of verdict

By Nathan Fuller and Jeff Paterson, Bradley Manning Support Network. July 28, 2013. 

Original Drawing of Judge Col. Denise Lind, presiding in US vs. Bradley Manning (by Debra Van Poolen)

Original Drawing of Judge Col. Denise Lind, presiding in US vs. Bradley Manning (by Debra Van Poolen)

“The Government has pushed this case beyond the bounds of legal propriety. If the Government meant ‘information’, it should have charged information,” explains defense attorney David Coombs in legal filings last week. 

Two years ago, Army PFC Bradley Manning was charged with five counts of stealing government property, in violation of federal statute 18 U.S.C. 641. He faces 21 total charges for providing WikiLeaks with classified information at the court martial entering its final stage. After the Government rested its case against PFC Manning, defense lawyer David Coombs detailed how the evidence presented did not support those five 18 U.S.C. 641 charges. He appealed to military judge Col. Denise Lind to dismiss them outright; however, she let them stand. Shockingly, she then stepped away from her role as the “finder of fact,” and into a clearly partisan role by allowing the Government to significantly alter its charges on July 24, 2013–long after all legal arguments had been made. 

“Because all of these critical ‘clarifications’ are coming after eight weeks of testimony, and because these offenses carry with them 50 years of potential imprisonment, and because the Defense was actually misled by the Charge Sheet, the Defense requests that this Court declare a mistrial as to the section 641 offenses,” declared Coombs.

This move by Judge Lind allowed the prosecution to switch its theory, alleging now that Manning stole “portion[s] of” databases instead of the entire databases themselves. The change is for the Iraq and Afghan War Logs and the Global Address List. The evidence clearly shows that Manning downloaded Iraq and Afghanistan Significant Activity reports (SigActs), not the entire Combined Information Data Network Exchange (CIDNE) databases, which included far more – and far more sensitive – documents. 

This alteration is not semantic. Legally, it’s substantially different than the original charges, and more to the point, it comes long after the government rested its case, precluding the defense from going back to question witnesses differently. The defense moved for a mistrial on those charges.

Under Rule for Courts Martial 915, a military judge may declare a mistrial when “manifestly necessary in the interest of justice because of circumstances arising during the proceedings which cast substantial doubt upon the fairness of the proceedings.” 

Judge Lind denied the defense’s motion for a mistrial on the theft charges last week, and the defense has filed a motion for the court to reconsider. Today, the judge announced that the defense did not request oral argument on the motion, so she will simply take this under advisement. The government has filed a response, but we likely won’t be able to see that until after the judge has ruled. 

Coombs lays out the injustice at hand,

The Court has accepted the Government’s argument that databases = records = information. If this were the case, how difficult would it have been for the Government to actually charge “information” in the Charge Sheet? Why did it use the word “database”? Why are we in a position, three years into the case and after the presentation of all the evidence, where we have to read one word (“information”) into another word (“database” or “records”)? Why is it that the Defense is the party that is penalized for an apparent misunderstanding of the charged property? Why is the Government not held to task for using one word (“database”) when it apparently meant another (“information”)? 

To prove a violation of 18 U.S.C. 641, the prosecution must show that the information allegedly “stolen” was worth more than $1,000. The government worked to prove its original claim, and now it says that its evidence proves the changed charge.

The Government itself sought to prove that PFC Manning stole “databases” (i.e. the receptacle or infrastructure associated with maintaining the records). Approximately 95% of its valuation evidence took the form of proving the value of the databases, not the information or the records. This shows that the Government itself, when it used the word “databases” in the Charge Sheet meant databases, not information or records. The Defense, seeing all the evidence that the Government was adducing on the database, was eminently reasonable in assuming that when the Government charged “database” it meant “database” (the physical receptacle for the information).

Coombs cites federal case law involving 18 U.S.C. 641 and “information,” something the government appears not to have studied.

The Defense, and the accused, should not be penalized for being aware of federal case law on section 641. As the Defense argued in its motion to dismiss, every federal case where the theft of information was alleged actually charged theft of information. The Court failed to reference this fact in its Ruling, apparently believing that such a factor was unimportant to its disposition. However, such a factor is critical—since this will be the only prosecution to be maintained based on theft of “information” where “information” was not actually charged. A federal accused should not fare better than a military accused in terms of the notice provided to him under federal law (i.e. a federal accused’s Charge Sheet will state that the accused stole “information”, while a military accused must extrapolate “information” from the word “database”). If the Government chooses to incorporate federal law, then federal law in terms of charging and proving the offense, must be followed.

Prosecutors’ negligence of case law might explain their confused and “schizophrenic” theories of what Manning “stole.”

Here, the very property at issue is subject to dispute. This is, in the Defense’s view, more critical than who the accused allegedly escaped from, or who the money technically belonged to. If those cases concluded that there was a fatal variance between pleadings and proof, so too should have been the case here. The Government never did establish that PFC Manning stole “databases” –whether one defines databases as the receptacle alone, or the receptacle plus the records in that receptacle. And now the Court has given the Government a get-out-of-jail free card by allowing the Government to avoid the necessity of proving the value of the receptacle, even though the Government itself embarked on a mission to prove the value of the receptacle. In short, not even the Government knew what it was proving when it charged and pursued the section 641 offense. 

Coombs explains why this is irreparably damaging to the defense’s case, with no proper recourse,

Now, after the close of evidence, the Court has grafted onto the Charge Sheet the word “information” – something that the Defense did not know it had to defend against until after it had cross-examined Government witnesses and after it had called its own witnesses. In short, the Defense did not know of the case to meet until 24 July 2013, almost two months into the trial, and the day before closing arguments. The Defense is now left to hope that the Government has not presented enough evidence to prove a charge that the Defense did not actually defend against and it does not believe the Government actually charged.

If the Defense had known that when the Government charged databases, it really meant information, the Defense would have defended this case very differently.

For one thing, the defense would have better been able to and had more ground to challenge the testimony of the government’s witness, Mr. Lewis, on whom it relied to prove the value of the documents charged.

Mr. Lewis himself did not seem to understand the government’s case.

…the Defense would have filed a motion to preclude Mr. Lewis from testifying and from being qualified as an expert. The Defense would have fully briefed this issue with reference to relevant case law. The Defense interviewed Mr. Lewis on numerous occasions prior to the case and Mr. Lewis repeatedly indicated that he did not know why he was testifying, he did not consider himself an expert on the value of information, and he would not be able to provide any value for documents. In fact, on the Friday prior to Mr. Lewis testifying on the Monday, he still held this position.

Furthermore, Judge Lind accepted the government’s new claim that stealing records and stealing copies of records are legally the same thing, without supportive case law.

The Court also has apparently accepted the Government’s position that there is no distinction between original records and copies of records both for identifying what was allegedly stolen and for placing a value on it.

Clearly, here there is no question that the records that PFC Manning sent to WikiLeaks were copies of records that he maintained on CD. However, the Court is allowing the Government to argue and introduce value of the production of originals when what the Government is saying is that PFC Manning converted the copies.

Judge Lind blamed the defense for the confusion because it didn’t seek further clarification from the government last year. Coombs explains why this is problematic.

The Court appears to fault the Defense for not requesting additional specificity in the Bill of Particulars on the res alleged to have been stolen. See Ruling (“In the bill of particulars, the Defense posed questions with regard to the Government’s theory of prosecution. The Defense did not seek more specificity as to the items charged. Nor did the Defense seek clarification after receiving the Government’s response.”). The Court ignores the fact that there was no need to request “further clarification” given that the Government stated that it was “clear” what property was alleged to have been stolen or converted—specific, identifiable databases (CIDNE, NCD and SOUTHCOM). The Court indicated at the time that the details provided by the Government provided sufficient notice of the charges against the accused. The Defense was not obligated to further ask the Government, “Are you sure you don’t mean information? It looks like you probably meant information, so maybe you should change the charge sheet before referral.”

It is ironic that the Defense was supposed to read into the word “database” the concept of information, all while the Government was doing its best to present every bit of available evidence valuing the actual CIDNE, NCD and SOUTHCOM databases (excluding the value of the information). 

Judge Lind allowed the government to change its sheet to allege that Manning stole “a portion of” each of the databases at issue, yet the defense wasn’t on notice that it needed to question witnesses about “portions” of the databases.

The Defense would have interviewed witnesses and ascertained for itself what the cost of production of these records would be. The Defense would not be left simply hoping that the Government has not met its burden of proof.

Coombs summarizes these points in full. 

It is clear from federal case law that “records” and “information” are different things. The Court’s conflating of “database” and “records” and “information,” after the close of evidence, is not a fair or accurate reading of the law and unfairly prejudices the accused in this case…. 

If the Defense knew that the property allegedly stolen was “information” it would have proceeded in an entirely different fashion. This is true as well if the Defense knew that the Court would allow the Government to value original records when no original records were stolen or converted.

… 

The accused is still facing the prospect of life in prison (due to what the Defense submits is an unprecedented Article 104 charge). There is no need to mar the appellate record in such a way that it clear that a substantial doubt is cast upon the fairness of these proceedings.

The judge will take this motion into consideration, amid her deliberation on the final verdict. If she does not declare a mistrial on the theft charges, she will be taking the government’s unsupported position yet again, further prejudicing Bradley Manning, whose trial is already rife with injustice.

91 thoughts on “Manning judge alters charges to assist Gov’t ahead of verdict

    • If we do not have the independent press when engaging in tragic wars, then we desperately rely on persons like Bradly Manning. Perhaps, it’s about time to face real time war sending people from the independent press…… Truth always liberates, no matter what.

  1. I feel the public will have grounds to withhold any and all tax contributions to a government the proves over and over that it has take on a life of it’s own and is no longer serving in the best interest of the people.

  2. Just another American kangaroo court. Government has turned on the people. North Americans are living in an authoritarian dictatorship.

      • This ‘trial’ has nothing to do with the military, you know… it is a shame that someone outside can brainwash, ups, sorry, influence a military judge, that is really the problem in this trial.

      • Military justice is to justice as military music is to music.

        Bert, that is a cute little soldiers’ complaint that I used to hear a lot from kids after they got a well justified article 15.

        Bradley Manning wrote an extensive statement explaining his reasons for joining the military and for releasing the records he released.

        Read it sometime. Manning is a manpulative and morally shallow individual with delusions of grandeur.

        Manning was recycled in basic training more than once. The people who kept him in the Army instead of discharging him made a monumental error.

        Manning simply is not suitable for military service. It is a national tragedy that this unfitness turned into a major international incident instead of being a small detail on Bradley Manning’s curriculum vitae.

        If any generalities can be drawn from Manning’s experience, it should have to do with the Commander in Chief making decisions based on his gut and ignoring normal military, legal or diplomatic protocols.

        Bert, live and be well.

      • No, I disagree, military music outshines military justice. There is no valid basis for comparison. Military justice is more akin to a kangaroo court–full of foregone conclusions and a lot of haywire paving the way for them.

      • May I quote from Wikipedia’s article on Lt. William Calley?

        As many as 500 villagers, mostly women, children, infants and the elderly, had been systematically killed by American soldiers during a bloody rampage on March 16, 1968.

        Calley was initially charged with 109 murders, and convicted of 22. [All his co-murderers claimed at trial that he had instigated it, and he certainly gave the orders to kill all civilians in the village. Only Calley was convicted of anything at all -mm]

        [Sentenced to life at hard labor at Leavenworth, he served only 3 1/2 years of house arrest, and was quietly pardoned by Pres. Nixon - mm]
        [ Here are some acts and statistics of what the US did following conviction. This is the nation which you have inherited, and this is the nation which still murders and pardons their own atrocities, while evilly killing and vilifying any who disagree - mm]

        “Georgia’s governor Jimmy Carter instituted “American Fighting Man’s Day” and asked Georgians to drive for a week with their lights on.[10] Indiana’s governor asked all state flags to be flown at half-staff for Calley, and Utah’s and Mississippi’s governors also disagreed with the verdict.[10] The Arkansas, Kansas, Texas, New Jersey, and South Carolina legislatures requested clemency for Calley.[10] Alabama’s governor George Wallace visited Calley in the stockade and requested that Nixon pardon him.

        After the conviction, the White House received over 5000 telegrams; the ratio was 100 to 1 in favor of leniency.[11] In a telephone survey of the American public, 79% disagreed with the verdict, 81% believed that the life sentence Calley had received was too stern, and 69% believed Calley had been made a scapegoat.[11]”

        There is no justice on North America, my continent ,only a cruel and monstrous population destroying, killing, maiming in their “buck fever” frustration. Those of you who agree with it, enlist in it, are merely part of the unconscionable evil.
        I did time in prison for only a couple years for my disagreement then ,although my how was surrounded by 7 FBI with drawn guns, and others, including military persons threatened my life.
        I still regard any and all who band together to kill, as so weak as to be unworthy of attention, and have repeatedly seen and heard judges fail utterly in humanity – unless of course, you regard the pardoning and support of Calley as humane in the light of what he did.
        Such people as those who join and support or order the US military need to exit this continent; they are a vile disease upon the earth.

        • Jimmy Carter’s public statement last week reported only in German free press then picked up on the blogs …. >The USA is no longer a functioning democracy<

        • Perhaps it is time to start pressuring the people who are most likely to be elected as our next President; to make it a priority, once they are in office, to grant a pardon for both Bradley Manning and Edward Snowden. In fact, maybe some politician out there should base his entire election campaign on the promise that he will give these guys a full pardon. I think a huge number of people might get up off their lazy rear ends and go vote if it was something that they truly believed in. Maybe even an independent. I sure would.

  3. We need to start campaigns to keep kids out of the military till Bradley is released.Even need to get high school and college kids involved,tell them to start campaigns at their schools and tell the kids not to talk to the recruiters when they show up at the schools.They’ll release Bradley if it causes them not to get new recruits for the military,I know,I’ve been in the military.

    • It’s a nice approach. Except for Bradley Manning’s case itself. The information released by Manning is another reason not to join the US military. It showed that US government and its military are the biggest terrorist on earth probably already exceeding the scale of Nazis, so why should people join a terrorist group?

      However, one thing we might worth worrying about is that once this movement reach or grow to certain level, the government will not tolerate this, and it will think of some ways to repress the campaigns.

      • Agreed. I’ve been saying for a long time that if the people get too strong in opposing the government, the government will pull out all stops and will call out all Blackwater type mercenaries to repress us very harshly.

        Those in power will not give up easily.

        Beware.

      • Yep… it’s called re instituting the Draft. Which this will be the case if we get pulled into Syria. After all that has happened,(Manning, Snowden, Benghazi, Iraq, Afghanistan, Drones & innocent civillians killed, the list just keeps growing) who would want to sign up. I can see why the suicide rate has escalated in our returning soldiers. Not fair to them and especially NOT FAIR to Manning!!!

    • I checked online a while back looking for campaigns to keep kids out of the military.
      I expected to find many. I found almost none. This made me want to leave the country. How can there be such a strong protest against the Middle Eastern invasions and yet no campaign to warn our brothers, sisters and children about being suckered into the military? These kids have no idea what sort of evil they’re getting themselves involved in and virtually nobody is informing them.

    • There needs to be strong unrelenting opposition to the military until there is no military.If injustice towards Bradley Manning is the issue igniting it then it would be a wonderful fit. If there were no soldiers the military could not wage war against foreign innocents or against US civilians. There also needs to be a way to bring Judge Lind to justice by a people’s court along with those involved in the war crimes that Bradley Manning so courageously stood against. Our civilian courts have repeatedly been shown to belong to the wealthy and stand against the people. We could not have become “prison planet” without these whores of corruption. Military courts are more powerful than civilian courts so of course are more corrupt. Did we expect anything other than blatant continuation of their crime? They only fear their ‘secrets’ being told yet blatantly give the public the powerful f*** off when they are exposed.

    • Right, an overthrow of the US government and establishment of a new order based on force is the road to justice?

      Polymath, you are just trying to be provocative, but only succeeding in being mindless.

    • Technically, it’s not an overthrowing of our government that is needed; it’s an ousting of the murderous psychopaths who have hijacked our government which is needed.

  4. This case is turning into an absolute farce. Seems to me that both the US Government and, in particular, the US Military is determined to “get” Bradley Manning. Judge Lind appears to be very biased in favour of the latter two bodies. Why is it that nothing is heard about those US Military individuals that were involved in the murder of journalists and others on the ground being brought to justice. Bradley Manning highlighted serious atrocities and looks like paying a very high price for doing so. It is so, so wrong. So much for the “land of the free”. God help America and God Bless Bradley Manning. Wake up people in the USA, you’re treading dangerously with your military and Barak Obama as Commander-in-Chief. Is America turning into a very big evil in the World, or has it already done so? Free Bradley Manning immediately, he’s the real Hero in all of this.

    • Unfortunately, US has been the biggest evil on earth since the end of WWII. Lots of Noam Chomsky’s book addressed that, for example, Understand The Power or How The World Works, or Failed States. His books about politics are easy to read, mostly saying the same thing, but strangely enough I never feel bored reading them.

      • Are we ignoring the sercret war in Argentina, the Warsaw Pact Countries rape of nature, the Chinese Communists’ forced famines, the Khmer Rouge’s auto genocide, the numerous African genocides or the political wars in Latin America when we make the claim that the USA is the greatest evil in the post WWII world?

        If so, we might be accurate. Otherwise, that statement, by Noam Chomsky or anyone else is bogus.

      • They altered the charge sheet because it was lawyers writing it, and at the time they wrote it, they didn’t have a proper grasp of IT terminology.

      • The Government does not want to let the people know this is a “show trial”, whether it is or is not. I believe it is in the government’s interest to convince the public that this case is a just trial, whether it is or is not. So, it could be that the alteration of the charge sheet would look more just to the people than ruling charges that are obviously not true. Bradly Manning will be prosecuted, and we the people will be pissed. Many of us will not stand for this judgment, but will it be enough to make change happen? We need to be Patriots for our country, and defend our hero’s rights. Bradly Manning is a hero by fighting for us in the military, and also by blowing the whistle on the largest terrorist organization on Earth. The US military betrayed me. I am Bradly Manning.

  5. Yes, the military is its own biased institution of injustice and self-preservation. The government always goes with its mythical authority rather than the intent of the authority thus the trial already “rife with injustice”. Regarding recruitment of children, I certainly agree and yet parents are still unknowing of the recruitment while children are still in school or they choose to ignore for whatever excuse. New in this conversation is that last week as “part” of the efforts to resolve the immigration/citizenship issue, a House member, Congressman Denim or Dunham from CA, has proposed an amendment to the House immigration legislation called the Immigration Recruitment amendment in which the Congressman says this is just another option for children to become citizens in that they could serve in the military (as has been done with others who have sought citizenship). To this, I ask, when will it ever end?… another move to obtain bodies coming in and retention high for the military and for the next invasive, imperialistic, illegal wars of the U.S. Injustice, manipulation, and lies are continuing to replace democracy with hypocrisy plutocracy.

  6. Again, I state, that President Obama, at a political fundraiser, acting as the head of this country, trained in Law, knowing full well the weight of sway his opinion has, declared that Manning was “guilty”. This alone should have been used to obtain a dismissal of charges.

  7. The American Government is following the path of Ancient Rome — deceit is the primary rule of order!!!

  8. It’s a farcical amateur theater piece. Just a show before they throw Manning into an industrial shredder, or whatever.

  9. It is unfortunate that Bradley Manning should have to rely on the technicality of a procedural misstep by the prosecution, and I will admit that there is a very small part of me more intrigued to see the impact on our national psyche of a conviction rather than an acquittal, but I’m going to trust that this F*up by the prosecution won’t really be allowed to turn the whole trial into a total farce.

  10. This is infuriating! Judge Lind will be held accountable 100 fold for the injustice she is perpetrating. She may now begin to witness the events in her life close in to claim the debt of injustice she now justly owes. Pity and shame!

  11. He’s doing jail time regardless of the aiding the enemy charge. He plead guilty to 10 of the lesser charges and will at least spend the next decade in prison for them. Farce or not he will pay for what he has done, as he should.

  12. Did any of us really believe the judge was impartial, or he would get justice? Lind is just a tool for the military.

  13. It seems as though; the way that the prosecution is being allowed to retrospectively change the direction of the case after they have rested their case, which would most likely fail under the defences scrutiny, is clearly a perversion of justice.

    I wonder if the government is aware that; attempting to pervert the course of justice is a crime, but more importantly to Manning’s case may represent a clear instance of an ‘Ex turpi causa non oritur actio’ as grounds for appeal. If one has to dishonourably pervert the course of justice in order to manufacture a different case to answer in order to win the original case against the accused then it stands to reason that there was no original substantial case to answer in the first place.

    The entire scenario is on par with a thief being charged with murder and then after everything has come to a close the prosecution states, “Did I say murder? I meant theft” and then the court finding the defendant guilty of murder.

    If this case doesn’t get thrown out then the American Justice system should put on a pair of boxing gloves, call itself Roger and enter the Tekken.

  14. The United States government advocates the overthrowing of dictatorships when they themselves are dictators.

  15. Thanks for your excellent coverage of this epic farce. Comedians will have plenty of food for satire, thanks to Brad, WikiLeaks and us making the government look like idiots. It’s hard to be humble, especially after what my dear departed grandpa showed me about our founding ancestors and other kin. Scumbags are trying to make communicating with them and one another by telepathy “aiding the enemy.” Before puppets and trolls start in on me – Army Psychic Intel HQ is at Fort Meade. Officials will go as low as it takes to shut us up. A friend was threatened by one of the thugs spying on Brad’s supporters. He asked her if she wanted to die because of him. We’d be manhandled and worse if we made such remarks to Brad’s guards. Nathan’s probably heard it, but I wanted others to know. Our relatives say we and Brad have nothing to fear. It’s clear who the cowards are. Bullies aren’t the right stuff, but the standing parasite Army is full of them now.

  16. All things considered, a non-military court would have been better. It would have been a kangaroo court, too, but then the appeal would go to the Supreme Court and embarrass them like mad. The military can swallow up a fake decision too easily.

    • Bradley Manning admitted committing the most serious breach of military ethics.

      Manning released classified information peritinent to US military operations from an acitve combat zone.

      Motives for such actions are not exculpatory.

      Neither Bradly nor his defense at trial have demonstrated that Bradley was disobeying an unlawful order, the sole exculpatory circumstance.

  17. While this is a lengthy article I am not sure the prosecution is wrong. Sounds to me like a minor word change ‘info’ to ‘database’. Could be argued to mean essentially same thing. Info is IN database. More like a technicality to me, which should not cause a mistrial. Hair splitting is going on too much in U S. today. Also military courts are under different guidelines than American civil or criminal courts. When u enlist in military u fall under their rules , not civilian law. That’s why they have these. We may not agree with all of it. I know this is a tough one. But manning is held to a different standard and he, of his own volition, joined the military AND agreed to abide by its rules. I am to the point where fairness is overrated, and we have to cope regardless. Just an opinion. Pls no bashing

  18. If she’s trying to prove to the world that she’s corrupt, she’s doing an excellent job.
    Mistrial – new judge.

  19. This goes to show just how CORRUPT our government has become. It’s only stealing information when someone else does it. But it’s ok for the NSA to steal all of our info. We need to get rid of all dirty government.
    Maybe it’s time we all vote independent.

  20. I just picked it up on a tweet-Bradley #Manning verdict expected at 1 PM ET tomorrow, Ft. Meade. MDW has not yet sent out media advisory regarding arrival time. #FreeBrad

  21. 1 PM? What, couldn’t figure how to move it up to the traditional lynching time of HIGH NOON? Folks in OUR armed services, it’s Potemkin TIME!

  22. There was no way this should ever had been expected to be a “fair” trail. The trail is controlled by the military and the government that has committed the “crimes” detailed by the “information” that was intended to kept secret. If “they” allow such “information” to easily be made public, their entire method of operation would have to change. They can not and will not allow that to happen as it supports all they believe in and want/need to defend… right or wrong.
    Anyone who makes public “information” such as this is bound to pay a terrible price. To be nailed to the cross.

  23. What a sad indictment this case has been thus far upon the American rule of law. So many of us have sacrificed so much for the ideals we believe this country stands for only to see that those who hold power at the top prove daily through their actions that they care very little about basic principles such as honesty, integrity, respect and honor. Human compassion and dignity require nothing less than the freeing of Bradley Manning and recognizing his actions as being heroic. He embodies the true spirit of every American who thirsts for freedom and righteousness amidst a corrupt and broken system.

  24. Bradley Manning is an expression of human nature because of his moral intelligence. As a mature and responsible human being, as a ‘free spirit’, he acted out of true freedom. “Acting out of freedom does not exclude the moral laws; it includes them, but shows itself to be on a higher level than those actions which are merely dictated by such laws.” (Rudolph Steiner, Philosophy of Freedom)

  25. I am ashamed. Ashamed I am not the man that Bradley Manning is. Ashamed that I have not done for him a fraction of what he has done for me. Ashamed I have not done more to fight the terrible injustices in our country. Ashamed that “our” government operates independent of the alleged principles upon which the country of the white population was founded. Ashamed that this farce is not screaming from every television station, radio station, newspaper, news website, social media site and blog. Ashamed that we have a “legal system” that is utterly biased and bought off. Ashamed that it is okay for our government to torture its citizens, just as it tortures foreign nationals. Ashamed that our military has not stood on principle and refused to incarcerate, punish and try an innocent man, a man of courage, one of their own. Ashamed that we have gone backwards in our history: Where once such terrible injustices were done in secret and cloaked in denial, they are now committed openly in the false names of “patriotism,” “justice” and “war on terror.”

    I am ashamed today. But I pledge to do more from this day forward. For Bradley Manning. For Julian Assange. For Edward Snowden. For all who put the truth above themselves.

    And I will not be silenced. And I know, I am on of millions.

    • Excellent post Adrian…ditto.
      I too am ashamed of this country’s inability to walk the talk of our “democracy”. And it is so very sad that men and women still put their lives on the line for this supposed ‘democracy’…more like ‘hypocracy’. Where will this end, like a Taylor Caldwell novel of the 50′s, ‘The Devil’s Advocate’, merciful heaven.

  26. If this isn’t the definition of a kangaroo court, then I don’t know what is. We have no right to criticize any other government (Soviet Era Trials) after watching this one and some of the storm-trooper antics employed. I used to be so proud of the USA, but now I feel duped.

  27. This (kangaroo) court case shows why Eisenhower was afraid of the growing power of the military industrial complex.

    The case is about hiding the crimes and failings of corporate spying organisations that are also massive military contractors working for their own interest not for the people of the USA.

    Obama does not run America it is run by Blackhawk Corporation the Carlysle Group and Lockheed.

    If Manning Assange and Snowden are taken down by these corporate rulers of America and this is justified by their corporate media partners, then we and our democratic systems go down with them.

    In a democratic world these men would be our greatest heroes. They are the new Mandela’s being imprisoned for our freedom.

  28. Bipola rather than schizophrenic..schiz referes more to delusional althou the gov are delusional they are accusing Manning of what Snowden is accusing the gov of..stealing peoples imformation. Kangeroo is a good description thus giving grounds for snowdens asylum. Oxymoron is another good word..These whisleblowers are selfless heros keep up the campaigning people and pressure the gov so that Manning may get an apeal.

  29. Now that this 3-ring circus is over, it’s time to put the real traitors or trial:

    George Bush, Dick Cheney, Barack Obama, and Joe Biden.

    • And you can even go back to George Bush Sr. and Bill Clinton who have killed hundreds of thousands of innocent people in these Middle East wars. Since Bush Sr. we have been involved in a falsely titled World War 3.

  30. Really! How could any competent judge allow the wording of any charge be changed after the trial has commenced, let alone over. What a travesty! Let it be known!

  31. How much longer does Col. Denise Lind expect to serve in the military? Where does she expect to work after (or if) she retires from service? Can her law license be challenged in civilian state bar commitees should she try to practice in private after her discharge? I get very angry when people in uniform start blowing smoke to weakly distract the civilians who can see the truth for themselves. There is no such thing as military intelligence.

  32. If “the is no honour”, then there can be no justice. Justice can never be rendered if the code is written in silly putty rather than stone.On behalf of my father, I thank the Bradley Manning Support Network.

  33. If this trial isn’t madness, what is? Alice had a far more fair trial when the Queen of Hearts was the judge, & she was a tartar….

  34. [email protected] on said:

    Judge Lind

    Bradley Manning was sworn into the United States Military on the grounds that he was to defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic.

    As the enemies at this time are more domestic than foreign, as huge sums of money for defense, line the pockets of politicians, and as there is no room in the military anymore for humanitarian effort, I petition the court to reach a verdict of a mistrial.

    Your judgement, should it be anything other than a mistrial, will be held in contempt by citizens all over the world, not only you as a judge, but the United States System of Military Law, The first thing that will fall apart is the integrity of the President, and all future and Past Presidents who have supported this outrage. You too owe your allegiance to the Constitution and the Presidents of the United States under which you have served.

    Private Manning was doing his duty, his sense of justice was strong, his might, was for right, and not the might of the war criminals perpetrating the mass killings, who were never questioned in the matter. Did you subpoena them to testify at the trial?

    In fact, Manning had an innate sense of right and wrong, he took the high road by not following orders. In fact, he exposed the atrocities of a war, that all societies condemn. In fact, you lost his enlistment papers, making him a good citizen tried in a corrupt military court,

    If this is a system of justice that punishes Bradley Manning for not being corrupt, then, obviousley it is the system that needs to be changed. If you remember the glove from the Simpson trial, if you remember the statement by Johnny Cochran? Then you must acquit.

    Bradley Manning is a good citizen, who served his country in an hour of need where truth has been subjugated by murder, where honor has been subjugated by terror, where justice might be subjucated by a defense of War Crimes in perpetuity.

    If you do not believe that the glove of human kindness and compassion has no place in the Military, and you wish to have every enlisted soldier fitted with an iron glove, connected to a drone or other instrument of mass destruction, then you are, with your ruling, creating a cruel and terrible world.

    The glove that the military wears is in your hands, by your verdict, and in your name. Please choose wisely.

    Tomaso

  35. The information/database was not “stolen.” It was only provided to the media for whistleblowing purposes. Whistleblowing is clearly not theft when the information and/or database is taken solely to show government wrongdoing, not for the enrichment of the accused.

  36. Col. Denise Line, the military officer serving as judge in Bradley Manning’s court martial is running the trial like a game of slop pool, any ball, any pocket. She is not only allowing the government to throw heaps of doo-doo at the wall to see what sticks, but it looks like she’s helping them to hit some targets. If anything she should do what it takes to get the prosecuting team charged with dereliction of duty having presented their trumped up charges indiscriminately forcing her to “look bad” no matter how she responds. She must surely realize that, no? The whole charade is a disgrace.

  37. Feeling safe in saying that a hero, Bradley Manning, will be convicted, IT IS A VERY SAD DAY FOR THIS COUNTRY.

  38. Bradley Manning is a good and decent man, who saw wrong and wanted to right it, saw suffering and wanted to heal it, saw war and wanted to stop it.

    Bush & Obama have brought America to one of it’s darkest periods in history where it seems its Military (in foreign countries) are free to do wrong, cause suffering & create war with no come back what so ever & the President has the nerve to say after every speech “God bless America”

  39. This kind of ‘justice’ has been routine at the US funded International Criminal Tribunal for The Former Yugoslavia ( ICTY ) for years.
    Now it’s come home.

  40. Just another reason to get out of the United States. You could get a trial this fair in North Korea. When people say “it may be bad, but it’s still the greatest country on earth”, WHAT other country are they referring to? A freedom fighter will die in prison because the beast can’t stand to be exposed.

  41. I am from vancouver,canada and i wanted to say that i was at a Bradley Manning rally here in vancouver last saturday.All charges against Bradley Manning should be dropped.He did the right thing in exposing the barbaric acts and brutality of american troops in other countries like Afghanistan and Iraq.People in other countries need to know the facts so they can protest against what the american gov.is doing.It is the american gov. that should be on trial at the world court in the Hague for crimes against humanity.

  42. in cilvilian court d judge is restricted from aiding the defense or prosecution also from expressing any opinion till after the verdict and may be taken off the case.clearly the judge is bias .and you wonder why he did’nt follow the chain of corruption

  43. Of course the judge slanted towards the prosecution, even when they made mistakes that should have caused a mistrial or dismissal of all charges. You don’t get to be a judge in such cases by being impartial.

  44. This is shameful. I have the utmost respect and appreciation for Manning as an American who stands on the real foundation of freedom. Not this contrived foundation of a corrupt government with a gun in one hand and the controlled media spoon in the other. Force feeding us bs until we puke. As a former Marine, it just saddens me to no end. I can only hope that in my days to come I will be as brave and courageous as Manning has. He is a true patriot and a true hero.

    And to the ones playing into the game of this corrupt agenda. You are sowing the seeds of your own death and you don’t even realize it. Adolph Hitler had a quote for people like this, “useful idiots.” Education yourself and please quit being a useful idiot.

  45. I’m not a layer nor is my native language English, BUT something (after very carefully reading some portions of the article word by word) is now CRYSTAL clear to me. In regards to the summarized ‘problematic’ legal points, as being lain down by the Defense (and ONLY that, leaving ALL other arguments in favor to PVC Manning aside for the time being), namely the passages:

    ‘ It is clear from federal case law that “records” and “information” are different things. The Court’s conflating of “database” and “records” and “information,” after the close of evidence, is not a fair or accurate reading of the law and unfairly prejudices the accused in this case….

    If the Defense knew that the property allegedly stolen was “information” it would have proceeded in an entirely different fashion. This is true as well if the Defense knew that the Court would allow the Government to value original records when no original records were stolen or converted. ‘

    …I’m left WITHOUT a doubt, that the law was here BROKEN by the GOVERNMENT side (however bizarre it may seem) and just by considering this fact ALONE, legal CONSEQUENCES (in favor to Defense) MUST have been ‘set in motion’. If this is enough a for mistrial is far beyond my knowledge, but just the ABSENCE of ANY consequences, makes me wonder, if this trial was from begging nothing more than a show.

    One would certainly expect a certain biased attitude from the Court against Manning, but DISREGARDING the law (as explained by Coombs in the article and repeated in the relevant passage in my response) to achieve a certain goal, is (with an understatement) a violation of the U.S. constitution (of which I know virtually NOTHING of) and when such things happen, we all know, what that means… :(

  46. This judge(Judge Col. Denise Lind), according to Democracy Now, during the course of the Manning trial, has been given a bump up into a higher court after this is over. Pretty blatant judiciary espionage.. Should she not be recused because of this fact? And why is this not news?

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