Bradley Manning offers to accept responsibility for releasing classified docs as act of conscience

Hundreds rally for Bradley at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas.

November 9, 2012. By the Bradley Manning Support Network

Army PFC Bradley Manning, awaiting trial for allegedly sharing thousands of classified documents with the transparency website WikiLeaks, offered to accept responsibility for a narrow set of offenses within the currently charged offenses this week during a pre-trial hearing at Fort Meade, Maryland.

“PFC Manning is not pleading guilty to the specifications as charged by the Government,” noted PFC Manning’s attorney David Coombs on his blog. Nor is he “submitting a plea as part of an agreement or deal with the Government.”

“Like most supporters, I’ve backed Bradley Manning on the belief that he was the heroic whistle-blower in question,” explained Jeff Paterson of the Bradley Manning Support Network. “Now that Bradley appears to have acknowledged this in court, its reason to redouble efforts to support him leading up to his February court martial.”

If Bradley’s plea offer is accepted, the parties would likely be able to bypass weeks of forensics testimony that would be required to prove Bradley accessed and/or transmitted the classified documents at issue. The court martial proceedings might then focus on what Mr. Coombs has long contended: That the release of these documents brought little to no harm to U.S. national security, and that PFC Manning’s motives, if he did release them, were to expose crime, fraud, corporate malfeasance, and abuse.

The military has worked to preclude the defense from discussing harm, or lack thereof, in the merits portion of Bradley’s trial, seeking to prevent him from being seen as a military whistle-blower. However, Bradley has now opted to be tried by military judge Denise Lind alone. “Much of the ongoing litigation over the last year can now be looked at in a new light–as an effort to educate Judge Lind in regards to Bradley Manning’s whistle-blower motives,” offered Jeff Paterson.

“The Government may still elect to prove up the charged offenses,” explained Coombs.

The parties return to Ft. Meade on November 27 for a six-day hearing focusing largely on the defense’s motion to dismiss charges based on PFC Manning’s unlawful pretrial confinement conditions at the Quantico Marine Brig.

Following that hearing, Mr. Coombs will give his first ever public presentation, speaking at All Souls Church Unitarian (1500 Harvard Street Northwest) in Washington D.C. at 7:00pm on December 3.

19 thoughts on “Bradley Manning offers to accept responsibility for releasing classified docs as act of conscience

  1. It takes a special type of hero to stand up for the truth . Manning deserves the support of the entire world , of which we are all citizens .

  2. Obama should be ashamed of himself – as a lawyer he knows Bradley is being illegally persecuted and is a `hero to many people all round the world. Honour your promises, Mr. President – close Guatamala and protect the rights of people who are NOT ASHAMED TO TELL THE TRUTH. Is he so beholden to his big sponsors that he cannot tell the truth?

  3. My sympathies & support for Bradley’s choice to offer a plea bargain. He’s already served a sentence in jail without being convicted of a crime. If there’s any justice in the system, Judge Lind & the prosecution will accept the plea, decline to press further charges and sentence him to ‘time served’ and allow this young hero to go free.

  4. Whatever the charges,Manning’s detention has been unconscionable. No demonstrable harm has been done by his revelations. Maybe some corruption at higher levels has been exposed.

  5. The retaliatory, illegal exposure of Valerie Plame’s work did endanger national security. Yet there those who perpetuated that have not yet been prosecuted. The word “hero” doesn’t do Bradley Manning justice, an understatement.

  6. As with any case requiring an example to be set manning may be the victim of a governmental show of force to chill other whistle blowers .Free Bradley Manning and investigate Petreus

  7. From Australia I watch. As we know, there is a great deal hanging on this trial… the breath of Freedom itself… and Truth for an unfolding radiant new world where we can have trust in due process.

  8. I think Bradley is innocent. What else would any humane person do when they witnessed that helicopter shooting down civilians in the street, including kids. Democracy NEEDS whistle blowers…It may be uncomfortable for gov’t, but how else are we to know w3hat they are doing in secrecy…in our names and with our tax money?

    • In short, Bradley unilaterally (via a “plea”) said, yes, I sent the docs to WikiLeaks, but I’m not guilty of what your charging me with. And he received nothing in exchange for that admission. The media has found this very confusing because “the truth” doesn’t occur much is such proceedings, with some reporters incorrectly interpreted this as Bradley “seeking a deal”. Bradley can’t go into trial (schedule to start in February) with a serious whistle-blower/act-of-conscience defense unless he acknowledges that he’s the guy. So, in my opinion, he’s doing so now on the most favorable grounds available. The Government may or may not accept his declaration, but Bradley will be able to present a consistent defense of his actions going forward regardless. I think “it works” for Bradley’s goals, but it may or may not alter the final verdict by Judge Lind.

  9. Thank you for being so courageous!
    At the very least, the world’s largest imperial armed forces should be held accountable for its actions in light of the law.

  10. Private Manning Support Remarks Made By A Speaker At Smedley Butler Brigade Armistice Day (Veterans Day) Observance In Boston –November 11, 2012

    Welcome one and all and I am glad you could be here for this important struggle. The Smedley Butler Brigade of Veterans for Peace proudly stands in solidarity with, and defense of, Private Bradley Manning and his fight for freedom from his jailers, the American military.

    Now usually when I get before a mic or am on a march I am shouting to high heaven about some injustice. Recently I was called strident by someone and when it comes to the struggle against this country’s wars, the struggle for social and economic equality, and for freedom for our political prisoners I am indeed strident. But I am looking for something today something personally important to me, and so I will try to lower my temperature a bit- I want, like you, for recently re-elected President Obama to pardon Bradley Manning so I will be nice, or try to be.

    Bradley Manning is in a sense the poster person for all of us who have struggled against the wars of the last decade. He stands charged with allegedly leaking information about American war crimes and other matters of public concern to Wikileaks. We, and we are not alone on this, do not see whistleblowing on such activities as a crime but as an elemental humanitarian act and public service. Private Manning has paid the price for his alleged acts with over 900 days of pre-trial confinement and is now facing life imprisonment for simple acts of humanity. For letting the American people know what they perhaps did not want to know but must know- when soldiers, American soldiers, go to war some awful things can happen and do. He has also suffered torture at the hands of the American government for his brave stand. We have become somewhat inured to foreign national being tortured by the American government at places like Guantanamo and other black hole locales. We have even become somewhat inured to American citizens being tortured and killed by the American government by drones and other methods. But we know, or should know, that when the American government stands accused of torturing an American soldier for not toeing the war line then we private citizens are in serious trouble.

    Why does Private Manning need a pardon? Did he give away the order of battle or the table of organization for American military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan? No. Did he give away the design for drones and such weapons? No. He allegedly simply blew the whistle on something that is a hard fact of war- war crimes by American soldiers through release of the Collateral Murder tape and what have become known as the Iraq and Afghan War logs. This is what the American government had tried with might and main to cover up. And what needed to be exposed. All talk of bringing democracy, or nation- building, or having a war to end all wars, and the million other lame excuses for war pale before the hard fact that in the heat of war the real strategy is to kill and burn and let god sort out the innocent from the guilty.

    That is what Private Manning exposed. I, and I am sure many other veterans from previous wars who saw or knew of such things and did nothing about it, are glad that such things were exposed. If for no other reason Private First Class Bradley Manning deserves presidential pardon for his service. To insure that event we urge everybody to ramp up their efforts in behalf of Bradley by signing here or online at the Bradley Manning Support Network site the petition to the Secretary of the Army for his release and to call/e-mail or write a letter to the White House and demand that President Obama pardon Private Manning.

    We have been holding weekly stand-outs in Davis Square in Somerville outside the MBTA Red Line stop Wednesdays from 4:00to 5:00 PM and urge you to join us. Or better yet start a Free Bradley Manning stand-out in your own town square. Thank you.

  11. But will the US Gov take responsibility for the actions described in the leaks? US Gov leave Bradley alone, stop harassing him, and focus on doing something right.

  12. We Brits are currently hearing nothing about the admirable, half-Welsh, Bradley Manning, but lots about Petraeus and Allen, and their feeble, disreputable conduct. [Not the drone wars, or conduct of US/coalition forces in Iraq and Afghanistan, however!]

    “The Land of the Free” should be ashamed of its skewed priorities. Let’s hope that the prosecuting authorities and the judge will recognise that scapegoating Bradley Manning will only further publicise the double standards in play here.

  13. Bradley Manning “offered to accept responsibility for a narrow set of offenses within the currently charged offenses” because he wanted to show his respect to laws and its system, just like Socrates.

    But the question is why those “respected” laws allowed people to commit crimes, but now try to punish a guy following his conscience and exposing those crimes and evils. Now we must ask: who should be brought to trail, manning or “laws”? IT’S TIME TO BRING THE GENUINE LAWS BACK TO GUARD JUSTICE, TRUTH AND HUMANITY.

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