Update 10/22/12: Public support for whistleblowers growing, take action at Fort Meade Nov. 1st!
“Whistleblowers: gagged by those in power, admired by the public” headlines the Guardian, with a prominent image of Bradley Manning beneath it. What explains the often “draconian” crackdown on truth tellers, journalist Suelette Dreyfus asks. She points to the use of new technologies which have challenged traditional power dynamics. More and more corruption is being exposed, and she argues that public support for whistleblowers is stronger than ever. (Read more…)
Take action at Fort Meade, November 1st. “Before the Iraq Veterans Against the War convention kicks off in Baltimore MD, IVAW will be out at Ft. Meade MD in front of the main gate, showing support for accused Wikileaks whistle-blower Pfc. Bradley Manning during his pre-trial hearing at the court house on base. We will be showing support for Bradley Manning the day before the judge in the case will decide to dismiss all the charges base on lack of a speedy trial. Bradley will have been in pre-trial confinement for over two and a half years before he goes to court martial. Stand with us to oppose the unjust prosecution and support Pfc Manning! Contact [email protected]. (Read more…)
In his post, “Punishing Integrity”, Simon Wood criticizes the Obama campaign’s war on whistleblowers, discussing the role of secrecy through unlawful and improper classification, and the need for courageous truth-tellers who are willing to speak out knowing full well the frequently brutal consequences,
“You believed that the word ‘classified’ means kept secret in order to protect national security or the identity of intelligence agents and their contacts. You realize to your horror that in a huge number of cases, the word means kept secret to avoid embarrassment or unwanted scrutiny, usually because some form of illegal behavior is involved, in some cases of the most serious variety: namely, murder.
What does a person of conscience do? You have gone through the chain of command but have been rebuffed. What other course of action lies open to you? At this point, you understand you have a choice: keep your head down or speak out through another medium, knowing full well that in doing so you will be inviting a holy shitstorm on yourself.”
Bradley Manning has spent more than 2 years in prison, a year of which consisted of unlawful pretrial punishment in solitary confinement. The UN has called Bradley’s treatment “cruel, inhuman and degrading”. (Read more…)
600 emails related to the unlawful pretrial abuse of Bradley Manning will be turned over to the defense after Judge Lind examined them, confirming that the prosecution had been trying to hide key evidence, “This is a small victory in these court proceedings, and will give the defense a fuller picture into the motivations behind Bradley’s solitary isolation at Quantico” reports (Read more…)
Further, materials published by the whistleblower website WikiLeaks have not damaged national security, and evidence of this will be allowed in court. Previously the prosecution had successfully gagged any reference to the lack of harm caused by the published documents, but Judge Lind has decided that this evidence will be allowed during the sentencing portion of the trial,
“Statements by key federal officials—including President Barack Obama, Defense Secretary Robert Gates, and others—that the release of thousands of classified documents by online activist group WikiLeaks posed little or no threat to U.S. national security may be used by the defense in Pfc. Bradley Manning’s military trial for treason, military judge Col. Denise Lind ruled Thursday.” reports AllGov.org.
Blocking any reference to the lack of harm caused to national security has been a key strategy of the prosecution, who worry that Bradley Manning’s status as a whistleblower be accepted by the court. (Read more…)
“Pfc. Bradley Manning privately told his trial judge Wednesday how he intends to respond to charges that he sent WikiLeaks hundreds of thousands of confidential files about U.S. diplomacy and warfare”, writes Adam Klesfield, and he suggests that a plea may soon be coming. Bradley Manning is scheduled to appear in court in February 4th. (Read more…)