Update 12/10/12: Bradley Manning is the Guardian’s 2012 Person of the Year, and the NYT finally appears in court to cover the trial.
Bradley Manning, the heroic whistle-blower who exposed war crimes through WikiLeaks, has won the Guardian’s Person of the Year 2012. He received an astounding 70% of the vote, revealing an incredible amount of public support. (Read more…)
Last week, the NYT public editor wrote a scathing editorial criticizing the lack of coverage by the NYT of the Bradley Manning hearing. The piece, titled “The Times Should Have a Reporter at the Bradley Manning Hearing” , points out that given the importance of these hearings, it is certainly odd that the NYT would not cover them. (Read more…)
Thankfully, pressure and protest of the lack of coverage was heard,
The New York Times “finally assigned a reporter, Scott Shane, to the courtroom, for part of one day, last Friday, but only after a barrage of criticism, including from the paper’s new public editor, Margaret Sullivan” writes Greg Mitchell in the Nation. After initially covering the Bradley Manning story in depth, reporting extensively on the documents published by WikiLeaks, the NYT was mysteriously absent during the last year, and particularly during some of the most important testimony in the hearing – including the testimony of Bradley Manning himself . The lack of coverage spurred much protest, and after the NYT public editor joined in the criticism, a reporter was finally sent to cover the trial. (Read more…)
Jesselyn Radack, of the Government Accountability Project, rips into the NYT piece, pointing out severe contradictions and context that were missed by the NYT reporter who only spent one hour at the hearing (which included two weeks of testimony). She writes, “On the ninth day of Manning’s torture hearing–one of the most important legal proceedings of the past decade–I was heartened to see that the New York Times finally showed up to cover the case.” She argues that had the reporter stayed longer, he would never have taken the testimony he heard at face value. So while thankful that the NYT did send a reporter, it is obvious that more pressure needs to be exerted on the Times. Reports based on one hour of testimony cannot begin to put into context. Radack points out that the testimony of Barnes contradicted that of other guards who had testified earlier in the week, and the NYT article missed this completely. The most glaring contradiction being that Barnes argued that Bradley Manning was not forced to stand naked outside his cell, when other testimony clearly showed he had. She writes,
“In her direct testimony, Barnes contradicted the testimony of multiple other prosecution witnesses on a number of key issues. One of the most glaring contradictions is that she testified that Manning, whose underwear was being confiscated at night, had been given his clothes back every morning, but for some reason decided to stand for morning count naked. (Everyone else testified that his clothes had not been returned to him that morning, but that he should have “known” to cover himself with his blanket. Manning testifies that he did cover himself with a blanket, but dropped it after being told he was not properly standing at parade rest.”
Radack concludes by pointing out that Barnes was the Chief Officer, and responsible for Bradley’s care – but that she ordered the removal his underwear not out of concern with his well being, but to punish him unlawfully. Further, her and Averheart (her predecessor), both ignored the advice and recommendations of multiple mental health professionals, ignored military regulations, and did not care about Bradley Manning’s well being. (Read more…)
Kevin Gosztola, a journalist at FireDogLake who has covered the Bradley Manning hearing extensively from the beginning, also answered the NYT with a piece titled “New York Times Finally Shows Up to Cover Bradley Manning Proceedings (And Their Story Is Sloppy).” He points out a few errors in the NYT article, such as reference to unlawful pretrial punishment in Kuwait – and he asserts that the Defense made it clear during the proceedings that they only sought to address the unlawful pretrial punishment of Bradley Manning during his incarceration at Quantico. Gosztola points out that while the NYT article reports on much, there was no way they could have known this as the reporter only spent 1 hour at the day long hearing before leaving. Most importantly, Gosztola addresses the lack of context in the article surrounding the testimony by CWO2 Barnes, where the Times missed the inconsistencies and contradictions that had been revealed over the course of two weeks of testimony. (Read more…)
The New York Times writes “In WikiLeaks Case, Defense Puts the Jailers on Trial.” In the last two weeks, the article points out that the defense has turned the tables on the government. The authors write,
“Mr. Coombs, a polite but relentless interrogator who stands a foot taller than his client, has laid bare deep disagreements inside the military: psychiatrists thought the special measures unnecessary, while jail commanders ignored their advice and kept the suicide restrictions in place. In a long day of testimony last week, Private Manning of the Army, vilified as a dangerous traitor by some members of Congress but lauded as a war-crimes whistle-blower on the political left, heartened his sympathizers with an eloquent and even humorous performance on the stand.
Let’s hope coverage continues to improve, as public support continues to grow for the heroic whistle-blower. (Read more…)
“My name is Robert Barker. I am retired and worked for thirty years as a Lutheran pastor, as well as being a chaplain in the U.S. Army Reserve for seven years. I support Bradley Manning and his leaking the Collateral Murder video and other material to Wikileaks thus exposing the U.S. war crimes in Iraq. This was on a par with Daniel Ellsberg leaking The Pentagon Papers.”