Army schedules Dec. 16 pretrial hearing for PFC Bradley Manning

November 21, 2011. Bradley Manning Support Network.

Today the United States Army scheduled an Article 32 pretrial hearing for PFC Bradley Manning, the Army intelligence specialist accused of releasing classified material to WikiLeaks. The pretrial hearing will commence on December 16 at Fort Meade, Maryland. (Army News Release PDF)

This will be PFC Manning’s first appearance before a court and the first time he will face his accusers after 17 months in confinement. In a blog post this morning, Manning’s lead counsel, David Coombs, notified supporters that the pretrial phase is scheduled to last five days.

Here is the full text of his update:

“The Article 32 hearing for PFC Bradley Manning will begin on December 16, 2011 at Fort Meade, Maryland. The hearing is expected to last approximately five days. With the exception of those limited times where classified information is being discussed, the hearing will be open to the public.

The primary purpose of the Article 32 hearing is to evaluate the relative strengths and weaknesses of the government’s case as well as to provide the defense with an opportunity to obtain pretrial discovery. The defense is entitled to call witnesses during the hearing and to also cross examine the government’s witnesses. Each witness who testifies is placed under oath; their testimony can therefore be used during the trial for impeachment purposes or as prior testimony should the witness become unavailable.

Our office is committed to providing the best representation for PFC Manning during this upcoming hearing. Achieving this goal is the sole focus of the lawyers, experts, and administrative staff working on this case. Given our focus, we will not be granting any media interviews or responding to any media inquiries. However, recognizing the public’s interest and the growing support for PFC Manning, we will be issuing regular public releases. The goal of these releases is to keep PFC Manning’s supporters informed and to assist the media in providing accurate information about this case.”  (link)

Supporters will be present outside Fort Meade when he arrives on December 16 and as part of a day of action on his 24th birthday, December 17.

“The charges against Bradley Manning are an indictment of our government’s obsession with secrecy,” said Daniel Ellsberg, who released the Pentagon Papers and accelerated the end of hostilities in Vietnam forty years ago. “Manning is accused of revealing illegal activities by our government and its corporate partners that must be brought to the attention of the American people. The Obama administration lacks the courage to confront the crimes and injustices that now stand exposed.”

Manning’s supporters assert that the information he is accused of making public was wrongly and illegally classified, and that whoever leaked the information should be protected as a whistle-blower. The WikiLeaks revelations include the “Collateral Murder” video, which shows the killing of Iraqi civilians and Reuters journalists, as well as diplomatic cables that have embarrassed governments and corporations around the world. Another cable related to the cover-up of a war crime contributed to the early exit of troops from Iraq by the end of this year.

PFC Manning’s confinement conditions drew strong reactions and protests from legal scholars, politicians, and human rights advocates from around the world. He was confined for ten months at a Quantico Marine base, where he faced extreme conditions in which he was forced to stand naked and was kept in isolation. P.J. Crowley, then-spokesperson for Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, was forced to resign after he called Manning’s treatment “ridiculous, counterproductive and stupid.” Juan Mendez, the United Nations’ rapporteur on torture, still seeks to meet with Manning, unmonitored, as part of an official investigation of evidence of abuse.

The Bradley Manning Support Network will continue to provide updates as they become available.

38 thoughts on “Army schedules Dec. 16 pretrial hearing for PFC Bradley Manning

  1. Hooray! Momentum! Coombs will do a great job! I think it will do Bradley Manning well to see fresh air and also his supporters!

  2. I wonder if torture investigation specialist Juan E. Méndez will be part of this pretrial process to give testimony how he has been barred from proper investigation. To me this is a measure of guilt on the part of Quantico. I am not a lawyer though, just somebody who has a strong idea of right and wrong.

  3. Thank you Bradley Manning your selflessnes to the truth is admired by many people of different nations and religions. No country in a civilised world should blame you for your courage to bring to the fore off Truth. Hang in there mate, wont be long till you taste the air of freedom, of this i fervently believe

  4. Thank you for having the courage of your convictions, there is a quote which goes something like this ‘all it takes for evil to succeed is for good men to do nothing’ – you are respected and supported worldwide, we will all be with you in court, Dee UK

  5. I would love to see him get the Nobel Peace Prize for which he has been nominated for. The ones that belong behind bars are the murderers in the helicopter ride killing innocent bystanders in his video, and the creeps ordering it done because they’re too stupid to tell a camera from a machine gun.

  6. The world knows there is no governmental system more corrupt than the American System.
    Transparency is alluded to but never genuinely worked toward. America stands for Double Standards, Abuse, and Suspicion above all. The Freedom it Boasts of exists only in words and American Propaganda. These Crimes against the American People Must End by the outrage and determination of the American People soon or they will all die victims of the government they pay to keep in power!
    God Bless YOU Bradley!!

  7. Its yet to be sceen if this Coombs Attorney can forget his comitment to the Military and its Far reaching and Imoral judgement of anything they think is outside there little world of Injustice.After all he did swear to protect there way of dealing with anything outside the realm of Militaristic way of thinking and Did swear his aliance once ..So it will be interesting to see if he can switch sides and actualy defend someone he could have once held in such contempt..Only time will tell , i hope Manning is a trusting soul to have chosen an x Military attorney….

  8. I hope they free Bradley Manning and David Coombs kicks ass in court. what Bradley Manning did was heroic and I believe that everyone should know the truth. the real criminals are the ones who tortured him and our corrupt government. let’s see them stand naked in isolation. that is what they all deserve!

  9. Do not think Manning will get the Nobel prize , But the pulicity this trial could concevely stir up might make it worth wile for the Military to just get over it with the minium amount of disgrace and humilitation .

  10. Never forget that the one time constitutional law instructor and current Commander in Chief Obama declared last April that Manning had “broken the law.” This was before any trial or evidence had been brought forth. Therefore Manning’s legal defense team should remind the court martial over and over that no unprejudiced trial is possible, given the extreme prejudice laid on Manning by the nation’s highest officer. The whole process has been legally compromised and contaminated and should proceed no further and close with dismissal of all charges and release of Bradley Manning.

  11. Whether or not you did anything, you have become a hero and an icon. I would have more fiath in the Nobel Peace Prize if it were awarded to you.

  12. From The Guardian:The White House would undoubtedly react furiously were the Nobel committee to give Manning, now 23, the prize – a bold gesture to whistleblowers every­where. The award would also make it harder for a US military court to hand Manning a punitive jail term. He would begin to look like a political prisoner.


  14. Manning already IS a political prisoner – incarcerated for allegedly standing up for democracy, transparency and justice. Obama is a war criminal, busily garrisoning the world in secrecy. (Obama is every bit as bad as Bush, which during the Bush era was impossible to imagine. The simplest reason for Obama’s failure to prosecute Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld et al is that he is guilty of the same crimes.) Bradley, take heart: you are the 21st century’s Nelson Mandela. The people of our time owe it to you to get you out of prison. (And we owe it to Julian Assange to keep him out of prison too.) Thank you, Bradley. The entire world owes you a massive debt – from Tunisia to Wisconsin, from Baghdad to Ciudad Juarez, from Iceland to Greece.

  15. Considering Manning has not plead guilty, I am ashamed that so many comments in this thread have already said he has done what he was charged with. This is the kind of thinking that Americans need to get away from.

    Sure, I believe that Manning did do what he is accused of, and sure I believe that what he is accused of doing was the right thing to do. However, he was not proven guilty by a jury of his peers, nor has he made any plea of guilt.

    Please respect the legal process and not claim he has done something that there is no legal ground for.

    That also means that (sadly) I do not believe that Manning should get a Nobel Prize because he hasn’t claimed responsibility for what they would be giving him a prize for. If/when he pleads guilty or is proven guilty, then he should get the prize.

  16. Sadly, Bradley Manning is not the first nor will he be the last person to be imprisoned without charges, which the US govt seem to do on a regular basis. I’m an Australian and am disgusted by both US and Australian govt’s that kept David Hicks (one of my own countrymen)in guantanamo for 6yrs without charging him but instead toturing him. Why do they think they can do what they like when in a TRUE democracy they should be working for the ‘PEOPLE’and not themselves?

  17. SO when do we all get to hear an Up Dated On what is being said and done in these hearings , ?? IOts the 28th and everyone Clamming up ..So where is the Up Date???

    • @Frank We will not know what’s being said and done in the hearings until they actually begin, which will be on December 16th. Both public and press will be allowed to sit in for part of the hearings. People who are interested in participating can go to and look at our DC-area event to learn more.

  18. Americans please contact your Senators by going to and typing in your zip code. Tell them to say yes to the Udall Amendment to S. 1867, The National Defense Authorization Act. The feds want to imprison anyone (Americans who have no connection to any sort of terrorism too)anytime, anywhere.

  19. A Group of us plan to walk from McPherson Square to the rally to show our support. It’s about 27 miles the route that looks practical.

  20. A little help from Italy. Thanks Bradley.
    Ps: here in Europe we gazed to Obama as a hope … what a disappointment.
    And sorry formy English…

  21. Pingback: 2011-12-04 #WikiLeaks News: Pres. Obama, Sec. Clinton called to witness in Manning's pretrial; New Support Campaigns | wikileaks

  22. Our Goverment must keep itself honest and transparent with us, The American people. -As we can see, young whistle blower Bradley Manning saw this was not happening in our goverment, but he understud american citizen were denied outright tranparency, discosure of wrong doing in Iraq war etc.- So, Bradley Manning became a whistle blower for Americans so we could see the illegal mistakes some make during war, but our gov. seems embarras about it, so they hid these news from us…..I support Bradley manning, “Free Bradley Manning”!!

  23. Well All these Suporters are realy interesting , Reading everyone in his suport thinking prehaps he might get off free , I do not think He will , The Military are self Governd and have little or no regard for Publick opinion and will do whatever they feel they can get away with to this Young Private that they have no regard for Like a Fly in there expensive silver spoon Mommy fed them with ..But cant help wonder If any one of these suporters will stand up and Help him if He ever sees freedom again ..Amazing how fast suport can evaporate when an acused or prisoner sees freedom and needs a helping hand ..Interesting fact of Suporters speaking out but not realy hearing or having involvement ……

  24. i would have done it too bradly…im only human…support…confidentiality guaranteed…don’t tell anyone else:)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *