Update 12/21/12: Assange’s speech, Bradley’s torture, and diplomatic influence
Julian Assange praises Bradley Manning’s strength in embassy address. In a speech from the balcony of the Ecuadorian Embassy in London, marking his six months in political asylum there, Assange praised Manning’s admirable endurance, following the young Army private’s torture hearing:
But the biggest cheers came when he praised Bradley Manning, the alleged source of WikiLeaks’ most earth-shaking revelations.
He said the 25-year-old “has maintained his dignity after spending more than 10 percent of his life in jail, some of that time in a cage, naked and without his glasses.”
Andrew Blake writes of “The Torture of Bradley Manning.” In an essay for VICE, Andrew Blake, who attended Manning’s most recent proceedings at Fort Meade, documenting his solitary confinement. Blake writes,
Since the summer of 2010 Pfc. Manning has been held in military custody, and sadly that was the reason a handful of us had assembled this week. The latest round of hearings would involve soul-crushing first-hand accounts of the nine months at Qauntico that had nearly killed the soldier. Defence attorney David Coombs is asking the court to dismiss all charges with prejudice due to alleged illegal pre-trial punishment that he says his client was subjected to in violation of the Uniform Code of Military Justice and the Fifth and Eighth Amendments to the US Constitution. At a rare public appearance in Washington on December 3rd, Coombs said Pfc. Manning’s time at Quantico will forever be etched in history as “a disgraceful moment in time.”
Bradley among most influential figures on U.S. defense list. On a roster filled otherwise with politicians, top military officials, and defense contractors, Defense News chose Bradley Manning among the top 100 most influential members of United States defense. While those who wish to silence Bradley’s dissent apoplectically claim he put sources and soldiers at risk and already has “blood on his hands,” Bradley’s actual influence is that he has opened diplomacy to the public view, giving taxpayers a much-deserved look at how their government works around the world.