Update 12/21/12: Assange’s speech, Bradley’s torture, and diplomatic influence

Wales supporters commemorate Bradley Manning's 25th birthday.

Wales supporters commemorate Bradley Manning’s 25th birthday.

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.”

Read the full essay here.

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.

See the list here, with Bradley at number 60.

3 thoughts on “Update 12/21/12: Assange’s speech, Bradley’s torture, and diplomatic influence

  1. Bradley Manning will be guilty because the judge is a military officer and will automatically end her career of anything other than a guilty verdict on most charges is reached.

    • As explained by David Coombs, lead counsel for PFC Bradley Manning, Judge Lind and all other U.S. Military Court judges forsake any further advancement on the rank-seeking career track when they choose the military justice track.

      See the posts by Mr. Coombs at his professional law blog.


  2. Boston First Night- Copley Square New Year’s Eve Pardon Private Manning Stand-Out

    Stand In Solidarity With Private Manning In Copley Square As We Celebrate The New Year, The Year Of Bradley’s Freedom. (This spot is now the traditional First Night spot for all those who want to stand against current wars, impeding wars, and for national liberation struggles so we will be among kindred spirits as people gather to watch the First Night parade that starts in the area later in the evening.)

    Let’s Redouble Our Efforts To Free Private Bradley Manning-President Obama Pardon Bradley Manning -Make Every Town Square In America (And The World) A Bradley Manning Square From Boston’s Copley Square To Berkeley to Berlin-Join Us In Copley Square (at the Boston Public Library, corner of Dartmouth and Boylston Streets ), Boston , Ma. For A Stand-Out For Bradley- First Night, Monday December 31st From 3:00-5:00 PM
    The Private Bradley Manning case is headed toward a late – winter trial now scheduled for March 2013. The recent news on his case has centered on the many (since last April) pre-trial motions hearings including defense motions to dismiss for lack of speedy trial (Private Manning’s pre-trial confinement is now at 900 plus days), dismissal as a matter of freedom of speech and minimal effect on alleged national security issues (issues for us to know what the hell the government is doing either in front of us, or behind our backs) and dismissal based on serious allegations of torturous behavior by the military authorities extending far up the chain of command while Private Manning was detained in Kuwait and at the Quantico Marine brig for about a year ending in April 2011. In December Private Manning himself, as well as others including senior military mental health workers, took the stand to detail those abuses.

    Some more important recent news from the November 2012 pre-trail sessions is the offer by the defense to plead guilty to lesser charges (wrongful, unauthorized use of the Internet, etc.) in order to clear the deck and have the major (with a possibility of a life sentence) espionage /aiding the enemy issue solely before the court-martial judge (a single military judge, the one who has been hearing the pre-trial motions, not a lifer-stacked panel). Other news includes the increased media attention by mainstream outlets around the case, as well as an important statement by three Nobel Peace Laureates (including Bishop Tutu from South Africa) calling on their fellow laureate, United States President Barack Obama, to free Private Manning from his jails.

    Since September 2011, in order to publicize Private Manning’ case, there have been weekly stand-outs (as well as other more ad hoc and sporadic events) in various locations in the Greater Boston area starting in Somerville across from the Davis Square Redline MBTA stop (renamed Pardon Bradley Manning Square for the stand-out’s duration) in Somerville on Friday afternoons and later on Wednesdays. Lately this stand-out has been held on each week on Wednesdays from 5:00 to 6:00 PM in order to continue to broaden our outreach at Central Square, Cambridge, Ma. (Small Park at the corner of Massachusetts Avenue and Prospect Street just outside the Redline MBTA stop, also rename Manning Square for the duration.) Join us. President Obama Pardon Private Manning Now!

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