Update 2/23/13: Reflecting on Bradley Manning’s 1,000th day in jail

More than 70 cities worldwide are marking Bradley Manning’s extraordinarily long and senseless confinement this weekend, with marches, live performances and other creative actions. The 1,000th day has inspired many writers to comment Manning’s case as well. Here’s some of the best writing on secrecy, Bradley Manning’s motives, and the implications his case has for our nation’s future.

1,000 days in detention and secrecy still reigns. In the Guardian, Ed Pilkington (who’s been covering the proceedings at Fort Meade) condemns the secrecy with which Manning has been prosecuted, citing the military’s refusal to make rulings, motions, and even transcripts available to the press and public. But, he writes, the case has problems more pressing than its secrecy:

“There’s a much bigger reason why the cloak-and-dagger approach of the US government to this trial should be taken seriously. America doesn’t seem to have woken up to this yet, but the prosecution of Bradley Manning poses the greatest threat to freedom of speech and the press in this country in at least a generation.”

The government’s “aiding the enemy” charge puts American journalism at grave risk, as it threatens to turn all government sources for scoops into traitors. (Read more…)

“The actions of Bradley Manning offer a moment to reflect on the meaning of secrecy in the information age.” In The Atlantic, D.B. Grady uses Manning’s 1,000th day in jail without trial to reflect on secrecy in America, and how the government’s response to WikiLeaks’ releases bodes dangerously for the future of free information. He writes of Manning’s motives:

“…when one considers that 2.4 million people have access to sensitive material, coupled with the decisive societal shift away from privacy and toward openness and “oversharing,” it’s astonishing that we’re not seeing Manning-like incidents every day. Bradley Manning is also the true — and admirable — ideological case. He wasn’t cashing in. He wasn’t attempting to overthrow the Republic. He wasn’t blackmailed. He had no firsthand knowledge of torture. He wasn’t an agent for foreign intelligence. Instead, he released the information for the cause of openness itself.”

Grady calls the government’s actions a “shameful mistreatment” of Bradley Manning, and specifically criticizes the failure to try him speedily:

“by its shameful non-application of justice in Manning’s prosecution — 1,000 days in chains for a nonviolent offense, without the dignity of a trial by jury — the U.S. government has itself revealed the most terrible truth imaginable.”

(Read more…)

‘One Thousand Days Too Many.’ At FireDogLake, Michael Ratner, president emeritus of the Center for Constitutional Rights (which is suing the military for transparency in Manning’s proceedings), writes that Manning shouldn’t be on trial at all. Manning followed his oath to protect the constitution, and he “stood up for your right to know what the government does in your name and with your tax dollars.”

In the face of incredible secrecy in the courtroom, Ratner calls for public protest:

“…despite the excellent work David Coombs is doing to defend Manning, I wonder if anything short of massive mobilization by the American people will change this brave soldier’s fate. How can his lawyer defend him when the key evidence the government is supposedly using to claim Manning harmed U.S. national security can be withheld?”

That’s just what supporters in 70 cities are doing today – we must keep up the pressure until the government cannot afford to confine Manning any longer. (Read more…)

Bradley Manning’s One Thousand Days of Imprisonment Without Trial. Also at FireDogLake, Kevin Gosztola (who’s also been reporting on the case from Fort Meade) chronicles Manning’s 1,000 days, from arrest, to Kuwait, to Quantico, and now to Fort Leavenworth. He concludes:

Manning’s case has developed into the biggest and one of the most important military justice cases in history. He has endured punishment in prison that no person should have to endure, even if they have been convicted. Incidentally, the longer it takes to get to trial, the more Americans support them as they come to the conclusion the military has mishandled the case. He has been punished enough for his alleged acts and should be set free now.

(Read more…)

‘Why massive national security leaks are good for us.’ At Al Jazeera, attorney Chase Madar (who authored The Passion of Bradley Manning) writes about the need for disclosures of information when so much is kept secret:

“The most controversial leaks since the Pentagon Papers are the WikiLeaks disclosures, which have provided fodder for thousands of new stories about the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and US statecraft in general. This is the biggest leak in our history – yet it amounts to less than one percent of the material Washington classified last year. Three years after the release of the WikiLeaks material, no one has been able to show any resulting harm to a single soldier or civilian, despite much lurid speculation about the terrible damage to US interests.”

We need leaks – the government isn’t going to open itself. (Read more…)


2 thoughts on “Update 2/23/13: Reflecting on Bradley Manning’s 1,000th day in jail

  1. I am a supporter of Pvt. Manning and am a veteran also. Went to the rally today in Portland, ME. Turnout was sparse, around a dozen activists. After hearing a few speakers I wondered has Manning admitted anything relating to the charges? What should we be saying, or not saying to the public and media? Thanks and keep up the good work!

  2. This soldier has endured so much, his own country punishing him and torturing him not 1 mth or 1 yr but 1000 days, is enought for all over the world and every citizen to vote to kick obama out of office and pardon him and give him the medal of honor.Every citizen needs to reconize his bravery and foritude of strength, as that is the truth without truth of what he said he could not have endured what he has gone through. Haven,t we seen what Jesus endured while the people sat by doing nothing we are the future more educated with knowledge, why not all stand up for Bradley Manning. May God our savior Intervene this criminal behavior of our own country against its own people.

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