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Sun Dec 2, 2012, 05:26 PM

Bradley Manning trial postponed amid debate over pre-trial confinement

Source: The Guardian

As defence looks to get charges thrown out over treatment, judge says trial will not begin until March at the earliest
Matt Williams and agencies
Sunday 2 December 2012 13.21 EST

... Military judge Colonel Denise Lind announced Sunday that Manning's trial, which had been set to begin on 4 February, would now take place from 16 March at the earliest.

Lind is currently hearing evidence relating to restrictions placed on Manning during a nine month stint in military cells in Quantico, Virginia. Defence lawyers have claimed that the extreme custodial regime he was placed under which included being confined to a 6ft-by-8ft cell for all but 20 minutes every day and being deprived of his clothes at night amounted to unlawful pre-trial punishment ...

The article 13 hearing current taking place is just one of several ways in which Manning and his defence team are seeking to reduce the severity of any possible sentence. Under the most severe of the 22 counts he faces "aiding the enemy" he could be detained in military custody for the rest of his life.

In the hope of avoiding that fate, Manning has effectively admitted that he transferred government information to WikiLeaks while he was working as an intelligence analyst in Iraq.


Read more: http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/dec/02/bradley-manning-trial-postponed-march

22 replies, 2946 views

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Arrow 22 replies Author Time Post
Reply Bradley Manning trial postponed amid debate over pre-trial confinement (Original post)
struggle4progress Dec 2012 OP
grantcart Dec 2012 #1
struggle4progress Dec 2012 #2
JackRiddler Dec 2012 #3
msanthrope Dec 2012 #7
freshwest Dec 2012 #9
msanthrope Dec 2012 #16
JackRiddler Dec 2012 #13
msanthrope Dec 2012 #15
freshwest Dec 2012 #17
grantcart Dec 2012 #22
freshwest Dec 2012 #4
struggle4progress Dec 2012 #5
freshwest Dec 2012 #6
snot Dec 2012 #8
hughee99 Dec 2012 #18
Ash_F Dec 2012 #21
USMCMustang Dec 2012 #10
hrmjustin Dec 2012 #11
Angleae Dec 2012 #12
JackRiddler Dec 2012 #14
sally5050 Dec 2012 #19
Sunlei Dec 2012 #20

Response to struggle4progress (Original post)

Sun Dec 2, 2012, 05:47 PM

1. I am somewhat confused by this.


Wasn't Manning transferred to Leavenworth over a year ago?

Is there any charge of mistreatment there?

Isn't the charge that he was mistreated by guards (including taking his clothes) cover a period of a few weeks and that he was then transferred to a federal prison.

It was probably not a great idea to have the Marines hold Manning at Quantico but I was under the impression that he was transferred as soon as the mistreatment was reported and no further mistreatment has been reported.

Am I missing something?

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Response to grantcart (Reply #1)

Sun Dec 2, 2012, 06:47 PM

2. this is pre-trial hearing stuff, which lays groundwork for the trial

The defense alleges treatment of Manning in Kuwait and later at Quantico was punitive and wants the judge to rule that Manning, if convicted, gets (say) twenty or twenty-five days off any possible sentence for every day of alleged punitive treatment

So the court will need to determine if there was illegal punitive treatment of Manning in Kuwait and at Quantico; and if the court determines there was illegal punitive treatment, the court will need to determine how to penalize the government for such behavior -- whether (say) by outright dismissing charges or granting some credit against any possible future sentence

These determinations will take a while, so the judge has once again moved the trial date back

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Response to grantcart (Reply #1)

Sun Dec 2, 2012, 08:01 PM

3. Yes, you seem to be missing a lot of something.

The solitary confinement of Manning lasted for nine months. The mistreatment such as being held naked under a bright light at all times and having sleep disrupted constantly (classic interrogation torture techniques) was reported repeatedly and continued. The motion is based on the concept of pre-trial punishment, and if that happened, it doesn't matter that it has in the meantime ended. Because it would be a violation, and it happened. All this is made clear already in the quoted matter in the OP, so it's weird that you say you missed it.

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Response to JackRiddler (Reply #3)

Sun Dec 2, 2012, 10:11 PM

7. That's not what Manning's lawyer describes as a 'typical day' for his client---




The guards at the confinement facility are professional. At no time have they tried to bully, harass, or embarrass PFC Manning. Given the nature of their job, however, they do not engage in conversation with PFC Manning.


http://www.armycourtmartialdefense.info/2010/12/typical-day-for-pfc-bradley-manning.html



All of the cells at Quantico brig are single, max security. Are you suggesting that Manning should have been given a cellmate, or been in close contact with other maximum security prisoners?

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Response to msanthrope (Reply #7)

Sun Dec 2, 2012, 11:56 PM

9. Is there any difference between that and solitary, in the legal sense? Solitary is punishment.

A single cell with no visitor could be psychologically dangerous for anyone and I think that is what is being called torture here.

It's one thing to choose to be alone of one's own will. Another to be kept apart when one needs or wants company.

Perhaps it was for security matters (although I don't see that he'd be a risk to anything under observations) or perhaps the other inmates would have done him harm.

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Response to freshwest (Reply #9)

Mon Dec 3, 2012, 11:00 AM

16. I want to direct you to my post number 15...

I do think that Manning should have been transitioned much quicker 2 medium security pretrial confinement. But the evidence I listed that has come out of the pretrial hearing Indicates that you had a vulnetable inmate who should not have been mixing with other maximum security prisoners.


















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Response to msanthrope (Reply #7)

Mon Dec 3, 2012, 07:39 AM

13. Your selective and abusive use of facts is noted.

Nine months. Twenty four hours. Under bright light. Woken up at arbitrary hours, several times a night. Forced to assume upright seated position without leaning on on anything for nine hours. Forced to sleep naked without covers. If such treatment were accorded by foreigners to John McCain in Vietnam, you'd call it torture. You wouldn't be selectively noting whether the mien of the guards was said to be professional. What difference does it make if they're business-like as they carry out the torture prescribed by the institution.

The denial is disgusting.

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Response to JackRiddler (Reply #13)

Mon Dec 3, 2012, 10:54 AM

15. Nonsense...Manning's lawyer is far more believable on this issue than

Assange's lawyer. Bradley Manning was not on suicide watch for 9 months. He was on suicide watch after he commented to a guard about hanging himself with the waistband of his underwear, shortly after another brig prisoner had hung himself.

He was on POI restrictions for a lot longer--- this according to his attorney who I linked to. There is no doubt whatsoever that the PO I restrictions were extensive. There's no doubt whatsoever that the maximum security restrictions of the Quantico brig are tough. But Bradley Manning and his attorney aren't claiming torture.

What we know from hearing testimony is that Manning fashioned two nooses while in custody... those were produced by the prosecution in court. We also know that at some point shortly after another prisoner had committed suicide, Manning claims to have "joked" about hanging himself with the waistband of his underwear. We also know ----from defense elicited testimony--- that Manning showed up to the Quantico brig insisting that he be called Breanna Elizabeth Manning. While I fully support his efforts to transition, I cannot imagine that this would be taken in stride by the psychiatric and guard staff at the Quantico brig.

He sounds to me like a very vulnerable prisoner. It would have been cruel to put him in a general population with other maximum security prisoners. He should have been transferred to Leavenworth pretrial confinement, which is medium security, much sooner than he was, and the government will have to answer to the judge for that.






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Response to msanthrope (Reply #15)

Mon Dec 3, 2012, 11:22 AM

17. Thanks for referring me to this reply. Was he given psychological counseling on the suicide issue?

It just seems something better than being naked and the lights on all the time would have been more humane.

But I can see the reasoning, and in one report he says that if he turned on his face, they came to see if he was alive, might be construed as caring, or just not wanting to be reprmanded for another death on their watch. From some comments here, there is some hostility towards him by those who served.

We aren't talking about a rehabilitation or mental health care facility. And most people don't want their minds to have to go to what could have happened to him with rest of the inmates. I have no idea what a person does to get put into the 'brig' or military prison system. But they might be violent individuals. So he should have been kept away from them.

The issue I guess gets back to the idea that many feel that Manning did not commit any crime at all. That he was answering a higher calling by giving information to Assange and Wikileaks, that supercedes the law or the oath he agreed to follow to have his position with the data he was assigned to handle.

Some may make the argument that Manning actually was doing his duty as a soldier to follow the military code about not abusing prisoners or the other things that are said to be part of his actions. So it's going to be hard to get some to agree that he should be in custody, period, or that the government has any right in this.

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Response to JackRiddler (Reply #3)

Mon Dec 3, 2012, 03:08 PM

22. No I got that.


What I was responding to was the meme I had read elsewhere (i.e. Greenwald) that seemed to suggest that his mistreatment was continuous and not limited to a particular period of time which ended in his latest transfer last year.

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Response to struggle4progress (Original post)

Sun Dec 2, 2012, 09:23 PM

4. This phrase in the article '...has effectively admitted...'

Is this just a long way of saying he confessed to doing something illegal?

It would seem he expects to do time, not to be freed as a whistleblower.

Or is does it mean they simply caught him at it?

That would mean they have to prove -- unsure of the term -- how bad his actions were.

The defense is within their rights to bring up anything they want to help him. I wish Wikileaks had contributed more than $15K to his defensewhen they were taking in $50+M.

Perhaps naively, I still see this as a young man who was used, but the chances he'll just be released seem slim. Hopefully the amount of time he's waited to go to trial will be reduced from his sentence. I'm obviously not an attorney, but imagine it falls under time served, even without a conviction.

I'm not a vet and have seen some comments here who have very strong opinions about Manning breaking his oath, the same one they took. Do you think what he did was really that bad, that he should be in prison for life?

Johnny Jihad didn't get life. AFAIK, people died from what he did. As much as I didn't want anyone over there, I felt he got special treatment because of his family.

One of you can fill me in on it if you have time. These threads are always instructive.

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Response to freshwest (Reply #4)

Sun Dec 2, 2012, 09:34 PM

5. I believe that is a reference to the fact that the defense has requested (and has been granted)

permission to plea to certain substitute charges, which would apparently include an admission of some transfers to Wikileaks

It seems that not all charges would be covered by the plea to substitutes, so the object of the plea, if made, is conjectured to be reduction of the complexity of the defense on the remaining charges, which would still be tried

Apparently the fact that the court has granted permission to such pleading does not require the defense to so plead. But it is difficult to imagine why the permission might be sought, if the defense did not seriously contemplate the plea, and the fact that the defense seriously contemplates the plea is hard to understand as anything except an admission that Manning released documents to Wikileaks. On the other hand, it is my understanding that if the defense having been granted permission to offer such a plea) never actually offers such a plea, then the court may not draw any legal conclusions whatsoever from the request for permission to offer such plea



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Response to struggle4progress (Reply #5)

Sun Dec 2, 2012, 09:38 PM

6. Wow. Thanks, s4p. I wonder if military folks would chime in on how *bad* his actions were.

Last edited Mon Dec 3, 2012, 01:12 AM - Edit history (2)

Because some see nothing criminal in his actions at all, that he is answering a higher good, that should be rewarded. And as I said, that's not my world.

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Response to freshwest (Reply #6)

Sun Dec 2, 2012, 11:19 PM

8. Many have argued that leaking US's war crimes is actually required

under international law, and would trump any violation under US law.

I don't know if that's true; but I know I think it should be so.

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Response to snot (Reply #8)

Mon Dec 3, 2012, 11:31 AM

18. That argument might carry a lot more weight if he were being tried in an international court

instead of a US military court. I'd be shocked to hear a military court announce that international law takes precedence over US law.

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Response to snot (Reply #8)

Mon Dec 3, 2012, 01:47 PM

21. Constitution>treaties>Federal law>state law

That information was classified by federal law, which is trumped by treaties, and not the constitution. So yes, you are right. They are trying to get him on the technicality that he did not go to a Senator with the information first and is therefore not protected by federal whistle-blowing laws which require it.

In reality, they are just furious that someone tried to break through the morass of propaganda about the government's unfaltering benevolence.

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Response to freshwest (Reply #6)

Sun Dec 2, 2012, 11:59 PM

10. Over In The Badlands

 

They don't know who he is.

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Response to struggle4progress (Original post)

Mon Dec 3, 2012, 01:19 AM

11. I hope the courts throw out the case because of how they treated him.

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Response to hrmjustin (Reply #11)

Mon Dec 3, 2012, 01:43 AM

12. Don't hold your breath. n/t

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Response to hrmjustin (Reply #11)

Mon Dec 3, 2012, 07:40 AM

14. It's not in the courts.

It's in the military's own "courts."

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Response to struggle4progress (Original post)

Mon Dec 3, 2012, 01:18 PM

19. This Manning Trial is PURE Military Kangaroo Court at it's heart, the details are of no Consequence

 

Kangaroo Court = a mock court in which the principles of law and justice are disregarded or perverted.

This is what the Bradley Manning trial is at it's heart, a Miltary Kangaroo court. They are using this man's valuable life time, and delaying a further month of his right to justice, for the Army to selfishly figure out how better to administer torture without the world reacting quite so badly. This is a disgusting global window into the blackest of America's soul and her need to demonstrate without apology, how badly america has become a military dictatorship with no citizen oversight in matters of great concern such as US citizen safety at the hands of her military.

I sat personally in the trial against the first Iraq conscientious objector, Sgt. Kevin Benderman. That too was a very obvious kangaroo court. The judge (a female) knew from square one what her job was, to guide the trial to a conclusion so they could give him the pre-determined 15 months in jail for doing what his commanding officer told him and going home instead of boarding the plane after he made it clear he'd do any other job duty for the military including training in Iraq if he didn't have to go back into combat. The judge "Col. Donna M. Wright" many times in the trial scolded her own Army lawyers for being unprepared, stupid and downright idiotic. Even with all the missing information and lack of true evidence to convict Sgt. Benderman he got the same amount of months that would have been his tour in Iraq, so that 15 months was determined at the outset to show other army folks thinking of being conscientious objectors that they will be severely punished rather than the Army taking that trial as wonderful new time to allow folks who have objections to killing little Iraqi girls (which was Kevin's 2nd tour objection, he just couldn't handle being on a vehicle where his other sgt.s' were gunning down iraqi children or being asked himself to do the deed.) Other militaries around the world have a very proactive way for soldiers to participate (Be trainers, cooks, medical or military police) instead of fighting, but apparently not the US. I send you this link so you can see the very real pain of Benderman's wife on hearing that she would have to live without her husband for 15 months, for a really silly reason for his incarceration. They knew Benderman's trial had to be a 'symbol to other officers who would act that way.'


But at least in Benderman's situation, the jail experience was not torture.

When we engage in the detailed analysis of "Did Manning complain about his torture" or "Could the torture of have been a nicer version of torture or was the torture 100 on a scale of 1 to 100 or was it a 45" .. we are condoning the very serious lack of habeus corpus, we are supporting the detention of US citizens without a trial and worse, we are condoning military courts which are known for their much more harsh and lack of evidence or judicial based reasoning as Seen in the Benderman trial, the judge all but got up and smacked her own attorneys because they made it clear that she as a judge would rule 15 months without sufficient evidence or a sufficient argument against Benderman. I remember the consternation on Col. Donna Wright's face when administering the sentence. This one woman knew she was the abiter of a kangaroo court.

I wish the discussion would be about how the US Citizens can lobby the White House, Obama, Biden, Hillary Clinton to give this poor boy leniency and drop all future time served because he has suffered enough and lobby them to ask their military arm to get a fucking grip and stop torturing US citizens or run the risk of losing funding. If there is no punishment to our military for such egregious failures the same ole generals and same old white male ignorant structure of leadership will do the exact same thing next time ... only next time it may be YOU who is in that 6 x 8 cell because of a facebook post, or because of a link on youtube or whatever.

No more 'but manning didn't complain." I would have done the same thing as Manning, I'd have been super nice to the guards and everyone in hopes that got me less torture and out of jail sooner. His reaction to the torture should not be one IOTA of the evidence of whether it was torture and severe or not.. we need merely look at what acts were conducted against Manning to know the detailed level of humiliation this poor boy was subjected to. Instead, Poor manning is being held yet another month of his valuable life, while the Army throws up on itself and dissects the contents of the putrid disgusting history of this fucking sordid Fucking American fucking embarrassment of cruel and inhuman treatment of one of its citizens.

Folks should be ashamed for even discussing that man's life without having deep reverence for his stalwart intelligence, resilience and brave handling of his own very painful life choices..

I am proud of Bradley manning, I am proud he's a gay man, I am proud he is an American citizen and I for one, believe he has served all the time necessary, and deserves to be set free of his time behind bars. Do what you do when folks hack the pentagon or banks, give him an ankle bracelet (or better yet just let him go entirely free) but by all means, the 'example to other soldiers' has been CLEARLLY made in the last 900 days of inhumane and humiliating treatment. I don't know any other soldiers who would risk releasing sensitive information at the risk of having this hell that manning has suffered.

LET MANNING GO HOME FOR GOD'S sake and for the folks on this thread.. stop dissecting the army's throw up!


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Response to struggle4progress (Original post)

Mon Dec 3, 2012, 01:24 PM

20. He's been punished enough for his rule breaking. Give him a bad discharge and VA healthcare.

Go after the management, they should have noticed people downloaded classified material.

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