Pressure Mounts for Transparency in Manning Court-Martial (40 News Organizations) [View all]
Source: Courthouse News
Pressure Mounts for Transparency in Manning Court-Martial
Thursday, March 22, 2012
By ADAM KLASFELD
MANHATTAN (CN) - A lawyer from a civil libertarian group representing Wikileaks and Julian Assange urged a military judge to release records related to the court-martial of Pfc. Bradley Manning, the alleged source for the biggest leak in U.S. history.
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In a March 12 letter to Pentagon lawyer Jeh Johnson, more than 40 news organizations wrote that the government showed greater transparency with the cases of Guantanamo detainees than with that of Manning: "As such, the coalition respectfully urges the government to implement similar reforms in its regulations governing court-martial proceedings generally and that of Manning specifically to ensure that military personnel tried stateside have the same rights to a public trial as those afforded accused terrorists," the letter states.
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Ratner, on behalf of Assange and Wikileaks, joined that effort on Thursday, in a letter to the presiding military judge, Col. Denise Lind, which he copied to the Pentagon.
The letter quoted 6th Circuit Judge Damon Keith's grim warning, "Democracies die behind closed doors," from an opinion in the case of Detroit Free Press v. Ashcroft, which forced immigration courts to open proceedings of defendants with suspected ties to the Sept. 11 attacks.