I'd like to share an email that I received last night regarding Bradley Manning, the soldier who has been accused of leaking information that allegedly posed a serious threat to United States security. New information reveals that some government agencies have reached the decision that the information that Manning is alleged to have leaked did not pose a threat to national security. If you haven't already signed the petition by FireDogLake urging the government to drop the charges against Manning then please consider doing so.
You can find the link in the email below or here. Thank you.
After 18 long months, the military has scheduled a pre-trial hearing for accused Wikileaker PFC Bradley to decide if they will move forward with prosecuting him on over 2 dozen counts. Among them, Manning faces the ludicrous charge of "aiding the enemy," which carries a potential life sentence.1
Manning's attorney David Coombs is pursuing conflicting damage assessments by government agencies, some of which concluded that the information he's alleged to have leaked did not pose a serious threat to national security.2 Such findings would go a long way to showing exactly how absurd and unfounded the "aiding the enemy" charge is.
More than 17,000 Firedoglake activists have demanded the U.S. government drop the 'aiding the enemy' charges against Pfc. Manning and with the pre-trial hearing about to begin, we need to strengthen our campaign. Can you please sign our petition demand these charges be dropped?
Manning's pre-trial hearing should last 5 days, at which time his attorney David Coombs will attack the notion that the 250,000 diplomatic cables he's alleged to have leaked online posed a serious threat to national security. If disproved, the government's pursuit of these weighty charges are wildly disproportionate to the severity of the crime he's alleged to have committed.
The defense is requesting access to multiple, conflicting damage assessments performed by the State and Defense departments, as well as the White House, that found these leaks were not as damaging as the government had initially claimed.3
Some assessments found the leaked information was "either dated, represented low-level opinions, or was already commonly understood and known due to previous public disclosures," while others alleged a profound negative impact on national security and foreign policy relations.4
Coombs will also probe the government's appalling mistreatment of Manning during his confinement at Quantico, where he was held in solitary confinement for months on a controversial "Prevention of Injury" order in highly restrictive conditions. Among the evidence his defense has requested is video of Manning's nightly forced stripping and interrogation by brig officials.5
Firedoglake has been covering the Bradley Manning story for over a year now. Our very own Jon Walker will be at the pre-trial hearing in DC on December 16th to report on the proceedings at Firedoglake.com. The government's secrecy in this case has been deplorable and FDL will shine a light on these proceedings as the trial moves forward.
Manning's pre-trial hearing is just a few weeks away. Can you sign our petition and demand these charges be dropped?
It was thanks to the steadfast determination of activists, that the government eventually caved and moved Manning from his tortuous conditions at Quantico to Ft. Leavenworth. Now that Manning will finally have his day in court, it's time to step up once again.
I look forward to working with you once again to stand up for Bradley Manning's rights.
Director of Online Activism
1. Military Finally Schedules a Date for Bradley Manning's Pre-Trial Hearing, Kevin Gosztola, FDL Dissenter, 11/21/2011.
2. Manning Defense Evidence Request, David Coombs, 11/22/11.
3. Feds Withholding Evidence Favorable to Bradley Manning, Lawyer Charges, Kim Zetter, Wired - Threat Level, 11/28/2011.
4. Manning Defense Evidence Request, David Coombs, 11/22/11.
Our contributor, Ennealogic, wrote several must read posts regarding Bradley Manning which included lots of links and information. You can read them here: