Various politicians -- MPs and former MPs from Iceland and Tunisia, two Pirate Party MEPs from Sweden -- have nominated Bradley Manning for the Nobel Peace Prize. Anyone can nominate anyone else for the prize, but this is a particularly good one, especially given the torture Manning faced for his brave efforts, and the ongoing persecution he is experiencing. As the nominating letter points out, Obama has already publicly announced his belief that Manning is guilty, which makes rather a mockery of a fair trial.
Manning is a soldier in the United States army who stands accused of releasing hundreds of thousands of documents to the whistleblower website WikiLeaks. The leaked documents pointed to a long history of corruption, war crimes, and a lack of respect for the sovereignty of other democratic nations by the United States government in international dealings.
These revelations have fueled democratic uprisings around the world, including a democratic revolution in Tunisia. According to journalists, his alleged actions helped motivate the democratic Arab Spring movements, shed light on secret corporate influence on the foreign and domestic policies of European nations, and most recently contributed to the Obama Administration agreeing to withdraw all U.S.troops from the occupation in Iraq.
Bradley Manning has been incarcerated for more then 1000 days by the U.S. Government. He spent over ten months of that time period in solitary confinement, conditions which expert worldwide have criticized as torturous. Juan Mendez, the United Nations’ Special Rapporteur on Torture and Cruel, Inhuman and Degrading Treatment or Punishment, has repeatedly requested and been denied a private meeting with Manning to assess his conditions.
Bradley Manning is nominated for a 2013 Nobel Peace Prize
(Image: Wikimedia Commons/Anubis3 - Public Domain)
Yochai Benkler, in The New Republic
, on an exchange that took place in a military courtroom in January during pre-trial hearings in the Bradley Manning/Wikileaks case:
The judge, Col. Denise Lind, asked the prosecutors a brief but revealing question: Would you have pressed the same charges if Manning had given the documents not to WikiLeaks but directly to the New York Times?
The prosecutor’s answer was simple: 'Yes Ma'am.' The question was crisp and meaningful, not courtroom banter. The answer, in turn, was dead serious. I should know. I was the expert witness whose prospective testimony they were debating.
That "Yes ma'am," argues Benkler, makes Manning's prosecution "a clear and present danger to journalism in the national security arena." Read the rest.
Alexa O'Brien transcribed the statement that Pvt. Bradley Manning read to the court yesterday
. Manning pleaded guilty to exfiltrating classified documents
, but not to a more serious charge of aiding the enemy. In his statement, Manning described his motivations for leaking the information, and said that he tried to contact other news media before Wikileaks, but was ignored.
Army private Bradley Manning pleaded guilty on Thursday to 10 of the 19 total charges made by the US that he leaked unprecedented amounts of classified material to Wikileaks, the anti-secrecy organization run by Julian Assange.
Manning entered a not guilty plea to the government's more serious charge of "aiding the enemy," which carries a possible maximum sentence of life in prison. In a statement before the military court today, Manning said he leaked the classified information to "spark a domestic debate."
Liveblog coverage of his trial: Mother Jones, Reuters.
Ed Pilkington at the Guardian reports Manning first contacted the Washington Post about providing them with some of the classified material while he was on leave in January 2010; the the woman who answered the phone said the "paper would only be interested [in the documents] subjected to vetting by senior editors."
Read the rest
In response to Freedom of Information Act requests, the military today released 84 court documents
related to the case of Bradley Manning
. As is routine, many of the documents are redacted.
The Army private is charged with being the source of classified documents published by WikiLeaks, the anti-secrecy organization headed by Julian Assange.
The documents released today include court orders, and various rulings read aloud in court. The DoD says more documents will be released, pending review and redaction.
Read the rest
The New York Times finally gets around to covering the Bradley Manning hearings
at Fort Meade, MD. The accused private faces a life sentence if convicted on charges he supplied WikiLeaks with hundreds of thousands of confidential military and diplomatic documents.
But for now, his attorney "has grilled one Quantico official after another, demanding to know why his client was kept in isolation and stripped of his clothing at night as part of suicide-prevention measures." — Xeni
Bradley Manning (by Clark Stoeckley)
Kevin Gosztola is liveblogging the pre-trial hearing of suspected Wikileaks source Bradley Manning at Ft. Meade.
Also in the courtoom, the Guardian's Ed Pilkington, and Arun Rath of Frontline/PRI's The World, both of whom live-tweeted the proceedings today.
Artist Clark Stoeckley (@WikileaksTruck on Twitter) is also present, and is live-sketching. I like his coverage the best.
Read the rest
The Associated Press has details on the unusual plea deal being considered in the case of Bradley Manning, the Army private accused of passing classified documents to Wikileaks.
On Thursday, a military judge, Col. Denise Lind, accepted the terms under which Private Manning would plead guilty to eight charges for sending classified documents to WikiLeaks.
The judge’s ruling does not mean the pleas have been formally accepted. That could happen in December.
But she approved the language of the offenses to which Private Manning would admit, which she said would carry a total maximum prison term of 16 years.
Private Manning made the offer as a way of accepting responsibility for the leaks. Government officials have not said whether they would continue prosecuting him for the other 14 counts he faces, including aiding the enemy. That offense carries a maximum penalty of life in prison.
"My world just shrank to Camp Arifjan and then my cage. I remember thinking: I'm going to die. I'm stuck here and I'm going to die in animal cage."— Bradley Manning, testifying at Fort Meade
on Thursday. (Guardian) — Xeni
Declan McCullagh reports on a military appeals court hearing taking place today: media and civil liberties groups are asking
the court to "decloak the prosecution of Bradley Manning, an Army private accused of handing thousands of classified documents to Wikileaks." Court audio here
. More via AP
. And here's a late-hour update from today's hearing, at Courthouse News
. — Xeni
The Guardian reports that Juan Mendez, special rapporteur on torture for the United Nations, has "formally accused the US government of cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment towards Bradley Manning, the US soldier who was held in solitary confinement for almost a year on suspicion of being the WikiLeaks source. PDF of the report is here.
Snip: "The special rapporteur concludes that imposing seriously punitive conditions of detention on someone who has not been found guilty of any crime is a violation of his right to physical and psychological integrity as well as of his presumption of innocence."
In a press conference today, Julian Assange announced that WikiLeaks will temporarily suspend all publishing activities to "ensure future survival." A financial blockade against Wikileaks by payment processing services and credit card companies has "destroyed" 95% of the project's revenue, Assange said, costing “tens of millions of dollars” in lost funding.
Wikileaks solicits donations here, with the video above and a message reading: "Censorship, like everything else in the West, has been privatized."
More: Journalism.co.uk, Telegraph UK, BBC News, Associated Press via NYT, and Gawker.