Posts tagged manning
Posts tagged manning
Bradley Manning sentenced to 35 years in prison
A US military judge has sentenced Army Pfc. Bradley Manning to 35 years in prison. Manning faced up to 90 years behind bars, while prosecutors sought to put the whistleblower away for a minimum of six decades.
In a conversation about alleged WikiLeaks leaker US President Barack Obama commented on Pfc. Bradley Manning saying, “He broke the law.”
The words from Obama’s mouth come as Manning is held in prison awaiting further charges and a military trial. Manning has entered no official plea and no court proceedings have begun. Yet, the US president dubbed him guilty of breaking the law.
Many argue no truly fair or impartial trial is even possible at this point. Some hold there would never be a fair trial since the media had already convicted manning in the court of public opinion. Now that the Military’s commander-in-chief has spoke on the matter is even more unlikely the military trial will be fair and impartial.
Military officers on a potential jury now know that their commander and chief believes Manning to be guilty. To find otherwise would amount to undermining his view.
Kevin Zeese, an attorney, the director of Come Home America and an advisor to the Bradley Manning Support Network explained this directly obstructs the notion of innocent until proven guilty.
“That was a very clear error by President Obama,” he remarked. “This makes it very hard for Private Manning to have a fair trial in the military.”
If you are one of the cattle, according to those the law does not apply to, you should not fear a lack of privacy if you have done nothing wrong (wrong according to those the law does not apply to)
If you are a criminal in office, the law does not apply to you and you don’t need to hide anything.
Through the centuries a lack of transparency in governments and secret courts has always ended up with something similar to the Third Reich - always. There is no magic inherent in America that makes that inevitability any less real now. That’s why we have the fourth amendment to the United States Constitution. The founding fathers knew well the dangers of a government that does not respond to the people.
Bradley Manning provided information to the American people which our own government would not provide. He did us all a favor and in turn I am willing to serve part of his sentence.If we each volunteer to serve part of his sentence it would bring attention to the amount of time this young man has been sentenced to and hopefully reduce his sentence to time served.
This already has 1,227 of the 2,000 signatures needed for his entire possible sentence of 136 years to be served by others.
At the time of this posting this has 3,010 of 4,000 signatures.
Daniel Ellsberg is the author of “Secrets: A Memoir of Vietnam and the Pentagon Papers.” He was charged in 1971 under the Espionage Act for theft and conspiracy for copying the Pentagon Papers. The trial was dismissed in 1973 after evidence of government misconduct, including illegal wiretapping, was introduced in court.
Many people compare Edward Snowden to me unfavorably for leaving the country and seeking asylum, rather than facing trial as I did. I don’t agree. The country I stayed in was a different America, a long time ago.
After the New York Times had been enjoined from publishing the Pentagon Papers — on June 15, 1971, the first prior restraint on a newspaper in U.S. history — and I had given another copy to The Post (which would also be enjoined), I went underground with my wife, Patricia, for 13 days. My purpose (quite like Snowden’s in flying to Hong Kong) was to elude surveillance while I was arranging — with the crucial help of a number of others, still unknown to the FBI — to distribute the Pentagon Papers sequentially to 17 other newspapers, in the face of two more injunctions. The last three days of that period was in defiance of an arrest order: I was, like Snowden now, a “fugitive from justice.”
Yet when I surrendered to arrest in Boston, having given out my last copies of the papers the night before, I was released on personal recognizance bond the same day. Later, when my charges were increased from the original three counts to 12, carrying a possible 115-year sentence, my bond was increased to $50,000. But for the whole two years I was under indictment, I was free to speak to the media and at rallies and public lectures. I was, after all, part of a movement against an ongoing war. Helping to end that war was my preeminent concern. I couldn’t have done that abroad, and leaving the country never entered my mind.
There is no chance that experience could be reproduced today, let alone that a trial could be terminated by the revelation of White House actions against a defendant that were clearly criminal in Richard Nixon’s era — and figured in his resignation in the face of impeachment — but are today all regarded as legal (including an attempt to “incapacitate me totally”).
I hope Snowden’s revelations will spark a movement to rescue our democracy, but he could not be part of that movement had he stayed here. There is zero chance that he would be allowed out on bail if he returned now and close to no chance that, had he not left the country, he would have been granted bail. Instead, he would be in a prison cell like Bradley Manning, incommunicado.
He would almost certainly be confined in total isolation, even longer than the more than eight months Manning suffered during his three years of imprisonment before his trial began recently. The United Nations Special Rapporteur for Torture described Manning’s conditions as “cruel, inhuman and degrading.” (That realistic prospect, by itself, is grounds for most countries granting Snowden asylum, if they could withstand bullying and bribery from the United States.)
Snowden believes that he has done nothing wrong. I agree wholeheartedly. More than 40 years after my unauthorized disclosure of the Pentagon Papers, such leaks remain the lifeblood of a free press and our republic. One lesson of the Pentagon Papers and Snowden’s leaks is simple: secrecy corrupts, just as power corrupts.
In my case, my authorized access in the Pentagon and the Rand Corp. to top-secret documents — which became known as the Pentagon Papers after I disclosed them — taught me that Congress and the American people had been lied to by successive presidents and dragged into a hopelessly stalemated war that was illegitimate from the start.
Snowden’s dismay came through access to even more highly classified documents — some of which he has now selected to make public — originating in the National Security Agency (NSA). He found that he was working for a surveillance organization whose all-consuming intent, he told the Guardian’s Glenn Greenwald, was “on making every conversation and every form of behavior in the world known to them.”
It was, in effect, a global expansion of the Stasi, the Ministry for State Security in the Stalinist “German Democratic Republic,” whose goal was “to know everything.” But the cellphones, fiber-optic cables, personal computers and Internet traffic the NSA accesses did not exist in the Stasi’s heyday.
As Snowden told the Guardian, “This country is worth dying for.” And, if necessary, going to prison for — for life.
But Snowden’s contribution to the noble cause of restoring the First, Fourth and Fifth amendments to the Constitution is in his documents. It depends in no way on his reputation or estimates of his character or motives — still less, on his presence in a courtroom arguing the current charges, or his living the rest of his life in prison. Nothing worthwhile would be served, in my opinion, by Snowden voluntarily surrendering to U.S. authorities given the current state of the law.
I hope that he finds a haven, as safe as possible from kidnapping or assassination by U.S. Special Operations forces, preferably where he can speak freely.
What he has given us is our best chance — if we respond to his information and his challenge — to rescue ourselves from out-of-control surveillance that shifts all practical power to the executive branch and its intelligence agencies: a United Stasi of America. - Daniel Ellsberg
MasterCard has broken ranks in the US-linked banking blockade against WikiLeaks.
For almost three years, US financial giants VISA, MasterCard, PayPal, the Bank of America and Western Union have been engaged in an unlawful banking blockade against WikiLeaks. The blockade started in December 2010 in response to the start of WikiLeaks’ publication of US diplomatic cables.
Now, one of the financial companies involved in the blockade, MasterCard International, has backed down and reversed its position. WikiLeaks was notified of MasterCard International’s change in position by VALITOR, the Icelandic partner for VISA and MasterCard.
On April 24, 2013 WikiLeaks and DataCell won a lawsuit, which had been running for two years, against VALITOR for breach of contract and blockading WikiLeaks’ donations at the behest of VISA and MasterCard. The Icelandic Supreme Court ordered VALITOR to recommence processing donations to WikiLeaks.
VALITOR complied and reopened its payment gateway, but gave formal legal notice that it would terminate its contract and reclose the gateway on July 1, 2013, citing a unilateral termination clause in the contract.
VALITOR has now fully reversed its position and announces it will honor the contract with DataCell and process payments to WikiLeaks.
In a letter from VALITOR´s lawyers, VALITOR relates how it sought the opinions of MasterCard International and VISA on the proposed July 1 cut-off. In its response MasterCard made clear to VALITOR that it no longer desires to blockade WikiLeaks. VISA has not responded.
Donations by credit cards to WikiLeaks through https://paygate.datacell.com are therefore fully re-instated as of Monday, July 1, 2013.
Other financial companies have not yet retracted their illegal blockade on WikiLeaks, including PayPal, Western Union and Bank of America.
The Supreme Court decision in Iceland was in favour of WikiLeaks and DataCell, but it did not include damages – deemed a separate issue under Icelandic law. A court claim for compensation is currently being prepared. Damages are estimated at 9 billion Icelandic Kronas (55.9m EUR or 72.7m USD).
To donate to WikiLeaks by bank transfer or using other methods, please see: https://shop.wikileaks.org/donate
For further information see:
Alfred Nobel’s will left funding for a prize to be awarded to “the person who shall have done the most or the best work for fraternity between nations, for the abolition or reduction of standing armies and for the holding and promotion of peace congresses.”
The primary impetus for the formation of this group was to block the US government from ever again being able to attack and suffocate an independent journalistic enterprise the way it did with WikiLeaks. Government pressure and the eager compliance of large financial corporations (such as Visa, Master Card, Bank of America, etc.) has - by design - made it extremely difficult for anyone to donate to WikiLeaks, while many people are simply afraid to directly support the group. Glenn Greenwald
Whoever would overthrow the liberty of a nation must begin by subduing the freeness of speech.
The president not only defended Manning’s treatment but also, as commander-in-chief of the court martial judges, improperly decreed Manning’s guilt when he asserted in an interview that he “broke the law”…..Obama: too stupid do to anything but kiss ass.
Bradley Manning - Liberty Lost in America
‘Over the past two and a half years, all of which he has spent in a military prison, much has been said about Bradley Manning, but nothing has been heard from him. That changed on Thursday, when the 23-year-old US army private accused of leaking classified documents to WikiLeaks testified at his court martial proceeding about the conditions of his detention.
The oppressive, borderline-torturous measures to which he was subjected, including prolonged solitary confinement and forced nudity, have been known for some time. A formal UN investigation denounced those conditions as “cruel and inhuman”. President Obama’s state department spokesman, retired air force colonel PJ Crowley, resigned after publicly condemning Manning’s treatment. A prison psychologist testified this week that Manning’s conditions were more damaging than those found on death row, or at Guantánamo Bay.
The repressive treatment of Bradley Manning is one of the disgraces of Obama’s first term, and highlights many of the dynamics shaping his presidency. The president not only defended Manning’s treatment but also, as commander-in-chief of the court martial judges, improperly decreed Manning’s guilt when he asserted in an interview that he “broke the law”.’ ………
‘Compare this aggressive prosecution of Manning to the Obama administration’s vigorous efforts to shield Bush-era war crimes and massive Wall Street fraud from all forms of legal accountability. Not a single perpetrator of those genuine crimes has faced court under Obama, a comparison that reflects the priorities and values of US justice.’
(extract from an article by the always excellent Glenn Greenwald)
America Is an Oppressive Regime
“All this is what the Times and AP have reduced to nothing more than being ‘locked up alone in a small cell’ and having to ‘sleep naked for several nights.’ Nothing at all about the draconian restrictions; nothing at all about ‘shakedowns,’ wake-ups, 24-hour surveillance in bright light (even on the toilet), isolation, chains, deprivation, betrayal, interrogation, and forced nudity — not just when he was sleeping (in bright light, under observation) but also out in corridors, while ‘officers inspected him.’ All of this has been erased by the ‘objective’ reporting of the NYT and AP. None of this is to be known or considered by serious, respectable people. It didn’t happen. It doesn’t matter. Manning is a whiner who made America look bad, and in doing so, he helped a website that made America look bad. That’s all that really matters. The details of his treatment — not to mention the details of what he and WikiLeaks revealed — are unimportant. You don’t have to think about it. Just nod your head, shrug your shoulders, and go about your business.”
— Chris Floyd, Blanking Bradley Manning: NYT and AP Launch Operation Amnesia (via theamericanbear)
According to recently declassified Air Force counter-intelligence documents, any military personnel who support or contact WikiLeaks will be charged with article 104-D of the Uniform Code of Military Justice, aka “communicating with the enemy.”
Look, if military officials were well known for telling the truth, a site like WikiLeaks wouldn’t need to exist in the first place. Since its inception in October 2006, WikiLeaks has released world-shaking information such as the infamous Collateral Murder video, Guantanamo Bay prisoner files, and the expenditures and holdings in the Afghan war. It’s also done the world the public service of questioning Vladimir Putin’s work ethic and tried to clown the New York Times, just to keep things in perspective.
despite having shown no demonstrable harm done by the organization—the infamous Bradley Manning has been in custody over 860 days without a trial, so that’s telling—our government already has murder in its eyes. But are we willing to kill people (U.S. soldiers!) for using a website? Whistle-blowing is certainly nothing new; the medium simply has changed, along with the delivery time, potential impact area, and the number of people who can see the whistle blow in the first place. Surely we can’t justify killing U.S. government servicemen for leaking to an outlet with more global communicative power than the New York Times or Washington Post.
Perhaps most interestingly, news of the Air Force documents placing Assange squarely in the “terrorist” camp came the same week that the Obama administration removed the infamous Mujahideen-E-Khalq (MEK) from the U.S. terrorism list, effectively making them an ally. Nick Vadala
Slow Slide into Totalitarianism: Military Industrial Inferiority Complex. Rule of Law My Ass.
The move marks yet another turn in the saga of Assange, but leaves almost as many questions as it answers. Assange remains in the Ecuadoran embassy in London, where he is under the country’s diplomatic protection. However, Assange has violated provisions of his bail, and British officials have indicated they will arrest Assange if he leaves the embassy or tries to depart from the country.
Furthermore, the move could put U.S. aid to Ecuador in jeopardy. It will also damage the relationship between Ecuador and both Sweden and the U.K.
For Assange to leave the country, Ecuador will need to either find a way to spirit Assange out of the country without discovery by British officials — something that is highly unlikely — or Ecuador will need to successfully negotiate for Assange’s release.
Ecuador’s decision to grant Assange asylum is not surprising. Ecuadoran President Rafael Correa has been an outspoken advocate of the anti-American gadfly. According to a report by CNet, Assange had actually been offered asylum some time before he requested it.
Assange rose to prominence after founding Wikileaks, a website dedicated to sharing leaks from nations and corporations. His organization played a pivotal role in releasing classified information regarding the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan that was allegedly leaked by U.S. Army PFC Bradley Manning.
While Assange has been praised by many for his willingness to publish sensitive information, he has also been criticized for working with governments that are not friendly to their local media, including hosting a show on RT, a channel operated by the Russian government.
In 2010, a European Arrest Warrant was issued, requiring Assange to be extradited to Sweden over allegations of sexual assault involving two women. Assange has fought extradition while in England, but his appeals in the British legal system were rejected. On June 19, Assange sought asylum in the Ecuadoran embassy.
Assange has said that he is unwilling to go to Sweden because he fears the U.S. will extradite him from the Scandinavian nation to face espionage charges. However, departing for the relatively unstable Ecuador has its own risks. Correa survived a coup attempt in 2010, and he has alleged the attack had its genesis in the CIA. While the Correa government has guaranteed Assange’s safety, it’s anyone’s guess what future Ecuadoran governments might think about their high-profile Australian exile.
The government has threatened to enter the Ecuadorian embassy in London and arrest WikiLeaders founder Julian Assange, who is seeking political asylum there.
The dramatic development came two months after Mr Assange suddenly walked into the embassy in a bid to avoid being extradited to Sweden where he faces allegations of sexual assault.
Ecuador's minister for foreign affairs, Ricardo Patino, released details of a letter he said was delivered through a British embassy official in Quito, and said that the Ecuadorian government would announce on Thursday whether it would give Mr Assange asylum.
The letter said: “You need to be aware that there is a legal base in the UK, the Diplomatic and Consular Premises Act 1987, that would allow us to take actions in order to arrest Mr Assange in the current premises of the Embassy.
Amazing how countries like the US and England feel their own embassies should be havens for dissidents but other “lesser” countries embassies must lack that same legal dignity. England and America are not the center of human rights these days. England and America stink like Nazis on Kristallnacht.
In Your Attic
Video published by Wikileaks
American Government operates in a culture of incompetence and part of that incompetence is the corruption of War profit. The video shows murder. The object being carried was obviously no weapon. The video shows murder by those who simply wanted to kill. The video is transparency giving the people the information they need to asses government officials and just how easy it is to murder from the comfort of ones chair.
And those same soulless wealthy maggots whose only purpose is to worship green paper and fuck Americans, now funds political attack ads to replace Obama with one of their own: The Shit Anomaly. How did that work for you Barrick? Barrick, you could have jailed those greed evil fucks destroying the planet, instead you merely name called and now your fucked. Good move, stud!
Obama brings down the entire weight of the United States DOJ upon….Bradley Manning, Julian Assange and people who smoke pot. Two people who advance government transparency and well, people who smoke…I don’t even care what they smoke, it simply is unimportant that they smoke. Damn stupid.
What a fail.
Every four years we have to choose between two candidates that suck profoundly. Who is the biggest loser, Obama or Romney? One candidate should be jailing the Mitt Romney’s in America and the other candidate, Mitt Romney is simply death.
What a choice.
The presiding officer in the military hearing, Lt. Col. Paul Almanza, a U.S. Army Reservist, rejected Manning’s attorney’s argument that he should recuse himself because of his work as a former prosecutor for the Justice Department, which is conducting its own investigation of Manning. The prosecution backed Almanza’s argument that he could be impartial.