1 June 2013
On a hot summer day, hundreds of supporters of Pfc. Bradley Manning gathered outside the gates of Fort Meade in Maryland, where Manning’s trial is scheduled to begin on June 3. They came on Saturday from cities on the east coast and other parts of the United States to show their support for someone they consider to be not only a whistleblower but also a hero.
Code Pink sets up umbrellas.
According to Ellsberg, who did at least three hours of interviews, the media present that wanted to talk to him at the rally were all foreign press except for one outlet from the US: Fox News. The recent story about Fox News reporter James Rosen being labeled a “co-conspirator” in a leak investigation has led Fox News to decide the war on whistleblowers might be worth covering.
I can confirm that the only TV station I recognized filming during the event was RT (Russia). I also saw RTS, a Swiss channel filming interviews.
On Monday the whistleblower will stand trial for the largest intelligence leak in United States history in Fort Meade, Maryland. The trial is expected to continue for up to three months.
Manning was arrested in Iraq in May 2010, accused of transmitting digital materials connected with US military operations abroad. Once detained he pleaded guilty to the charge of handing over information to WikiLeaks. He has been held in custody since.
Bradley Manning Support Network:
Nearly two thousand supporters of US Army PFC Bradley Manning rallied and marched on Fort Meade, Maryland, this afternoon for the young whistle-blower.
Under a sweltering sun, Pentagon Papers whistle-blower Daniel Ellsberg, former political prisoner-turned-human rights advocate Sarah Shourd, LGBT activist and US Army LT Dan Choi, and retired US Army Col. Ann Wright addressed supporters at the Llewellyn Gate, nearest the military courtroom.
This was cool! A big, mobile drum that allowed several people to drum all at once.
The number of protesters at Fort Meade was over 3000 by Saturday with many of them shouting ‘We are all Bradley Manning!’ And globally, people are holding events in over 24 cities on four continents over the course of the weekend. Aside from American cities, people as far as Toronto, Berlin, Paris and even South Korea’s Seoul have joined in a chorus of support for Manning.
To put Manning away for life, the court would have to find evidence that he was associating with Al Qaeda and its partners in the region by transferring information to them directly.
RT spoke to human rights activist and writer Craig Murray, who drew attention to the way the politicians and media in the US were handling Manning’s case, which, in Murray’s opinion proves that the private’s actions had not had nearly the consequences he is being accused of.
Amy Goodman on TruthDig:
Bradley Manning, meanwhile, will finally have his day in military court at Fort Meade, Md. He faces a slew of charges related to the largest leak of classified information in U.S. history. Manning pled guilty to mishandling the information, and acknowledged uploading hundreds of thousands of documents to the WikiLeaks website. But he denies the most serious charge, still pending, of “aiding the enemy.” Prosecutors are seeking life in prison; however, if Manning is found guilty, the judge could still impose the death penalty.
This is one of the three hikers that was grabbed just over the border with Iran. She and her companions were kept in solitary cofinement for well over a year. She said she knew how Manning felt, being a political pawn.
The military prosecutor, Captain Joe Morrow, accused Manning of "dumping" hundreds of thousands of documents "into the lap of the enemy," and painted a picture of close ties between Manning and WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange. Manning’s defense lawyer, David Coombs, said Manning wanted to reveal the human cost of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. "He believed [the leaked] information showed how we value human life."
Relaxin' & chillin'. Good source for plenty of updates is FireDogLake's Manning section.