The Verdict in the Bradley Manning Trial is a Foregone Conclusion

Steve KinsmanStarred Page By Steve Kinsman, 5th Jun 2013 | Follow this author | RSS Feed | Short URL http://nut.bz/y5c6tr-n/
Posted in Wikinut>Writing>Columns & Opinions

Those who would defend the nation's system of military justice may defend what is going on today in Fort Meade, Maryland, but the rest of us can call this trial for exactly what it is, a travesty.

Living a Kafkaesque nightmare

We need to be clear what Bradley Manning, whose trial began today, June 5, 2013, is being tried for: telling the truth.

Three years ago, when he was 22, Manning was arrested in Baghdad and promptly shipped to Kuwait, where he was held in a cage, at Camp Arifjan, in temperatures that often exceeded 120 degrees. Last November he told the court, "I didn't know whether night was day or day was night. And my world became very small. It became these cages...I remember thinking I'm going to die." He was transferred to a U. S. brig at the Marine Corps base at Quantico, Virginia after his lawyers protested his treatment in Kuwait, but his treatment once he got stateside got no better. At Quantico he was, according to an official finding by the U.N., subjected to cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment at the hands of his captors. In other words, he was tortured. He was isolated in a tiny cell for twenty-three of every twenty-four hours, deprived of blankets, sleep, his glasses, his clothes - and he was barred from exercising. A military judge determined that he was being "punished" before he had even stood trial. Said his lawyer, David Coombs, "Brad's treatment at Quantico will forever be etched, I believe, in our nation's history, as a disgraceful moment in time. Not only was it stupid and counterproductive, it was criminal."

A "show trial"

No objective observer of what is going on can fail to see the court martial of Bradley Manning as anything different from what it is: a show trial, a kangaroo court of immense proportions, a government railroad job.

Manning will not be allowed to give any evidence as to his stated intent, which was to expose war crimes. He cannot present witnesses to show that his actions hurt no one. It's as if after you killed someone in self-defense you were not allowed to show you were acting to save your own life.

The government will put on a good show, tightly choreographed and scripted. It will call 141 witnesses, but it will not allow Manning's defense team to call more than a handful. The government. even held a dress rehearsal three weeks ago, something experts on military law and justice say is unprecedented.

Julian Assange writes in Manning's defense

Writing today on the Huffington Post, Julian Assange says "Bradley Manning's conviction is already written into the script...Barack Obama...spoiled the plot for all of us when he pronounced...Manning guilty two years ago. 'He broke the law,' President Obama stated...In a civilized society, such a prejudicial statement alone would have resulted in a mistrial."

"To convict..., it will be necessary for the U. S. government to conceal crucial parts of his trial...24 prosecution witnesses will give secret testimony in closed session, permitting the judge to claim that secret evidence justifies her decision...and the scale of the case is designed...to drive fact-hungry reporters into the arms of official military PR men, who mill around the Fort Meade press room like over-eager sales assistants."

"This is not justice; never could this be justice. The verdict was ordained long ago. Its function is not to determine questions such as guilt or innocence, or truth or falsehood. It is a public relations exercise, designed to provide the government with an alibi for posterity. It is a show of wasteful vengeance; a theatrical warning to people of conscience."

Make no mistake, this trial's purpose is to hold Bradley Manning up as an example of what will happen to you if you are in the employ of the government and you expose its lies, its corruption, or its illegal acts. As a result, a great chill now has cast a pall over all government employees who would reveal the truth, as well as over all of American journalism, because news reporters now know they can be prosecuted simply for reporting the news, as the government is trying to do in the case of Assange.

Link: Bradley Manning Trial Verdict will Either Affirm or Further Erode our Civil Liberties

Preview and courtroom artist renderings from politico.com
Protest outside Fort Meade photo from huffingtonpost.com

Tags

Bradley Manning, Espionage Act, Freedom Of The Press, Kangaroo Courts, Military Justice, Opinion, Press Freedom, Show Trials, Steve Kinsman

Meet the author

author avatar Steve Kinsman
I live in California with my wife Carol, where I have been practicing professional astrology for 35 years. I write articles on astrology, but I enjoy writing on a variety of other subjects as well..

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Comments

author avatar Mariah
5th Jun 2013 (#)

What will happen to Bradley if
or rather when he's convicted?
Mariah

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author avatar Steve Kinsman
5th Jun 2013 (#)

If he's convicted of "aiding and abetting" the enemy, which is unthinkable to any fair-minded person but not to government prosecutors, he could get the death penalty. He has already pleaded guilty to one count against him - leaking classified information. That charge could get him twenty years.

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author avatar Mariah
5th Jun 2013 (#)

Oh my God.. if he gets the death penalty then he too will have been murdered.
What a tragic fate for a young man with a conscience and finding the courage to speak out.
God help him because it seems nobody else can
Mariah

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author avatar Steve Kinsman
6th Jun 2013 (#)

One more person whose blood will be on Obama's hands.

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author avatar Mariah
6th Jun 2013 (#)

Not in this case Jerry.

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author avatar Mark Gordon Brown
5th Jun 2013 (#)

Pretty shameful for sure.

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author avatar Steve Kinsman
6th Jun 2013 (#)

Indeed it is.

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author avatar cnwriter..carolina
6th Jun 2013 (#)

yes shameful indeed...

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author avatar Steve Kinsman
6th Jun 2013 (#)

Absolutely.

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author avatar Stella Mitchell
6th Jun 2013 (#)

Whenever we condone cruelty , torture and deliberate death ,abuse or injury to anyone in the name of war , then it needs to be exposed for what it is . Diabolical . Wicked and devilish . Take your pick . It could just be that God wanted these things exposed so as to give the perpetrators the opportunity to repent and amend their ways . Just one of my musings on this very crucial subject of our day , that could change many situations in the future , depending on the outcome .
Bless you Steve .
Stella

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author avatar Steve Kinsman
6th Jun 2013 (#)

Thank you Stella. I appreciate your comment.

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author avatar Madan G Singh
6th Jun 2013 (#)

Hi Steve all Courts martial are fair. I presided over quite a few myself and I am happy in two similar cases I approved dismissal and jail. I will write about them some day.

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author avatar Steve Kinsman
6th Jun 2013 (#)

Thank you Mariah, for letting me hear a voice of sanity.

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author avatar Madan G Singh
7th Jun 2013 (#)

Steve, all is fair in love and war. A war is on against terror and it has to be fought. Cannot allow men like Mannings to help lose the war

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author avatar Steve Kinsman
7th Jun 2013 (#)

But, Madan, Manning did nothing to help lose a war. And by the way, how can you make war against terror - terror is a tactic. The war on terror is a clever ruse by the power elite to perpetuate endless, permanent war. When are people boxed into the military mentality/mindset going to realize that? The war on terror is all about business and corporate profit. We push Muslims into hating us and we create 10 terrorists for every one we kill by unleashing unnecessary wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and by killing people with drones. The next place we're going to gin up a war for resource exploitation and profit is Africa.

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author avatar Madan G Singh
10th Jun 2013 (#)

Dear Steve, You are a friend, but I feel you have no comprehension of fighting a terror war. I was in intelligence and worked closely with the USAF. I also operated against them( terrorists). One can only know how the pudding tastes when you eat it and I do not think you are aware of the dimension of Islamic terror. Now al Qaeda is trying hard to streal a A bomb and you know for what . not for a picnic but to explode it. On whom?

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author avatar Steve Kinsman
9th Jul 2013 (#)

Islamic terror, dear Madan, was born out of American imperialist actions toward Islam. I would ask you - if the American military invaded and occupied your country, would you just sit back and allow it or would you engage in fighting it? And if you fought it would that be considered terrorism?

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author avatar Trillionaire
8th Jun 2013 (#)

Thanks for sharing, like your articles.

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author avatar Steve Kinsman
9th Jul 2013 (#)

Thank you Trillionaire.

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