Recording Of Bradley Manning's Statement In Court Leaked

from the in-his-own-words dept

We’ve discussed before just how secretive the court martial process has been for Bradley Manning. Part of that is that there is no recording allowed in the courtroom, and thus there was no recording or official transcript of Manning’s long statement to the court, even though some reporters tried to piece together a statement from their notes. However, it appears that someone snuck a recorder into the room, and recorded Manning’s statement, which has now been leaked by the Freedom of the Press Foundation. As they note, this is actually the first time that the public has been able to hear Bradley Manning speak. As the FPF notes:

A group of journalists, represented by the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR), has been engaged in a legal battle to force the court to be more open. While the government has belatedly released a small portion of documents related to the case, many of the most important orders have been withheld—such as the orders relating to the speedy trial proceedings or the order related to Manning’s prolonged solitary confinement.

Michael Ratner, president emeritus of CCR, called the government “utterly unresponsive to what is a core First Amendment principle.” Ratner noted this is a public trial, the information being presented is not classified, and that contemporaneous access to information about the trial is necessary to understanding the proceedings. Nonetheless, the lawsuit has been tied up in the appeals court for months.

Meanwhile, Glenn Greenwald highlights why this is so important:

The US government and its military has carefully ensured that people hear about Manning from the government, but do not hear from Manning himself. It is way past time for Manning’s voice to be heard.

Greenwald has also broken down the statement and highlighted some key points. For example, he notes that many of Manning’s critics argued that Manning released information willy nilly with no concern for what was in the documents, and whether releasing them would cause harm. From the transcript, we learn that this is simply untrue. He did review the content, and came to the conclusion that the documents he was releasing needed to be released for the benefit of the US, and not to harm the US. He admitted they might be embarrassing, but that’s very different from harmful.

Up to this point, during the deployment, I had issues I struggled with and difficulty at work. Of the documents release, the cables were the only one I was not absolutely certain couldn’t harm the United States. I conducted research on the cables published on the Net Centric Diplomacy, as well as how Department of State cables worked in general.

“In particular, I wanted to know how each cable was published on SIRPnet via the Net Centric Diplomacy. As part of my open source research, I found a document published by the Department of State on its official website.

“The document provided guidance on caption markings for individual cables and handling instructions for their distribution. I quickly learned the caption markings clearly detailed the sensitivity of the Department of State cables. For example, NODIS or No Distribution was used for messages at the highest sensitivity and were only distributed to the authorized recipients.

“The SIPDIS or SIPRnet distribution caption was applied only to recording of other information messages that were deemed appropriate for a release for a wide number of individuals. According to the Department of State guidance for a cable to have the SIPDIS caption, it could not include other captions that were intended to limit distribution.

“The SIPDIS caption was only for information that could only be shared with anyone with access to SIPRnet. I was aware that thousands of military personnel, DoD, Department of State, and other civilian agencies had easy access to the tables. The fact that the SIPDIS caption was only for wide distribution made sense to me, given that the vast majority of the Net Centric Diplomacy Cables were not classified.

“The more I read the cables, the more I came to the conclusion that this was the type of information that should become public. I once read and used a quote on open diplomacy written after the First World War and how the world would be a better place if states would avoid making secret pacts and deals with and against each other.

“I thought these cables were a prime example of a need for a more open diplomacy. Given all of the Department of State cables that I read, the fact that most of the cables were unclassified, and that all the cables have a SIPDIS caption.

“I believe that the public release of these cables would not damage the United States, however, I did believe that the cables might be embarrassing, since they represented very honest opinions and statements behind the backs of other nations and organizations.”

It really is a travesty that the US government has kept all of this so closed, and has refused to release a recording or a transcript. Are they really so afraid that the public might hear Bradley Manning explain himself?

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Comments on “Recording Of Bradley Manning's Statement In Court Leaked”

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48 Comments
G Thompson (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

Actually that’s not correct unless you are saying that by reading everything the government creates you can then:
* read everything the government creates about other people
* they can read everything the government creates about you
* and the government can read everything you create.

See the problem?

ltlw0lf (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re:

Actually that’s not correct unless you are saying that by reading everything the government creates you can then:
* read everything the government creates about other people
* they can read everything the government creates about you

I see the problem, but it isn’t the one you see. The government shouldn’t be creating things about its citizens. That is the problem. The fact that the government, many times against its own laws, creates massive databases about its people is the biggest problem in this case.

I don’t have a problem with the government knowing where I live, or what demographic I fit into (census type stuff,) but I have a real problem with big government building entire databases on me I have no access to and don’t know about.

art guerrilla (profile) says:

Re: Re:

well, there’s the trick ain’t it ?
ANYONE who gets crosswise with dear ole unka sammie is going to be subjected to a propaganda campaign to impugn their character: brown people, moose limbs, file sharers, peaceniks, DFHs, scott ritter, elizabeth warren, etc, etc, etc…

you know, it used to be ‘illegal’ (whatever that means anymore) for the US gummint to propagandize the US people; but that just isn’t operative any longer, much less a laudable goal in our present society…

art guerrilla
aka ann archy
eof

The Infamous Joe (profile) says:

Shame

Never have I felt more personally ashamed of my country and its government than the actions revolving around wikileaks and Bradley Manning. No action taken has been reasonable, thoughtful, or just; merely vindictive, cruel, and petty. It has become clear that those people who claim to represent us, who claim to support ideals of truth, justice, and liberty are no more than petty tyrants who know they have done wrong, and will trample the liberty of anyone who dares push back, who dares suggest that a government of the people, by the people, and for the people, must also be visible to the people, not cloaked beneath “Classified”.

I don’t know what worries me more: that one day my daughter will return home from school and ask me why we let the government treat Bradley Manning so unjustly, or that she never knows his name, because the government sweeps this all under the rug, and the world forgets about a brave man who saw injustice and tried to stop it.

I am a veteran, and I personally believe that anyone who has sworn an oath to support and defend the US Constitution from all enemies, foreign and domestic, should support Bradley Manning as the hero he is.

Anonymous Coward says:

He did review the content, and came to the conclusion that the documents he was releasing needed to be released for the benefit of the US, and not to harm the US.

You are seriously delusional. Manning had neither the time nor the capacity to evaluate the 750,000 separate items he gave to Wikileaks:

From Wikipedia:

The material included videos of the July 12, 2007 Baghdad airstrike and the 2009 Granai airstrike in Afghanistan; 250,000 United States diplomatic cables; and 500,000 army reports sometimes called Iraq War logs and Afghan War logs. It was the largest set of restricted documents ever leaked to the public.[3]

Another journalistic belly-flop from Techdirt.

Anonymous Coward says:

This also brings another point.

Everyone today can sneaky a recording device anywhere.
Google Glass is the dream of 60’s spies come true.

Secret meeting, depositions, just about anything today can be recorded, there is no more lying about things, for better or for worse we live in a world where everyone will have to take care of what they say or do when there is anybody near.

Anonymous Coward says:

clearly the number of documents released by manning was too high for it to be possible for him or any 1 person to read and evaluate them all.

Also manning is in no way qualified or able to make that determination on any of the documents.

His ‘opinion’ about possible damage or not is not a subject that he has any right (legal or moral) to make.

If that is his ‘defence’ he’s screwed..

Disgusted (profile) says:

Like all cockroaches, this government doesn’t like light. Any attempt to illuminate their activities sends them scurrying and usually results in a violent reaction. The time has come for some major changes. Unfortunately, this government, like all governments, will fight to the death to retain power. Considering that they have nuclear weapons available, that might include us all.

DB Cooper (profile) says:

Manning recording

There is just a few problems with his assurtion that he leaked nothing that would harm the country. The first is he did not have the time to research the tens of thousands of documents he stile and released. Next is he did not have the training or experience to determine what would or would not hurt the country. 3rd Many classified documents are classified only because the the information contained has been gathered from multiple sources and put in a cohesive manner that even a non analyst could understand and see the big picture. Lastly the unstable emotional state manning has been in for years before he joined the army would not allow him to make a logical judgement on anything. This guy needs to spend the rest of his life in jail at hard labor. We will never know how much harm he did or how many people died because if its release. Which I believe pleases him greatly.

Josh in CharlotteNC (profile) says:

Re: Manning recording

Seems you neither read the story nor the many comments above that said the same thing.

He did not need to research each and every document. He used the classifications that the writers of those documents or the analysts that included them in the document storage system specified.

Although I’ll admit, I find your use of the handle ‘DB Cooper’ amusing when you call for someone else to spend the rest of their life in jail.

DB Cooper (profile) says:

Manning recording

There is just a few problems with his assurtion that he leaked nothing that would harm the country. The first is he did not have the time to research the tens of thousands of documents he stile and released. Next is he did not have the training or experience to determine what would or would not hurt the country. 3rd Many classified documents are classified only because the the information contained has been gathered from multiple sources and put in a cohesive manner that even a non analyst could understand and see the big picture. Lastly the unstable emotional state manning has been in for years before he joined the army would not allow him to make a logical judgement on anything. This guy needs to spend the rest of his life in jail at hard labor. We will never know how much harm he did or how many people died because if its release. Which I believe pleases him greatly.

billy says:

Mr. Manning was an intelligence analyst. There are few people more qualified than him to look through these docs. He spent months with them. Of course someone with his skills could easily make it through 700,000 docs in a couple months. The cables, you can look for yourselves, are not heavy reading by any stretch.

Ack says:

Re: Response to: billy on Mar 14th, 2013 @ 5:55am

If you think Manning was some sort of subject matter expert, than you clearly have never been in the military. Completing AIT as a 35F is the only requirement to gain the intelligence analyst title, and that’s a brief introduction at best.

PFC’s show up to units all the time and rarely know their ass from a hole in the ground, and it’s the responsibility of some stressed out NCO to teach them and several others to eventually become half way competent at their job.

No matter how brief those cables were, even if he completely neglected his job, would he have enough time during a deployment to go through all of them.

Long story short, he was in no way qualified nor did he have anywhere near the authority to make the decision that he did, and he’s going to end up in prison for a long time because of it.

billy says:

Re: Re: Response to: billy on Mar 14th, 2013 @ 5:55am

It was his job for Christ sakes. Yes he was an expert. What an absurd argument. Long story short, he exposed war crimes, and should face proportionate consequences. If he would have followed his orders he would be in far greater violation of the law. And human decency.

DB Cooper (profile) says:

Manning

Billy, You are obviously very inexperienced in life. Manning had barely been in the army and was only a Specialist (Private First Class)who was barely out of school. Just because you recently finished Drivers Ed doesnt make you qualified to drive in a Tier 1 NASCAR event of a supuerfuel drag race. Manning wouldnt know a war crime if he saw it happen. You wouldnt. He exposed nothing but free and easy intelligence info to our enemies. Are you aware that John Kerry is a War Criminal? Probably not because its not your cause de jour. He shot a mortally wounded and in shock viet cong KID in the back at point blank range with a 12 gauge shotgun and in congressional hearings admitted to machinegunning civilians, and having direct knowledge of people cutting off ears for war trophys. Know and not reporting makes you guilty of the same crime. STEAL and Giving classified documents to the enemyies and friends of the US is treason. He should be shot or hung by the neck. This is the wrong guy to start a cause behind.

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