Crowdfunded Stenographer Denied Press Pass To Cover Transcriptless Bradley Manning Trial

from the can't-have-an-accurate-record-now,-can-we dept

The attempts to limit the press during the Bradley Manning trial have been somewhat ridiculous. The press hasn’t been allowed to record anything, even though someone clearly did so surreptitiously. Furthermore, there’s been no plan for an official court transcript of the proceedings either. About a month ago, the Freedom of the Press Foundation launched a crowdfunding campaign to try to hire their own professional stenographer to attend the trail to make a transcript. They even had some top press publications, including the Guardian, Forbes and the Verge, apply for an extra press pass for the crowdfunded stenographer. The military refused. But, more ridiculously, they claimed it was a space issue, though that’s an issue they could easily fix.

The Army received over 350 media applications for the trial, but only granted 70 to be present in the media room. In an emailed statement, the MDW Media Desk stated: “Your understanding of our space limitations based on building fire codes is greatly appreciated.”

In previous hearings, the Army has opened a public overflow theater with live audio and video streaming of the hearing. Additionally, the Army has sole discretion over which room(s) to designate as media rooms – including how many rooms to make available.

A large group of established news organizations — including the LA Times, NPR, the New Yorker, Fox News, Newsweek, Bloomberg and NY Magazine — have all asked the military to open up two additional press passes for stenographers (two so that they can overlap while switching shifts). The judge in the case, on Monday, announced that it would be okay for a stenographer to record a transcript using a stenography machine, which is great… except that without a press pass, they still can’t get the stenographer in. Thankfully, for Monday, a Bradley Manning supporter with a pass gave it up to the stenographer, but it’s somewhat ridiculous that it had to even come to that.

At this point, it really just seems like the Army is being incredibly petty over this case in its desire to limit the details of coverage.

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Comments on “Crowdfunded Stenographer Denied Press Pass To Cover Transcriptless Bradley Manning Trial”

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Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Assange statement

See, that’s in interesting point. Manning may have “betrayed his country”, but I’m pretty damn sure that that US Government has sold the country to the highest bidder.

So, who is the biggest traitor – the man who followed his sworn oath tot he Constitution, or the men who seem to treat the Constitution like piss-roll?

Seegras (profile) says:

Re: Re: Assange statement

I presume you wanted to say “Fuck Washington and fuck Jefferson” as well. And especially “Fuck Benjamin Franklin”, because he was the one publishing all those stories about the British abusing their power?

In a Democracy, “We the People” are the topmost ruler. And somebody leaking government secrets to the People can not be a traitor.

Yes, some adversaries of the People now know the secrets too, but that still does not mean the whistleblower is a traitor.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Assange statement

No. The enemy are the elected officials who have committed the treasonous act of failing to work for the people who voted them into office. Instead they are in the pockets of wealthy corporations, and have no regard at all for you and I. Manning did not betray the nation. The government betrayed the nation, and they betrayed a fine soldier who stood up for the oath he took. To defend the country and constitution from enemies both foreign and domestic. You aren’t a patriot. You’re a sheep, suckling at the teat of the powerful, hoping for the scraps from their table.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:5 Assange statement

Are you a foreigner or just have incredibly poor writing skills? If the former, go fuck yourself and worry about whatever shithole country you live in. If the latter, go fuck yourself and go back and get your GED. Either way you are a tinfoil hat wearing conspiracy theorist and rational people point and laugh at you.

The Old Man in The Sea says:

Re: Re: Assange statement

When you are held without trial, accused of a crime against the government because you have stood up for your beliefs, just remember you comment and hope that nobody else has. You are going to need all the support you can get.

Whether or not Bradley Manning is ultimately found innocent or guilty, one can only hope that the trial is fair. But on the basis of what has already been seen, it seems doubtful.

This event will probably go down as one of those “kill the messenger because they don’t like the message”, instead of fixing the inherent problems within the system.

Anonymous Coward says:

Fuck Assange no way I’d never fuck that douche, I’ve seen a video of him dancing. Fuck Manning he fucked himself and plead guilty to counts that will put him in prison for 20 years.

But I have to say everyone requires a defense.

Personally I think all the extra charges that the government is trying to lay on Manning go way beyond his actual crimes.

20 years, reduction in rank to E1, forfeiture of all pay and allowances and a BCD more than fit the crimes he committed.

Anonymous Coward says:

At this point, it really just seems like the Army is being incredibly petty over this case in its desire to limit the details of coverage.

If achieving high status cured sociopathy, our economy wouldn’t be on the verge of collapse.
Petty, small men are in nearly every position of power in the nation. They bicker like children while the country crumbles.

This trial is a classic example. Manning is not being put on trial because of any harm he might possibly have done the public or the nation. No. Petty, egotistical sociopaths were embarrassed by Wikileaks. That’s the one and only reason he was arrested, thrown in solitary confinement, etc.
They haven’t yet made “embarrassing us” a capital offense, but not for lack of trying.

ScytheNoire (profile) says:

Anonymous Cowards

Anonymous Cowards is so appropriate. But don’t worry, if the US Government gets their way, there will no longer be any anonymous people online and you will be convicted of crimes for speaking out against the crimes your government has committed.

Why can people not see how far things have fallen?
Wake up America, you’ve lost your freedom. It’s now just a land of hypocrisy.

Anonymous Coward says:

this is being done to protect Obama. he is the chief of USA forces, so he could make the trial available to be covered properly. the whole of the USA wants to know what happens. they want to know what evidence is used, where it comes from and what he is actually charged with. hell, the whole world wants to know! this is worse than a trial in China, for Christ’s sake! the USA a democracy? you’ve gotta be freakin’ kiddin’ me!!

TheLastCzarnian (profile) says:

This is what it looks like when a group does something that each knows is morally wrong, but they want to do it anyway to “save face.”

The Japanese would commit sepuku (suicide) if one of their men did this.

I find it all incredibly conceited and stupid. The military should not be a government to itself, as this trial and the sexual assault injustices show.

tqk (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:

Sorry to pick nits, but while saying seppuku is suicide is on the face correct, it doesn’t convey the fact that it was self-inflicted ritual disembowelment with one’s own sword.

Be careful when you pick nits. For instance, when is suicide not self-inflicted?

“A Samurai cannot stand the shame of defeat.” — The Last Samurai.

Hence, ritual suicide.

Anonymous Coward says:


“At this point, it really just seems like the Army is being incredibly petty over this case in its desire to limit the details of coverage.”

let me fix that for you…

“At this point, it really just seems like the Obama Administration is being incredibly petty over this case in its desire to limit the details of coverage.”

Wolfy says:

The Commander in charge of that Courts Martial needs to be reminded of his oath to uphold the Constitution, preferably while holding a camera in his/her face, while he/she is trying to restrict press access to said Court. That is the behavior one would expect of an officer from a freaking Banana Republic, not the US Army.

Off Topic, slightly,

The behavior coming out of the Army after Bush started letting in convicts for his illegal war is embarrassing to me as a former Enlisted man and Officer. It will be decades before we repair all the damage to Army values and Culture.

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