Update: 4/23/12: Convicting Bradley in secret, defense motions to dismiss, and a profile of David House
The military is convicting Bradley Manning in secret. Despite urgent pleas from broad-based media coalitions and respected civil rights groups to bring transparency to Bradley Manning’s long-delayed trial, the military continues to prosecute in secret, withholding evidence, barring witnesses, and redacting its basic arguments. Kevin Gosztola reports on the defense’s publication of redacted motions, revealing just how secret the prosecution has been:
“…Well, who really knows what was argued? The explanation has been redacted in its entirety.
The eighth page of this defense response has another huge chunk blacked out. It reads, “On 22 March, 2012, Cpt. Fein sent an email to the parties where he stated, in no uncertain terms, the Government’s position that RCM 701 [a military rule] does not apply to classified discovery.” Why? Again, the government does not think the press or public should be able to know.
The defense explains in the response that the government is engaged in “revisionism by pretending that they did not say what they clearly said and did not do what they clearly did.” The defense illustrates examples of how the government is doing this – six examples. One can scarcely figure out any specifics around this obstruction because what the government has said is withheld. It appears the government has flip-flopped on what classified information could and could not be shared with the defense, but what has led to this inconsistency, specifically, is censored.”
The defense, meanwhile, has made every effort to keep its arguments and motions open and accountable, requesting to publish all motions in full, and publishing redacted motions when the government rejected the initial request. (Read more…)
Cyber-security expert Steven Aftergood reports on Bradley’s defense’s motions to dismiss charges. Aftergood documents the major defense motions to dismiss, and then calls attention to the one to dismiss the ‘Aiding the enemy’ charge:
Perhaps the most penetrating challenge presented by the defense is a motion to dismiss the charge of “aiding the enemy” (Article 104) because, the defense says, there is no evidence that Manning intended to assist an enemy of the United States, and such an intent is a required element of the charge.
Echoing many other reports, including Gosztola’s, on the government’s egregious secrecy, Aftergood writes: “Prosecutors have declined to make their responses to Mr. Coombs’ motions available to the public, so their positions are not known in any detail.” (Read more…)
BU profiles David House and covers his lawsuit against the United States. Detailing House’s civil liberties efforts leading up to his co-founding of the Support Network, the BU Today story highlights the government’s intimidating crackdown on House for his political views:
Various officials—from the State Department, the FBI, and the Army—interviewed him after he launched the Manning website in 2010, he says. He trusted there’d be no fallout, as he hadn’t done anything wrong, but “that faith was kind of shattered in November 2010” when he was confronted by Homeland Security agents at O’Hare Airport as he was returning from a Mexican vacation. They requested the password to his laptop, he says, which he refused—“I’m an activist. I don’t want to have my list of supporters and donors and my public relations strategy and all this disclosed to the very organization which I’m trying to take on.” They seized his computer, returning it a month and a half later. House’s suit alleges the confiscation was an unconstitutionally unreasonable search, conducted because of his activism on behalf of Manning. The government sought to have the suit dismissed, arguing that the law doesn’t require reasonable suspicion and allows them to hold the computer as long as needed to inspect it, given House’s refusal to divulge his password. A U.S. District Court judge denied the government’s request last month.