Activists take legal action over fabricated Embassy cable
Interview with creator of the play 'The Radicalisation of Bradley Manning'
2011 ended with the alarming approval of the National Defense Authorization Act by the US Congress, which places ultimate authority on the President of the United States to decide on the indefinite military detention of terrorism suspects worldwide. The bill was signed on New Year’s Eve, its strategic timing reminiscent of the date set for Bradley Manning’s pre-trial hearing, which also took place during last year’s holiday season.
As of the 1st of 2012:
This month new and incriminating details have come to light about a secret meeting of high-level Quantico officials that took place on January 13, 2011, resulting in Manning's illegal punitive pretrial confinement.
On March 2, 2011, PFC Bradley Manning, then confined under Maximum custody and Prevention of Injury Watch (POI) at Quantico, where he had been since July 29, 2010, was told that his Article 138 request to be placed under Medium custody and removed from harsh and punitive pretrial confinement was denied by Daniel J. Choike, Quantico base commander (pictured at the left).
The continued placement of Manning under such terms and conditions, indeed the exacerbation of his illegal pretrial confinement in March, when he was stripped every evening and forced to stand at attention naked every morning until his unexpected transfer to Fort Leavenworth on April 20, 2011, happened despite numerous cited evaluations by brig personnel, including brig psychiatrists, who recommended his removal from Maximum Custody and POI Status.
Defense had filed the original Article 138 request on January 19, 2011, one day after Manning was placed under "suicide risk", which resulted in his remaining in his cell for 24 hours a day and being stripped of all clothing with the exception of his underwear. His eyeglasses were also removed, which left him, as he describes in "total blindness". According to defense documents, the stripping and interrogation that Manning endured was videotaped by the Quantico facility.
*Myself pictured with Daniel Choi on December 18, 2011. Choi was also in attendance at Fort Meade, MD. You can hear him describe the abuse he experienced at Fort Meade, MD on December 19, 2021 on democracynow.org. He was reportedly thrown to the ground, handcuffed, had his rank ripped off his unifom, and was forcibly ejected from the pretrial proceedings.
I sat next to or near Daniel Choi in the courtroom on both Saturday afternoon and Sunday morning. I only saw Daniel Choi behaving in a respectful manner during the proceedings or while the court was at recess - both in the gallery or on the premises. The Federal Police Officers began watching the public in attendance more overtly - even hanging around to watch us outside the security perimeter of the courthouse - when Daniel Choi showed up on Saturday.
Unlike Friday all day, and Saturday morning, when Daniel Choi was not in the public gallery, Bradley Manning exited with armed soldiers through the public gallery when recesses were called or at the end of the day.
Starting Saturday afternoon - after Daniel Choi showed up - the public was told to leave the gallery before the guards would even move Bradley Manning, or Bradley Manning was exited through the back.
In fact, after the morning's proceedings on December 18, 2011, I moved to a back row on the defense side of the gallery, and away from Daniel and the others who were talking at a recess. I did this in order to collect myself for the task of transcription.
*Image by Michael Barczynski, artist and occupy participant, who allowed me to publish his sketches of the court proceedings.
These 37 pages of typed transcription were taken by hand, and may contain errors, misspellings of names, and or may be incomplete.
There were around 500 protesters outside the gates of Fort Meade on Saturday, Dec 17, 2011. #Occupy Wall Street had sent down a bus, and there were two bus loads from #Occupy in DC, both Freedom Plaza and McPherson. In addition Veterans for Peace were present at the rally and members of the Bradley Manning Support network. Individuals were represented from all over the country, and even the world.
I arrived at Fort Meade, Maryland at 1:20 p.m. and rushed into the theater just as defense was questioning the day's second witness, Special Agent Calder Robinson's testimony, via telephone from Germany.
After his testimony a recess was called and I conferred with four individuals about the morning's proceedings and the first witness that day, Special Agent Toni Graham.
*The arrow indicates the Federal Officer who escorted me to the courthouse, and told me he was in charge of the event. The picture comes from cryptome.org
I arrived at Fort Meade, Maryland before the Visitor Control Center was open, around 6 am. I drove right up to the vehicle inspection center, and was granted entry after they had me open every door, trunk and hood, and show them my license and registration.
One of the soldiers inspecting my vehicle did not know what I was talking about when I asked him where Bradley Manning's pretrial was being held. Another stepped in and directed me.
Arriving near the courthouse, I saw an MP walking a bomb-sniffing dog through the wooded area behind the courthouse building. A bit later I approached him, and asked him where I needed to be as a member of the public to gain access to Bradley Manning's trial. He said he didn't know. He took my Passport and walked over to an SUV to make a phone call.
Soon after another SUV with four soldiers pulled up and approached me. A female soldier directed me to a theater and told me it would open at 7am.
Metal barricades, like the kind the NYPD use for crowd control, lined the theater and the courthouse, two small one-story western style brick buildings that look like a grammar school and a small town church.
At the theater the barricades were arranged like a gerbil maze, and suggested they expected long lines. I asked a soldier if I could take in pen and paper, he had to check, "because they could be considered a 'recording device'", using his fingers to make air quotes.
Prophets have existed since ancient times. Religions and cultural traditions from time immemorial have acknowledged their existence. Traditionally, prophets were seen as those who play a role of forecasting epochal change in society through their messages and insight.
In moments of crisis, people look for prophets. With expanding environmental degradation, political corruption and deepening economic turmoil, where can we find prophets in this modern age of crisis?
Many regard prophets as those who see the future and receive a vision. Yet, there is more to acting prophetically than this.
Prophets can be found in unexpected places. In a combat zone, where life and death converge, one can be closest to the threshold between past and future. The acts of war resisters, veterans and soldiers who from out of their moral convictions choose not to carry on killing or support war can be seen as prophetic.
There are soldiers who refused to be deployed as a result of a moral awakening. They stand at a threshold between a certain reality and the potential to transform it. It is like the voice of Dr. King was speaking to the core of their being when he said:
Cowardice asks the question, ‘Is it safe?’ Expediency asks the question, 'Is it politic?' But conscience asks the question, ‘Is it right?’ And there comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular but because conscience tells one it is right.
Julian Assange’s next hearing will be on December 5 (Monday), as an historic debate on extradition reform in the UK takes place. This debate could affect the likelihood of a Supreme Court appeal against his extradition. In order for this to happen, the High Court of London must first consider his appeal to be of general public importance, as such, your support truly is crucial. Please take action today!
If you can be in London, be sure to also make it to the Demo planned outside the Royal Courts of Justice on Monday, starting at 8:30AM.
"WikiLeaks is building a state-of-the-art secure submission system. Constructing the system is very complex. Due to the deteriorating state of internet security which directly impacts the ability of sources to communicate with journalists and human rights activists securely, WikiLeaks has decided to postpone the launch initially scheduled for Monday 28th 2011 in the interest of source protection. WikiLeaks' new public electronic drop box is substantially more advanced than its predecessor.
Specifically regarding the extradition of Julian Assange, two primary issues were raised:
1) despite facing extradition, Julian Assange has not been charged with a crime (the EAW was therefore incorrectly applied as it was not issued for the purpose of prosecution, but investigation)
2) the European Arrest Warrant for Julian was requested by a private prosecutor who is not an official representative.
Despite assurance by 'an OWS sympathizer judge' that all of Clark Stoeckley's parking tickets had been dropped, the truck was returned with two parking tickets on it and a dead battery, that has since been jumped by the NYPD yet needs replacement.
The judge, according to Clark, the artist behind the WikiLeaks truck project, congratulated him on his work. Clark was then able to pick up his truck at Pier 76 impound.
The truck, he says, was never taken to impound after the arrest. Instead, Police "left it in a bus spot and let it collect tickets until it got towed".
All updates on this story at @WikileaksTruck.
WikiLeaks Truck is still missing after it was taken from its owner by the NYPD at Occupy Wall Street. Artist Clark Stoeckley, the owner and driver, was pulled over and subsequently arrested, possibly unlawfully, for ‘obstructing government administration’.
Clark refused to consent to a search [video here] and the truck was towed by the NYPD. He was released from jail on November 18 but the truck, containing his personal belongings, is still in an unknown location. Although Police assured Clark Stoeckley the WikiLeaks Truck was to be found in an impound lot in Brooklyn, the truck never made it to said impound lot.
After 17 months in confinement, Bradley Manning will appear before court on December 16, for an Article 32 pretrial hearing, his lawyer announced today.
The hearing, expected to last 5 days, will take place at Fort Meade, Maryland and will be held publicly “with the exception of those limited times where classified information is being discussed”.
The primary purpose of this hearing is to evaluate the US Government’s case against Manning.
Supporters will be outside the Court as he arrives, for a demonstration also tied to the celebration of his 24th birthday on the following day, December 17.
Protesters gathered in Canberra this morning for a rally in support of WikiLeaks, Julian Assange and Bradley Manning. The protest happened as U.S. President Barack Obama was visiting Canberra to announce the expansion of U.S. military presence in Australia.
Outside the Australian Parliament House, chants of Assange and Manning, let them go - Let us have our right to know were heard.
Christine Assange spoke against the extradition of her son Julian to the United States, declaring: “my son could be extradited to Sweden and then the U.S. in four weeks” where he could face “U.S. style justice”. She then referred to the appalling treatment of alleged whistleblower Bradley Manning - who has been under pre-trial detention in a military prison for 563 days - and the Australian government’s refusal to intervene for Julian Assange’s protection, saying: “The Australian government has done nothing for Julian.” She condemned the attitude of Australian leaders whom she described as ‘star-struck’ by Obama’s presence.
This is a "WikiLeaks News Update", a news update of stories relating directly to WikiLeaks and also freedom of information, transparency, cybersecurity, and freedom of expression.
November 17 is a day of global support for Julian Assange, WikiLeaks, and Bradley Manning.
On the occasion of President Obama’s visit to Australia to mark the 60th anniversary of the Australian-US war alliance and the announcement of the expansion of U.S. Military presence in the country, an antiwar protest in Canberra, outside the Parliament House, will start at 10:30 am.
This protest is also in support of WikiLeaks and Julian Assange, who currently risks extradition to the United States, should his application for a Supreme Court appeal be rejected by the High Court and extradition to Sweden granted. In which case the U.S. could apply for his ‘temporary surrender’. This would enable him to be extradited to the U.S.