United States

2011-12-17 Handwritten transcript of Bradley #Manning Pretrial Day 2 #WikiLeaks

Image*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.

  • The Investigation Officer is Lt. Col. Paul Almanza, an Army Reserve lieutenant colonel and Justice Department prosecutor.
  • Prosecution is Captain Ashden Fein, Captain Joe Morrow, and Captain Angel Overgaard,
  • Defense is Mr. David Coombs,, Major Matthew Kemkes, and Captain Paul Bouchard. ,

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.

2011-12-21 Summary: PFC Bradley Manning Pre-Trial Hearing Day 5

Bradley Manning's pre-trial hearing began at 9:00 AM Friday, December 16. It must be noted this is not a trial but a hearing to decide whether there are reasonable grounds to charge Manning and continue with a court-martial hearing. That being said, there will be no "guilty" or "not guilty" verdict at the end of these hearings. Journalists allowed to sit in on the hearings were warned of "regular blackouts" while the court went in to private session.

There are a total of 34 counts against PFC Manning, the most serious of which is UCMJ Article 104, "Aiding the Enemy."

Defense: Mr David Coombs, Major Matthew Kemkes, Captain Paul Bouchard
Prosecution: Captain Ashden Fein, Captain Joe Morrow, Captain Angel Overgaard
Investigative Officer: Lieutenant Colonel Paul Almanza

Day 5:

Today was the prosecution's final day to call witnesses.

Prosecution Witness Testimony: Jirhleah Showman

Jirhleah Showman was a fellow intelligence analyst of PFC Manning's, but has been out of the Army since July 2011. She testified over the telephone.

Showman testified about FSE Milliman having to fix PFC Maning's computer at least twice a week. When asked about her and PFC Manning's training, she said they learned "how to be an all-source analyst, how to handle, disseminate, and destroy classified information and what impact improper dissemination of classified information would have on the country."

2011-12-20 Summary: PFC Bradley Manning Pre-Trial Hearing Day 4

Bradley Manning’s pre-trial hearing began at 9:00 AM on Friday, December 16 and it is expected to continue until December 23. It must be noted that this is not a trial but a hearing to decide whether or not there are reasonable grounds to charge PFC Manning and continue with a court-martial hearing. That being said, there will be no “guilty” or “not guilty” verdict at the end of these hearings. Journalists who were allowed to sit in on the hearings were warned of “regular blackouts” while the court went in to private session.

There are a total of 34 counts against PFC Manning, the most serious of which is UCMJ Article 104, “Aiding the Enemy.”

Defense: Mr David Coombs, Major Matthew Kemkes, Captain Paul Bouchard
Prosecution: Captain Ashden Fein, Captain Joe Morrow, Captain Angel Overgaard
Investigative Officer: Lieutenant Colonel Paul Almanza

Image (Bradley Manning being escorted from a military vehicle at Ft. Meade, MD. Photo: AP/Patrick Semansky)

Day 4:

At the end of yesterday’s hearing, LTC Almanza permitted the Government’s request to remove journalists and members of the public from viewing portions of today’s hearing. Coombs’ objected to this, but no further action was taken.

Today’s hearing did not resume at the scheduled 9AM, due to meetings with LTC Almanza and the prosecution and defense.

Prosecution Witness Testimony: Special Agent David Shaver

Shaver had testified yesterday about searching PFC Manning’s computers and was cross-examined by the defense today.

2011-12-20 Is #NDAA the Ultimate Power for the 1% and the Death Knell of the Bill of Rights?

Image

Image Credit-shass.mit.edu

(Updated on Jan 1, 2012)

The Occupy movement that spread around the US just marked its 3-month anniversary. The movement was first ignored by the mainstream media, then ridiculed. Over time, with the spreading police crackdowns, it is beginning to reveal the true state of America.

For those who identify themselves as the 99%, this movement has come to represent a reclaiming of the public space, a renewal of community and a resurgence of intrinsic citizen power. At the same time, government and police reactions reflect the very struggles that many working class Americans have been experiencing. For instance, the police eviction of camps is just what police have been doing for the banks, evicting millions of homeowners from their houses through legal fraud. From Liberty Square to Bradley Manning Plaza in San Francisco, brazen police attacks against people gathering peacefully have signaled the position of the current government on the direct democracy that has begun to emerge on the streets.

Peaceful protesters in Occupy camps and marches were met with extreme police crackdowns. From students in Denver, to an elderly woman in Seattle, from Oakland to Houston, people were pepper sprayed, physically assaulted and arrested without reason. These violent scenes can make one for a moment wonder if this can happen in the US.

2011-12-16 Handwritten Transcript of Bradley #Manning's Pretrial Hearing Day 1 #WikiLeaks

*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.

2011-12-19 Summary of PFC Bradley Manning’s Pre-Trial Hearing, Dec 16-18

Bradley Manning's pre-trial hearing began at 9:00 AM on Friday, December 16 and it is expected to continue until December 23. It must be noted that this is not a trial but a hearing to decide whether or not there are reasonable grounds to charge PFC Manning and continue with a court-martial hearing. That being said, there will be no "guilty" or "not guilty" verdict at the end of these hearings. Journalists who were allowed to sit in on the hearings were warned of "regular blackouts" while the court went in to private session.

There are a total of 34 counts against PFC Manning, the most serious of which is UCMJ Article 104, "Aiding the Enemy."

Defense: Mr David Coombs, Major Matthew Kemkes, Captain Paul Bouchard
Prosecution: Captain Ashden Fein, Captain Joe Morrow, Captain Angel Overgaard
Investigative Officer: Lieutenant Colonel Paul Amanza

Day One:

Early into the first day of hearings, PFC Manning's defense lawyer David Coombs
filed a motion requesting that LTC Paul Almanza, the presiding investigative officer, recuse himself. Mr Coombs listed four reasons for this request:

  1. He has served as a prosecutor under the Department of Justice since 2002, which is currently involved in an ongoing investigation into WikiLeaks and its founder Julian Assange.
  2. The government had all its 20 requested witnesses granted, while only 12 of the defense's 48 requested witnesses were granted, 10 of them also being on the government's list.

2011-12-11 Bradley Manning: Hearing the Word of the Prophets

Image

Image Credit - alliance.rationalreview.com

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.

2011-12-03 The CIA and Mossad: a murderous alliance

ImageLast week's arrests of a dozen alleged CIA agents in Iran threw a spotlight on long-standing, covert U.S.-Israeli actions in the Islamic republic -- including purported involvement by the CIA and Mossad in the recent killings of Iranian nuclear scientists. Though enduring, the collaboration between Western and Israeli intelligence agencies in intelligence and assassination operations reveals a relationship of cooperation and distrust.

The Mossad (Hebrew for "institution") is Israel's main intelligence agency. According to the Global Security site, Mossad also oversees "covert action and counterterrorism"; its operations are widely held to include targeted killings. At the time of its founding, the Mossad's motto was the biblical quote "By way of deception thou shalt make war." The motto was later changed to a different Proverbs passage: "Where no counsel is, the people fall, but in the multitude of counselors there is safety." Sources refer variously to the Mossad's international assassination unit as "Metsada," "Caesarea," or "Kidon" ("Kidon" is Hebrew for "bayonet"). Rafi Eitan, a former director of Mossad operations, compared its assassins to "the official hangman or the doctor on Death Row who administers the lethal injection. We are simply fulfilling a sentence sanctioned by the prime minister of the day."

2011-12-03 #WikiLeaks News: Urgent Action for Julian Assange; Updates on Bradley Manning case; December Events Calendar



[WikiLeaks] has shown a courageous and controversial commitment to the finest traditions of journalism: justice through transparency. - Walkley Foundation



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.


It is urgent to take action to prevent Julian Assange’s extradition to Sweden, which would increase the possibility of an extradition to and indefinite detention in the United States.
Please contact your MP today.

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.



............................................

2011-11-30 #OccupyLA - Day 60: The Eviction

Occupy Los Angeles was raided last night by the LAPD. By the time of the General Assembly at 7:30pm everyone knew that the promised eviction of the encampment around Los Angeles City Hall was coming that night.. Even during the GA and after city cops circulated among the occupiers and their supporters, over a thousand people had responded to the call to come out and support the occupation. Many voiced their willingness to be arrested.

The protesters moved out into the streets around city hall, as they had done Sunday night, as the police blocked off the streets and formed a encirclement of city hall designed to keep move arriving protesters from joining those already there. Twitter and the [occupy la] listserv were alive with information about alternate routes still open to city hall, such as thorough little Tokyo, or an alley near Temple.

The encirclement of the protesters deepened as hundreds of cops in riot gear arrive on buses from their staging area at Dodger Stadium but the raid began in earnest in a move that surprised everyone. Hundred of cops in riot gear that must have been prepositioned , or moved in via the tunnels connecting city hall to neighboring buildings`, came storming out of city hall and down the steps.

2011-11-26 #WikiLeaks News: WikiLeaks to enter New Phase; New Upcoming WikiLeaks Events; Other Updates



I believe that there are extreme "public interest" grounds, given that the case is entirely political. (…) This is a very important issue, not just for me personally because Julian is my son, but for the future of democracy. - Christine Assange



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.


WikiLeaks released a very important announcement today: a press conference will take place in central London, on the 1st December, where WikiLeaks will address the postponed launch of a new state-of-the-art secure submission system and expose serious threats to the Privacy of journalists, sources, human rights activists and others.


"On December 1st, WikiLeaks will host a press conference which will expose extraordinary privacy threats to journalists, sources and others as well as launch a new phase for WikiLeaks, just over a year after the Cablegate release.", the Statement reads.

"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.

2011-11-26 Occupy Movement, Birth of the Ordinary Hero #OWS

Occupy Wall Street (OWS) began in September and quickly spread, becoming a unifying force worldwide. This movement was initially ignored and ridiculed by the US corporate media. Yet as it grew, it became harder to ignore. Repeated police brutality against peaceful protesters has pulled the Occupy Movement even more into the limelight and galvanized support for it.

A powerful contrast emerged between the militarized police violence and the occupiers’ courage and commitment to peaceful action. As the excessive force on peaceful citizens increased, instant YouTube videos capturing blatant abuses of power with chemical agents and truncheons went viral. The scenes displayed the violence, yet at the same time revealed the strength of ordinary people. Is the Occupy Movement creating a new kind of leader? Perhaps what we are seeing is a birth of the ordinary hero. They are everyday people, young, old, foreclosed, students and unemployed, showing how each of us can become our own leaders. Here are some of the faces and stories of these ordinary heroes:

Kettled and Sprayed

Occupy Wall Street was in its second week when a group started to march from Zuccotti park to Union Square. Two women were kettled in an orange net and maced by NYPD. This disturbing scene was caught on tape, uploaded onto YouTube and widely circulated. Just as the iconic photo of a little girl running from the napalm was a catharsis moment for the Vietnam anti-war movement during the 60’s, similarly this video of two women kept in a cage became symbolic, showing the police working for the 1% and brought public attention to the abuse of power and strengthened the movement.

We Are All Scott Olsen

2011-11-25 Help Stop the Eviction of Occupy Los Angeles on Monday!

Mayor Villaraigosa & Police Chief Charlie Beck announced today at a afternoon press conference that the LAPD would forcefully throw Occupy Los Angeles off of the park areas surrounding Los Angeles City Hall Monday, November 28th at 12:01am. This move is being made although there have been no major incidents to marred the record of 56 consecutive days of peaceful protests at City Hall since the encampment first started on October 1st.

It is being done in spite of the vote by City Council in October to:

ADOPT the accompanying RESOLUTION to SUPPORT the continuation of the peaceful and vibrant exercise in First Amendment Rights carried out by "Occupy Los Angeles"

At the time City Council President Eric Garcetti told the campers on the city hall front lawn "Stay as long as you need, we're here to support you," Now it would seem that the city's tune has changed.

To it's credit both the City of LA and the LAPD have taken a decidedly different approach to the occupy movement compared with other major cities, including New York, Chicago, Oakland and Portland where the movement was faced with eviction and police violence almost from the beginning of those encampments. Until now, the City of Los Angeles has allowed the encampment at city hall to establish itself and to grow with a minimum of police and city interference.

2011-11-25 #WikiLeaks News: Cardin bill would endanger Whistleblowers; UK Parliament Debate on Extradition (summary)



At the heart of the problem with the European arrest warrant is the inability or unwillingness of Europe's judges to prevent injustice. - Fair Trials International



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.


Summary of UK Parliament debate on abuses of EAW


Various cases where extradition procedures resulted in abuse of Human Rights were debated yesterday, November 24, at Westminster Hall.
Observations were made throughout the debate relating to Julian Assange and WikiLeaks, although his extradition was not one of the central topics. The cases of Gary McKinnon, Babar Ahmad, Deborah Dark and Michael Turner were brought up frequently and the ordeals suffered by these UK citizens exposed in depth. For more information on these cases and other misuses of the European Arrest Warrant please visit Fair Trials International.

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.

2011-11-23 Omar Khadr Part 4 of 4: “Punitive post-conviction confinement”

ImageThis article is in lieu of the long delayed fourth part of the Omar Khadr series written on WL Central last May. The original fourth part consisted of hours of interviews regarding the astoundingly corrupt and illegal military process which culminated in a verdict which allows the Canadian press to refer to Omar Khadr as a 'convicted terrorist'. One day the information in those interviews will be widely known, but today we are still prevented from publishing any of it for fear of retribution to those we do not wish to harm.

Today, Omar should be at home in Canada, as promised by the Canadian government as a term of his acceptance of a plea deal. Today, he is still in Guantanamo Bay serving what the US military terms “punitive post-conviction confinement.”. A little known fact regarding the Guantanamo sentences is that time served before sentencing is not considered 'punitive' and therefore does not count as time served towards his sentence. Omar's sentence is to be carried out in a solitary confinement 'enhanced interrogation' environment, and at the end of his sentence he can be placed back in 'Prisoner Of War' status in the Guantanamo cells he has spent his life in since he was 15 years old. Without repatriation to Canada, his eight year plea deal is just an eight year sentence to solitary confinement in the middle of a lifetime sentence in Guantanamo.

2011-11-22 #WikiLeaks News: The Disappearance of WL Truck; Senate confronted about Mr Assange’s extradition; Other News



The UK High Court has recognised Mr Assange is a journalist and WikiLeaks is a publishing organisation. It is not, therefore, just the WikiLeaks organisation that is under attack; it is all of us. - Senator Scott Ludlam



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.



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’.

Image 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.

2011-11-21 #WikiLeaks News: Hearing for Bradley #Manning on December 16; New Support Campaigns; Cablegate



The charges against Bradley Manning are an indictment of our government’s obsession with secrecy. - Daniel Ellsberg



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.



Image 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.

On December 17,
please write or send small gifts to Bradley Manning.
And don’t forget you can also contribute to his defense with a donation.

2011-11-20 Chemical cops & crimes against the humanity of #OWS protesters

In the last few days, many have seen the shocking video of a police officer, one Police Lt. John Pike, pepper spraying a line of seated, peaceful non-violent students at the University of California (Davis.) ...one female protester was rushed to hospital in an ambulance for treatment of chemical burns. Ten protesters were arrested.

This use of chemical weapons on peaceful students representing no threat to the community such as a breach of the peace, or any other sign of potential violence, riot, affray or public disorder escalates the 'war' against the #OWS movement to frightening new levels.

I use the words "Chemical Cops" noting that pepper spray is banned under the Chemical Weapons Convention, and that being so, (given also that the Los Angeles Times in 1995 reported 61 deaths attributable to pepper spray since 1990) recklessness in its use may lead to a homicide being made out.

The question is immediately raised that if this substance is banned for war use, how do we allow it to be used on fellow citizens in time of peace? How do we allow its use for what is - obviously in this case - a method of extra-judicially punishing dissent?

The risk of death being ever present in its use; the culpability of its wantonly reckless use on innocent people by officer Pike is palpable.

2011-11-18 Arrests & Renewal #OccupyLA Day 48

I just got out of jail a few hours ago. I was one of 300 people arrested Thursday in Occupy Wall St. protests across the United States. In Los Angeles, a total of 67 people were arrested from Occupy Los Angeles, SEIU and Good Jobs LA which combined forces for two back-to-back protests, both of which had as there centerpieces acts of civil disobedience that brought important sections of downtown to a complete standstill as the biggest occupation in the nation took to the streets.

The first was a march that started at 7:00am to the 4th St. bridge, that brought Figueroa Ave, which at 30 miles, is the longest street in LA, to a complete standstill in the middle of the morning rush hour. This also pretty much shutdown freeway access to downtown, Figueroa is that important. 23 protesters, mostly SEIU members, were arrested in a very orderly, non-violent fashion after the protesters set up tents in the street.

2011-11-18 #WikiLeaks News: Christine Assange speaks in support of her son, Julian #Assange (video); Other Updates



The consensus of the Australian people I’ve spoken to… is the credibility loss at the moment globally for the U.S. is coming more from their reaction to WikiLeaks than the leaks themselves. - Christine Assange



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.


Christine Assange on the Australian government's failure to protect citizen Julian Assange:
A video of the speech delivered by Christine Assange at the November 17 rally for Julian Assange, WikiLeaks and Bradley Manning in Canberra is now available on youtube.




............................................

  • The driver of @WikiLeaksTruck, Clark Stoeckley, arrested yesterday at Occupy Wall Street along with a reporter, has been released from jail. He tweeted about his arrest with his hands cuffed behind his back. A video of his arrest can be seen here.

Theme by Danetsoft and Danang Probo Sayekti inspired by Maksimer