United States

2012-01-19 US Command 'Clinton, Gates too expensive to produce' despite possible death penalty for #Manning

Manning's defense lawyer, David Coombs reports that Colonel Carl R. Coffman Jr., the Commander of Joint Base Myer and the Special Court Martial Convening Authority, [*pictured to the left] denied the defense's request to conduct oral depositions of nine essential witnesses including former Secretary of Defense, Robert Gates, and current Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton.

Coffman determined that the "difficulty, expense, and/or effect on military operations outweighed the significance of the expected testimony," despite the possibility of the death penalty for Manning.

These same witnesses were requested by the defense for Manning's Article 32 Pretrial Hearing, and were denied by Lt. Col. Paul Almanza, a civilian career prosecutor at the Department of Justice. Almanza deemed that the "significance [of their testimony] does not outweigh military and governmental operations," and the witnesss were "not reasonably available given the importance of their respective position."

David Coombs responded to Coffman's denial on his blog yesterday. Coffman's decision, he said, "is yet another example of the government improperly impeding the defense's access to essential witnesses."

2012-01-17 Poetry of Master Sgt. Adkins, highest rank in T-SCIF invoked Article 31 at #Manning Pre Trial


Ucityreview.com says "Paul David Adkins grew up in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. He attended Mercer and Washington University. He lives in New York." 

Borderlinepoetry.com says, "Paul David Adkins grew up in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. He entered the Army in 1991 and has served in Iraq three times and Afghanistan once since 2002. He has poems published or pending in Crab Creek Review, Rattle, Artful Dodge and Chattahoochee Review, among others." The unclassified defense witnesses list calls him, "▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓", but you can find him on twitter @pdadkins29, where he describes himself as, "Husband dad *poet* conneisseur [sic] of Mountain Dew"

Indeed, "2nd BCT intelligence noncommissioned officer in charge Master Sgt. Paul David Adkins, of Fort Lauderdale, Fla." was the highest ranking officer and responsible for data security in Bradley Manning's TSCIF.  According to a report in Politico, Adkins "was reduced to a sergeant first class recently due to 'being derelict in his duties,' according to a defense filing. Coombs suggested that Adkins is appealing that reduction."

2012-01-16 #WikiLeaks News: Updates on Julian #Assange’s Supreme Court appeal & Bradley #Manning's defense; Other News

This is a "WikiLeaks News Update", a daily news update of stories relating directly to WikiLeaks and also freedom of information, transparency, cybersecurity, and freedom of expression.


  • Information about media coverage of Julian Assange’s Supreme Court extradition appeal, on February 1 and 2, was shared today.
    According to Jerome Taylor, reporter for The Independent, the Supreme Court itself indicated that the hearing will be broadcast live, by Sky News, on this page.
    And that due to "considerable public interest", the Supreme Court is enforcing accreditation for the hearing, with priority given to press from the UK, Sweden and Australia.
    Judgement is likely to be reserved for a few weeks, Jerome also tweeted.

    (Two support demonstrations are planned on this date: one at the Supreme Court in London, from 8:30AM, and other at Sydney's Town Hall, 5:30PM.
    More details under Upcoming WikiLeaks Dates.)

  • It has been determined that one of the witnesses Bradley Manning’s defense is attempting to question prior to his trial is Hillary Clinton, despite her name being blacked out in the document filed by his lawyer. Clinton is one of the many witnesses that Bradley Manning’s defense originally intended to call to testify but was denied.

2012-01-15 #WikiLeaks News: Calls for Julian #Assange to be tried as terrorist under #NDAA-like law in 2010; Other News

This is a "WikiLeaks News Update", a daily news update of stories relating directly to WikiLeaks and also freedom of information, transparency, cybersecurity, and freedom of expression.


  • Suggestions made to the US House of Representatives for Julian Assange and WikiLeaks to be tried in a military court, under a style of law similar to the National Defense Authorization Act 2012 (NDAA), pre-date the NDAA by approximately one year.
    On the 30th November 2010, Representatives Franks, Lamborn and King urged the creation of new legislation in order to prosecute Julian Assange as a terrorist, and hinted at his detention in Guantanamo Bay:

    "I wish and I hope that there’s a way that we can find a way to prosecute a man like that, that we can protect ourselves. And if we fail to do that, or even if we’re successful in that and it exposes some other vulnerabilities, I suggest, Mr. Speaker, that this Congress take a look at some new legislation, a new structure of law, that’s really not brought about because of the actions of Mr. Assange but brought about because of the actions of our enemies, our terrorist enemies.", a transcript of their speeches reads.

2012-01-13 #WikiLeaks News: Guantanamo Investigation Re-opened; UK-US Extradition on Copyright Case Ordered; Other News

This is a "WikiLeaks News Update", a daily news update of stories relating directly to WikiLeaks and also freedom of information, transparency, cybersecurity, and freedom of expression.


  • A Spanish judge has re-opened investigation into the alleged torture of detainees at Guantanamo Bay and is seeking to obtain from newspaper El Pais documents released by WikiLeaks that were cited as evidence of abuse in order to determine if the officers who signed them should be called as witnesses.

  • Today, for the first time, the extradition of a British citizen to the US on a copyright case was ordered.
    Richard O’Dwyer, a 23 year old student who ran the website TVShack, faces extradition for linking to other websites where copyrighted content was shared. The website he owned did not host any illegal content itself and his defense argues this is therefore not a criminal case under UK law and as such extradition to the US should be out of question, given that the case does not fit under the dual criminality principle (it is not a crime in both countries).
    This ruling might relate to future decisions made on Julian Assange’s extradition case, as he is still under house arrest without charge in the UK, fighting extradition to Sweden and it is possible extradition to the United States is requested in relation to the US Grand Jury investigation against WikiLeaks.

2012-01-12 #WikiLeaks News: New developments regarding Bradley #Manning’s case; Press Coverage of WikiLeaks Releases

This is a "WikiLeaks News Update", a daily news update of stories relating directly to WikiLeaks and also freedom of information, transparency, cybersecurity, and freedom of expression.


  • All charges against Bradley Manning were referred to court-martial today by Investigating Officer Paul Almanza. This is not yet a final decision: IO Almanza forwarded a report to Col. Carl R. Coffman, the Special Court Martial Convening Authority, for review.

    Col. Coffman has to either dispose of these charges or forward the case to the commander of the Military District of Washington, Maj. Gen. Michael S. Linnington, who will have final word on how to proceed with the case. Maj. Gen. Linnington is responsible for having ordered investigation on Bradley Manning to begin with.

    This recommendation was addressed in a press release by the Bradley Manning Support Network, where its legal advisor Kevin Zeese denounces a contradiction between charges brought against Manning and official impact assessments showing WikiLeaks caused no harm to US national security.

2012-01-13 New US defense strategy will ensure US permanent presence in Philippines

January 2012 marks the 10th anniversary of the Balikatan 02-1 or Operation Enduring Freedom Philippines which placed for the first time US troops in Mindanao. Since January 2002, US troops have been permanently stationed in Mindanao, particularly the Joint Special Operations Task Force-Philippines operating under the US Special Operations Command. US military presence in Mindanao is now longer than their deployment in Iraq. The Aquino government has merely continued the policy first started by the Arroyo regime, making it no different from the GMA regime in terms of its pro-US policy.

In 2002, the Philippines was tagged by the US as the “second front” in the “war on terror”, and Operation Enduring Freedom-Philippines was launched against the Abu Sayyaf and the Jemaah Islamiya that was purportedly training in Mindanao. The US has since engaged in various activities not defined in the RP-US Visiting Forces Agreement including joining combat operations.

The US justifies their basing in Mindanao by saying that their presence was requested by the Philippine government. But as a New York Times report in August 2009 showed, the decision to retain US troops in Mindanao was a unilateral move announced by US Defense Secretary Robert Gates.

Unlike in Iraq, there is no time-table for the pull-out of US troops in Mindanao. There are no clear parameters on how they will consider their mission ‘accomplished’. Clearly, the US government is circumventing a constitutional prohibition on US bases. The Philippine Constitution is clear, no foreign military bases absent a treaty ratified by both governments.

New US strategy focuses on Asia-Pacific

2012-01-10 #WikiLeaks News: Army monitored tweets on Bradley #Manning’s Pre-trial; Other News

This is a "WikiLeaks News Update", a daily news update of stories relating directly to WikiLeaks and also freedom of information, transparency, cybersecurity, and freedom of expression.


  • A document containing analysis of news coverage of Bradley Manning’s pretrial hearing by the US Army was released today by Politico. The Army used a service called VOCUS to track not only traditional press coverage, but also social media in near-real time, for instance tweets containing the hashtag #Manning.
    VOCUS identified most coverage as being “negative”, but also mostly “balanced and factual”. Part of the report deals with the number of stories on Lt. Dan Choi’s removal from Fort Meade:

    "Since former Lt. Dan Choi's disturbance outside of the courtroom there have been 118 print and online stories; and 67 social network conversations in reference to the incident."

    Also today, journalist Kevin Gosztola wrote about his experience covering the hearing from the Media Operations Center at Fort Meade. He recalls that, on the first day, the social media director on the public affairs staff asked the media if they would agree to use a single hashtag to categorize their tweets.
    “In retrospect”, he writes, “it appears she may have been trying to make it easier to track media tweets.”

2012-01-09 #WikiLeaks News: Judge silenced due to US pressure; Australia’s lack of Consular Support for Julian #Assange

This is a "WikiLeaks News Update", a daily news update of stories relating directly to WikiLeaks and also freedom of information, transparency, cybersecurity, and freedom of expression.


  • Cables published by WikiLeaks reveal that the US State Department placed pressure on Spanish authorities to silence Baltasar Garzon, the judge who, in 1998, ordered the arrest and extradition of Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet.
    Due to pressure from the Obama administration, Garzon was removed from the Bush 6 case and forced to drop investigation into:

    - the death of a Spanish reporter who was killed by US shelling in Baghdad;

    - allegations by Spanish Guantanamo detainees of being tortured;

    - use of Spanish bases for CIA “rendition” flights.

    Judge Baltasar Garzon himself faces trial, beginning January 17, on “corruption charges”. The most serious charge he is facing (exceeding authority) relates to an order issued, at the request of families, to exhume the remains of victims assassinated during the Franco regime. More than 200 international organizations condemn prosecution against him.
    [Source: Dissident Voice]

2012-01-08 #WikiLeaks News and Recent Press Coverage of WikiLeaks Releases

This is a "WikiLeaks News Update", a daily news update of stories relating directly to WikiLeaks and also freedom of information, transparency, cybersecurity, and freedom of expression.


  • In less than 20 hours, the auction for WikiLeaks Truck will close. Current bid is US $7.600.00.

  • L’Espresso journalist Stefania Maurizi describes, in a series of tweets her experience meeting Julian Assange to receive italian cables in January 2011 and, prior to that, the Afghan war Logs, right after Julian Assange left Sweden in 2010. Recommended reading, as the misconception Julian Assange fled Sweden to escape interrogation is dispelled. In fact, he remained in the country for over a month to answer allegations against him, yet he was not called to be interrogated. He was instead given permission to travel abroad: “Assange was NOT trying to avoid questioning in Sweden, we had an appointment in Berlin, where I was supposed to get the Afghan War Logs”, Stefania Maurizi writes.

  • Stainless Steel Rat, a controversial Australian play consisting of a fictional plot vaguely inspired by reports on Julian Assange’s life, was target of so much criticism its name and dialogue had to be modified. Since 14 December, the play now known as Man in the Middle has gone through 14 drafts.

2012-01-07 #WikiLeaks News: 400 days of Financial Blockade; Updated #Assange Support Campaigns; Other News

This is a "WikiLeaks News Update", a daily news update of stories relating directly to WikiLeaks and also freedom of information, transparency, cybersecurity, and freedom of expression.


  • WikiLeaks has been under financial blockade for 400 days. Consider making a donation so its work can continue.

  • On twitter, WikiLeaks linked to the source document showing Apple and Blackberry backdoors were used by Indian Military Intelligence to intercept communications of the United States-China Economic and Security Review Commission (USCC) on issues that are “of great value to Indian industry”.
    The document is part of WikiLeaks’ Spy Files release.

  • Twitter, Facebook, Google and five other corporations endorse online piracy bill OPEN, an alternative to SOPA (Stop Online Piracy Act), that would also authorize financial embargo of websites suspected of copyright infrigement by payment processors. Banking blockades identical to that unlawfully imposed on WikiLeaks could, under these bills, become the norm. [via The Hill]

2012-01-06 #WikiLeaks News: Scandal in Denmark over Torture of Iraqi Prisoners; Free #Assange Now Campaign; Other News

This is a "WikiLeaks News Update", a daily news update of stories relating directly to WikiLeaks and also freedom of information, transparency, cybersecurity, and freedom of expression.


  • In Denmark, a scandal over the transfer of Iraqi prisoners by Danish forces who knew the prisoners would be tortured at the hands of Iraq authorities threatens to implicate the current Secretary General of NATO Anders Fogh Rasmussen, a former Prime Minister of Denmark. The defense ministry in his government is now being charged with withholding his knowledge of Iraqi torture from legislators.
    This information first became known in 2010, when WikiLeaks released the Iraq War Logs, which contained a memo indicating that prisoners were handed over to Abu Ghraib by Danish soldiers even after an inquiry by "a Danish Defence Ministry official" had confirmed torture took place in the facility.
    truthout links to a similar story revealed in the Iraq War Logs: US turned over captives to Iraqi torture squads.

  • Bradley Manning’s pre-trial hearing was scripted in advance: Politico released the script to the pretrial, which lays out statements for the Investigating Officer (judge) and Prosecution, and states it was generally adhered to.

2012-01-05 #WikiLeaks News and Updated Events

Programmers and system admins control every intelligence agency and bank. What happens when they awake and unite? - @wikileaks

This is a "WikiLeaks News Update", a daily news update of stories relating directly to WikiLeaks and also freedom of information, transparency, cybersecurity, and freedom of expression.


Request to keep WikiLeaks backers' private Twitter data from US Prosecutors denied

  • Yesterday, WikiLeaks backers Jacob Appelbaum, Rop Gonggrijp and Birgitta Jonsdottir lost a bid to keep their private Twitter data from being handed over to US prosecutors, in the context of a Grand Jury criminal investigation on Julian Assange and WikiLeaks.
    According to American Civil Liberties Union lawyer Aden Fine, Birgitta Jonsdottir’s representative, his client may consider asking the appeals court to delay turning over the data.

‘War on The Internet’, panel with Jacob Appelbaum

  • The panel will take place in Melbourne, on January 21 (Trades Hall Melbourne cnr Victoria & Lygon, at 3PM).

2012-01-04 #WikiLeaks News, Press Coverage of WikiLeaks Releases and Updated Events

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.


The implications of SOPA, NDAA and mass telecommunication surveillance

  • In an article published in Digital Trends, Geoff Duncan analyses the National Defense Authorization Act, proposed copyright bill SOPA and mass telecommunication surveillance. He asks the question: Will 2012 end up resembling George Orwell’s novel 1984?
    The article also focuses on the link between NDAA and the possibility the work of WikiLeaks and Anonymous might, in the future, constitute terrorist activity:

    “This may not seem to have anything to do with the Internet”, he writes of the NDAA, “until you think about groups like Anonymous and Wikileaks. Could Anonymous (or groups within Anonymous) attacking credit card operators, the threatening the NYSE, law enforcement organizations, or other organizations constitute terrorist activity? Similarly, would Wikileaks’ publication of classified U.S. diplomatic cables constitute terrorist activity? Suddenly, everyday Internet users speaking up in support of groups like Anonymous and Wikileaks might find themselves accused of aiding and facilitating terrorists. Similarly, if U.S. authorities decide these or similar groups’ activities constitute terrorism, members or alleged members might find themselves shipped to Guantanamo. No trial, no process, no appeal.”

Day of Action Against Guantanamo

2012-01-01 #WikiLeaks News: A New Year’s Message; Updated Events & Support Campaigns; Other News

Manning is a political prisoner who worked for a better world. - Kristinn Hrafnsson

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.

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:

WikiLeaks: 394 days of banking blockade - no process
Assange: 391 days of detainment without charge
Manning: 588 days in military jail without trial trial

2011-12-28 Redefining Power; Revolution in the WikiLeaks Era


Original Image - infobarrel.com
Modified by idlewild606

In mid-September, Occupy Wall Street began in downtown Manhattan. For over a century, Wall Street has represented wealth and political power. Now, the streets of the financial district that only months before gleamed with the facade of enduring capitalism were flooded by ‘occupiers’, revealing the truth behind the broken promises of equal opportunity and corrupt excess of corporate America.

Here were people from all walks of life, foreclosed and unemployed, students with debts and those who struggle with a pay-or-die medical system. As the people marched with a mixture of jubilation and outrage against the plutocratic takeover of power, the glorified spectacle of the American Dream crumbled in the background.

No one can deny that the Occupy Movement struck a chord with the rank and file of America as it quickly spread nationwide. A couple months in, students at UC Berkeley pitched tents on the Mario Savio steps in front of Sproul Hall. When UC police came to dismantle the tents, students linked arms, standing up for their right to freely express themselves. Facing them, armed police violently jabbed them with sticks. This contrast became obvious to the world immediately as the YouTube video of the police attack went viral.

2011-12-26 Oltman in secret highlevel Quantico meeting re #Manning's illegal pretrial confinement

ImageThis 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.

2011-12-18 Handwritten transcript of Bradley #Manning Pretrial Day 3 #WikiLeaks

*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.

2011-12-22 Summary: PFC Bradley Manning Pre-Trial Hearing Day 6

Image (PFC Bradley Manning stepping out of a security vehicle outside a courthouse in Fort Meade, MD. Photo: AP/Patrick Semansky)

Bradley Manning’s pre-trial hearing began at 9:00 AM on Friday, December 16. 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

Day 6:

Today was the first day the defense got to call witnesses. The first day was spent debating whether the IO was suited for the hearing, and the following four days consisted of the prosecution calling their witnesses.

Defense Witness Testimony: Sergeant Daniel Padgett

SGT Daniel Padgett worked in the SCIF with PFC Manning. He was tasked to be the Non-Commissioned Officer in Charge (NCIOC), even though he had no formal training and was not an NCO at the time.

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.

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