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Diminutive Poof, Bradley Manning, teaches American 'he-men' Honour and Character
by Ed Pilkington via dorothy - Guardian UK Monday, Jun 4 2012, 2:02pm
international / injustice/law / other press

Homosexual soldier, prisoner of conscience and social hero, Bradley Manning, continues to compromise the US military as each day passes. The depths to which the Pentagon has sunk in order to railroad Manning promises to leave an indelible stain on the US military forever; the criminal Pentagon simply CANNOT survive this case in any moral, legal or civilised context.

Bradley Manning
Bradley Manning

Exposing war crimes is not only the duty of every soldier it is a social responsibility/imperative of all citizens that live in civilised societies.

In an obvious INVERSION of JUSTICE, the messenger has been placed on trial by the criminals -- what's new in criminal America?

The world's leading criminal, terrorist State, with a civilian killing record that surpasses all the nations of the WORLD combined, is drawing massive attention to its rank corruption and criminality in the Manning trial. Whatever the outcome of this absurd military trial, Manning has already won, historically, morally and ethically.

The Pentagon has been left with NOTHING but its own corruption and criminality with which to pursue the case against Manning and that dear reader and seekers after justice, is what compromises the entire United States; what's more the whole world is watching the rank machinations of the Pentagon and White House.

The Guardian has reported that defence lawyers for Manning have been denied access to over 250,000 pages of reports and assessments on Manning and his alleged involvement with the WikiLeaks website -- this of course is the most crucial material in the case, yet the military 'court' deems it necessary to withhold that information from defence lawyers, making a FAIR trial impossible! How weak must be the State's case against a person with high moral character, honour and an innate sense of justice?

What the Pentagon has failed to fully appreciate is the broader picture, not surprising in view of its absurd insular and strained gesticulations to find Manning guilty of the offence of 'exposing war crimes!'

The US military has placed itself in a classic 'lose-lose' situation -- a location befitting its astounding legal ineptitudes. Which are second only to the lawyer President of the United States who pronounced Manning guilty by publicly stating that Manning, "broke the law;" which, of course, is yet to be determined!

The 'skills' of the buffoons leading this nation are truly memorable and make for a robust historical record.

Report from The Guardian follows:

Bradley Manning lawyer in struggle to have government documents released

The US government is in possession of 250,000 pages of documents relating to the transmission of state secrets to whistleblower website WikiLeaks, which it is refusing to disclose to defence lawyers representing the alleged source of the leaks, Bradley Manning.

Manning's civilian lawyer, David Coombs, has lodged a motion with the military court that is hearing the court-martial of the US soldier. Coombs writes in the motion that the government has revealed to him in a throwaway footnote that there are 250,000 pages in its possession that relate to Manning, WikiLeaks and secret official assessments of the damage that the massive leak caused to US interests around the world.

Yet none of these pages have been made available to the defence. "If so, this is very disconcerting to the defence," Coombs says.

Manning, an intelligence analyst who was working outside Baghdad when he was arrested two years ago, is charged with 22 counts connected to the largest leak of state secrets in US history.

In the motion, published in redacted form on his website, Coombs renews his long-standing efforts to compel the US government to hand over information that could prove crucial in preparing Manning's defence.

He accuses the army of continuing to resist its legal obligations to disclose anything that could help Manning prove his innocence or achieve a lighter sentence.

The motion is one of several defence motions that have been submitted to the court and that will be the subject of a pre-trial hearing at Fort Meade in Maryland. Manning himself is likely to attend the hearing, which comes three months before a full trial, which is scheduled for 21 September.

The language of Coombs's legal submission suggests that the lawyer, who himself has a military background, is growing increasingly frustrated by the obfuscations and alleged sleights of hand played by the prosecution.

In recent motions, the lawyer has accused the US government of preventing Manning from having a fair trial.

Coombs paints an almost Kafkaesque world in which the military authorities play word games in order to keep deflecting his requests for disclosure.

Sometimes the government says that the defense is being "too narrow" in its requests, at other times "too broad".

Coombs comments sarcastically: "The defence believes that no defence discovery request would ever be 'just right' to satisfy Goldilocks."

When the defence asked to see "damage assessments" or "investigations" that the government had carried out into the likely impact of WikiLeaks, he was told none existed.

After much effort was expended, Coombs managed to get the government to admit that what he should have asked for – according to its vocabulary – was "working papers".

"By morphing, distorting and constantly changing definitions, the government is trying to 'define' itself out of producing relevant discovery," Coombs complains. "It cannot be permitted to do this."

Judging from the motions which Coombs has filed, this week's pre-trial hearing promises to be quite feisty.

Other motions before the court include a demand for the dismissal of 10 of the 22 counts against the private.

Though Manning faces very severe charges, including "aiding the enemy", that carry a possible sentence of life in military custody, he draws comfort from having such a robust defence team.

His aunt, speaking to the Guardian last week, said that Manning had "tremendous confidence in David Coombs".

© 2012 Guardian News and Media Limited


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Glaring Double Standards on Civilian Deaths
by John LaForge via judd - Consortium News Tuesday, Jun 5 2012, 1:53am

In the war fever being ramped up against Syria, there is broad public indignation over the massacre of more than 100 civilians in the town of Houla last weekend. Would that the U.S. diplomatic corps and the commercial press were equally outraged over our own military's atrocities.

While details of the Syrian massacre are unclear and still subject to dispute, Canada, Switzerland, Bulgaria, Australia, Germany, Spain and the United States have expelled Syrian diplomats in protest. The State Department called the rampage "despicable" and complained about a regime that could "connive in or organize" such a thing.

However, the department was silent on the U.S. killing four years ago of just as many Afghan civilians, including 60 children, in Azizabad. A draft UN Security Council press statement said about the Aug. 22, 2008, bombing that member nations "strongly deplore the fact that this is not the first incident of this kind" and that "the killing and maiming of civilians is a flagrant violation of international humanitarian law."

The crime wasn't decried as a "massacre" by the State Department, which finds it easier to denounce indiscriminate attacks when the enemy du jour stands accused.

U.S. envoys weren't thrown out of capital cities when Afghan villagers said between 70 and 100 civilians, including women and children, were killed May 5, 2009, by a U.S. raid against Bala Baluk. U.S. Foreign Service officers stayed comfy in their posts later that year when U.S. jets killed 99 Afghans when they bombed a pair of hijacked fuel tankers on Sept. 4.

U.S. ambassadors weren't dismissed from Paris or Rome when U.S. jets attacked a wedding party on Nov. 4, 2008, in Kandahar Province, killing up to 90 people and wounding 28. In July that year, the U.S had bombed a wedding party in Nangarhar leaving 47 civilian partiers dead, including the bride. On July 4, that year 22 civilians were blown up when U.S. helicopters rocketed two vehicles in Nuristan.

I suppose it's not too late for civilized governments around the world to suspend relations with the United States to protest the killing of as many as 170 civilians that died under the U.S-led bombing of Helmand Province at the end of June 2007, or the 21 civilians that were killed in the same area on May 9 that year.

In October 2004, Human Rights Watch estimated that 100,000 Iraqis had been killed since the U.S. bombing and invasion started in 2003. The State Department neglected to condemn this mass destruction of civilians, and the Pentagon responded to the report not with a denial but with an announcement that it did not keep a tally of civilian deaths.

The UN Security Council might have resolved some mild censure when its own investigators confirmed in October 2001 that U.S. warplanes had destroyed a hospital in Western Afghanistan — a blatant violation of the laws of war since hospital roofs are clearly identified.

Of course, U.S. bombardment of legally protected populations and civilian objects is always "accidental," like when the Pentagon said its missiles had "mistakenly" killed nine civilians south of Baghdad on Feb. 4, 2008. The same apologists regularly declare without irony that the U.S. Air Force is the finest and best equipped in the world.

Some will say the Syrian murders are far worse than "unavoidable wartime errors" because the government there is said to have attacked its own people. They will have to forgive the scoffing coming from descendants of enslaved African Americans, Native North American Indians, interned Japanese Americans, and the civilian victims of U.S. human radiation experiments and nuclear bomb testing.

© 2012 Consortiumnews

[But we should never forget that war crimes only apply to our enemies. Remember the infamous Nixon statement which today guides the White House: "When the president does it, that means it's not illegal." -- Richard Nixon.]

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