Ft. Meade, MD–This Thursday, Feb. 28, from 9:30am in the courtroom at Ft. Meade, MD, Army Private First Class Bradley Manning is expected to publicly explain his reasons for releasing classified information through WikiLeaks.
This will be only the second time that Manning has testified in open court since his arrest in May 2010. Manning first testified in court at a per-trial hearing in December 2012. At that time, military Judge Col. Denise Lind ruled staff at the Quantico Marine Brig in Virginia subjected Manning to unlawful pretrial punishment in violation of Article 13 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ).
Manning’s testimony this Thursday will speak to larger issues affecting his case as a whole, and expands upon a plea proffering responsibility for releasing information with noble motive, while contesting the most serious charges. Spectators in the courtroom earlier this week got a brief preview of Manning’s statement, which included reference to a pivotal incident in Iraq that caused Manning to question the military’s methods there, in addition to a general statement that he’d hoped releasing information would ‘spark a domestic debate on the role of our military and foreign policy in general.’ His testimony will consist partially of reading from a written statement, in addition to taking questions from the Judge.
This momentous week in court follows the largest worldwide day of activism supporting the WikiLeaks soldier thus far. On February 23, more than 70 cities demonstrated for Manning’s 1,000th day in prison, across the U.S. and on five continents altogether. Yesterday, Judge Lind rejected Manning’s bid to dismiss all charges due to the government’s violations of his right to a speedy trial under Rule for Court Martial (RCM) 707.
While transcripts from the proceedings are not made immediately public, the proceedings on Thursday are open for the public and journalists to attend. Contact us for more information about attending the proceedings, or if you wish to schedule an interview with a Support Network spokesperson.
The Bradley Manning Support Network is responsible for funding 100% of PFC Manning’s legal fees and educates the public about his case.
International actions demonstrate enormous public support
After spending 1,005 days in prison, Bradley Manning entered into the latest round of pre-trial hearings yesterday where Judge Denise Lind began the proceedings by denying the defense’s motion to dismiss charges due to the lack of a speedy trial.
Her decision, while disappointing, exemplifies a courtroom so far unwilling to provide justice for the 25-year-old whistleblower, fueling worldwide rallies and demonstrations. This past Saturday, supporters gathered in more than 70 cities across the globe to Manning’s release, suggesting the resolve of those in Bradley’s corner may far outweigh his short-sighted detractors.
Lind’s ruling proves once again that this case will not only be decided at Ft. Meade, but in the courtroom of public opinion, which is why the Bradley Manning Support Network is now calling for June 1 as an International Day of Action.
After more than three years of imprisonment, including nine months of torture, Nobel Peace Prize nominee Bradley Manning’s trial is finally scheduled to begin June 3, 2013, at Fort Meade, Md. The outcome of this trial will determine whether the most important whistleblower of a generation spends the rest of his life in prison.
As he made clear in his chat logs with Adrian Lamo in 2010, Bradley believed that the American people have a right to know the truth about what our government does around the world in our name. Now is the time we must send a message to the military prosecuting authority and President Obama, that Bradley Manning is a patriot and heroic truth-teller.