Bradley Manning’s Kangaroo Court updates
Manning’s pre-trial hearing is shaping up to be nothing more than a blatant example of a kangaroo court. The hypocritical criminal cabal still euphemistically calling itself “The Government of the United States” has denied Manning access to all witnesses except for the 10 that were already on the government witness list. In addition, only select loyal media parrots will be “embedded” (properly interpreted as “in bed with”) for the full, supposedly public, hearing; the rest will apparently have to be content with restricted soundbites from a monitor. How convenient.
We invite all those who are fed up with this mockery of justice to make your displeasure known on December 16-17.
“We can do better than this.”
Theodor “Dr. Seuss” Guisel’s parting thoughts to the world
Kangaroo Court n.s. [Slang of U.S. origin.] An unfair, biased, or hasty judicial proceeding that ends in a harsh punishment; an unauthorized trial conducted by individuals who have taken the law into their own hands, such as those put on by vigilantes or prison inmates; a proceeding and its leaders who are considered sham, corrupt, and without regard for the law.
The concept of kangaroo court dates to the early nineteenth century. Scholars trace its origin to the historical practice of itinerant judges on the U.S. frontier. These roving judges were paid on the basis of how many trials they conducted, and in some instances their salary depended on the fines from the defendants they convicted. The term kangaroo court comes from the image of these judges hopping from place to place, guided less by concern for justice than by the desire to wrap up as many trials as the day allowed.
The term is still in common usage by defendants, writers, and scholars critical of a court or a trial. The U.S. Supreme Court has also used it. Inin re gault, 387 U.S. 1, 87 S. Ct. 1428, 18 L. Ed. 2d 527 (1967), a case that established that children in juvenile court have the right to due process, the Court reasoned, “Under our Constitution, the condition of being a boy does not justify a kangaroo court.” Associate Justice william o. douglas once wrote, “[W]here police take matters in their own hands, seize victims, beat and pound them until they confess, there cannot be the slightest doubt that the police have deprived the victim of a right under the Constitution. It is the right of the accused to be tried by a legally constituted court, not by a kangaroo court” (Williams v. United States, 341 U.S. 97, 71 S. Ct. 576, 95 L. Ed. 774 ).
from Bradley Manning’s attorney website
07 December 2011
On December 2, 2011, the defense filed a request for the production of 48 witnesses for the Article 32 hearing. The government responded to the defense’s request on December 7, 2011. In the government’s response, it opposed the presence of all defense requested witness (with the exception of ten witnesses who were also on the government’s witness list).
The defense filed a request to compel the production of the witnesses on December 8, 2011. The Investigating Officer will consider the government and defense requests, and make a ruling sometime later this week.
original article and comments here http://www.armycourtmartialdefense.info/2011/12/defense-response-to-government-denial.html
Bradley Manning Support Network. December 9, 2011
An anonymous source has revealed to representatives of the Bradley Manning Support Network that military officials conducted a non-publicized press briefing this morning for selected journalists, to outline restrictions that will be placed on members of the media at the upcoming hearings for the accused WikiLeaks whistle-blower.
“The military is attempting to apply an embedded journalist framework to these proceedings,” said Jeff Paterson, an organizer with the Bradley Manning Support Network. “As in combat zones, these reporters receive special access to information in return for favorable coverage. Meanwhile, independently minded journalists are left out. It’s indefensible for the Army to apply this to a court martial process that by law is open to both the media and public.”
The source, who was familiar with the details of today’s private briefing, noted that fewer than ten seats are expected to be made available to journalists and members of the public in the courtroom. Although a closed-circuit viewing area may be made available to additional reporters, the television feed will most likely be cut for large segments of the trial, he said. The source added that military officials intend to invoke unspecified threats to national security in order to control the flow of information to the public.
“We already know that the administration’s internal assessments found that these materials never posed a threat to national security,” said Kevin Zeese, a legal adviser with the Bradley Manning Support Network. “The Obama administration is clinging to clearly fabricated threats in an absurd attempt to control journalists and keep the American people in the dark.”
The Bradley Manning Support Network intends to issue a Freedom of Information Act request for a transcript of today’s secret press call if it is not immediately made available to the public.
Earlier this week, the American Civil Liberties Union revealed the results of its FOIA request for several cables that were allegedly released by PFC Manning. The ACLU posted the redacted versions of the widely available materials to demonstrate “the government’s selective and self-serving decisions to withhold information” from the public. (link)
A document released yesterday by David Coombs, the lead counsel for PFC Manning’s legal defense, expressed similar frustrations with the government’s repeated obfuscation over even the most routine requests for information. Coombs explained that the administration has been arguing that high ranking officials such as President Obama and Secretary Clinton are essentially “too important” to testify even though they have already commented publicly on the case. Coombs concluded:
“Anything but the personal appearances of all witnesses requested by the defense and government would deny PFC Manning his right to a thorough and impartial investigation and turn this into a hollow exercise.”
The full text of the defense team’s response to the government’s denial of witnesses was released by David Coombs yesterday on his blog.
Hundreds of supporters are expected to rally for Bradley Manning near the main gate of Fort Meade outside of Washington DC as the pre-trial proceedings begin next Friday, December 16.