Guilt By Proclamation: Obama Violates Federal Rules By Declaring Bradley Manning Guilty

President Barack Obama this week stepped over the line of both protocol and ethics by publicly declaring Bradley Manning guilty of crimes. During a speech, Obama stated Manning “broke the law” to an audience in an act that could be challenged as undue command influence in the military system and violates a long-standing rule of presidents refraining from prejudicing trials. Manning is accused of being the source for the wikileaks material, which have shown that the Administration and prior Administrations have lied to the American people in various areas of policy.

The President’s comments came after protesters interrupted one of his speeches. He stated:

“I have to abide by certain classified information,” Obama said on a video that quickly began to circulate among media outlets Friday. “If I was to release stuff, information that I’m not authorized to release, I’m breaking the law. … We’re a nation of laws. We don’t individually make our own decisions about how the laws operate. … He broke the law.”

Remarkably, I have not seen any corrective statement from the White House. In litigating within the military system, one of the greatest concerns is undue command influence. This was a big issue in the Dan King espionage case that I handled as lead defense counsel at Quantico. Here is Article 37:

Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ)


(a) No authority convening a general, special, or summary court-martial, nor any other commanding officer, may censure, reprimand, or admonish the court or any member, military judge, or counsel thereof, with respect to the findings or sentence adjudged by the court, or with respect to any other exercises of its or his functions in the conduct of the proceedings. No person subject to this chapter may attempt to coerce or, by any unauthorized means, influence the action of a court-martial or any other military tribunal or any member thereof, in reaching the findings or sentence in any case, or the action of any convening, approving, or reviewing authority with respect to his judicial acts. The foregoing provisions of the subsection shall not apply with respect to

(1) general instructional or informational courses in military justice if such courses are designed solely for the purpose of instructing members of a command in the substantive and procedural aspects of courts-martial, or

(2) to statements and instructions given in open court by the military judge, president of a special court-martial, or counsel.

(b) In the preparation of an effectiveness, fitness, or efficiency report on any other report or document used in whole or in part for the purpose of determining whether a member of the armed forces is qualified to be advanced, in grade, or in determining the assignment or transfer of a member of the armed forces or in determining whether a member of the armed forces should be retained on active duty, no person subject to this chapter may, in preparing any such report (1) consider or evaluate the performance of duty of any such member, as counsel, represented any accused before a court-martial.

It is likely that a military court would reject an undue command influence challenge, but that does not take away the unfairness to the defendant. The military jurors, or members, are under the command of Obama as commander and chief. Obama is poisoning the jury pool with such statements and as a lawyer (let alone a law professor) he should be ashamed.

By the way, Obama does not seem nearly so committed to the rule of law for Bush officials, including Bush himself, who are accused of war crimes. When it came to those crimes, Obama has blocked criminal investigations, let alone prosecutions. “He broke the law” is not sufficient for Obama when the political costs of prosecution make application of the law too inconvenient.

Source: Politico

Jonathan Turley

50 thoughts on “Guilt By Proclamation: Obama Violates Federal Rules By Declaring Bradley Manning Guilty

  1. Didn’t this dipshit teach constitutional law? And not at one of those make-believe places like Liberty or Anal Roberts.

    I did not expect a real liberal President but I did expect an intelligent, thoughtful, one that respected the rule of law and a couple of centuries of progress. What a complete and utter failure this little man turned out to be.

    With Boy Blunder you could expect this type of thing. He was not too bright, totally incurious and in well over his ity-bity head. But BHO has shown he is capable of so much better than that last buffoon.

  2. I don’t believe that a defense could make that argument because even though Obama is the Commander in Chief, he is a civilian, and not subject to the UCMJ. Now I am just a layman and not a lawyer, but that is how I see it.

  3. This is so sad…. I will reiterate this again… Manning even if innocent cannot get a fair trial here…. If he was under a cooperative agreement with the UN and is being charged while in activities there…would it not be consistent that he be prosecuted in a UN/World Court….to show that America is really fair? and we are all about right and fair play……Hmmmm

  4. I have been increasingly skeptical about whether they even want to have a trial. Manning was held in conditions that are designed to break the spirit if not the mind. Based on what we have been able to find out, it is more likely than not that he now has psychiatric problems that may impair his competency to stand trial. And now this ill-advised statement from the Commander in Chief. Where are they going with this?

    One has to wonder if the purpose of Manning’s treatment during incarceration has been to send a warning to others who might be contemplating giving documents to Wikileaks or its successors; “This could happen to you.”

  5. Of course they are using Manning as a warning, OS. Punishing and threatening whistleblowers is one of the first steps in encroaching totalitarianism. Another step is pronouncing judgment before trial. It’s not just Manning either. There has been a steady erosion in the protections once provided to whistleblowers in the corporate world as well. Criminals do their best work in the dark. It’s not enough to turn out the lights. They have to stop anyone with a flashlight as well.

  6. “We’re a nation of laws.” -President Barack Obama

    Really? Well, you could have fooled me. Walk a mile in my shoes, Mr. President. I assure you, we aren’t.

  7. Jeez,, he just gets better and better as time goes on..What university did he get his degree from? Whatever one it was should have its accreditation checked or downgraded to subpar.

  8. The last time I remember a President passing judgement (although I may have blocked out L’il Boots doing it, theres 8 years I wish I could forget completely) was Nixon. He announced Chuck Manson’s guilt before the trial.

    Puts Obama in some really nice company.

  9. Elaine,

    re: Maybe it should be: “We’re a nation of scofflaws.”

    To steal Buddha’s line: Yes, “that’s (much) better.”


  10. He has a way of dealing with members of the Armed Services.

    Army Medical Doctor Jailed for Questioning Obama’s Eligibility Release Date Announced.

    Terry Lankin will be returning to Baltimore on May 14, 2011, at around 10:30 am.

  11. OS hit the nail on the head. This internment of Manning is meant to be punishment and a warning. The fact that it is violating his rights as a defendant is not an issue for this White House. What is Obama going to do when he is out of office and the Teapublicans come after him for war crimes? Is he going to argue that he deserves the same professional courtesy that he showed to Bush?



    The Wikileaks revelations that Manning is charged with having revealed, having to do with Iraq, show that in fact the US military in which Manning was a part, turns over suspect to the Iraqis with the knowledge that they will be and are being tortured. Turning these suspects over, with that knowledge, is a clear violation of our own laws and of international law. It makes us as much culpable for the torture as if we were doing it ourselves.

    Moreover, the Wikileaks logs show, the order is given: “Do not investigate further.” That’s an illegal order, which our president could change and should change and must change with one call.

    Reportedly, Manning was very strongly motivated, at one point, to try to change this situation, because he was involved in it actively, and knew that it was wrong. He found that it was not being investigated within the government and was not being dealt with at all.

    That’s a big difference between the Pentagon Papers and the WIkileaks logs. The former were higher level things which didn’t reveal field-level war crimes. The Wikileaks actually do.

    (end excerpt)

  13. Guilty until proven innocent, isn’t that the way most finger pointers react. I believe the veneer is beginning to crack in Happy’s world. Can’t handle the cognitive dissonance any longer.

  14. This statement is revelatory to Obama’s interaction with reality: “We’re a nation of laws. We don’t individually make our own decisions about how the laws operate. … He broke the law.” 1. Obama has claimed he has the right to proclaim any person and terrorist and to kill them anywhere in the world 2. Obama has claimed the right to regime change anyone he wishes anywhere in the world on his own say so 3. Obama has decided he may go to war anywhere in the world on his say so 4. Obama has decided which laws he will honor and which he will not 5. Obama has decided he may drone persons in any country which he desires 6. Obama has decided he will torture anyone he wishes, usually in black sites but sometimes openly as in the case of Bradley Manning 7. Obama has stated he has the right to indefinitely imprison anyone he wishes.

    These are all examples of individuals (read himself) making decisions about how the law operates. There is a lot of information on our detainees in Gitmo on Glenn Greenwald’s site.

    As I said before, reactionary ideas are not the provenance of the right wing tea party. Dangerous, horrifying, reactionary cruelty resides in the Oval Office. Either we recognize and peacefully resist such ideas whenever they occur or we have just given consent to human cruelty.


    Coleen Rowley 4/12

    By Joel Kilgour on Apr 11, 2011 in Uncategorized

    TIME Magazine’s 2002 Person of the Year and FBI whistleblower Coleen Rowley will be in Duluth tomorrow for 2 events:

    At noon on the steps of the Duluth Federal Building, she’ll headline a Stand with Brad! rally to support accused Wikileaks whistleblower Pfc. Bradley Manning. The 23-year old Army intelligence specialist is facing brutal pre-trial punishment at Quantico for allegedly leaking information about war crimes in Iraq and Afghanistan.

    At 7:30pm in the Mitchell Auditorium at St Scholastica, Rowley will deliver the final lecture of the school’s Terrorism and Human Rights series, on the topic of Obama’s Response to Terrorism. Free and open to the public.

    For more details, visit

  16. Tack this up on the list of impeachable offenses. Add violation of the congressional perogative to declare war or commit US forces to armed conflict (as in Libya). How many more?

  17. OS hit the nail on the head, he’s absolutely an example and since they haven’t gotten the confession they wanted (implicating Julian Assange) it seems that all of the attention his confinement has gotten is forcing the governments hand.

    That the President has condemned him as guilty is a very bad signal IMO. If I wanted Manning to ‘go away’ as an issue how could I arrange that? Putting him elsewhere and allowing him into situations where he could interact with others might do the trick. Personally, I think solitary confinement might be Manning’s best bet for staying alive.

    “WikiLeaks suspect Manning will be transferred from Quantico to Fort Leavenworth”

    ” … Quantico was built to house pre-trial inmates for about two months, whereas Leavenworth can hold pre-trial and post-trial inmates with sentences of up to five years, she said. After an initial assessment, Manning will be eligible to receive three hours of recreation time indoors and outdoors and will have the opportunity to regularly interact with other detainees, Hilton said.”

  18. A query to military lawyers or anyone with JAG experience: do the President’s statements provide grounds for dismissal of the charges?

  19. Release of information indicating that he was essentially guilty without a criminal charge or a trial was one of the reasons that the government paid Dr. Stephen Hatfill $5.8 Million and it is part of my claims against the government too (that the government basically declared I was “guilty” of being a vexatious litigant).

    All of DOJ’s official press releases about pending criminal prosecutions contain a disclaimer that one is presumed innocent etc.

  20. mike a

    that was my thought. can anyone expect a fair trial after the potus has announced that you’re guilty.

    if anyone ever really expected a fair trial

  21. Dear public:

    Why should anything apply to anything?

    As a nation with, what, several hundred years under our belt, we should collectively and legislatively move on from the outdated dogma and starry-eyed statements about “privacy”,”liberty” and “freedom.”

    It is (from what we’ve been told) a new millenium, and as such, should be subject only to what has been legislated since the year 2000 or 2001, whichever one it is that actually started the new millenium.

    If we are to become a truly great nation, we need to throw off the chains of freedom, which have held many of us back (especially those of us in Washington) from achieving the level of intrusion and paranoia this country so richly deserves.


    Your “Representatives” in Washington

    [Note: Please have an intern strike quotes around Representatives. THX.]

  22. This is such wonderful news. YES this is LEGALLY BINDING, and YES, OBAMA..being the commander and cheif of the armed forces, HAS BROKEN THE LAW..AGAIN

    This kid needs to be freed. Although, who even believes anything wikileaks releases anyway?

    Wikileaks this week said “secret documents” tell a different story about UBL’s escape. Do you really believe UBL got away because ” we didnt have eyes on him?

    Well, let me tell you something, WE DID HAVE EYES ON HIM IN TORA BORA. CIA SAID….DO NOT KILL OR CAPTURE.You do what you are told. WHy did the CIA save UBL? Because he didnt blow up the towers.

  23. Thelastpatriot wrote:


    9/11 aside, our government, police forces, and the list goes on and on… are awash with criminals. The first couple of stories on the blog today, as well as a comment about resort communties in CO, are but tiny examples. Let’s hope this isn’t the end of the story, but it may well be.

    Whistleblowers are marginalized, “neutralized”, imprisoned, and/or forced to undergo psychological evaluations, while Dick Cheney and his sociopathic ilk are doing just fine and, even, thriving.

    As a nation, I fear that we have neither the stomach nor the will to do what’s right and necessary to reclaim this country. I hope that I’m wrong.

  24. “We’re a nation of laws.” -President Barack Obama

    All kidding aside, something like the following would be more accurate, IMO:

    We’re not a nation of laws. We pretend that that we are, but we aren’t — the “rule of law” is but an illusion. It only applies to some and, even then, one never knows. It’s an arbitrary system, so it pays to be careful.

    It’s best to learn this at a young age — it should be taught in our schools. America is the land of the not-so-free. We put on a good face but, at our core, we’re as corrupt as any third-world country. Play by a set of arbitrary rules and maybe — and it’s a big maybe — you’ll be all right.

    Proceed at your own risk here in America.

  25. Glenn Greenwald: Obama’s Comments on Bradley Manning Mark “Amazing Amount of Improper Influence” in WikiLeaks Case
    Democracy Now, 4/29/2011


    JUAN GONZALEZ: Well, Pentagon spokesperson Geoff Morrell appeared on MSNBC and defended the military’s treatment of Bradley Manning.

    GEOFF MORRELL: The issue for him really is, he’s being held in the manner he’s being held because of the sever-–the seriousness of the charges he’s facing, the potential length of sentence, the national security implications, and also the potential harm to him that he could do to himself or from others, frankly, you know, who are being imprisoned there, if he were allowed to mix with the general population. So this is as much for his own good as it is because of the charges.

    JUAN GONZALEZ: Well, this was from last month. Your response?

    GLENN GREENWALD: Well, it’s just interesting, because he’s basically acknowledging that they’re using improper means. I mean, the idea that the seriousness of the offense warrants oppressive conditions is a violation in the law. The Uniform Military Code of Justice says you can’t punish people using pretrial detention. But the interesting thing is the justification for what they were doing to him was we need to do this to protect himself from himself and from other Marines and other people in the population. And yet, now, suddenly, they’re claiming that he’s going to be able to interact with the general population more. So what happened to all of those alleged concerns that they had that necessitated keeping him in isolation? They were clearly pretext.

    AMY GOODMAN: What about what President Obama said in San Francisco? He was at a fundraiser. It was disrupted by people deeply concerned about what’s happening to Bradley Manning. He didn’t know he was being recorded. I think it was on a cell phone, and he said something like, “Well, he broke the law.”

    GLENN GREENWALD: One of the cardinal rules of being a president is that you don’t decree private citizens guilty of crimes before they’ve been adjudicated of having been convicted of a crime. And amazingly, even John Mitchell, the most corrupt attorney general in American history, knew that, because Richard Nixon once stood up in the middle of the Charles Manson trial, who everyone thought was guilty, while the jurors were sequestered, and said, “He’s killed eight people.” And John Mitchell knew that was inappropriate, that you can’t do that, and forced Nixon to retract it. Here, it’s much worse for Obama to do that, because Bradley Manning is a member of the military under his command. The people who will decide his guilt are inferior officers to Obama as commander-in-chief. It’s an amazing amount of over and improper influence on the military process.


    Honoring Those Who Said No


    Published: April 27, 2011

    IN January 2004, Spec. Joseph M. Darby, a 24-year-old Army reservist in Iraq, discovered a set of photographs showing other members of his company torturing prisoners at the Abu Ghraib prison. The discovery anguished him, and he struggled over how to respond. “I had the choice between what I knew was morally right, and my loyalty to other soldiers,” he recalled later. “I couldn’t have it both ways.”

    So he copied the photographs onto a CD, sealed it in an envelope, and delivered the envelope and an anonymous letter to the Army’s Criminal Investigation Command. Three months later — seven years ago today — the photographs were published. Specialist Darby soon found himself the target of death threats, but he had no regrets. Testifying at a pretrial hearing for a fellow soldier, he said that the abuse “violated everything I personally believed in and all I’d been taught about the rules of war.”

    He was not alone. Throughout the military, and throughout the government, brave men and women reported abuse, challenged interrogation directives that permitted abuse, and refused to participate in an interrogation and detention program that they believed to be unwise, unlawful and immoral. The Bush administration’s most senior officials expressly approved the torture of prisoners, but there was dissent in every agency, and at every level.

    There are many things the Obama administration could do to repair some of the damage done by the last administration, but among the simplest and most urgent is this: It could recognize and honor the public servants who rejected torture.

    In the thousands of pages that have been made public about the detention and interrogation program, we hear the voices of the prisoners who were tortured and the voices of those who inflicted their suffering. But we also hear the voices of the many Americans who said no.

    Some of these voices belong to people whose names have been redacted from the public record. In Afghanistan, soldiers and contractors recoiled at interrogation techniques they witnessed. After seeing a prisoner beaten by a mysterious special forces team, one interpreter filed an official complaint. “I was very upset that such a thing could happen,” she wrote. “I take my responsibilities as an interrogator and as a human being very seriously.”

    Similarly, after Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld told interrogators that they could hold Guantánamo prisoners in “stress positions,” barrage them with strobe lights and loud music, and hold them in freezing-cold cells, F.B.I. agents at the naval base refused to participate in the interrogations and complained to F.B.I. headquarters.

    But some of the names we know. When Alberto J. Mora, the Navy’s general counsel, learned of the interrogation directive that Mr. Rumsfeld issued at Guantánamo, he campaigned to have it revoked, arguing that it was “unlawful and unworthy of the military services.” Guantánamo prosecutors resigned rather than present cases founded on coerced evidence. One, Lt. Col. Stuart Couch of the Marines, said the abuse violated basic religious precepts of human dignity. Another, Lt. Col. Darrel J. Vandeveld of the Army, filed an affidavit in support of the child prisoner he had been assigned to prosecute.

    There were dissenters even within the C.I.A. Early in 2003, the agency’s inspector general, John L. Helgerson, began an investigation after agents in the field expressed concern that the agency’s secret-site interrogations “might involve violations of human rights.” Mr. Helgerson, a 30-year agency veteran, was himself a kind of dissenter: in 2004 he sent the agency a meticulously researched report documenting some of the abuses that had taken place in C.I.A.-run prisons, questioning the wisdom and legality of the policies that had led to those abuses, and characterizing some of the agency’s activities as inhumane. Without his investigation and report, the torture program might still be operating today.

    Thus far, though, our official history has honored only those who approved torture, not those who rejected it. In December 2004, as the leadership of the C.I.A. was debating whether to destroy videotapes of prisoners being waterboarded in the agency’s secret prisons, President Bush bestowed the nation’s highest civilian honor, the Presidential Medal of Freedom, on George J. Tenet, the former C.I.A. director who had signed off on the torture sessions. In 2006, the Army major general who oversaw the torture of prisoners at Guantánamo was given the Distinguished Service Medal. One of the lawyers responsible for the Bush administration’s “torture memos” received awards from the Justice Department, the Defense Department and the National Security Agency.

    President Obama has disavowed torture, but he has been unenthusiastic about examining the last administration’s interrogation policies. He has said the country should look to the future rather than the past. But averting our eyes from recent history means not only that we fail in our legal and moral duty to provide redress to victims of torture, but also that we betray the public servants who risked so much to reverse what they knew was a disastrous and shameful course.
    Those who stayed true to our values and stood up against cruelty are worthy of a wide range of civilian and military commendations, up to and including the Presidential Medal of Freedom. Honoring them is a way of encouraging the best in our public servants, now and in the future. It is also a way of honoring the best in ourselves.

    Jameel Jaffer is a deputy legal director at the American Civil Liberties Union. Larry Siems is the director of the Freedom to Write program at the PEN American Center

  27. Thanks to Glenn Greenwald for his article, appropriately published on July 4th, IMO.


    Adrian Lamo has no relevance either for the Manning case or anything else, but just to underscore how thoroughly unreliable and deranged he is — that, as I’ve documented repeatedly before, what comes out of his mouth at any given moment is designed exclusively to generate attention for himself and bears almost no relationship to reality — just contrast what he’s quoted as saying about Manning in this New York article with what he told me in an interview last year:

    New York:

    When Lamo was arrested, he’d been offended by the government prosecution– “criminalizing curiosity,” he called it. Now he was offended by Manning. “He’s a traitor at best,” Lamo said. . . . He was disgusted by the way in which Manning conflated his own precious moral awakening with the future of U.S. diplomacy. The leaks could “compromise our ability to make the world a better place, which we do in a lot of ways,” Lamo later said.

    Interview with me:

    GREENWALD: Do you consider Bradley Manning to be a traitor? I had seen you use that word in a couple interviews that you did.

    LAMO: Can you cite one so I can double-check and make sure it’s a direct quote?

    GREENWALD: Yeah. I think the quote was, “I’m not a traitor, and I wasn’t going to harbor a traitor.” And it was unclear, I mean, the context was you were asked why. So I didn’t know if you meant that, that’s why I’m asking in an open-ended way, regardless of what you’ve said in the past: Do you think he’s a traitor?

    LAMO: Well, in that case, I regret that statement. I don’t think he’s a traitor. I think. He did something not too different from what I did: break the law to accomplish what he believed to be a good purpose, and I apologized to a judge in tears for that, and I would be a hypocrite if I didn’t still believe that it was wrong now.

    There are many people in this case whose actions are disturbed, twisted, and unjust. Bradley Manning is most assuredly not one of them.


    Bradley Manning’s Trial To Begin September 21

    Presiding Judge, Colonel Denise Lind, order prosecution to present official “damage assessment” reports

    – Common Dreams staff

    UPDATE: Military judge Colonel Denise Lind said Wednesday morning that military prosecutors and Manning’s defense team had decided on a tentative trial schedule beginning September 21 and lasting through October 12. The trial will start more than two years after Manning was arrested.

    Bradley Manning at Fort Meade, Maryland. Judge Colonel Denise Lind makes order to determine the level of damage to US from leak of state secrets to WikiLeaks. (Photograph: Mark Wilson/Getty Images) The judge ruled against a motion filed by defense attorney David Coombs to dismiss all the charges because of what he called the prosecutor’s intentional withholding of evidence needed to prepare Manning’s defense.

    “The court finds no evidence of prosecutorial misconduct,” Lind said.

  29. In the words of the famous Ronco ads, “But wait, there’s more….”

    Seems the Army has the loosely organized group set up to support Private Bradley Manning under surveillance and investigation. Barrett Brown is one of the more public faces for the shadow group Anonymous. Barrett just posted this story on Daily Kos, with the title: “Bradley Manning Support Network Under Investigation By U.S. Army”

    Here is a link to the story:

    Would one of the Constitutional scholars on this blawg tell me just how is this legal? You probably have heard of that Constitution thingee. It is a quaint document written a couple of hundred years ago that is largely ignored these days.

  30. OS,

    I’m not 100% on this one, but since the issue is Manning in his capacity as a member of the military sharing classified information with outside sources that USACIDC can assert proper jurisdiction to investigate any and all people Manning may have shared information with which could include members of the public normally outside military jurisdiction as Manning himself is the prime and proper focus of their jurisdiction, but I’ll have to admit it certainly looks like it stretches the limits of Posse Comitatus on the surface.

  31. Gene, there is a heck of a lot of difference between being the suspected recipient of classified information and being part of a group that is giving moral and/or financial support for his legal defense.

    That means that even this tidbit of blog conversation could conceivably place us in the cross-hairs of some concrete-minded Second Lieutenant in the Army intelligence service.

  32. OS,

    It’s already answered….. It’s an active investigation and the government does not have to release squat….. You should know that as a forensics examiner…… If in your investigation you find out if information you give it to the investigator and they run the leads down…… That’s exactly what they are doing here…… Except in this case, I seem to recall hundreds of thousands of documents are still being held in que…… They want to know where they are kept…. And no one’s talking…… I believe they can claim national security……. Wouldn’t it be odd if they were deemed enemy combatants and they were executed on American soil……

    I still think assange is being harassed…… And that it was great that he has asked a south American country for political assylum……

    FWIW, Manning gave up his constitutional rights when he enlisted……

  33. OS,

    I agree. However, I’m not a JAG and I’m not sure of all of the intricacies of how USACIDC jurisdiction works when civilians are involved. They’ve got to have some limits not to run afoul of Posse Comitatus. It does at first blush sound like if it’s not out of bounds, it’s pushing the limits just on general Constitutional principles. I don’t think without having the applicable USCMJ code and case law in front of me I can give a better answer than that though.

  34. My concern is the same as it would be if we found out the Army was investigating non-military civilians on US soil because they were supporting some political candidate they did not like.

    J. Edgar Hoover and Joe McCarthy are dead. I hope the DoD is not trying to revive some of their tactics.

  35. Wasn’t this kinda what caused the demise of Nixon……

    I agree that it’s unfortunate….. The DoD and entire military complex depend upon compliance….. Just like the Police departments…..

  36. One of the interesting things about JAGs is that they operate in a system wherein they can be even more corrupt than civil judges out here in the other judicial system. In fact, some of our most corrupt judges WERE JAGS and some of them are still JAGS in the Reserve.

    One of the freakiest experiences I have had in the last decade is the realization that Obama has been doing what he has been doing, because I believe I read that Laurence Tribe proclaimed HIM to be his most outstanding student of Constitutional law.

    OMG OMG OMG nothing is what it’s cracked up to be; it is all a sham.

  37. Once upon a time, there were articles about Bradley Manning on this blog:

    “Bradley Manning’s One Thousand Days of Imprisonment Without Trial”

    By: Kevin Gosztola Friday February 22, 2013 7:30 am


    “The date of his trial has been postponed four times: first it was scheduled for sometime in September 2012, then it was scheduled for February this year, then it was scheduled for mid-March of this year and now it is scheduled for June 3 of this year.

    His defense argues he has had his speedy trial rights violated. The military prosecutors have requested delay after delay after delay for various reasons: a sanity review board to determine whether Manning was fit to stand trial was having trouble getting organized, classified information prosecutors thought they needed for the Article 32 hearing in December 2011 was not processed, more classified information for the court martial needed to be processed, etc. (The judge has not ruled on the speedy trial motion yet.)

    He has had three birthdays while in prison. For one of them, he was denied a birthday package from family because, as Master Sgt. Craig Blenis, who was supposed to be Manning’s counselor and advocate at Quantico, joked in an email, officers “felt like being a couple of dicks.”

    Manning faces 22 charges. The most significant charge is that of “aiding the enemy.” If convicted of “aiding the enemy,” he would serve life in prison without parole.

    The government argues his act helped al Qaeda. In fact, they went to the trouble of declassifying information that showed Osama bin Laden obtained copies of the US State Embassy cables and some war logs released. They haven’t demonstrated that any members of al Qaeda shared these with Bin Laden after requesting them from a staffer at WikiLeaks. They are simply saying it was available on the internet for terrorists to read and exploit for their own purpose so Manning should be convicted of “aiding the enemy.” But, there is virtually no difference between the New York Times publishing information that terrorists can read and WikiLeaks publishing information that terrorists can read.

    Manning’s case has developed into the biggest and one of the most important military justice cases in history. He has endured punishment in prison that no person should have to endure, even if they have been convicted. Incidentally, the longer it takes to get to trial, the more Americans support them as they come to the conclusion the military has mishandled the case. He has been punished enough for his alleged acts and should be set free now.”

  38. We Are Bradley Manning

    Posted on Mar 3, 2013

    By Chris Hedges


    Manning’s leaks, the government insists, are tantamount to support for al-Qaida and international terrorism. The government will attempt to prove this point by bringing into court an anonymous witness who most likely took part in the raid on Osama bin Laden’s compound in Pakistan. This witness will reportedly tell the court that copies of the leaked documents were found on bin Laden’s computer and assisted al-Qaida. This is an utterly spurious form of prosecution—as if any of us have control over the information we provide to the public and how it is used. Manning, for substantial amounts of money, could have sold the documents to governments or groups that are defined as the enemy. Instead he approached The Washington Post and The New York Times. When these newspapers rejected him, he sent the material anonymously to WikiLeaks.

    When he was secretary of defense, Robert Gates said a Defense Department review determined that the publication of the Iraq War Logs and the Afghan War Diary had “not revealed any sensitive intelligence sources and methods.” In the trial, however, the government must prove only that the “disclosure could be potentially damaging to the United States” and need only provide “independent proof of at least potential harm to the national security” beyond mere security classification, writes law professor Geoffrey Stone.

    The government reviews determined that the release of Department of State “diplomatic cables caused only limited damage to U.S. interests abroad despite the Obama administration’s public statements to the contrary,” according to Reuters. “We were told the impact [of WikiLeaks revelations] was embarrassing but not damaging,” a congressional official, briefed by the State Department, told Reuters. The “Obama administration felt compelled to say publicly that the revelations had seriously damaged American interests in order to bolster legal efforts to shut down the WikiLeaks website and bring charges against the leakers,” the official told the news outlet. Government prosecutors, strengthening their case further, have succeeded in blocking Manning’s lawyers from presenting evidence about the lack of real damage caused to U.S. interests by the leaks.

    Manning has done what anyone with a conscience should have done. In the courtroom he exhibited—especially given the prolonged abuse he suffered during his thousand days inside the military prison system—poise, intelligence and dignity. He appealed to the best within us. And this is why the government fears him. America still produces heroes, some in uniform. But now we lock them up.

  39. Although Obama has claimed that he taught Constitutional Law, there is no actual evidence that this claim is factual. Anybody can claim they did something, but if they cannot prove their claim with actual documentation , then their claim is fraudulent.

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