Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Bradley Manning Trial & its secrecy

The court-martial of Bradley Manning, the central figure in a massive leak of government documents has started and is expected to run all summer.

Former Military Prosecutor David J.R. Frakt told the Associated Press recently that he cannot remember a situation where there was such a high degree of civilian interest, people not affiliated with the military, having intense and passionate interest in the outcome of a case.

However the trial has become so secretive that it allows the public almost no insight into what's really going on in the courtroom.

The judge in the Bradley Manning case says she will decide Thursday on his lawyers' request to dismiss seven of the charges he faces, including allegations that he aided the enemy when he provided hundreds of thousands of classified documents to WikiLeaks. The defense says the prosecution has not provided sufficient evidence that Manning had actual knowledge that the information he leaked would end up with the enemy. Lawyers for the government have said that, based on his training, Private Manning knew that al-Qaeda and other groups could have access to the documents. For an inside look of the Manning trial we speak to Kevin Gosztola, a civil liberties blogger at Firedoglake who is one of only a handful of journalists covering the Manning trial on a daily basis. "It really is only being covered when the outlets in the U.S. media feel they have an obligation to cover something," Gosztola says