Small victory in Bradley Manning trial

It appears that despite the Obama administration’s attempts at keeping the trial as opaque as possible by, among other things, not granting press passes to two crowd-funded court stenographers so that media outlets they can create their own transcripts of the proceedings since the government won’t release its own, a small window has opened. Some media outlets have given the stenographers their own passes and the judge and the prosecutor have said that they won’t oppose having them in the courtroom.

The Freedom of the Press Foundation, which organized the fundraiser for the stenographers, said in a press release:

Earlier today, we scored victory for transparency: the military judge, Col. Denise Lind, and the lead prosecutor in the case against Manning indicated that neither was likely to object to our publicly-funded court reporters using stenography equipment in the media operations center.

Forbes and The Verge, two of the three organizations that originally applied for an extra pass for our stenographers, have generously offered us their press passes for the rest of the week. This means we can get two stenographers into the media room tomorrow, and we get transcripts out to the press and public even quicker.

The transcripts will be posted here.

It is absurd that people have to work so hard to simply get a transcript of the day’s proceedings, and it symbolizes the Obama administration’s sheer bloody-minded opposition to transparency in direct contradiction to its lofty rhetoric.


  1. Mano Singham says

    Wow, what a banal article! Basically Robinson says that he feels vaguely uncomfortable with what Manning did but provides no evidence of anything. He just ‘feels’ that 20 years is about enough. The Washington Post pays him for writing this stuff?

    The point again is not that Manning is a total innocent. It is that we have a vicious government persecution of someone who exposed its wrongdoing.

  2. Rob Grigjanis says

    There’s nothing new there. Just one person’s opinion about an acceptable sentence.

  3. Vicki says

    How is it making someone a “knight in shining armor” to defend his Constitutional right to a fair, speedy, and public trial? This isn’t about what the outcome of the trial “should” be: it’s about the point that in a democracy, the people should know what’s going on. If Manning is guilty, the government can show us that. If they can’t, he should be acquitted. (What the appropriate sentence would be, in case of conviction, is a separate issue again.)

  4. Rob Grigjanis says

    It’s a court martial, so I’m not sure how constitutional rights apply, but if Omar Khadr’s trial is anything to go by, ‘fair’ has nothing to do with it.

  5. Psychopomp Gecko says

    Wait, the constitution doesn’t apply to the military?

    Alright, let’s just toss out the amendments as they apply to soldiers. Hmm, guess that means we can quarter them in people’s houses now. Guess they don’t need to pay taxes, but at least we can take away their right to vote. We could also get rid of the parts about not discriminating against people on the basis of skin color, sex, sexuality, and religious affiliation while we’re at it. I’ll just let you imagine the rest.

  6. jamessweet says

    It reminds me a bit of the business about the Prop 8 trial being televised (or not).

  7. says

    It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to conclude that if the government is trying to close the trial, it means they aren’t confident that their case will stand up to public scrutiny. That’s why public scrutiny is such an issue, and that’s why the following applies:

    In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defence

    Speedy? Nope.
    Public? Nope.

    When you join the military, you remain a citizen. Can you sign a contract that gives away your constitutional rights? You can waive your rights on a case-by-case basis but otherwise no.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *