Veteran still suffers cruel confinement

Pfc. Bradley Manning made headlines in 2010 when he was arrested for the leak of around 250,000 private documents concerning operations in Iraq and Afghanistan to the website WikiLeaks, known for its mission of transparency in government.

Manning was arrested on May 26, 2010 and has been under U.S. military detainment ever since.

Recently, Manning’s defense attorney, David Coombs, filed a motion stating that Manning’s charges should be dismissed because his right to a speedy trial has been completely violated.

“As of the date of this motion, Pfc. Manning has been in pretrial confinement for 845 days,” Coombs said. “With trial scheduled to commence on Feb. 4, 2013, Pfc. Manning will have spent a grand total of 983 days in pre-trial confinement before even a single piece of evidence is offered against him.”

Whether he is labeled a whistleblower or a cyber-terrorist, the handling of such a nonviolent criminal case by the military’s judicial system is absolutely horrendous. The underlying motive for journalists and the press is to inform an otherwise uninformed democratic society so people within can choose their political candidates accordingly.

Never in the history of the U.S. has any administration utilized the Espionage Act so frequently as President Barack Obama’s administration, and the exponential expansion of information into the hands of people through technology undoubtedly plays a role in the increase of these cases.

It’s ironic that Manning’s imposition of restraint could be more than 630 days before the trial for exposing the espionage acts of our government and then get charged as a spy.

We are entering a new age where government officials cannot protect their classified information from the people, and we are starting to see an increased vigilance among the Internet community as a form of civil disobedience.

Users’ understanding of the Internet is increasing at a remarkable degree. The advances have been rapid, and it’s getting harder for anybody, including our government, to hide anything.

Manning’s case proves that Internet-related activities are going to fall under ever-increasing scrutiny until it is no longer a forum for the people.

Granted, Manning most likely had animosity toward the military and his peers because of the treatment toward his alleged “gender confusion,” as the military calls it. Wherever his motives to leak the information came from, Manning kept the military’s over-reaching arm in check.

The crimes blatantly committed on the videos are far worse than anything Manning has done, but none of these personnel were convicted or tried for any of these crimes.

This case will undoubtedly set a precedent to decide how much the government can get away with in regards to military operations and prisoner detainment.

While the media tried to generate ad revenue off other stories like the Trayvon Martin case, the Manning case fell to the wayside. It’s easy to get the public riled up over issues like race, but getting the public riled up against the military-industrial complex is against the corporate conglomerates’ and governmental institution’s interests.

Nick Bell is a media production senior and may be reached at [email protected].



  • Excellent piece, Mr. Bell. Too often this administration is given a pass on infringing civil liberties because he’s the “peace” guy. Yea…next they’re going to tell us that he was the one who ended the Iraq war and not the Iraqi government forcing us to follow the deadline while this administration pressed them to keep US troops there for several more years. Wait… :/

  • he leaked classified information it was his duty to keep classified
    he is a traitor and when found guilty should be executed

    • Except, the information he leaked did not threaten out security, per Secretary of Defense (at the time) Gates, and revealed illegal activity by our own government officials and military. THAT he leaked classified information is itself illegal, sure; but it’s a far stretch to assume that someone who notifies the American people of wrong doing by our own government should be tried for treason. Unless you like the idea of our government operating outside the rule of law, then I’d suggest a move to somewhere like China, North Korea, or perhaps Syria. I hear it’s lovely there for you folks! 😀

      • from wikipedia:
        High treason is criminal disloyalty to one’s government. Participating in a war against one’s native country, attempting to overthrow its government, spying on its military, its diplomats, or its secret services for a hostile and foreign power, or attempting to kill its head of state are perhaps the best known examples of high treason. High treason requires that the alleged traitor have obligations of loyalty in the state he or she betrayed, such as citizenship, although presence in the state at the time is sufficient. Foreign spies, assassins, and saboteurs, though not suffering the dishonor associated with conviction for high treason, may still be tried and punished judicially for acts of espionage, assassination, or sabotage, though in contemporary times, foreign spies and saboteurs are usually repatriated following capture. High treason is considered a very serious crime.

        key part is spying on the military and “obligations of loyalty in the state he or she betrayed, such as citizenship”
        he freely gave classified information to EVERY SINGLE government hostile to the US because he didn’t like they way some other soldiers they treated him.
        how can that not be treason?

        • Of course it’s LEGALLY considered “treason”; the question is whether it SHOULD be considered treason, morally or legally, when an individual brings to light misconduct by our own government. I say no. You, obviously, say yes, and there are plenty of examples around the world of how government’s use secrets to subvert the rule of law and how truth becomes treason in a nation of lies. Perhaps you would prefer if we tread down their path? Does someone sitting in prison, indefinitely, without a trial, not concern you?

          And, by the way, nothing released in the files puts our security at risk, per the Secretary of Defense.

          As an aside, you do not know what motivated Manning to release the files except for what the government, the opposite party, tells you. Maybe we should wait until Manning has a chance to speak for himself instead of assuming what’s going on in someone else’s mind.(?) :/

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