Bradley Manning's Trial, Day 17
July 12, 2013
Kevin Gosztola / FireDogLake
The US media has devoted extensive and daily coverage of the trial of George Zimmerman, accused of shooting to death a young, unarmed African-American boy. At the same time, the corporate media has totally abandoned any similar attempt to report on the trial of Bradley Manning, a young American soldier who faces life in prison for his decision to release evidence of US war crimes committed in Iraq. For news on Manning's trial, it is necessary to rely on the independent press.
(July 10, 2013) – Note: Kevin Gosztola's recent appearance on "Democracy Now!" can be viewed below:
3:10 PM EST: On Monday at 3 pm EST, there will be argument on the scope of the government's rebuttal case. There will be argument on the motions for findings of "not guilty" on several charges, including "aiding the enemy."
If there is no rebuttal, the trial will proceed to closing arguments on Tuesday. However, if there is a rebuttal, the trial will resume on Thursday.
3:05 PM EST: Defense rests its case. Government intends to put on a rebuttal case. Also, that means Bradley Manning will not be testifying before he is convicted.
3:00 PM EST: Full report on Professor Yochai Benkler being qualified as an expert to provide testimony on whether WikiLeaks is a legitimate journalistic organization or an organization that collected government information to aid terrorists.
1:00 PM EST: Professor Benkler observed that Deense. Secretary Gates' statement response was "overwrought". Gates is seen as important, which shows that someone in the administration saw the response as "implausible".
12:56 PM EST: Professor Benkler highlighted how news organizations had incorrectly reported that WikiLeaks had dumped 260,000 diplomatic cables. Benkler stated that "WikiLeaks played a critical role of that critical component of what muckraking and investigative journalism have always done."
The coverage by journalists attending the Manning trial today will reflect whether they and their respective organizations understand evolving journalism.
12:52 PM EST: The government objected, but the judge overruled and has allowed Prof. Benkler to testify on the US government reaction to the WikiLeaks releases from Manning. Coombs noted that the "actual release was wrongful and he (Manning) has accepted responsibility for that, but the release was not wanton."
12:42 PM EST: Professor Yochai Benkler has been the best thing ever for Manning's defense thus far. His testimony, in general, could be the difference between whether Manning is convicted of the "aiding the enemy" charge or not.
11:36 AM EST: The government is claiming that there is no evidence that Manning knew any of the information Benkler is giving in his testimony today about WikiLeaks being a legitimate journalistic organization.
11:34 AM EST: Defense lawyer David Coombs says that the government's whole argument seems to be premised on creating the idea that WikiLeaks a ‘bad' organization and that Julian Assange is a ‘bad' person. He continues by arguing that the idea of WikiLeaks not being a journalistic organization was only advanced after the information that Manning is charged with disclosing began to be published. The government has tried to portray WikiLeaks as an organization that would give information to the enemy, not a journalistic organization.
11:29 AM EST: The government objected to the defense questioning Benkler on how WikiLeaks was viewed after it began to release the information that Manning is charged with disclosing. The defense said it is relevant. The government says that by giving info to WikiLeaks, Manning was giving intelligence to the enemy. The judge overrules the government objection; she sees relevance on the type of journalistic organization it is as being relevant to whether it is reckless.
11:27 AM EST: Prof. Benkler presents the judge with a history of WikiLeaks as a media organization; -what it released and how it was regarded favorably.
11:20 AM EST: It is well-known that the government entered evidence that Osama bin Laden sought WikiLeaks documents. But until today it was unknown why. Apparently, in the stipulated evidence that was entered as fact, bin Laden asked for it because US government officials were describing the WikiLeaks organization as a website that was publishing material that could help America's enemies. So, naturally, bin Laden wanted to see what this was about so he could confirm if this was material worth knowing to attack the United States.
The implication of this is that if the US government had not hyped the organization up as some group, whose acts of publishing could aid terrorists, bin Laden would never have been interested in the material Manning has taken responsibility for disclosing.
11:15 AM EST: Professor Yochai Benkler of Harvard University was successfully qualified as an expert on the networked Fourth Estate. He is giving testimony on how WikiLeaks fits into the networked Fourth Estate and is, in fact, a legitimate journalistic organization and not a site the "enemy" would go to for US Government information.
Support FDL's Bradley Manning Coverage & Activism
Jane Hamsher / Firedoglake
Pfc. Bradley Manning's court martial is halfway over, and as the defense makes their case this week, FDL's Kevin Gostzola will be there filing reports every single day as he has since the proceedings began.
These are some of the most eye-opening days of the trial, as Manning's legal team disproves the government's theory that he knowingly 'aided the enemy' when he disclosed information to Wikileaks. The world needs to know exactly how Manning did not 'aid the enemy,' and with your support, Kevin's reporting will help us bring the truth to light.
On the opening day of the court martial the media lights were brighter than they've ever been. But as is typical, the corporate media quickly lost interest and moved on. Meanwhile, Kevin and a handful of independent reporters stayed at Ft. Meade to report on every moment.
Since then, these proceedings have taken on increased significance (not that they needed it) in light of the recent disclosures about NSA surveillance. Manning's case and the criminalization of Wikileaks directly parallel the government's pursuit of Edward Snowden and suggestions that journalists like Glenn Greenwald be arrested and prosecuted.
The Obama administration is once again pursuing espionage charges against a whistleblower, and telling Bradley's story now will help inform the public of the lengths to which the president will go to punish Snowden.
Help us make sure this historic court martial gets the attention it deserves. Firedoglake is a 100% independent, member-supported organization. Please consider donating $5+ to support Kevin Gosztola's ongoing, in-person coverage of whistleblower Pfc. Bradley Manning's case from Ft. Meade, MD.
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Another Source of Continuing Coverage of the Bradley Manning Trial
Special Coverage: The Defense of Bradley Manning
Reader Supported News
Starting on Monday, July 8th Reader Supported News will live blog from the court-martial of Bradley Manning. Despite significant opposition from the Army's court administrators, RSN remains on the base gathering facts and pursuing its Media Access action against the Army. Stick with RSN for the latest developments from The Trial of Bradley Manning.