Monday, November 26, 2012


Pledge of Resistance-Baltimore, 325 East 25th Street, Baltimore, MD 21218 Ph: 410-366-1637; Email: mobuszewski at


Contact: Max Obuszewski [410] 366-1637 or mobuszewski at


WHO: Bradley Manning, the army private accused of leaking classified information to Wikileaks, after more than 700 days of incarceration finally appeared in a military court in December.  If indeed Manning released the documents, he is a hero for blowing the whistle on U.S. war crimes and government alliances with despotic regimes in the Middle East and elsewhere.  
The Pledge of Resistance-Baltimore, the Bradley Manning Support Network and other organizations first protested the private’s severe mistreatment while he was in the Quantico Marine Base Brig in Virginia.  And now there is an organized effort to Free Bradley Manning.

On March 20, 2011, for example, thirty three activists, including Daniel Ellsberg who released the Pentagon Papers, Col. [Ret.] Ann Wright, and Max Obuszewski with the Baltimore Pledge were arrested outside the entrance to the Quantico Marine Base in Triangle, Virginia. The arrests took place on Route 1 after a rally condemning the torture of Pfc. Bradley Manning, then imprisoned in the Quantico brig.  Probably due to the protests, the political prisoner was moved to Fort Leavenworth in Kansas.   

WHAT:  After some weeks of deliberation after Manning’s Article 32 pre-trial hearing, the U.S. Army ordered him to face a court martial.  Prior to the court martial, Manning is attending a motions hearing.  So supporters will be there in a show of solidarity.

WHEN:  Tuesday, November 27, 2012 at 10:30 AM

WHERE: Fort Meade Main Gate, Maryland 175 & Reece Rd, Fort Meade, MD 21113

WHY:  Bradley Manning’s court martial in February is inevitable despite the defense motion to dismiss.  If the Obama administration intends to allow a fair trial, it will permit Bradley’s legal team to explore the critical issues at the heart of this case: President Obama’s recorded unlawful command influence over the proceedings, the illegal and torturous conditions that Bradley was subjected to for nine months at the Quantico Marine Brig, the over-classification of all of the documents in question, and the lack of any harm to national security from the release of the documents.
So far military officials have blocked nearly every request by Bradley’s defense team, led by Iraq War veteran David Coombs, for access to evidence and witnesses that could explore these core issues. During the Article 32 hearing held last December, the defense was denied access to over three dozen critical witnesses (while the prosecution was allowed access to every one of two dozen witnesses requested). This allowed military officials to limit the hearing to little more than a discussion of mitigating factors related to the private’s emotional health.
If Manning had been a member of the U.S. Marine squad that admitted to systematically murdering two dozen innocent Iraqi men, women, and children in Haditha, Iraq, he’d be walking free today. Instead, he faces the real prospect of life in prison for telling the truth.
Bradley Manning was nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize by members of the Icelandic Parliament. A blog post by MP Birgitta Jónsdóttir explained their rationale for the nomination:
“According to journalists, his alleged actions helped motivate the democratic Arab Spring movements, shed light on secret corporate influence on our foreign policies, and most recently contributed to the Obama Administration agreeing to withdraw all U.S. troops from the occupation in Iraq.”
Bradley Manning has been subjected to inhuman treatment in breach of international standards, and is facing 150 years in prison.  As Coombs pointed out the treatment and the overcharging are attempts to put pressure on Manning to implicate Julian Assange. Another reason for the mistreatment was to send a message to other soldiers not to expose U.S. misconduct, malfeasance and illegal activities.  
The outcome of the court martial is a done deal.  Yet it is possible that details of more illegal government activities will be revealed during the proceeding.  After Manning is convicted, it is hoped that continued pressure from the citizenry can force the government to eventually release the prisoner with a sentence of time served.
Regardless of what transpires at the court martial, the Pledge of Resistance–Baltimore and many other groups will continue efforts to Free Bradley Manning.  And these efforts are linked to the struggle to prevent Julian Assange, of Wikileaks, from being deported to the United States.  There is great fear that if Assange were brought to the U.S., he would be charged under the Espionage Act, which can carry a death penalty.


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