Those who have been following reporting here at Firedoglake closely may know that I have been at Fort Meade for the past couple of days covering the court martial of Pfc. Bradley Manning, the soldier accused of releasing classified information to WikiLeaks. This morning I appeared on Democracy Now! and was interviewed by the show’s hosts, Amy Goodman and Juan Gonzalez.
In the segment I share a summary of some of the critical developments that have come out of the proceedings this week. I briefly get into the State Department witnesses that testified and why they took the stand on Thursday. I get into a bit about the effort by Manning’s defense to get a damage assessment report and how they have largely succeeded in finally getting what they want. And I also discuss the charges against Manning, Manning’s demeanor in the courtroom, and provide an update on a lawsuit of which I am a plaintiff that involves forcing the military to provide the press and public with access to court filings.
There was one critical point I left out in the segment though. The reason why the withholding of evidence by the government and military prosecutors is so significant is because it will have an impact on the trial calendar. The judge either has to add motion hearings or push the date of the trial from its currently scheduled date in September to October or even November. I’ve shared my belief that the Obama administration would not want Manning to be convicted before Election Day. They would like to wait until afterwards to hold the trial. The way the prosecution has violated the defense’s right to discovery of evidence makes it seem as if the administration will be spared from having to deal with a high-profile trial just weeks before Obama’s possible re-election.
Much thanks to the crew at Democracy Now! for having me on the show. They also had the author of Private: Bradley Manning, WikiLeaks and the Biggest Exposure of Official Secrets in American History, Denver Nicks, on the show after I appeared to provide some context to my updates.
*For my coverage from the most recent hearing in Bradley Manning’s court martial, go here.