Understanding the Historical Importance of the Bradley Manning Trial


5_OpEd_Manning_Cartoon_web

In a welcome but belated piece by David Carr, the New York Times criticized the tremendous lack of transparency of the court martial proceedings in the case against Bradley Manning.

The secrecy, redactions and delays in release of information mean that the public does not have contemporaneous access to the proceedings, a fundamental component of a public trial. And given that Private Manning is confronting a life sentence, news media coverage and the public interest are one of the core protections provided to him by the First and Sixth Amendments.

images

I’m glad the New York Times has finally realized what journalists and advocates like Michael Ratner, Daniel Ellsberg, Glenn Greenwald, and myself have been saying since Manning’s indictment. I’m glad the Times woke up to the fact that if Manning were to be convicted of “aiding the enemy” simply because he provided information to Wikileaks, and, ultimately, the public, it would erode the First Amendment protections for all media outlets as well as whistleblowers like Manning.

The Manning case has always been about the First Amendment. It is high time the country’s “paper of record” wised up.

The Carr piece has a decent message if you can get past the self-righteous indignation and sanctimonious excuses. NYT complains that it is “rugged going” for reporters to make it to Fort Meade, but makes sure to note that complaint is

not an effort to complain about tough working conditions for reporters.

It would be an ironic complaint for the Times considering its reporters only showed up to the Manning proceedings after being twice publicly shamed by the paper’s public editor. If it’s a “rugged haul” for reporters with the resources of the New York Times, imagine the difficulty for the independent and alternative media reporters who have been present at the Manning proceedings day in and day out. Journalists like Alexa O’Brien, Kevin Gosztola of Firedoglake, Courthouse News’ Adam Klasfeld, and Nathan Fuller of the Bradley Manning Support Network have covered the court proceedings despite the secrecy and security theater that make the reporting from Ft. Meade “rugged going.”

The NYT also makes the excuse that limited resources prevent the paper from covering the proceedings:

Yet coverage has been limited, partly by the court’s restrictions and partly because an increasingly stretched news media business often does not have the time, or the resources, to cover lengthy trials. After all, Private Manning’s case is still in pretrial phase and the full court-martial will not begin until June 3.

Such an excuse defies credulity, especially considering Ed Pilkington of The Guardian has also showed up, and the Washington Post found the “resources” to send researcher Julie Tate with regularity. With the First Amendment on the line, one would think the New York Times – with the biggest budget of any newspaper on the planet – would find the resources.

While it is true Manning’s trial has yet to begin, pre-trial proceedings have including riveting testimony and constitutionally-significant, precedent-setting hearings about “unlawful pre-trial confinement” (aka torture), the right to a speedy trial, the Espionage Act, and how the government plans to prove “aiding the enemy:” through a really frightening theory that if Osama Bin Laden had the ability to obtain publicly-available documents, then Manning “aided the enemy.” Not to mention Manning himself testifying under oath about his mistreatment – perhaps the only time he will take the stand. You can bet if defendants like O.J. Simpson or Casey Anthony had taken the stand pre-trial, the New York Times would have showed up to listen, despite the time and resources constraints and any “rugged going” required.

Carr’s piece seems to finally send the right message that the Manning trial is of critical importance to the free press. The message is great, but the proof will be in the pudding: in whether the NYT decides to finally send its reporters to give the the First Amendment the press coverage it deserves when the court proceedings resume.

via New York Times Understand Historical Import of Manning Trial – FINALLY – Government Accountability Project.

via New York Times Understand Historical Import of Manning Trial – FINALLY – Government Accountability Project.

Advertisements

About Old Boy

Love the past and the future but live in the present

Posted on March 29, 2013, in activism, Crime, Government, International affairs, politics, USA and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 8 Comments.

  1. Manning followed his conscience over orders and has sacrificed his freedom for possibly the rest of his life so that others could get a peek behind the theater’s curtains. This cannot be tolerated and now the head grasshopper must make an example of him so the rest of the ants stay in line. The shocking part isn’t what he revealed, its how little much of the mainstream press and pubic gave a damn.

  2. The lack of coverage given Bradley Manning’s case by the N.Y. Times is sickening, but no surprise. They have been a pro-corporate, pro-establishment paper for a long time. It’s a far cry from the days of the Pentagon Papers. A stunning example is the disingenuity of their disapproval of the U.S. invasion of Iraq after printing more stories supporting invasion than protesting it between 9/11/01 and the first day of the illegal invasion in 2003.

  3. jalal michael sabbagh.http://gravatar.com/jmsabbagh86@gmail.com

    Awesome post.Thank you for liking my post.( Stop complaining ..). Best regards.jalal

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

w

Connecting to %s

FilmBunker

Saving you from one cinematic disaster at a time.

Wonders in the Dark

Cinema, music, opera, books, television, theater

Just Reviews

Just another WordPress.com site

Mark David Welsh

Watching the strangest movies - so you don't have to...

conradbrunstrom

Things I never thunk before.

News from the Boston Becks

The life and times of Erik, Veronica and Thomas

The Silent Film Quarterly

The Only Magazine Dedicated To Silent Cinema

Leaden Circles

First a warning, musical; then the hour, irrevocable. The leaden circles dissolved in the air.

Klaus Kreimeier HOME

THE WORLD FILM HERITAGE 1895-1915

SOURCE247

Breaking News, Sports, Entertainment, Movie, TV, Tech, Gaming , Lifestyle and more Trends.

My Archives

because the internet is not forever

CineSocialUK

Up to the minute, fair, balanced, informed film reviews.

PUZZLED PAGAN PRESENTS

A Shrine to Pop Culture Obsessiveness. With Lots of Spoilers

Thrilling Days of Yesteryear

“Nostalgia isn’t what it used to be” – Peter DeVries

thedullwoodexperiment

Viewing movies in a different light

Twenty Four Frames

Notes on Film by John Greco

Suzanne's Mom's Blog

Arts, Nature, Family, Good Works, Luna & Stella Birthstone Jewelry

It Doesn't Have To Be Right...

... it just has to sound plausible

NJ Corporate Portrait Photographer Blog

The life of a corporate portrait photographer who likes to shoot just about anything.

arwenaragornstar

A French girl's musings...

Jordan and Eddie (The Movie Guys)

Australian based film fan - like Margaret and David, just a little younger

Octopus Films

A place for new perspectives on films, TV, media and entertainment.

scifist 2.0

A sci-fi movie history in reviews

The Reviewer's Corner

The Sometimes Serious Corner of the Internet for Anime, Manga, and Comic Content

Ready Steady Cut

Your favorite movie site's new favorite movie site

First Impressions

Notes on Films and Culture

1,001 Movies Reviewed Before You Die

Where I Review One of the 1,001 Movies You Should Watch Before you Die Every Day

Movies Galore of Milwaukee

Movie Galore takes a look at Silent films on up to current in development projects and gives their own opinion on what really does happen in film!

mibih.wordpress.com/

Anime - Movies - Wrestling

Gabriel Diego Valdez

Movies and how they change you.

The Horror Incorporated Project

Lurking among the corpses are the body snatchers....plotting their next venture into the graveyard....the blood in your veins will run cold, your spine tingle, as you look into the terror of death in tonight's feature....come along with me into the chamber of horrors, for an excursion through.... Horror Incorporated!

Relatos desde mi ventana

Sentimientos, emociones y reflexiones

Teri again

Finding Me

Gareth Roberts

Unorthodox Marketing & Strategy Blog

leeg schrift

Taalarmen

100 Films in a Year

12 months. 100 films. Hopefully.

Morcan Books & Films

The site for a new perspective on books and films

humhist

thoughts and thinking

Cinematic Architecture

An Inquiry on the meaning of cinematic for architecture and in architecture

IMPREINT journal

The official bulletin of the artist IMPREINT created to repost excerpts from 'En plein air'.

shadowplay

david cairns

%d bloggers like this: