Veterans for Peace: Obama Declares Manning Guilty

Eric Garris, April 29, 2011

From Veterans for Peace:

Obama Declares Manning Guilty Before Trial
Can Military Officers Judge Him Impartially and Contradict Their Commander-In-Chief?

President Barack Obama said on April 21 that PFC Bradley Manning “broke the law.” This statement casts serious doubt on whether Manning can receive a fair trial from officers subordinate to Obama, their Commander-in-Chief.

“Members of the military are trained to follow orders. President Obama is the commander of all armed forces,” said Elliott Adams, president of Veterans For Peace. “Any officer who wants to advance in his military career would be wise not to contradict their commander-in-chief, especially after the military’s brutal treatment of Manning this past year. The President seems to have forgotten what he taught his constitutional law classes about being innocent until proven guilty.”

The government has already violated Bradley Manning’s due process rights by keeping him in pretrial solitary confinement for nearly a year and the President bears ultimate responsibility for the abusive treatment Manning has endured since July 2010 at Quantico Marine Base, and possibly before that in Kuwait. He has been confined to a 6-by-12-foot cell for 23 hours a day, prevented from sleeping during the day, denied exercise, woken up constantly, given limited access to books and writing materials, stripped at night and forced to endure inspection naked, and deprived of his eyeglasses. Many mental health professionals characterize this as psychological torture. President Obama could have stopped this mistreatment at any time with one phone call.

The President made another critical misstatement in his comments. He claimed that Daniel Ellsberg, who leaked the Pentagon Papers, was less culpable because the documents he leaked were “not classified in the same way.” In fact, the Pentagon Papers were classified at the highest level of secrecy while the WikiLeaks documents were at the lowest level.

“It’s time to free Bradley Manning and pin a medal on the man. He has already been punished beyond constitutional limits and now President Obama has made a fair trial impossible,” said Leah Bolger, vice-president of Veterans For Peace. “If indeed he’s the one who released those documents, he is a hero for blowing the whistle on war crimes and other misbehavior by U.S. officials.”

TRANSCRIPT AND LINK TO VIDEO:

Obama: “So people can have philosophical views [about Bradley Manning] but I can’t conduct diplomacy on an open source [basis]… That’s not how the world works. And if you’re in the military… And I have to abide by certain rules of classified information. If I were to release material I weren’t allowed to, I’d be breaking the law. We’re a nation of laws! We don’t let individuals make their own decisions about how the laws operate. He broke the law.” [Emphasis added]

Q: “Didn’t he release evidence of war crimes?”

Obama: “What he did was he dumped…”

Q: “Isn’t that just the same thing as what Daniel Ellsberg did?”

Obama: “No it wasn’t the same thing. Ellsberg’s material wasn’t classified in the same way.”

The video can be viewed here: http://youtu.be/IfmtUpd4id0




13 Responses to “Veterans for Peace: Obama Declares Manning Guilty”

  1. "…the President bears ultimate responsibility for the abusive treatment Manning has endured since July 2010 at Quantico Marine Base, and possibly before that in Kuwait."
    Dear Leader would believe Himself above our law. Utter bulls*@t. America's presidents do NOT have the right or responsibility to torture. Nor do they have the right to predetermine who is or whom is not guilty. (who and/or whom yeah whatever)
    With the Bushco, he could always feign stupidity and that facade was at least plausible. Our vainglorious President Slappy Obama does not have that luxury.

  2. [...] 1.  “Obama Declares Manning Guilty Before Trial Can Military Officers Judge Him Impartially and Contradict Their Commander-In-Chief?” http://www.antiwar.com/blog/2011/04/29/veterans-for-peace-obama-declares-manning-guilty/ [...]

  3. Our Marxist President and dictator Barack Hussein Obama has spoken – wow – revealing the truth is breaking the law – telling LIES gets one elected – is this 'Animal Farm' or what?

  4. Can Military Officers Judge Him Impartially…?

    Military "judges" NEVER "impartially judge" ANYONE. The only difference between a U.S. armed forces court martial and Roland Freisler's Nazi Volksgerichtshof or Joseph Stalin's Soviet purge show trials is the century, the location, and the language in which the farce is conducted. If a member of the armed services, particularly an enlisted member, is brought up before a court martial, a guilty verdict is all but foreordained.

  5. "We’re a nation of laws! "

    Q: Were we a "nation of laws" when you were "looking forward, not backward", Mr President?

  6. Pretty dumb thing for the 'Supreme Justice' of the land to be saying. I'd say Manning's lawyers should be running for a Supreme Court ruling on the possibility of their client getting anything like a fair and impartial hearing in any court or tribunal.

  7. I may be mistaken, but the POTUS is the "commander in chief" ONLY when war has been declared and authorized by the representatives of the people.

  8. Ron Paul – This is the harsh reality of war, and this is why Obama lies (2012 MUST SEE) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MNcYgcn-aR8&fe

    This is worth the time to watch. There is an excellent speech by Dr. Ron Paul, famous war protester Mike Prysner speaking out, footage of the carnage done to the smallest members of society, and insightful information on the horrors of unjust war – with beautiful music besides!

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