Did Obama Ruin Case against Bradley Manning by Declaring Him Guilty before Trial?
Thursday, May 26, 2011
Speaking at fundraiser in San Francisco on April 21, President Barack Obama declared that the U.S. Army private accused of giving classified information to WikiLeaks is guilty of breaking the law, before he has even gone to trial.
In response to a question about the treatment of Private Bradley Manning in a military jail, Obama said: “I can’t conduct diplomacy on an open source. That’s not how… the world works. If I was to release stuff, information that I’m not authorized to release, I’m breaking the law…We’re a nation of laws. We don’t individually make our own decisions about how the laws operate…He broke the law.”
Manning is charged with leaking secret government documents about the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the situation at Guantánamo Bay and diplomatic cables from every U.S. embassy in the world.
If Manning was facing trial in civilian court, Obama’s remarks could have prejudiced potential jurors. But the private will face his charges before a military tribunal.
While awaiting his court date at Marine Corps Base Quantico in Virginia, Manning was subjected to solitary confinement for 23 hours a day in a tiny windowless cell. He was unable to exercise, prevented from sleeping during the day and denied clothing at night, all in the name of “prevention orders” that imply Manning was considered a suicide risk, although no evidence has surfaced to indicate this condition. In April, the Defense Department finally transferred Manning to the medium-security prison at Fort Leavenworth in Kansas.
US Embassy Cables: Barack Obama May Have 'Prejudiced' Bradley Manning Trial (by Robert Booth, The Guardian)
Video of Obama on Bradley Manning: “He Broke the Law” (by Andy Greenberg, Forbes)
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