testimony

Accused WikiLeaks Whistleblower Bradley Manning Testifies He Thought He Would "Die in Custody"

Friday, November 30, 2012   on  Democracy Now!

Bradley Manning, the U.S. Army private accused of leaking hundreds of thousands of classified documents to the whistleblowing website WikiLeaks, has testified for the first time since he was arrested in May 2010. Speaking Thursday at a pretrial proceeding, Manning revealed the emotional tumult he experienced while imprisoned in Kuwait after his arrest in 2010, saying, "I remember thinking, ’I’m going to die.’ I thought I was going to die in a cage." As part of his testimony, Manning stepped inside a life-sized chalk outline representing the six-by-eight-foot cell he was later held in at the Quantico base in Virginia, and recounted how he would tilt his head to see the reflection of a skylight through a tiny space in his cell door. Manning could face life in prison if convicted of the most serious of 22 counts against him. His trial is expected to begin in February. He has offered to plead guilty to a subset of charges that could potentially carry a maximum prison term of 16 years. "What’s remarkable is that he still has this incredible dignity after going through this," says Michael Ratner, who was in the courtroom during Manning’s appearance. "But I think all these prison conditions were — sure, they were angry at Bradley Manning, but in the face of that psychiatric statement, that this guy shouldn’t be kept on suicide risk or POI, they’re still keeping him in inhuman conditions, you can only ask yourself — they’re trying to break him for some reason. The lawyer, David Coombs, has said it’s so that he can give evidence against Julian Assange and WikiLeaks." Ratner is president emeritus of the Center for Constitutional Rights and a lawyer for Julian Assange and WikiLeaks. [includes rush transcript]

Guest:

Michael Ratner, president emeritus of the Center for Constitutional Rights and a lawyer to Julian Assange and WikiLeaks. He recently returned from attending part the pretrial hearing for Bradley Manning.

Transcript

JUAN GONZÁLEZ: Bradley Manning, the U.S. Army private accused of leaking hundreds of thousands of classified documents to the whistleblowing website WikiLeaks, has testified in a courtroom for the first time since he was arrested in May 2010. Speaking Thursday at a pretrial proceeding, Manning revealed the emotional tumult that he experienced while imprisoned in Kuwait after his arrest in 2010, saying, quote, "I remember thinking, ’I’m going to die.’ I thought I was going to die in a cage."

As part of his testimony, Manning stepped inside a life-sized chalk outline representing the six-by-eight-foot cell he was later held in at the Quantico base in Virginia, and he recounted how he would tilt his head to see the reflection of a skylight through a tiny space in his cell door.

HEARING ON RACISM AND POLICE VIOLENCE Oakland • February 19-20, 2011

Join us for a HEARING ON RACISM AND POLICE VIOLENCE
Oakland • February 2011

Come share Testimony and Demand Accountability on the Issues of Racist Law Enforcement and Police Suppression of Civil Liberties. Testimony will include witnesses to police killings across the country and experts on the impact of racial profiling and mass incarcerations.

THE HEARING (originally planned for January) HAS BEEN RESCHEDULED FOR SATURDAY & SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 19TH & 20TH 

Oakland High (1023 MacArthur near Park Blvd) Oakland, CA

 

SPONSORED BY:

• Mieklejohn Civil Liberties Institute
• Malcolm X Grassroots Movement
• New Years Movement
• East Side Arts Alliance
• Onyx• Collision Course Video
• African People’s Socialist Party
• National Lawyers Guild
• Hard Knock Radio
• US Human Rights Network

 

Court TODAY for Troy Davis, an Innocent man on Death Row

(CNN) -- On Wednesday the saga of death row inmate Troy Anthony Davis
will begin its last chapter. In an extremely rare ruling last summer,
the United States Supreme Court ordered a federal judge in Georgia to
grant Troy an evidentiary hearing to prove his innocence.

The ruling is unusual in that the Supreme Court has not granted this
writ of habeas corpus in more than 50 years. Their decision is a
strong indication that they are concerned about the constitutionality
of executing the innocent -- as am I.

Although much work still must be done in our justice system to ensure
the innocent do not pay the price of the guilty, the granting of this
evidentiary hearing is a major step for Troy Davis and for many other
likely innocent prisoners sitting on death row; Troy Davis will have
an opportunity to tell his side of the story and new evidence will be
considered in this nearly 20-year-old case.

The hearing will allow the testimony of witnesses who have recanted or
contradicted their original eyewitness testimonies to be heard and