19 April 2011

Why Was PFC Manning Moved to Fort Leavenworth?

Like many others, the defense first learned of PFC Manning’s move to Fort Leavenworth, Kansas by reading that a government official, speaking on the condition of anonymity, leaked the information to the Associated Press.  The defense was not officially notified of PFC Manning’s pending move until twenty minutes before the Pentagon’s press briefing.  This is despite the fact that the Pentagon has “been thinking about this for a while.”  Although the news of the move came as a surprise to the defense, the timing did not.

The defense recently received reliable reports of a private meeting held on 13 January 2011, involving high-level Quantico officials where it was ordered that PFC Manning would remain in maximum custody and under prevention of injury watch indefinitely.  The order to keep PFC Manning under these unduly harsh conditions was issued by a senior Quantico official who stated he would not risk anything happening “on his watch.”  When challenged by a Brig psychiatrist present at the meeting that there was no mental health justification for the decision, the senior Quantico official issuing the order responded, “We will do whatever we want to do.”  Based upon these statements and others, the defense was in the process of filing a writ of habeas corpus seeking a court ruling that the Quantico Brig violated PFC Manning’s constitutional right to due process.  See United States ex. rel. Accardi v. Shaughnessy, 74 S.Ct. 499 (1954) (violation of due process where result of board proceeding was predetermined); United States v. Anderson, 49 M.J. 575 (N.M. Ct. Crim. App. 1998) (illegal punishment where Marine Corps had an unwritten policy automatically placing certain detainees in MAX custody).  The facts surrounding PFC Manning’s pretrial confinement at Quantico make it clear that his detention was not “in compliance with legal and regulatory standards in all respects” as maintained at the Pentagon press briefing.

While the defense hopes that the move to Fort Leavenworth will result in the improvement of PFC Manning’s conditions of confinement, it nonetheless intends to pursue redress at the appropriate time for the flagrant violations of his constitutional rights by the Quantico confinement facility.

47 comments:

  1. How near is Manning's new jail to where you work from, where his family lives, and where is support network is largely based?

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  2. I believe the real reason they moved him was to try to quell the growing attention to his plight by governments worldwide who are not afraid to criticize the U.S. government's hypocrisy regarding human rights abuses, and following the rule of law.

    But they still have a massive credibility problem, as demonstrated during the press conference, where they make the claim that Quantico wasn't designed for long-term detentions. But they knew that long before now, so they can't suddenly claim they just realized they should move him. No, they intended to leave him in Quantico, but protests, foreign government pressure, and catching them in repeated lies all caught up to them.

    Now they just want to move him out of D.C. to avoid the media scrutiny. But we can't let that happen; we have to continue to pressure the government and our elected officials to hold the military accountable.

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  3. I changed my profile picture on facebook to Bradley's picture to show solidarity. I think we should all change our profile pictures to his.

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  4. are we really living in a fascist state? can the government really do whatever it wants to citizens like this? I am not a lawyer but know enough of the constitution to know that this is in direct conflict of the supreme law of the land.

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  5. The above post says, "...the defense first learned of PFC Manning’s move to Fort Leavenworth, Kansas by reading that a government official, speaking on the condition of anonymity, leaked the information to the Associated Press."

    A government official leaked information to the press? Isn't this basically the same thing Bradley Manning allegedly did? It is outrageous that Bradley Manning is incarcerated, and that the U.S. government is mishandling this so horribly.

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  6. Timing indeed cynical....

    Think you are doing a brilliant job, though, and applaud your commitment, which is really evident - bless you for keeping your head and your integrity.

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  7. What do we do if nothing works and this situation goes on for years? What happens when we're backed in a corner and we have absolutely nothing left?

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  8. This is so unfair & the cruelty he has already been subjected to is beyond all standards of decency. In addition, the fact, that they want to execute him, is loathsome. One cannot condone any form of murder by the state. It is really alarming to see, the decline in civilized standards, the lack of respect for the law, the disregard of due process and the apparent devaluation of human rights. This is all so terrible, I am sickened.

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  9. I just hope the kid gets some humane treatment. It's been 8 months since he's had a full night's sleep.

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  10. Thank you! Please let Bradley Manning how much we care about him & his well being.

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  11. We will keep our support to Bradley wherever he is sent to!

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  12. You Americans can all (when voting for new president-candidates comes) choose Ron Paul/Jesse Ventura -- or someone else who is for the freeing of Bradley. Make a bold move! The power (really!) is with the people!

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  13. Sending my support and concern for Bradley Mannings' welfare and finding it ironic that a government that purports to dislike leaks and dislike transparency does continually use leaks from many sources and does applaud transparency in their political pulpits.

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  14. We in the area around Leavenworth will build support and make a big deal out of this. Leavenworth held Leonard Peltier for decades and many protests were made on his behalf. The same will happen for Bradley Manning. It is very centrally located and Lawrence/Univ Ks is nearby and is a very politically aware area, in spite of it being in Kansas. We won't be silenced.

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  15. Military official "We will do whatever we want to do". Hmmm, I thought the military was supposed to be under civilian control. Maybe not.

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  16. Second open letter to the American Medical Association - a more firm position of this organization regarding the treatment of Bradley Manning is long overdue. I hope that all doctors & patients in the USA will support this initiative: http://wlcentral.org/node/1667

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  17. LTC Coombs, I applaud your efforts on your clients behalf, which have been professional, dignified and courteous in the face of overwhelming intimidation and disrespect on the part of the US Army and DoD. They have shown themselves to have utter disregard for the law that my grandfathers and father, and uncles and grand-uncles, fought and died for, and for that I am ashamed. Please take note of the Leavenworth JCRF page, updated on April 18th according to the site's content editing software. Page source indicates the 19th, which could mean the page was completed after midnight on the 19th, and well before the briefing. I for one am not deceived by their claims.

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  18. A question - if his treatment at Quantico impedes his ability to defend himself and is proven unconstitutional, can this inturn force a mistrial. ? Thanks

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  19. Thanks for defending Bradley Manning, God bless the (alleged) whistle blowers...here's an artistic interpretation of what went down:


    "America by Bradley Manning"
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q5vYFl0z9g0


    Transparency is the Apocalypse...the revolution will be anonymous.

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  20. I am worried about two things, that "they" start moving him around from prison to prison until we wont know where he is or this being a Federal Prison something "happens" to him...I know this sounds paranoid but don't trust anything the government does. Please let Bradley know he has alot of support.

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  21. Thanks for all your work for Bradley, David.

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  22. Seems to me that the Obama administration is undermining its own case against Manning. By subjecting him to inhumane conditions and possibly causing psychological damage, the government is impairing Manning's ability to testify on his own behalf, and limiting his ability to get a fair trial. I can't see any of this helping the government win this case, unless it is tried in a military court and is a slam-dunk for the prosecution.

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  23. Yep. Timing was not a surprise. Well, moving him also not.
    Maybe they all of a sudden "care" about Bradley Manning's mental health and pre-trial confinement conditions 'cos things got too complicated and they're afraid that their "case" might dwindling away, so they all of a sudden saw a need to act and want Bradley Manning to be coddled up from now on in order to stand trial. On the other hand, at the PC one other thing became also VERY clear – something I expected to happen! – even if there won't be a trial, they intent to keep him in prison indefinitely anyways which could also mean they don't have a foolproof case at all.
    Fact is, Bradley Manning will remain in prison – convicted or not convicted (this possibility got established under GWB43 and I never understood why there was no outrage about it in the US).

    One can only hope that Bradley's transfer to Leavenworth won't cause even more isolation to him which would of course very convenient for the Gov! And let's hope what the commander of Leavenworth said in the pc weren't just ... WORDS and things actually improve!

    However, to me personally it's somehow hard to believe things will actually change, but who knows. We'll hopefully learn soon.

    Redress isn't the only thing considering at the appropriate time, I'd say. Don't know the possibilities but maybe one could still check in court whether Bradley's constitutional rights to due process while being held in Q have been violated...

    Please, keep up your good work for Bradley Manning and don't give up, as frustrating as it may be (I mean being a lawyer and not being able to do anything). THUMBS UP!!!

    Not anonymous from the other side of the lake

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  24. You state,"While the defense hopes that the move to Fort Leavenworth will result in the improvement of PFC Manning’s conditions of confinement, it nonetheless intends to pursue redress at the appropriate time for the flagrant violations of his constitutional rights by the Quantico confinement facility."

    Sir, when will be the appropriate time?

    Question, were you appointed as Pfc Bradley Manning's council?

    Were you approached by Pfc Manning or his family and asked to represent Bradley Manning

    How did you become PFC Bradley Manning's council?

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  25. The east coast has too many people and Quantico is too close to Dennis Kucinich and the rest of the politicians in D.C.

    Manning will now be out in the middle of nowhere where the fascist, terrorizing U.S.Military will be free to continue torturing Manning unimpeded by any watchful eyes.

    Kevin Schmidt

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  26. I bet his move is directly related to the recent completion of the mental health evaluation that's been ongoing for months. Originally, they thought the trial would start in May - now they're saying that it'll be much further out than that. That tells me that Manning was found to be mentally incompetent to stand trial, and he'll need mental health care, not just forensic evaluation, which likely can be best handled at Leavenworth.

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  27. see http://ftp.resource.org/courts.gov/c/F2/510/510.F2d.419.74--1766.html

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  28. I would like to take this opportunity in thanking Bradley Manning for having to strength of conviction for doing what he has allegedly done, and continues to do so on humanities behalf, which is presently suffer, where's the innocent until proven guilty factor gone? What if this poor man is 100% innocent?

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  29. Had just learned that DoD did not even notify you of Manning's transfer before leaking news, and was just coming to thank you on your professionalism during this long ordeal for your client.

    Glad to find that I can simply echo what mcktakabery said above: "I applaud your efforts on your clients behalf, which have been professional, dignified and courteous in the face of overwhelming intimidation and disrespect on the part of the US Army and DoD."

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  30. LTC Coombs, I am curious about one thing. Are you saying that the Brig Commander's concern for the safety of PFC Manning in a general population setting was completely groundless? I would suspect everyone would be a little nervous about placing Manning in GP. It's not outside the realm of possibility that he could be in danger from other inmates........not that there was any legal justification for the Suicide Watch or POI.

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  31. I believe that no matter the charges againg Manning are he deserves to be treated like a human being.... I have a new song about this tragic treatment..

    Best to Bradley...

    Graham Nash

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  32. i think that all this would just go away if america had a constitution she would live by. i'm told there's a very good one around here somewhere, not doing anything at the moment.

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  33. I wonder what the media would say if it was a woman being told to strip before guards and held in a cell for 8 months. He's going to end up like those torture prisoners. God I hope not! No sanity. No reason. He'll just be a vegetable. And for what? Doing something in the name of freedom? Something he thought was for the good of America. Yeah, hell yeah people are pissed! Who could do this kind of thing to a human being? As a culture, we need the dignity to continue redefining and shaping our rights. Not ignoring the pretext of them. His is no crime against humanity, what he did was reveal the truth. America is in the stone ages. He's a hero. And he will always be a hero to me. I'm not voting for Obama. I'm probably not even voting next election.

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  34. Gabrielle, are you not aware that when prison officials and mental health caregivers see people in all kinds of detention facilities whom they suspect might be a threat to their own health, they make them remove the clothing they might hurt themselves with? Really?

    He already had mental health issues. He had them before he entered the military. He had them before he was sent to Iraq. The military was so scared about his behavior before he was caught that they removed the bolt from the rifle in a war zone! Pretending that he's being driven crazy by his detention is dishonest. He was already crazy.

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  35. Dear David,

    I am a UK citizen and unfortunately unable to protest in person. I am however spreading the word via social media to friends and family, have written to President Obama and have signed numerous petitions in support of Bradley. I would write to Bradley in support of him if I knew where to write. Please could you pass on my thanks and admiration for his actions, and my regret at what he has had to endure in order to do the right thing. Heroic is a word often misused these days, but I do believe that Bradley has displayed heroism in his actions.

    Regards,

    Sean Gibbins

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  36. LTC Coombs, I would like to add my thanks as well for all that you do for Bradley-- I hope that you see this case as more than a job you are being paid for, but as what it is-- standing up for justice, human rights and democracy, not to mention the life of a young hero. We're all counting on you.

    Also please keep reminding Bradley how many supporters he has! Is it possible to send letters to him?

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  37. I happen to have just read that Bradley Manning was deeply intrigued in Kant's book, Critique of Pure Reason, (available to read here )
    in which Kant in essence makes the argument that all of humans failings are due to his inability to perceive the truth, to tell the truth, and therefore, to act upon the truth.
    The book is a challenge to readers to change the way they perceive experience in order to convey truth to others and thereby improve man's condition. it is no wonder that Manning chose to expose raw data in order that the world might see first hand that they were being fed massive quantities of misinformation. This is based upon very defensible ethical issues. What does the military have to say regarding its ethical behavior?

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  38. There's no way Manning can get a fair trial when the Commander-in-Chief of the Army declares him guilty: http://bit.ly/fMzZAq

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  39. When one considers the implications of what is being done to an American citizen not yet convicted - only accused - it is clear that it is in the best interests of the world that this US Empire is dying. Hopefully it won't take the whole world with it. I hope and pray that Bradley Manning will find his peace. I thank him for trying to do the right thing and save the country.

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  40. President Obama has publicly stated that Bradley Manning committed a crime. Couldn't it be argued that this is a case of undue influence on potential jurors, and hence grounds for dismissal?

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  41. @ April 21 10:00 pm

    The brig psychiatrists had totally opposite opinions to you with Manning's mental condition. Manning is not suicidal nor crazy. They even suggested removing POI constantly for about 8 months. The people who are actually crazy are the brig commanders, and you are just as dishonor as them.

    If he was already crazy, he should not even be sent to Iraq. If he was crazy, he should be in hospital not in the brig. If he was crazy, he could kill himself before he entered the brig. He could harm himself before his underwear was not taken out. To be honest, people like you are much more scarier than Manning.

    Finally, why don't we just put you into such a harsh condition as Manning for a year and see if the treatments are good to human mental health.

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  42. How does Bradley's relocation to Leavenworth affect your ability to see him and represent him? Are you concerned for his safety? Please comment.

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  43. "The government" routinely asserts that those who they are prosecuting are "guilty".

    The idea that President Obama did anything wrong here is a ludicrous, unsupportable assertion.

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  44. ""The government" routinely asserts that those who they are prosecuting are "guilty". The idea that President Obama did anything wrong here is a ludicrous, unsupportable assertion.

    The difference is that jurors are not routinely under the command of the person proclaiming the defendant to be guilty. In this case, the jurors are. See the difference? See the problem?

    Patrick Meighan
    Culver City, CA

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  45. Thank you for your work in support of Mr. Manning. I have seen an address posted on the Internet to send mail to Mr. Manning. Can you confirm this:
    Bradley Manning 89289
    830 Sabalu Road
    Fort Leavenworth, KS 66027
    Thank you for your trouble.
    Paul Frank

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  46. Bradley,

    TRUST YOURSELF
    KEEP THE FAITH
    KNOW YOUR POWER
    ACCEPT YOUR FATE

    Do not try and bend the spoon, that is impossible.
    Instead, only try to realize the Truth...there is no spoon.
    Then you will see, it's not the spoon that bends...
    it's only yourself.

    -Jonathan

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  47. Superb representation of Bradley Manning. Thank you so much. Your closing on Friday was logical, factual and represented truth. I love the part when you addressed the court with, "Giving the information to the world, to the
    public, to inform the public, does not give
    intelligence to the enemy...if we give them, the enemy that the United States Army is going into a particular town at 0930 from this
    direction, the enemy can take advantage of that, if we didn't know that they knew that...If we know ... that they know because it's been blasted out for the world to know,
    common sense would say that we are not going into that town at 0930." Never doubt how well you have done...you are a brilliant attorney and a clever man. I only hope this case was not decided prior to the trial.

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