18 January 2012

Government Continues to Deny Access to Key Witnesses

Earlier today, Colonel Carl R. Coffman Jr., denied the defense's request to conduct oral depositions of nine essential witnesses. These same witnesses were requested by the defense at the Article 32 hearing, but denied by Lieutenant Colonel Paul Almanza. Each of the requested witnesses would have testified concerning whether the charged information was or was not classified and whether there was any harm to national security from this information becoming public.

Colonel Coffman determined that the difficulty, expense, and/or effect on military operations outweighed the significance of the expected testimony. This determination is difficult to comprehend given the nature of the charges against PFC Manning. Today's decision is yet another example of the government improperly impeding the defense's access to essential witnesses.

Based upon Colonel Coffman's decision, the defense intends to renew its request to depose these witnesses with the General Court-Martial Convening Authority, Major General Michael S. Linnington, and, if necessary, with the military judge.


  1. All that is necessary for evil to succeed is for good men to do nothing (Edmund Burke)

    Regarding the U.S. Military (Col. Coffman) denying access to appropriate witnesses to defense Attorney David Coombs request, it is more underhanded, guilty secret conspiracy at work.

    I'm sure a movie about Bradley Manning case is underway at this moment. Hope it has a happy ending both for the accused and the United States of America.

  2. That does not surprise me at all. They'll just go on like that, coming up with one strange excuse after another, just to ensure they win their case! Just allow ANY witnesses for the prosecution and (almost) none witnesses for the defense .... mission accomplished. *vomids Justice is something else! Jeeeesus US (my former favorite country, btw), you really hit rock-bottom!

    Does the US really want to stand for unfair trials? Or for indefinite detention without trial? Or for torture ... ooops "enhanced interrogation methods" (nice term for torture)? Or for abduction of foreign people (renditions)? And and and? Reminds me of Germany many decades ago. The Nazis did the same!

    Here's an interesting read: http://www.press.uchicago.edu/Misc/Chicago/511928.html One can't miss the many paralells between the German society back then and todays American society. Very very sad, but unfortunately true.

    @David Coombs, hope you won't give up because of the hopelessness of the case or something! Bradley Manning deserves the BEST defense EVER!!!

  3. theworldiswatchingJanuary 19, 2012 at 4:50 PM

    It is a very sad reflection on the US system of Military Justice that they are not permitting Bradley Manning to prepare a legitimate and fair defence to which he is entitled.

    Bradfley Manning's case is widely reported and followed in most of the free world. The US Military is showing itself to be conducting the trial proceedings in a manner that it not appropriate for a country that has always upheld freedom and human rights, but more typical of those countries who suffer the rule of dictatorships.

    Whatever excuses they are offering for the denials to permit defence witnesses to present depositions, the end result seems little different to the proceedings in the courts of Middle Eastern dictatorships. The difference is only in the forms, not the end result.

    Major Gen Limmington now has the opportunity to demonstrate that there is still justice in the US Military courts by permitting this request.

  4. It is a great injustice done to Bradley Manning and others like him. He has awakened America to prevent your military committing the same crimes as the Nazis' s did. do not forget that he has taken the oath to protect America against domestic and foreign enemy. at that moment when these thing occurred the us military became a domestic enemy.

    Questions & Answers Pertaining to the Constitution

    Q. Does not the Constitution give us our rights and liberties?
    A. No, it does not, it only guarantees them. The people had all their rights and liberties before they made the Constitution. The Constitution was formed, among other purposes, to make the people's liberties secure-- secure not only as against foreign attack but against oppression by their own government. They set specific limits upon their national government and upon the States, and reserved to themselves all powers that they did not grant. The Ninth Amendment declares: "The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people."

    Q. What protection is given to a person accused of crime under the jurisdiction of the United States?
    A. The Fifth Amendment declares that no person, except one serving in the land or naval forces or the militia in time of war or public danger, can be held to answer for a capital or other infamous crime unless on a presentment or indictment of a grand jury. No person can be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb for the same offense. No one in a criminal case can be compelled to be a witness against himself, or be deprived of life, liberty, or property without due process of law. Private property cannot be taken for public use without just compensation. By the Eighth Amendment excessive bail and fines and cruel and unusual punishments are prohibited. The original Constitution forbids ex post facto laws and bills of attainder, limits the punishment for treason, protects the right to a writ of habeas corpus, and secures trial by jury.

    Q. Is the right to speedy trial guaranteed?
    A. Yes. The Sixth Amendment expressly states that in all criminal prosecutions the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial by an impartial jury within the district of the crime, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation. He is entitled to be confronted with the witnesses against him, to be allowed to compel the attendance of witnesses in his favor, and to have the assistance of counsel for his defense.


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