Obama Gave Manning “Verdict First, Trial Later.”

by Ellsberg.Net on December 23, 2011

Edited excerpts of transcript from Keith Olbermann’s interview of Daniel Ellsberg on Current:

ELLSBERG: The commander-in-chief, President Obama, gave Manning ‘verdict first, trial later.’ He said Manning had broken the law, before even the prosecution case had been heard, let alone the defense case. He said he was guilty,

That alone is virtually a directed verdict. It’s unlawful command influence on the subordinate officers, who will be carrying out both this decision, and later in the trial. The court martial should be out for that reason alone.

Second, the way Manning has been treated at my old base at Quantico, was shameful, and amounted to torture. My own case, the first one ever brought on this, was dismissed for reasons of “gross governmental misconduct” by President Nixon. There has been gross governmental misconduct in this case, in the form of that 10-and-a-half months of isolation. The case should be dismissed, for that reason. But it won’t be.

Obama’s practically got a war going on here against whistleblowers. He’s setting precedents here for the use of the Espionage Act against whistleblowers, which is of very questionable constitutionality in this guise. It was meant for espionage, and has often been used against espionage successfully.

But he’s setting a precedent of using it against whistleblowers now–five times under Obama now, and only three times in all the years before Obama.

{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

Jack Baldwin March 25, 2012 at 3:39 pm

This is very frustrating: I think Manning’s defense council may be incompetent. If I were Manning’s attorney, I would have tried to have the case dismissed because of Obama’s comments or due to Manning’s obvious mistreatment. Instead, from what I can tell, they tried to prove “diminished responsibility”! I applaud Pfc. Manning because he was responsible, not irresponsible.

Constance Cumbey March 22, 2012 at 3:01 pm

I agree with Daniel Ellsberg’s comments vis a vis the treatment of Manning. The president’s statements of “he is guilty” do clearly amount to a “directed verdict” to military underlings of Commander in Chief Obama. I am very leery of this obvious presidential war on whistleblowers. It has been said by Lord Acton that “power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely.” Res ipsa loquitur!

Robert Landry March 19, 2012 at 11:04 pm

Relative to B. Manning, Adm. Mullins states how he jeopardized the mission and put operatives lives at risk. I would like to hear from you what the top brass had to say about you releasing the PP to the media? I am involved with a discussion with a friend who claims Manning is a traitor and he uses Mullins comments to back his argument. May I take this opportunity to thank you for your efforts to realign our country with it’s stated values. I speak of you as hero.

Kevin Keating February 24, 2012 at 6:03 pm

Considering the courageous and principled actions of Mr. Manning, are you aware of the recent on-air promotions by Rachel Maddow for a “Parade of Hero’s” ticker tape celebration in NYC, a mass thank you for veteran’s of the criminal U.S. invasion of Iraq?

Caroline Cottom February 15, 2012 at 4:20 pm

Hello Dan, It’s great to find your blog! Thanks for your continued wonderful work! I am so glad you are commenting on these important topics. I would love to send a message to you and Patricia directly. I’ve just finished my second book, “Love Changes Things…Even in the World of Politics.” It’s the story behind the story of how we got an end to nuclear testing. Peace and Happiness to you both, Caroline

RSTAKAT February 11, 2012 at 10:23 pm

Let me say first, I just watched “The Most Dangerous Man in America” an aprove of what you did as the right thing to do. But I must also say you as well as Mr. Manning did break the law. You both are brave men. Semper Fi!

Bertrand February 11, 2012 at 4:54 pm

Is it possible to fix this mess, this trheat to cvil liberties, to our democracy?

Is it possible to adequately clarify in a given law what is a legitimate secret, so that secrecy prohibitions will not be arbitrary or abused?

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