Several media and civil liberties organizations have combined to file a request with the Department of Defense that key documents in the trial of Bradley Manning be made public. To date, the Department of Defense has kept all documents relating to the Manning prosecution under lock and key and has refused to allow anyone to access those files.
If one were to judge the potential for harm to the United States government by the amount of openness at a suspect’s trial, then Washington has much more to fear from Bradley Manning than from alleged 9/11 mastermind, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed.
As we have reported previously, the federal government has published a complete and verbatim transcript of the hearings recently conducted in the case of Mohammed and the so-called “Gitmo 5.” There isn’t a single insult or inquiry that was part of that proceeding that isn’t obtainable by anyone — reporter or citizen.
The same cannot be said, however, of the court martial hearing the case against PFC Bradley Manning. To date, the Department of Defense has kept all documents relating to the Manning prosecution under lock and key and has refused to allow anyone to access those files.
Nevertheless, a few intrepid organizations have tried (so far in vain) to penetrate the thick veil of secrecy shrouding the Manning trial. The Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) is one of the handful of media and civil rights groups (including Salon’s Glenn Greenwald, who has followed this story since the beginning) that have petitioned the Pentagon for a peak at the Manning dossier.
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Photo: Army Pfc. Bradley Manning, center, is escorted out of a courthouse in Fort Meade, Md., Dec. 21, 2011: AP Images