Bradley Manning lawyer hired
Accused Wikileaks whistle-blower finally represented by civilian attorney. Also: Advisory panel formed, legal trust account created, defense fund update, and sending letters to Bradley.
Vets salute Bradley Manning (YouTube link)
"Collateral Murder" video
was highlighted at the Veterans for Peace 25th annual convention in Portland, Maine last week. In this video, Ethan McCord, who appears in the video, discusses that day and Manning.
Bradley Manning lawyer hired
Also: Advisory panel formed, legal trust account, and letters
“He's aware of all the people who are rallying to his support. So his spirits are relatively good.”
– Bradley Manning’s attorney David Coombs
By Courage to Resist.
September 3, 2010
We are relieved that accused Wikileaks whistle-blower Army PFC
Bradley Manning is finally represented by an experienced and qualified
civilian defense attorney. After receiving a wide range of opinions,
Bradley selected attorney David Coombs of Providence, Rhode Island, to
lead his legal defense. Mr. Coombs has over a decade of experience as a
military trial lawyer and is a former law professor at the Judge
Advocate General’s Legal Center and School in Charlottesville, Virginia.
A personal friend of Bradley’s verified the selection of
during a recent visit with him at the Marine Corps brig at
Virginia. Bradley was said to have appeared to be in good
health and good
considering the situation.
"Obviously, being in solitary confinement is very difficult," Mr. Coombs told CNN.
"But the individuals at the confinement facility are very professional.
They're doing a very good job. And he's aware of all the people who are
rallying to his support. So his spirits are relatively good."
According to CNN, Mr. Coombs explained that the leaked
"Afghanistan War Diaries" didn't really reveal anything damaging to the
U.S. occupation. Mr. Coombs acknowledged that the leaked documents named
a few Afghans who were cooperating with U.S. forces, but he explained
that because the names were spelled phonetically, the insurgents would
have a very difficult time tracking them down--even if they were still
in the same area years later.
Mr. Coombs also noted that statements from Chairman of the Joint
Chiefs of Staff Michael Mullen and Defense Secretary Robert Gates about
Bradley Manning were hurting his chances for a fair trial.
Bradley's turmoil leading up to arrest confirmed
"The AP ran a story stating that I questioned the sanity of my
client, PFC Bradley Manning.
This statement is inaccurate," explained
David Coombs on his blog Wednesday. In fact, Mr. Coombs was simply
explaining the process and basis for an upcoming mental health
evaluation hearing that Bradley will undergo before the Army proceeds to
an expected Article 32 pre-trial hearing.
On his blog, Mr. Coombs noted:
"PFC Manning's unit documented a steady decline in his mental
stability from early on in their deployment starting around December of
2009 to May of 2010.
Consistent in this documentation was the behavior
that they were concerned about intensified during the deployment.
to this behavior and a concern about his personal safety, the command
made the decision to remove the bolt from PFC Manning's weapon.
several weeks, he apparently walked around Forward Operating Base Hammer
with his assigned weapon that was incapable of being used.
time, however, he was still expected to perform his duties as an
Courage to Resist project director Jeff Paterson adds:
"Many accounts have indicated that Bradley was showing outward signs
of turmoil in the months leading up to his arrest. If he is indeed the
whistle-blower in question, then of course he was going through
significant mental anguish regarding the information he may have come
across. As someone who deals with conscientious objectors in the
military, I can say that most are considered "crazy" for no longer
wanting to kill for a living. Bradley's situation may have been not too
Legal defense about half funded
“From our first communications with Bradley, back when he was still
jailed in Kuwait, we pledged to support and fund his choice of civilian
legal representation,” said Jeff Paterson, “We’re happy to begin
that promise by transferring funds raised to Mr. Coombs for
and initial legal fees.” So far, about 850 generous
individuals have already donated $51,000 towards
defense--of which about $38,000 will go towards legal fees.
addition to our tax-deductible defense fund, supporters now have
option of making a non-deductible contribution directly to
IOLTA legal trust account which is managed by Mr. Coombs
regulation of the American Bar Association. Our tax-deductible
fund currently allocates about 20% of funds for public
education and related administrative expenses. However, 100% of IOLTA
account contributions offset Bradley’s legal
expenses--estimated to eventually total $100,000.
Before donating $5,000 yesterday to Bradley's legal trust account, filmmaker Michael Moore noted to The Hill, "He did a courageous thing and he did a patriotic thing".
To make a non-deductible contribution to the new legal trust account, donate online here, or make checks payable to “IOLTA / Manning” and mail to: Courage to
Resist, 484 Lake Park Ave #41, Oakland CA 94610.
For an overview of all donation options regarding Bradley Manning's defense, visit: couragetoresist.org/bradley
Days of Action, September 16-19, shaping up
The announcement of a civilian military attorney comes less than a
week after our Network announced the International Days of Action in
Support of Bradley Manning, September 16-19.
Events and rallies have already been confirmed for New York City NY,
Oakland CA, San Diego CA, Minneapolis MN, San Francisco CA, Houston TX,
London UK, Fort Lewis WA (Seattle area), Columbus OH, and Quantico
VA--near the Marine
brig where Bradley is being is currently being held
confinement. It’s not too late to organize something in
Email support [at] bradleymanning.org to discuss your
ideas and plans.
Advisory board formed
The Bradley Manning Support Network is also pleased to announce the
formation of an Advisory Board comprised of prominent individuals who
are widely respected for their efforts in resisting war, progressive
activism and in support of government transparency.
- Medea Benjamin, co-founder of Code Pink: Women for Peace
- Dr. Marsha Coleman-Adebayo, board member for the National Whistleblower Center
- Daniel Ellsberg, Pentagon Papers whistle blower
- Kathleen Gilberd, co-chair of the Military Law Task Force of the National Lawyers Guild
- Ray McGovern, former CIA analyst and activist
- Michael Moore, documentary filmmaker
- Jose Vasquez, executive director of Iraq Veterans against the War
- US Army Colonel Ann Wright (ret.), former US State Department official
- Kevin Zeese, co-founder and executive director, Voters for Peace
Letters to Bradley
Hundreds, if not thousands, of individuals have sent mail to Bradley
at Quantico, and to Kuwait before that. Due to a strict interpretation
of confinement facility regulations, Bradley has not received a single
letter, and most letters have been returned to sender. This effort has
not been in vain as Bradley has been heartened by the mountain of
support--even if he is not been allowed to open the letters.
To send a message to Bradley, please send letters and postcards to Bradley Manning, c/o Courage to Resist, 484 Lake Park Ave #41, Oakland
Letters will be opened, "contraband" discarded and the letters
mailed in a weekly package to Bradley via an individual currently
his approved brig correspondence list.
Blowing the whistle on war crimes is not a crime! Free Bradley Manning!
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