Skip to content or view screen version

Bradley Manning takes the stand - Reports from court

WISE Up | 30.11.2012 11:19 | Anti-militarism | Repression | Terror War | World

Bradley Manning is back in court this week at Fort Meade in Maryland, where he faces 22 charges in connection with the biggest anti-war whistleblowing act in history. This week's pretrial hearing is dealing specifically with the mistreatment Bradley suffered during his detention at Quantico brig in the US and evidence has been heard about his treatment from his arrest in May 2010, his detention in Kuwait and then in Quantico until his move to less punitive conditions at Fort Leavenworth in April 2011. Brad took the witness stand yesterday and will testify again today.

Courtroom illustration by Clark Stoeckley
Courtroom illustration by Clark Stoeckley

The mainstream media has been conspicuous by its absence at previous hearings but has turned up for this one, the first in which Bradley has given evidence in person. He was examined at length by his defence counsel yesterday and will face cross-examination and re-examination today.

This and all previous hearings have been covered by Bradley Manning Support Network ( and by independent journalists.

Below are links to reports and selected tweets from some of those who've been in court this week.


of Bradley Manning Support Network

29 Nov: Bradley Manning takes the stand: Quantico abuse, brig deception - courtroom notes

28 Nov: Brad treated worse than death row inmates

27 Nov: Military feared independent reviews of Bradley's treatment - courtroom notes

TWEETS @nathanLfuller:

“During Lind's line of questioning to Choike, came out that he didn't think #Manning should've been held there [Quantico] more than 90 days”

“Correction expert Wright told Quantico that forcing Manning to strip nude was violation. Brig official found loophole to ensure it continued”

“Psychiatrist said longest a brig had waited before to implement his recommendations was ~2 weeks. Quantico ignored him for months”

“Psychiatrists testify that they were totally ignored when recommending #Manning be removed from abusive conditions”

“At night Quantico blasted fluorescent light into Manning's cell, then woke him 2-3x each night if he turned his face away from it.”

“Quick recess. Sgt Blenis lied to Bradley, said doctors recommended he stay on Prevention of Injury watch, though they recommended it end.”

“GYSGT Blenis continually rated Bradley as a 'Grade A' detainee, then blamed the restrictive status on the psychiatrist trying to end it.”

of Bradley Manning Support Network:

29 Nov: Pretrial confinement worse than death row



30 Nov: Brad takes the stand - arriving at Quantico

29 Nov: Brad takes the stand - being detained in Kuwait

29 Nov: Unlawful pretrial punishment hearing day 3

28 Nov: Unlawful pretrial punishment hearing day 2

28 Nov: Quantico Brig Commander testifies at unlawful pretrial punishment hearing

27 Nov: Unlawful pretrial punishment hearing day 1

TWEETS @kgosztola:

“Bradley Manning is smiling & energetic while giving testimony. Very intelligent. Really great to hear from him finally”

“Bradley Manning says there was very little difference between being on Suicide Risk & Prevention of Injury status at Quantico”

“Bradley Manning said in Kuwait he felt suicidal but didn't want to die, wanted to get out of "animal cage" where he was being held”


All dates:

TWEETS @carwinb:

“When you see how defense proposed pleading by clause, can see why this case is monumental, and #Manning such an extraordinary young man.”

“Re 'log' notes dancing in his tiny 6 x 8 cell (where he was 23.5 hrs a day) #Manning said it was a way to get around regs for no exercise.”

“Amazing to hear #Manning. Solid voice. Matter of fact. A kind smile, which he uses a lot. And earnest.”


See tweets from 27 & 28 November. Article to follow.

TWEETS @dustinslaughter:

“Jokes made by staff via emails about his forced nudity, tho, cast doubt #Manning's treatment was borne wholly out of mental health concerns”

“I think, bc #Manning psychiatrist was so soft-spoken, courtroom had very different take on testimony. Press room thought he was star witness”

“Court let out at 9pm or so. Much to relay, but one notable item: #Manning's initial Navy psychologist was in fact a dentist. I kid not.”

“After a Jan 17th protest at Quantico, brig guards "roughed up" #Manning, sending him into a panic attack. Confirmed by a commanding officer.”


There is currently some decent coverage coming from Ed Pilkington at the Guardian:

Manning gives evidence

How keeping himself sane was taken as proof of madness

but be warned that some of the Guardian's previous coverage has been appalling, such as 'The Madness of Bradley Manning?' video.

TWEETS @Edpilkington:

“BRADLEY MANNING SPEAKS: 'I remember thinking I'm going to die. I thought I was going to die in a cage' – on Kuwait”

“Quantico brig commander told doctor re #BradleyManning "He will not be able to hurt himself, he will not be able to get away"

“BRADLEY MANNING: 'You could see the reflection of the reflection of the skylight if you angled your face on the cell door' - Quantico”

“BRADLEY MANNING SPEAKS: 'If I needed toilet paper I would stand to attention and shout: “Detainee Manning requests toilet paper!”'.”

“BRADLEY MANNING on incident with Quantico guards: 'I thought I was going to be attacked. I said “Please stop! I'm not doing anything”


Follow Bradley Manning's case at:

Illustrations from the court room by Clark Stoeckley of WikiLeaks Mobile Information Collection Unit: Photos on

Welsh, Irish, Scottish, English (WISE) solidarity:

- Homepage:


Michael Ratner, Director of the Center for Constitutional Rights, also in court

30.11.2012 11:35

From Emma Cape of BMSN:

Director of the Center for Constitutional Rights, Michael Ratner, attended yesterday's hearing and emphasized how impressed he was upon witnessing Bradley's testimony:

"Bradley was dignified, articulate, smart and self-aware. After two and a half years it was miraculous to finally hear him describe the horrible cages he was in and the egregious conduct of his jailers. What was done to Bradley was inexcusable. I was deeply moved by his words in a day of testimony that was like an emotional roller coaster. I cannot imagine what he must be feeling, but his incredible sincerity and strength was visible to all. We are lucky to have people with the courage of Bradley Manning."