Skip to content or view screen version

Bradley Manning Hearing: Notes from the Courtroom 11 December

WISE Up | 11.12.2012 16:38 | Anti-militarism | Repression | Terror War | World

Witness evidence in the Bradley Manning Article 13 'unlawful pretrial punishment' motion hearing is now completed after 10 days and the hearing moves on to both sides presenting their closing oral arguments, starting with the defence (Bradley Manning represented by David Coombs). See Tweets below (which will be updated later), this report from Kevin Gosztola and this from Nathan Fuller, both with live updates.

For other court reports from this hearing, see notes from the courtroom: 10 Dec | 7 Dec | 6 Dec | 5 Dec | 1-2 Dec | 30 Nov | 27-29 Nov | Bradley Manning's Testimony.

Sketch by Clark Stoeckley: "The prosecution's case is falling like dominoes"
Sketch by Clark Stoeckley: "The prosecution's case is falling like dominoes"



12 Dec: Defense: Amazing Bradley Manning's spirit wasn't broken while he was confined at Quantico

11 Dec: Bradley Manning's 'unlawful pretrial punishment' hearing – day 11 (with live updates)


11 Dec: Live from Fort Meade - courtroom updates 11 December (with live updates)


12 Dec: The System Broke Down, Manning's Attorney Says

11 Dec: Court-Martial Hearing Ends with Secret Samaritan's Tale

10 Dec: Manning Rep Prods Officer's Spotty Memory


12 Dec: Gov't concedes some abuse of Manning - seeks life minus 7 days

ED PILKINGTON of The Guardian

11 Dec: Bradley Manning: pre-trial hearing ends as case goes to military judge.


Tweets are in roughly chronological order, earliest tweets first. Links provided so you can follow the tweets yourself. I'll mark Alexa's tweets today - AO: Alexa O'Brien @carwinb. Others are marked as follows - NF: Nathan Fuller @nathanLfuller, KG: Kevin Gosztola @kgosztola, JR: Jesselyn Radack @JesselynRadack, AS: Art Superheroes (Clark Stoeckley) @WikileaksTruck, AK: Adam Klasfeld @onearmedmaninc, MM: Mike McKee @ReallyMikeMcKee. See also SB: pfc Bradley Manning @savebradley


AS: Back at Ft. Meade. 12 journalists today.

KG: Closing arguments in Bradley Manning's "unlawful pretrial punishment" hearing will happen today

AK: Published Yesterday: Manning Rep Prods Officer's Spotty Memory

AK: Published Today: Court-Martial Hearing Ends with Secret Samaritan's Tale

AO: Back at Fort Meade. Healthy press pool. Washington Post, AP, AFP, BMSN, FDL, Courthouse News, Clark Stoeckley, and more.

AO: US v PFC MANNING: Today Oral arguments for the Article 13 motion

AS: We will be hearing closing arguments of Bradley Manning's pretrial punishment motion hearing.

AO: US v PFC MANNING: Def has to prove intention or conditions tantamount to torture Govt has to prove preponderance of evidence leg objective.

AO: US v MANNING: Govt sought to compel Manning mental heath records for purposes of Article 13, in Oct Crt granted (were parameters on dates)

AS: .@charlie_savage from @NYtimes is here today covering oral arguments of Bradley Mannings pretrial punishment hearing. Finally!

NF: I'll post news during recesses RT @SaveBradley Live from Ft. Meade: courtroom updates 12/11/12

KG: Bradley Manning's 'unlawful pretrial punishment' hearing, Day 11

AS: They won't let me sit in the jury box unless the courtroom is filled. If we can fill gallery with supporters then I can get great angles.

KG: Here's my appearance on @MattFilipowicz's show talking Bradley Manning's unlawful pretrial punishment hearing

Defence's oral closing arguments

AO: Breaking: Coombs tells Judge Lind he believes Blenis, Fuller, and Jordan perjured themselves on the stand.

AO: Defense finished oral argument. Lunch recess. 45 minutes.

KG: Defense wraps its closing argument. Now on lunch recess

KG: David Coombs: “Being treated like zoo animal for that period of time" had to "weigh heavy on his psyche”

AO: Coombs asks Court to ponder if Manning did not leave on 20 Apr 2011 to Leavenworth what would his custody status be?

AO: Coombs ask, 'Why Maximum Prevention? from 27 Aug 2010 to 20 Apr 2011. Coombs says not about being treated differently.

AO: Coombs, 'No one has testified with a legitimate non punitive reason for MAX POI.'

KG: Addressing statements made by 3 Quantico officers during hearing, Coombs said, "Think each one of those perjured themselves"

AO: Coombs argued that the Brig and the USG had a clear intent, and no legitimate basis for MAX POI after 27 August 2010.

JR: Coombs: "Blenis, Jordan & Fuller perjured themselves." This is an incredibly strong statement to make to a judge. Also, perjury is a crime.

NF: Just posted a quick summary of some of Coombs' points in his closing argument: Government will argue in about 1/2 hour

AO: Coombs cited Averhart's multiple orders; Oltman's statement at 14 Jan 2011 meeting that Manning will stay on MAX POI 'indefinitely'

AO: Coombs also cited Lt. Gen. Flynn's influence.

Coombs cited Averhart's belief that Suicide Risk disputed language 'to be determined' and not when psych say should be removed.

JR: When Coombs said Blenis, Jordan & Fuller perjured themselves, MSM won't have a clue abt what he's referring to b/c they haven't been here.

AO: Coombs discussed with Court that Manning had *less* recreation than someone on disciplinary segregation b/w 27 August to Dec 2011.

JR: Coombs refers 2 govt-delayed discovery N Manning: "1300 emails at 12th hour that paint a picture of what happened."

KG: Coombs called confinement conditions imposed on Bradley Manning "arbitrary." Nothing to support keeping him in MAX/POI

AO: Coombs quoted CWO2 Barnes testimony admitting underwear removal violated SECNAV & her emails re sidestepping SR to get around docs

JR: Coombs: govt put up multiple witnesses abt Manning's 1/18 anxiety attack, but not a single 1 abt underwear removal on 3/2 #B/c Indefensible

KG: Coombs: After Bradley Manning had underwear taken in Mar, clear he did "only sane thing & stopped communicating w/ these people"

AO: Coombs cited highest tanking Marine Corp corrections officer Galaviz testimony clothing removal must be in conformity w/ Suicide Risk.

AO: Barnes admitted on stand that she cited a rule under SR saying it gave her authority but she was mistaken, & staff informed her Mar 2011

SB: Coombs: the most amazing thing about this is that given his conditions, Bradley Manning didn’t totally break down: Live updates here

AO: Coombs spoke at length with the Court about the influence of Lt. Gen George Flynn, a three star general, on keeping Manning at MAX POI.

AO: Coombs spoke about how MCB Quantico Commander Choike was following Gen Flynn orders that Gen himself considered Manning a Suicide Risk.

AO: Coombs spoke about directive for weekly reports being forwarded up from brig to Lt. Gen Flynn and beyond from early in Aug 2010.

NF: If Quantico thought other detainees might harm B. Manning, they could've put him on protective custody & not abused him

AO: Coombs emphasized emails from Major General Arri & Lt Gen George Flynn were passed around to even lower ranking Brig personnel.

JR: Coombs:"C&A Bd=complete sham" N both composition & function. Rigged, cosmetic & fatally flawed 2 give appearance of legitimacy re: Manning

AO: Coombs says Flynn's influence from Aug 2010 but by March 2011 email jig is up why else would Oltman request directive 'in writing.'

AO: In the same email stream, Oltman is told that 'we are not gonna get concurrence from the Lt. Gen. in writing'.

KG: Coombs argued system fed off itself—"At best incestual relationship w/ everybody." Amazing how everyone knew each other

AO: Court asks Coombs if the Flynn had the authority to keep #Manning in MAX POI; Coombs says no its Brig Commander and should not be ARBITRARY.

AO: Coombs makes distinction b/w MAX & POI, and says, perhaps Security Battalion commander may order MAX, but in this case later argued (con't)

AO: POI status drove MAX.

AO: About to go back. Just want to say, Coombs masterfully took down prosecution's own involvement and coverup in Manning mistreatment.

KG: Closing arguments. Defense has burden to produce evidence. They go then prosecution has burden to prove no punishment. They're next.

JR: Coombs seamlessly wove togthr 10 days&some of most confusing testilying I've ever heard N2 coherent, powrfl close (w/ PowerPt & flow charts)

NF: Government about to argue: Live updates here

KG: Coming back from recess. Govt to give closing argument soon.

Prosecution's oral closing arguments

AO: The Govt begins is complete character assassination.

AO: Major Fein, military prosecutor for the United States argues Manning had 'five minutes of privacy' b/w POI (while being observed fr booth)

MM: After bumbling like chewing-gum's stuck to their case history homework, Prosecution preps to launch attack on Manning's character

AO: Major Fein totally fucked up his argument joining possibility of MDI to POI, I predict that will come back to bite him in the ass.

AS: David Coombs gives oral argument concerning Bradley Manning's pretrial punishment before Col. Denise Lind Pic here.

AO: In time w more press headlines, Fein brings up uncharged misconduct & irrelevant pre deployment records to bolster argument re Article 13

KG: Fein: "In 5 min [between POI checks], that’s 5 min of potential privacy an individual gets where otherwise an individual wouldn’t"

AS: Currently Ashden Fein is presenting the prosecution's oral arguments in Bradley Manning's pretrial punishment hearing. Pic here.

AO: US argues Manning is flight risk, MAX determ related him being 'flight risk' that is not overt act, tied to charges & potential sentence

AO: USG argues that there is no limited on Brig Commander authority to remove clothing as security concern.

NF: Ugh. While arguing brig looked out for Manning, gov says he was "not like others," different, brig didnt understand him Live updates.

AO: USG asserts C&A board was independent. Also argues the testimony re his counselor should not have been voting member of board

AO: Fein actually says Manning counselor's influence on the board shows the boards merits.

AO: (A counselor who was lying to Manning saying docs kept him on POI, when himself was.)

AO: Fein does not mention that Manning was told he had to put he was suicidal down on Quantico Brig intake form per guards at indoc.

AO: Fein says MAX POI, b/c Manning 'not like others, not behaving like other' Back in.

MM: Govt admits egregious conditions tantamount to punishment, deserving reduction in sentence, but FAR from owning up in full

JR: More short Fein: Discretion, discretion, discretion. Quantico had discretion 2 do whatever the f*ck it wanted 2 Manning--all 4 his own good

GUEST TWEET FROM @Thomas_Drake1: Gov't did same N my case: withheld critical evidence until way late, retained exculpatory evidence, or claimed was destroyed

AO: Major Fein even made sure to mention that Manning knew date of last HIV test on brig intake form.

NF: The judge says she needs lots of times for testimony to be transcribed before she can review it to make a ruling.

AS: Fein said Manning's detainment at Leavenworth was not admissible to Article 13 yet he brought up Bradley's fisticuff with a bully there.

NF: So the U.S. government argues that Bradley Manning should be sentenced to the rest of his life in prison...minus seven days.

KG: Unlawful pretrial punishment hearing for Bradley Manning is done. Left for @AJListeningPost interview. Going to update blog now.

JR: 7 days credit 4 Manning is b/c there R 7 days he spent on "Suicide Risk" when he shoulda been moved 2 "Prevention of Injury" status faster

JR: "7 day credit" 4 Manning torture is obnoxious. Would B less insulting 4 govt 2 concede nothing & let judge decide.

JR: Props 2 @NPR 4 covering @SaveBradley Manning torture hrg within 1 hr of hrg end. Heard On way home.

KG: Judge Lind to USG: "How does [Bradley Manning] know he has to explain odd behaviors if he’s not asked?"


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:


Hide the following comment