President Barack Obama made stunning accusations about accused Wikileaks whistleblower PFC Bradley Manning, directly asserting that Manning “broke the law.” Apparently the President of the United States of America and a self-described Constitutional scholar does not care that Manning has yet to be tried or convicted for any crime.
In a discussion yesterday with Logan Price, a Bradley Manning supporter who was part of a group of activists who sang a song during the President’s San Francisco fundraiser, President Obama flatly stated that Bradley Manning “dumped” documents and that “he broke the law.” A rough transcript follows, provided by UK Friends of Bradley Manning:
OBAMA: So people can have philosophical views [about Bradley Manning] but I can’t conduct diplomacy on an open source [basis]… That’s not how the world works.
And if you’re in the military… And I have to abide by certain rules of classified information. If I were to release material I weren’t allowed to, I’d be breaking the law.
We’re a nation of laws! We don’t let individuals make their own decisions about how the laws operate. He broke the law.
[Q: Didn’t he release evidence of war crimes?]
OBAMA: What he did was he dumped…
[Q: Isn’t that just the same thing as what Daniel Ellsberg did?]
OBAMA: No it wasn’t the same thing. Ellsberg’s material wasn’t classified in the same way.
This is the President of the United States speaking about a US military soldier detained for almost a year on charges of leaking classified (but not top secret, the level of files released by Ellsberg) documents. Manning’s lawyer
is considering considered (corrected: his transfer made the writ moot) filing a writ of habeus corpus for the length of time and totality of abuse suffered by Manning while in military custody.
President Obama has already made up his mind. He thinks Manning “broke the law.” It’s no wonder he considered Manning’s abuse to “meet our basic standards” when he thinks Manning is already guilty.
This is vile.
As a reminder: the Pentagon plans to hold Manning indefinitely. Might as well, since they think he’s guilty already.