New Statement from David Coombs and New Book from Clark Stoeckley
BUCHANAN CLEMENCY APPEAL FILED
David Coombs reports that the Clemency appeal to Maj Gen Buchanan is now completed and filed, and with it over 6000 letters in support and the Amnesty International petition with 38,605 signatures. More information about this and the appellate process going forward in this previous update post.
More on actions you can still take in support of appeals here.
DAVID COOMBS REPRESENTATION OF CHELSEA AND HIS CONCLUSIONS
David Coombs has been Chelsea’s defence lawyer since July 2010, when he was soon contradicting as nonsense the information given out at specious White House briefings which stated that she was ‘being treated just the same as anyone else’, and reporting on the abusive, illegal and discriminatory treatment she was receiving.
He has represented her throughout the legal process so far – from her Article 32 pretrial hearing – 16th Dec 2011, through her arraignment – 23rd Feb 2012, all the motions hearings in 2012 and 2013, and then finally the trial which began on 3rd June 2013, followed by the sentencing hearing, which ended with Chelsea being handed down a 35 year sentence.
The following statement, just released, summarises why he believes that Chelsea received neither a ‘fair trial’ nor a ‘just result’.
David Coombs speaks of the
government-wide crackdown on whistleblowers and the extension of this to journalists,
threatens to stifle the very freedoms we have fought so hard to ensure
and touches on the irony of how people such as Bob Woodward (Watergate reporter) is feted and fed leaks by the unidentified ‘sources’ within the administration itself, while modern day whistleblowers, and even the journalists using them as sources, are relentlessly pursued and viewed as ‘aiding the enemy’.
Chelsea was, of course, herself charged with this, but even the hardline court of Judge Lind was unable to convict her of the charge through a complete absence of any evidence that this was the case. As Amnesty Intl said here and here:
the government’s case for ‘aiding the enemy’ is ludicrous
the government’s pursuit of the ‘aiding the enemy’ charge was a serious overreach of the law, not least because there was no credible evidence of Manning’s intent to harm the USA by releasing classified information to Wikileaks
David Coombs covers the harshness of the response to Chelsea’s leaks given the general low sensitivity of the material, and the ‘inflammatory’ statements made by officials (including Obama, of course) before she even entered a courtroom, and how this ‘hysterical response’ influenced both the process and the Judge.
He asserts that
the emotional and often hyperbolic rhetoric infected the military justice process
Read it all below, at the end of the post.
A GRAPHIC ACCOUNT FROM INSIDE THE COURTROOM
The graphic image you see above is part of the work Clark Stoeckley (of WikiLeaksTruck Art Superheroes fame) produced to document this historic Court Martial, and you can now buy the resulting book here.
It is available as an ebook in colour or as a paperback in black and white, which comes with a preface by Julian Assange. It is put together as a comic book with speech bubbles and manages to record a surprising amount of what was said in court in a very digestible format.
Reading the historic ‘statement’ of 28th Feb 2013, by Clark Stoeckley
As an overview of the trial it’s very valuable indeed, and would also be a great introduction to what happened in court for anyone who wasn’t able to follow at the time and hasn’t grasped any of it since (which will be most people, probably, even if they are supporters, given that it was made incredibly complicated and inaccessible). And even for those more familiar with what went down there, this is a timely reminder, and a poignant one.
The drawings are wonderfully expressive, and the whole project, which was also contributed to by Somerset Bean , is, as Julian says in the preface:
a precious window into that court room and that serious historic event…
The drawings are expressive* and haunting. The court transcripts come alive on the page. They bear powerful witness to the trial of America’s foremost political prisoner.
[*NOTE: I only read that after I wrote it myself, so if we both think they’re ‘expressive’, it must be true, huh?]
Buy it here!
‘Collateral Murder’ (http://collateralmurder.com) by Clark Stoeckley
AND FOR A COMPREHENSIVE RECORD GO TO…
The comprehensive and phenomenal record of the entire Court Martial process, complete with searchable document database and her own transcripts of each and every pretrial hearing (the actual trial – 3rd June to 21st Aug – transcripts from Freedom of the Press are here) compiled by the indispensible Alexa O’Brien, is, of course, on her website.
Without this record, Clark’s book and the reports of Nathan Fuller, Kevin Gosztola, and Adam Klasfield, we would know almost nothing, for the official court transcripts remain secret to this day, and the process itself was shrouded in a reprehensible fog of classification which hugely obstructed public access.
THE STATEMENT FROM DAVID COOMBS
Scroll back up for full post!