Feb 27, 2013

A thousand days in jail, and Bradley Manning still waits for trial

The US soldier charged with leaking classified information to WikiLeaks has been caught up in vindictive pretrial punishment, writes freelancer Stella Gray. Now he finally faces trial.

Bradley Manning — the 25-year-old soldier charged with the largest leak of classified information in US military history, hundreds of thousands of files allegedly transmitted to WikiLeaks — has sat through more than a year of hearings since December 2011 and has been imprisoned for even longer. As of February 23, Manning had been in a cell awaiting trial for 1000 days.

This week, a US military court has ruled against a defence motion that argued the case be thrown out due to a lack of a speedy trial. The preceding 1000 days have been a slow-burning bureaucratic saga of evidential obfuscation and vindictive pre-trial punishment, capped by a particular kind of secrecy not even seen in Guantanamo military commissions.

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