David Coombs, defense attorney in the WikiLeaks-related case, US. v. Bradley Manning, gave his first public presentation to an audience of over a hundred people at All Souls Church in Washington DC, on December 4, 2012. Additional speakers included Emma Cape and Kevin Zeese of the Bradley Manning Support Network, Michael Ratner of the Center for Constitutional Rights, Jesselyn Radack of the Government Accountability Project, and Marsha Coleman-Adebayo of the National Whistleblower Center. Mr. Coombs specifically noted the ongoing support of Courage to Resist in his efforts to defend Bradley.
Why, what it means (and doesn't), and what next
By Jeff Paterson, Courage to Resist. November 19, 2012. Published at Allvoices.com
Army Private Bradley Manning recently informed the military court that he was, in fact, the source of information published by WikiLeaks. While the 24 year old Intelligence Analyst, effectively, took responsibility for transferring classified documents, in violation of military regulations, he maintained that he was not guilty of all 22 charges against him.
“PFC Manning has offered to plead guilty to various offenses through a process known as "pleading by exceptions and substitutions," explained Manning civilian defense attorney David Coombs on his blog. Manning is “attempting to accept responsibility for offenses that are encapsulated within, or are a subset of, the charged offenses…. PFC Manning is not pleading guilty to the specifications as charged by the government,” added Coombs. Nor is he “submitting a plea as part of an agreement or deal with the government.”
"Pleading by exceptions and substitutions" is very rare--so rare that most observers of the proceedings were thoroughly confused. Some media outlets incorrectly reported that Manning was “seeking a deal”, “pleading guilty”, or trying to nullify a life sentence--or even the death penalty. It’s important to clarify that no deal is being sought, Manning no longer faces the death penalty, and his plea doesn’t prohibit the maximum sentence of life in prison. Manning’s plea confused many, simply because the truth isn’t usually offered up in such proceedings without something in return. But that is what happened.
By Courage to Resist. November 12, 2012
We're proud to share our December 2012 print newsletter (PDF). This triannual newsletter features updates on the campaign to save WikiLeaks whistle-blower Army PFC Bradley Manning, the dire situation of the Rivera Family with Kimberly facing years in prison, the long journey of Skyler James, AWOL objector Micah Turner's travels, and "In memory of Joshua Casteel".
Last week we mailed thousands of copies to friends and supporters around the world, but you can also view, print, and share it here. We publish our newsletter every four months so folks have a quick overview of our recent on ongoing work. It's the next best thing to regularly checking in with us via our website and/or our Facebook page.
Mario Rivera interviewed by Bob Meola, Courage to Resist. October 27, 2012
Mario Rivera is the husband of Kimberly Rivera, the U.S. Army War Resister, who was deported from Canada on September 20th. He is also the father of their four children. Recently, he shared with us his family’s very dire and challenging situation as Kimberly awaits a likely military court martial. Below is their story, in his words.
Please consider a tax-deductible contribution to the Rivera Family Support Fund:
Please write a letter of support for Kimberly
Kimberly left Toronto and voluntarily crossed the border into New York and was handcuffed at the border when she told them who she was. She was turned over by border officials to Fort Drum personnel. Fort Drum held her for one day and then they stuck her in the county jail for four days. Then Fort Carson came and got her. I heard from her when she was approaching the border and was going to turn herself in the next morning. Then I didn’t hear from her for about 48 hours, until she was in county jail, and she told me what happened.
By Bob Meola, Courage to Resist. October 12, 2012
I had the honor of interviewing my new hero, Army Sgt. Micah Turner, the other day. Micah has been busy speaking truth to power, wherever he can, since he went AWOL from the army last month. Here is what he told me:
“The reason I joined the army was because I was 19 and I was a wild-land firefighter and I fell in love with the camaraderie, working to achieve a common goal. I wanted to serve my country in the best way I could after 9-11. I believed that we were attacked and I wanted to defend my home.
Courage to Resist. October 9, 2012
US Army Sgt Micah Turner, a 24-year-old veterans of both the Afghanistan and Iraq wars, spoke out against the wars Sunday evening at a Veterans for Peace vigil in New York City.
You can follow Michah on Twitter here
On the 11th anniversary of the Afghanistan War, veterans deploy to Fort Lewis with message of hope
Courage to Resist (via March Forward). October 10, 2012
Iraq, Afghanistan and Vietnam veterans with the “Our Lives Our Rights” campaign are reaching out to soldiers this week near Fort Lewis, Washington. Soldiers there with the 4th Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division, are scheduled to deploy to Afghanistan later this month. Soldiers will receive information about Conscientious Objection and other legal avenues to avert deployment--“You don’t have to go to Afghanistan,” is the message. Activists with March Forward! and Veterans For Peace are carrying out this week of action.
By Bob Meola, Courage to Resist. October 10, 1012
In 2006, Brad McCall joined the Regular Army Infantry. For the back-story on why he joined the Army and what led him to making his decision to go to Canada, his 2007 interview with Courage to Resist can be heard here. He is also featured in our book "About Face, Military Resisters Turn Against War."
Earlier this year, Brad returned to the U.S. from seeking refuge in Canada and was subsequently discharged from the army. Here is Brad’s updated story in our recent interview with him:
Bradley Manning’s lawyer, David Coombs, has filed a 117-page motion calling for the dismissal of all charges with prejudice, for lack of a speedy trial. When he argues the motion at Ft. Meade, October 29 – November 2, Bradley will have been in pretrial confinement for nearly 900 days.
By Nathan Fuller, Bradley Manning Support Network. September 29, 2012.
It’s appropriate that David Coombs’ longest motion
of this trial yet, which argues for dismissal of all charges, details PFC Bradley Manning’s extraordinarily and illegally long pretrial confinement. The prosecution’s repeated and unjustifiable delays point “unmistakably to the conclusion that PFC Manning’s statutory and constitutional speedy trial rights have been trampled upon with impunity.”
By Bob Meola, Courage to Resist. September 28, 2012
"Courage to Resist helped me in many ways...and just altogether being excellent. Thanks from the bottom of my heart for everything!"
I recently interviewed Army War Resister, Skyler James. Skyler joined the army in October, 2006. Her experience in the army facing harassment and a death threat for being an open lesbian and hearing soldiers brag about the inhuman and criminal things they did in Iraq and then being told she would be deployed to Afghanistan, even though she should have been discharged for being gay, until the time she went AWOL in October, 2007, about a year after joining it and her experience living in Canada seeking refugee status and hoping not to be deported, can be read at Skyler James resists war, anti-gay harassment and in our recent book, About Face, Military Resisters Turn Against War. That story left off in August of 2008. This is an update on War Resister, Skyler James in her own words.
By Courage to Resist. September 20, 2012
US war resister Kimberly Rivera was deported this morning from Canada and is currently under arrest by the US military. She is expected to face prosecution--and up to five years in a US military brig--at Fort Carson, Colorado. Courage to Resist is in contact with Kimberly's US-based civilian attorney. We're committed to assisting the Rivera family in any way possible. We'll be posting additional information soon.
Courage to Resist staged a vigil at the San Francisco Canadian consulate September 18, 2012 (photo above) in a last-ditch effort to convince Canada to do the right thing.
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