Veteran peace activist Gerry Condon writes at the Shannonwatch web site:
After 18 months in prison, Bradley Manning, the young American soldier accused of leaking thousands of classified documents to Wikileaks, will finally have his day in court. Next Friday, Dec. 16, Private First Class Manning will appear before a military judge for a pre-trial hearing at Fort Meade, Maryland, not far from Washington, DC. The “Article 32” hearing, expected to last 4 or 5 days, will determine whether there is enough evidence against Manning to go ahead with a military court martial. Prosecution and defense lawyers will reveal their respective strategies for the first time.
Read more at Shannonwatch
Two weeks ago, I and 63 colleagues in the European Parliament sent an open letter to the US Administration questioning why Mr Manning has been held for so long without a trial, and why the US administration has refused to let the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture meet with Mr Manning in private, as the UN has demanded.
Regardless of whether Mr Manning did in fact leak the documents to Wikileaks or not, the US Army treatment of him has been a disgrace. It is not a crime to expose war crimes. And in a country that respects the rule of law, nobody should be kept in prison for 18 months without a trial.