Live from the Bradley Manning Trial with Alexa O'Brien

“This was the largest criminal investigation ever into a publisher and its source,” says independent journalist Alexa O’Brien of the U.S. investigation of Private Bradley Manning, who is accused of leaking classified document to Wikileaks. “And it seemed like there was no in-depth coverage.”

Reason's Matthew Feeney attended the Bradley Manning trial in Fort Meade, Maryland to discuss the case with O'Brien, whose website is the most complete public record of the military proceedings against Manning. Since the case's pre-trial hearing, no one has worked more successfully than O’Brien to shine a light on military process that's taking place far beyond civilian courtrooms.

To date, no official transcripts of the proceedings have been made available to the public. The trial has no website, no phone number to call for information. With the exception of one leaked recording of Manning’s testimony (part of which is included in Reason's video), all recordings of the courtroom have been forbidden. Although the public has been invited to observe the trial in person, large portions of it are conducted in closed sessions.

O’Brien’s response to the media blackout has been to cover the trial extensively and to invite other journalists to use her work as source material. She has become the unofficial court stenographer, unredacting documents, making trial materials available to the public, building a database of the U.S. investigation of Wikileaks, and providing her own analysis of the Manning trial.

O'Brien makes no secret of her support for Bradley Manning and for political causes such as the Occupy movement.

Put differently, the convictions that underlie her reporting are transparent and open to public scrutiny.

Which is more than can be said for the trial of Bradley Manning.

Runs about 4:30 minutes.

Produced by Todd Krainin.

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  • Warrren||

    Ant-State criminal is Guilty!

  • Warrren||

  • Warrren||

    Shit, that should be anti-state.

  • Live Free or Diet||

    I's oay, sipping kys appens

  • Paul.||

    Good video. I thought that the last part of the video was a good perspective: 1863 was the last time someone was found guilty of 'aiding the enemy' and they were sentenced to 3 months hard labor, not life in prison.

  • Gordilocks||

    George Zimmerman is going to walk after instigating an encounter which lead him to killing someone, and this guy is going to die in jail for helping expose what a murderous organization the US Federal Government is. Hell of a time for trials.

  • The Immaculate Trouser||

    So you think Zimmerman should be in a cage based on...?

    Manning signed a contract, and broke it for no good reason. I have nno sympathy.

  • Gordilocks||

    I said nothing about the fate of Mr Zimmerman; pointing out that Z actually killed someone (wether in self defense or not) under dubious circumstances will most likely walk free, while M, who helped to subvert the state whom we all loathe, will die in prison, is not to insinuate that Z should be in jail. It's simply a juxtaposition.

    If Manning breaking contract serves to expose the crimes of The State, then I say, bring on more contract breakers. How many contracts have the state upheld? Constitution, anyone?

  • The Immaculate Trouser||

    Name one crime that Manning's files exposed.

  • Gordilocks||

    Mass murder, mass human rights violations, deal breaking, war crimes, and skullduggery of the usual variety.

    Feel free to browse through the cables Wikileaks unleashed for the world to see, you will find plenty.

    One would have thought the uninstigated shooting witnessed in The Apache Video would have been enough, unless, of course, you have a warboner and care not a whiff for brown people walking around Baghdad.

  • The Immaculate Trouser||

    Good grief, are you kidding me. Other reason commenters and myself have outlined the problems with treating the Apache vid as a evidence of a war crime enough that I won't do so again; I will point out that the defense itself is not claiming that anything in the video is a war crime and is not building a case on those auspices.

  • The Immaculate Trouser||

    And don't make this about "brown people". I am a brown person. A war crime is offensive if it is perpetrated against a white, yellow, brown, or black person. The My Lai Massacre was a war crime. This was not.

    Your problem is that you have no understanding of current process, the legal definition of a war crime, ROE, or what any of those things *should* be and have no interest in them at all. Understanding those things would get in the way of a petulant whine against the government, after all.

  • Gordilocks||

    I'd rather petulantly whine about a state that is guilty of mass murder, amongst many other crimes perpetrated against other people, and it's own citizens, than get caught in semantic legalese wrangling over what to the average person is a clear cut case of war crimes.

    There is much else which Wikileaks has exposed; some of it old news, some of it not; some of it shows The US and other governments flagrant disregard for rule of law or any respect for individuals, some of it doesn't.

    Feel free to defend the indefensible; I'm not interested.

  • The Immaculate Trouser||

    No understanding or desire for such whatsoever. This is the libertarian equivalent of feminists who screech about "rape culture" when accused rapists are given the benefit of the doubt just as any other suspected criminal ("legalese", in other words).

  • RightNut||

    Except that Manning almost undoubtedly got people killed by his document dumping, not leaking, dumping.

    That is the crucial difference between Snowden and Manning, and why one has my sympathy and the other does not.

  • The Immaculate Trouser||

    Ding ding... winner.

  • RightNut||

    What do I win?

  • Gordilocks||

    This is so much utter bullshit.

    'almost undoubtedly got people killed'

    Huh. There is less evidence for this than what is available to convict George Zimmerman.

  • RightNut||

    There is less evidence for this than what is available to convict George Zimmerman.

    oh really?

  • Gordilocks||

    Ah yes, an article that said the same thing you did, with no evidence whatsoever of the charges.

    I thought you guys were good at this?

  • RightNut||

    Its from THE GUARDIAN, you know, one of the papers that published the cables? If they were willing to spurn wikileaks for not redacting the cables after working with them before then that tells me that they must think its a big deal. Perhaps they don't want blood on their hands?

    Critical thinking! Try it!

  • Gordilocks||

    I'm not criticizing The Guardian - I'm criticizing the fact that there is nothing of substance in that article.
    The article makes the same claim you do, but shows no evidence for it.

    The publishing of unredacted items is one thing - actually providing evidence of harm from same is another, and thus far, no one has ever been able to prove that.

    Claims without evidence can be dismissed without evidence.

  • RightNut||

    Or you could do maybe 5 minutes of googling instead of sticking your head up your ass.


    The two generals got off only because Mugabe is a paranoid fuck who thinks wikileaks is some sort of plan to use reverse psychology.


    Assange has himself said he doesn't care what happens to those named in the cables, which should tell you everything you need to know about him.

  • Gordilocks||

    1) I'll set aside the fact that Mugabe is a nut and a tyrant, and that anyone who works for him is pretty much guilty by association, and leave this here.

    2) I'm sure that the journalist who fled Ethiopia is alive and well, wherever he is, that is not Ethiopia.

    3 people who, granted, have had their lives seriously inconvenienced, but are still alive and well, does not equivocate to you or IT's claims that the leaks have resulted in death.

    Keep up the Team Red warboners.

    No one killed yet.

  • RightNut||

    Yup, I'm totally a warmonger cuz I can tell the difference between Manning and Snowden.

    You really think the people who are known for beheading people for dancing are have let informants go happily on their way?

    I'm sure we'll learn more as time goes on, and then we'll see how much blood Manning has on his hands.

  • The Immaculate Trouser||

    Ironically, it's probably still the case that the status of our informants is still kept classified to not discourage future informants from cooperating with the USG.

    At any rate, I'm still waiting for proof of criminality exposed by Manning...

  • Gordilocks||

  • NotAnotherSkippy||

    I have no more sympathy for Snowden. I appreciate what he revealed about the NSA spying on US citizens but now he's just being petty and trying to embarrass and injure us (little us). Deep Throat did a service to the country and maintained his anonymity. Snowden is just an immature kid getting his moment in the sun. The revelations are secondary.

  • Calidissident||

    Yeah I'm sure he's really enjoying running for his life from the most powerful government in the history of the world

  • NotAnotherSkippy||

    He likely could have accomplished his goal and kept living the good life. Whistleblowing on the NSA violating its charter is noble. Leaking legitimate, i.e. foreign, activities of the NSA to burnish his cred is not. He wanted the glory, and he's getting the heartburn that comes with it. He has a right to be a self-righteous moron, but I have no sympathy for either of those traits.

  • wwhorton||

    That's where my sympathy for Snowden ended. It's a problem when an intelligence agency that's meant to conduct surveillance against foreign targets does so against domestic targets, especially with virtually no oversight. That's worthy of whistleblowing. But when it just does what it's supposed to do, i.e. spy on other countries, then we're talking about something else entirely. If you don't like our IC spying on other countries, then there are regular political channels to alter the policy, eg. voting, protesting, etc.

  • Calidissident||

    The US government signed a contract and has broken it repeatedly for no good reason. I have no sympathy for them either.

    Not that I really care about the Manning situation too much either way, other than I hope he gets a fair trial. I'm glad he wasn't permanently detained without trial in Guantanamo or something like that

  • Gordilocks||

    Manning might not stay so skinny with the forced feeding program at Gitmo.

  • sarcasmic||

    Zimmerman is a dead man. If he's convicted he will be killed in prison, and if he's acquitted he'll be killed on the street. Either way some nigga gonna kill that creepy-ass cracker. Kill him dead.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    So in the old Soviet Union, a guy ran around Moscow screaming, "Brezhnev is an idiot!"

    He was sentenced to 10 years' hard labor for revealing state secrets.

  • ||

  • Paul.||

    It's not illegal if the president does it.

  • ||

    Tthere is a banana republic mentality becoming more and more prevalent in the ranks of the fed gov.

  • SweatingGin||

    Just because the don't want to obey their own law...

  • SweatingGin||

    I'm pleasantly surprised. I had to go way down the comments there to get to this gem.

    6 hours ago ( 1:17 PM)
    The break-in reported by a FOX affiliate, how convenient. If you have made accusations that may prove groundless, the simplest way to get off the hook is to have your evidence "stolen". It is also a good way to get the FOX/GOP base even more paranoid about the administration.

    I don't think it was sarcasm, but I didn't really check his history or anything. A few others obviously were.

  • ||

    Poorly educated people of moderately low intelligence caught in front of a camera experience brainfreeze.

  • johnl||

    Oceanside pier.

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