Categorized | USA, Human Rights

WikiLeaks and Bradley Manning: Andy Worthington Speaks at a London Event with Chase Madar and Ben Griffin



It’s almost three years since Pfc. Bradley Manning, who had been working as an intelligence analyst in Iraq, was arrested by the US military and imprisoned in Kuwait for allegedly making available — to the campaigning organization WikiLeaks — the largest collection of classified documents ever leaked to the public, including the “Collateral Murder” video, featuring US personnel indiscriminately killing civilians in Iraq, 500,000 army reports (the Afghan War logs and the Iraq War logs), 250,000 US diplomatic cables, and the classified military files relating to the Guantánamo prisoners, which were released in April 2011, and on which I worked as a media partner (see here for the first 34 parts of my 70-part, million-word series analyzing the Guantánamo files).

In July 2010, Manning was transferred to the Marine Corps Brig, Quantico, Virginia, where the conditions of his confinement began to cause international concern. I first wrote about his case in December 2010, when he was being held in solitary confinement, in an article entitled, “Is Bradley Manning Being Held as Some Sort of “Enemy Combatant”?” and I followed his story into 2011, and his transfer to less contentious conditions of confinement in Fort Leavenworth on April 20, just five days before WikiLeaks released the Guantánamo files.

In the last two years, I have largely deferred to other writers, researchers and activists, dedicated to Bradley Manning’s story, to cover developments in his case, particularly relating to a series of pre-trial hearings. His trial begins on June 3 (preceded by an international day of action on June 1), and I’m delighted to have the opportunity to revisit his story this Wednesday, May 8, at an event in London organized by Naomi Colvin and Katia Michaels, at which I am honoured to be sharing a stage with Chase Madar, the author of The Passion of Bradley Manning, and Ben Griffin, a former SAS soldier and conscientious objector.

The details of the event, which is free and open to anyone, are below. Please note that organizer Naomi Colvin has explained that you need to reserve a place on the Facebook page, stating, “Marking yourself as attending on this Facebook event is enough to secure a place — it’s all free but RSVP.”

Wednesday May 8, 2013, 7pm: WikiLeaks: The Bradley Manning Story
Century Club, 61-63 Shaftesbury Avenue, London W1D 6LG
Panel discussion With Chase Madar, Ben Griffin and Andy Worthington.

Chase Madar is a US attorney, and the author of The Passion of Bradley Manning, Ben Griffin is a former SAS soldier, and is now a spokesperson for Veterans for Peace UK, and Andy Worthington is a freelance investigative journalist, the author of The Guantánamo Files, and the co-founder of the “Close Guantánamo” campaign. In April 2011, he was a media partner of WikiLeaks for the release of the classified military files relating to the Guantánamo prisoners.
The panel discussion will be moderated by Jolyon Rubinstein (of (BBC’s “The Revolution Will be Televised”).
Other guests are Vivienne Westwood and Peter Tatchell.
See the Facebook page here.

This is the organizers’ description of the event on the Facebook page:

After more than three years in military confinement, WikiLeaks whistleblower, Private Bradley Manning is finally due to go on trial in June. A criminal to the US military but hero to many, the 25 year old has been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize three years in a row. He now faces court-martial for the largest security breach in US history.

We will discuss the issues raised by this case. Two years on, what have the WikiLeaks disclosures really told us about journalism, diplomacy and warfare? And what are the ramifications of the legal case itself?

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