A short film by Laura Poitras
They have also published a short film put together by Laura Poitras which is a collection of highlights from Manning’s speech.
Various different media outlets have released unofficial transcripts of Manning’s statement over the last few days, however this is the first time the world has been given the opportunity to hear Manning’s voice.
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Manning’s trial is shrouded in secrecy and while reporters are allowed in the court room, no audio or visual recordings were permitted by the judge. Transcripts of proceedings and prosecution motions have also remained behind closed doors as have the lengthy court orders read on the stand by the judge.
Supporting aggressive journalism that seeks to bring about an end to government secrecy is one of the FPF’s main missions. Regarding Manning’s leaked statement, they said;
“When we received this recording, we realized we had a unique opportunity to bring some small measure of transparency directly by allowing the world to hear for itself the voice of someone who took a controversial and important stance for government transparency.” Despite the fact that the FPF are not equipped to receive leaked information, they said that they were “proud” to publish Manning’s statement because it “so clearly matches our mission of supporting transparency journalism.”
They argue that the secrecy surrounding Manning’s trial is an “anathema to democracy” and said that this type of “closed-doors” legal process stands in the way of the public’s right to know what is going on in the courtrooms and carried out in their names.
Manning has pleaded guilty to 10 of the 22 charges filed against him and could face up to 20 years in prison for his actions. In this statement he describes in his own words why he felt compelled to pass on the Apache helicopter video, Afghanistan and Iraq Wars Logs and diplomatic cables to WikiLeaks because he felt a moral obligation. He said that he hoped that the release of this controversial and damning information would “spark a domestic debate on the role of the military and our foreign policy in general as it related to Iraq and Afghanistan.”
Manning has pled not guilty to the more serious charges levied against him including “aiding the enemy”.
Those who want to find out more about Manning’s case can visit the Bradley Manning Support Network and those interested in supporting the fight for aggressive journalism and government accountability can donate to the cause on the FPF homepage.