Bradley Manning Support Network
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: December 4, 2012
Contact: Nathan Fuller, (516) 578-2628
Bradley Manning's attorney gives public speech about Wikileaks case
Last night, David Coombs, defense attorney in the WikiLeaks case, US. v. Bradley Manning, gave his first public presentation to an audience of over 100 at All Souls Church in Washington DC. In addition to being defense attorney in one of the most controversial and important ongoing cases today, Coombs was described as being a Lieutenant Colonel in the Army Reserves having done 12 years of active duty, with 15 years experience practicing and teaching law. 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 spoke on topics including Bradley's mistreatment at Quantico and Bradley's personality and future dreams, as well as Mr. Coombs own opinion of the military, and how having supporters worldwide inspired him and gave him hope. Bradley Manning spent the first nine months of his pretrial incarceration in a 6x8 ft cell in solitary conditions described as "degrading and inhuman" by the UN Chief Rapporteur on Torture Juan Mendez. Regarding Coombs' lengthy ongoing motion to have Bradley's charges dismissed due to 'unlawful pretrial punishment,' he explained, "I’m enjoying my opportunity to cross-examine those who had Bradley Manning in those conditions for nine months"
The audience was particularly excited to hear Coombs talk about Bradley as a person. Coombs said that Brad is one of the smartest young men he'd ever met, who does things from the heart, and relayed a conversation he had about Bradley's future goals: "And he told me that his dream would be to go to college, go into public service, and perhaps one day, run for public office. And I asked Brad, why would he want to do that? And he said, 'I want to make a difference. I want to make a difference in this world.'"
While Coombs acknowledged he has been intimidated facing off against a government prosecution with "unlimited resources and personnel," he relayed that actions by supporters gave him hope. He also acknowledged the political significance of his case, "It is by far the most important military case, but it's a case that is significant for all of us," says Coombs. "We live in a country that is built on freedom of speech. We live in a country that is built on government accountability and informed citizens." He said that Bradley is "excited" his case is finally going forward.
Michael Ratner, President Emeritus of the Center for Constitutional Rights, has launched a lawsuit against the US military demanding Bradley Manning's court documents be made public. He is available for interviews.
You can watch the first hour of the presentation on CSPAN's website: