Bill of Rights Defender Shahid Buttar Knocks Supreme Court for Wiretap Ruling, and Obama’s Kill Memo; Reporter Kevin Gosztola Details Dramatic Bradley Manning Statement

by Peter B. Collins on March 1, 2013

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Shahid Buttar of BORDC returns with informed criticism of the Supreme Court and the Obama administration, and praise for San Francisco’s resolution against NDAA;  Kevin Gosztola of FireDogLake is covering the Manning court martial and has many important observations.Buttar is an attorney and Executive Director of the Bill of Rights Defense Committee, and has sharp criticism of the 5-4 ruling by the Supreme Court in Clapper v. Amnesty International, which overturned the lower court based on this brilliant logic:  the widely known wiretapping program is “secret”, so no one can prove they were wiretapped, thus no one can challenge the constitutionality of the FISA law.

Buttar also comments on the unconstitutional detention language in the 2012 NDAA and the recently-leaked memo regarding targeted killings ordered by the president, which broadens the definition of  “imminent threat” to include almost any allegation related to terrorism.

And he reports that the San Francsico Board of Supervisors unanimously passed a resolution this week opposing the NDAA detention provisions, the 18th local body to do so.  At the close, he offers his views of the Bradley Manning case.

At 50:40, we connect with Kevin Gosztola, one of a handful of reporters covering all of the court martial proceedings against Manning.  He gives us a first-person account of Manning’s statement delivered on February 28, in which he plead guilty to 10 counts, while asserting that he is not guilty of the more serious charges under the Espionage Act.  Manning also gave a detailed explanation of his motivation–how he read many confidential reports, some regarding criminal behavior–that convinced him that the American people deserved to know the real story.  Gosztola notes that Manning first tried to give his material to the Washington Post and NY Times, but he was not taken seriously. Manning did not have access to materials at the “Top Secret” and higher levels, and made clear to the court that he did not release any information that would compromise safety or operations.

Gosztola also provides details on the prosecution’s intention to call as a witness an unidentified member of Seal Team 6 to testify that Wikileaks info was found on bin Laden’s computers, with ground rules that are quite unfair to Manning.

 

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