Opinion from Firedoglake:
Another pretrial motion hearing occurred in the court martial of Pfc. Bradley Manning at Fort Meade today. During a recess in proceedings, a military legal matter expert opened a yellow envelope and pulled out physical copies of a ruling issued and read in court by the judge.
The handing out of a court record to press was unprecedented in the court martial. The press were collectively surprised to be receiving this document, which was a ruling on a government motion related to whether the government has to prove Manning had “reason to believe” information could cause “injury to the United States or advantage a foreign nation” under the Espionage Act charges.
Later in the day (and, again, much to the press’ surprise), another physical copy of a judge’s ruling was given to members of the press. It was a ruling on the defense’s motion to preclude evidence “the enemy” received information Manning disclosed.
Michael Ratner of the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) reacted, “ The occasional selection of a court filed paper by censors is not what the Constitution, a free press and public trials require.”