IF THEY WERE JOURNALISTS, IT WOULD BE UNETHICAL.
BUT THERE'S NO LAW AGAINST A GROUP OF WHORES MEETING WITH THEIR PIMP AND DOING WHAT HE TELLS THEM.
WHICH IS HOW RACHEL MADDOW, AL SHARPTON, ARIANNA HUFFINGTON, FATTY ED SCHULTZ AND LARRY O'DONNELL ENDED UP MEETING AT THE WHITE HOUSE WITH CELEBRITY IN CHIEF BARRY O YESTERDAY -- AN OFF THE RECORD MEETING TO LEARN HOW TO SELL BARRY O'S TALKING POINTS TO THE MASSES.
REMEMBER WHEN THOSE OF US ON THE LEFT WERE OUTRAGED BY BULLY BOY BUSH DOING THIS KIND OF CRAP?
FROM THE TCI WIRE:
Yesterday evening there was a Bradley Manning Support Network's DC event or, as it turned out, No Gold Star Left Behind. Everyone gets a prize just for participating. Before we get to that, Monday April 5, 2010, WikiLeaks released US military video of a July 12, 2007 assault in Iraq. 12 people were killed in the assault including two Reuters journalists Namie Noor-Eldeen and Saeed Chmagh. Monday June 7, 2010, the US military announced that they had arrested Bradley Manning and he stood accused of being the leaker of the video. Leila Fadel (Washington Post) reported in August 2010 that Manning had been charged -- "two charges under the Uniform Code of Military Justice. The first encompasses four counts of violating Army regulations by transferring classified information to his personal computer between November and May and adding unauthorized software to a classified computer system. The second comprises eight counts of violating federal laws governing the handling of classified information." In March, 2011, David S. Cloud (Los Angeles Times) reported that the military has added 22 additional counts to the charges including one that could be seen as "aiding the enemy" which could result in the death penalty if convicted. The Article 32 hearing took place in December. At the start of this year, there was an Article 32 hearing and, February 3rd, it was announced that the government would be moving forward with a court-martial. Bradley has yet to enter a plea and has neither affirmed that he is the leaker nor denied it. The court-martial was supposed to begin before the election but it was postponed until after the election so that Barack wouldn't have to run on a record of his actual actions.
Some notes. I attended with a National Lawyers Guild friend. I'm sure we weren't the only ones rolling our eyes as various 'political prisoners' got name checked and Lynne Stewart was ignored. We didn't attend expecting to hear Lynne's name but when you've got time to name check others, you've got time for Lynne. Lynne's always had time for everyone else and, yes, you owe Lynne Stewart. You might also have included her on the 'great attorneys' of the past list -- but, of course, no women made that list either.
There was time to thank reporters, time to mention them by name, time to applaud them, time to weigh in on Subway and working lunches. As that speech was finally winding down, my friend pointed out, "Now we know why they can't make a credible argument for Assange." Indeed. Does no one organize before speaking to an audience? You're not there to tell the history of time. You choose a few key points. You make those points, you're done. It appears presentation has confused with filibuster.
At last came David Coombs, Bradley Manning's attorney, and I wrongly thought (yet again), "Okay, get ready to take notes." Wrong. Key moment from the speech?
Probably when Coombs was climbing the cross to praise himself -- the first time. Now attorneys tend to have oversized egos, that's not surprising. But what was surprising was hearing someone self-aggrandize to a packed room about how great they were because they turn down all interview requests. ("I also avoid any interviews with the media.") That's not great at all.
You're in a media war, David Coombs, you need to be taking every interview request and then some. Your failure to do so goes a long, long way towards explaining how Bradley has disappeared from the radar so often.
The failure to grasp that this was a press event and not an ABA convention further hurt Bradley. Going on about how the pre-trial motions blah blah blah, Coombs suddenly declares, "I'm enjoying my opportunity to cross-examine those who had Bradley Manning in those conditions for so many months." And like dutiful idiots, many of those applauded that crap.
Well, hey, then, let's let this trial go on for 30 years. For those of us who are actually outraged that the US government has refused to provide Bradley Manning with a fair and speedy trial, the 'enjoyment' of the defense attorney really isn't our concern.
Here's another tip: "Those people." No one gives a damn about some free floating, nebulous menace. Even the idiot Bully Boy Bush knew he had to paint a face on what he dubbed the "axis of evil." But there was Coombs pontificating endlessly about "those people" who knew Bradley was being wronged but did nothing, could see with their own eyes that Bradley was being wronged but did nothing. Who are these people? Do you mean guards? If so, why can't you say that?
"Change"? Unless you're talking coins, stop using that empty phrase -- especially as a noun. The 2008 election drained it of all value. At one point, Coombs wanted to liken Bradley to Daniel Ellsberg. I'm sorry but I was at rallies for Daniel Ellsberg -- actual rallies -- and this 'presentation' was more self-congratulatory then anything we had for Ellsberg. Everything is not an applause line and people need to stop applauding themselves. It's not only immodest, it's counterproductive. A real discussion could have taken place if everyone hadn't decided that self-suck was more important than addressing reality. After three solid minutes of various thanks (with no end in sight), my friend leaned over and asked if he did "the E-Z checks plan, will they give me my PBS mug so we can leave already?"
I've noted before that Jane Fonda is one of our country's great speakers. She truly is. We can all learn and borrow from her. One of the things she's always been very good at is conveying some nervousness about speaking and growing stronger in her presentation so that the subtext is: This made me stronger. She embodies that. She does not stand there yammering on about 'I'm scared but now I'm stronger and blah blah blah.' If Jane were to put that into words instead of making it the subtext, it wouldn't work. And Coombs' bad attempt to steal Jane's signature move sank as he verbalized (in a hundred and one words) what she embodies with a gesture, a head tilt and the growing passion in her voice.
David Coombs loves the judge, loves the military system, loves the legal system, loves to hear his own voice. We learned about that and so many more things about David Coombs. Bradley? Not so much. What should have been the strongest moment quickly sank.
David Coombs: Last Tuesday, the President of the United States signed into law The Whistleblower Protection Enhancement Act. As President Obama was signing this bill into law, Brad and I were in a court room for the start of his unlawful pre-trial motion. How can you reconcile the two?
Is it possible for Coombs to speak plainly? "Unlawful pre-trial motion." Is that a soundbyte outside of a legal journal? I don't think so. Nor do I think "Brad and I were in a court room" is appropriate. Bradley is the targeted one, not David Coombs.
What followed were 'questions' that were written out ahead of time on index cards. It was as though we were sitting through the press conference Bully Boy Bush held right before starting the Iraq War.
As we were leaving, a reporter I knew stopped us and asked how fair were the questions? "Off the record," I said, "the whole thing was bulls**t. Where do we get off on the left refusing to take questions? Doing pre-screened -- excuse me, 'pre-approved' questions? I thought the heart of this case was about the need for information to be out there. Freedom of information died here, somebody call the time of death." My friend summed it up better, however, "I support Manning 100% but what went on in there was a cross between an Amway convention and a Nuremberg Rally."
My comments above are on the first half of the presentation only. (In part because I had to step outside to return a few calls including one about last night's snapshot -- it was too long when it was typed up and we had to edit it.) I was present for the entire presentation and 'question' and answer session with Coombs. I stepped out right after that.
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