Here is a link to the Julian Assange/Wiki(shhh) writ appeal at CAAF to essentially have access to the classified portions of PFC Manning’s Art. 32 hearing. Yes, that is correct.

Here is the fairly entertaining Motion to Supplement.

12 Responses to “Assange Writ Appeal in Manning 32”

  1. soonergrunt says:

    They actually have the stones to demand access to classified information for an organization dedicated to releasing classified information?  Wow.

  2. Nick says:

    Before Assange has any demands granted, he should waive extradition and subject himself to the system of the government he seeks to “expose.” 


  3. Zachary Spilman says:

    Before Assange has any demands granted, he should waive extradition and subject himself to the system of the government he seeks to “expose.”

    Gee, there’s got to be some significance to his entry of an appearance in a domestic criminal court…

  4. Charlie Gittins says:

    The bigger issue, in my view, is the public nature of Article 32 proceedings and generally court documents.  The military services have consistently taken the position that unclassified court-martial and or Article 32 motions/documents are not public documents and that the public has no right of access to such documents.  I believe this to be inconsistent with Supreme Court precedent but none of the cases in which it has been an issue has merited the media taking the expensive step to litigate the public nature of military court proceedings issue since ABC, Inc.  I wish Assange’s counsel would have made the access to documents a key part of the Writ Appeal, as I think that issue is one that would benefit public access to court documents in the future.  

  5. Eugene R. Fidell says:

    Let me offer a friendly amendment to Charlie’s post. The services treat military justice documents as available only under FOIA, and at least one, the Army, seems to think it can redact things said in open court, such as witness names.

    The problem with business being transacted via 802s is a real one; the 802 system is used excessively and thwarts the right to public trials and public 32s.

  6. soonergrunt says:

    Thanks to Messers Gittins and Fidell.  I can see where the current situation is problematic, especially with respect to the Accused’s right to public trial.
    Having said that, wouldn’t you gentlemen agree that Mr. Assange and his organization have no rights to access the classified portions of the hearings, especially given their historical behavior?

  7. Lieber says:

    802’s may be used excessively; but they are also of great help in streamlining the process and a boon to efficiency.  What boggles the mind is the innuendo by the complainants that there is something sinister about the 802 process.

  8. soonergrunt says:

    @Lieber–nothing mind boggling there when you remember that they are playing to the audience and not to the court, per se.
    They don’t expect to win.  Certainly they don’t expect to win the right to view classified information, cleared lawyer or not.  They do, however, need to make the whole thing look as rigged as possible in case Assange is indicted for conspiracy.  Got to keep the donations flowing in, you see.

  9. Eugene R. Fidell says:

    Soonergrunt, as the case is pending, let me put it ths way: they have taken on a most challenging assignment.

  10. Charlie Gittins says:

    Soonergrunt:  The accused’s right to public trial, and the public’s right to know should not be dependent on who the member of the public is that is seeking access and certainly should not depend on the identity of the accused.  Either public trials are public and the public has a right of access to court documents — so says the US S.Ct. — or they are not.  The cumbersome FOIA process should not be part of the answer.  IF I want the motions from the Partington v. Houck case, I can go to the clerks office and pay a small copying fee to get them or, even better, get them off Pacer.  To get a court-martial public document, I have to make a FOIA request and then the service decides what parts of the documents they are happy to release, with liberal redaction.  Some media outlet with deep pockets and a big, expensive law firm needs to smack DoD with attorney’s fees in a public access litigation suit.  

  11. soonergrunt says:

    Thanks again for your responses.  FWIW, I think that military Accused should have the records of their courts-martial and other proceedings just as public as the rest of us, and the public should have equal access to those records.  In that respect, I agree wholeheartedly that the public has a right to know, and that PFC Manning has a right to as much sunshine as he can get.  Perhaps I wasn’t clear on that point earlier.
    OTOH I have a real problem with the concept that Mr. Assange and his organization have any legal right at all to those portions of the trial documentation that are classified or that deal with classified information.  The claim that they have any need for it is about as correct as the claim that I have any need for it.

  12. Cloudesley Shovell says:

    For all counsel, whether trial or defense, there is a simple and straightforward way around things said in an 802 not making it onto the record.  After the 802, when the judge goes back on the record and summarizes the 802, and asks if either counsel has anything to add, take that opportunity to state what you think happened at the 802,  If the judge refuses you an opportunity to speak, reduce everything to writing and submit it as an appellate exhibit.  It’s not hard to do, and if anyone objects to your characterization, simply request that the matter be addressed again on the record for all to see.  See RCM 802(b) and (c).  Don’t let a rule designed to streamline administrative matters be used to decide substantive issues.
    Happy New Year everyone,