For Immediate Release
Journalistic Rights Organization Publishes Leaked Audio of Bradley Manning’s Statement
WASHINGTON - Today, Freedom of the Press Foundation, a progressive journalistic rights organization, published the full, previously unreleased audio recording of Private First Class Bradley Manning’s speech to the military court in Ft. Meade about his motivations for releasing over 700,000 government documents to WikiLeaks.
Due to a prohibition against journalists recording the proceedings, this is the first time the general American public has been able to hear Manning's voice.
Emma Cape, International Organizer for the Bradley Manning Support Network, said,
"It was incredibly moving sitting in the courtroom, hearing Bradley explain in his own words why he decided to reveal government wrongdoing via WikiLeaks. Given this is one of the most important trials in America right now, I'm glad others can now listen in firsthand."
In the audio file, Private First Class Manning explains to the military court in his own words how and why he gave the Apache helicopter video, Afghanistan and Iraq Wars Logs, and the State Department Diplomatic Cables to WikiLeaks. Manning explains his motives, noting how he believed the documents showed deep wrongdoing by the government, why he believed releasing the documents could not endanger U.S. National Security, and how he hoped that the release would "spark a domestic debate on the role of the military and our foreign policy in general as well as it related to Iraq and Afghanistan."
In conjunction with the statement, Private First Class Manning plead guilty to 10 lesser offenses of the 22 charges against him, but did not plead guilty to "aiding the enemy" or "espionage."
Daniel Ellsberg, famed Pentagon Papers whistleblower as well as a founder and board member for the Freedom of the Press Foundation, said, “I believe Bradley Manning is the personification of the word whistleblower.”
John Cusack, famed actor and activist who is also a founder and board member for the organization, said: "Growing up with the living legacy of the Berrigan brothers and fellow board member Daniel Ellsberg, I deeply and profoundly respect the sacrifice made by those heroic individuals who speak their truth no matter what price they may pay. We hope this recording inspires more participation in a broad-based movement to restore and protect the First Amendment."
Listen to the audio, watch a short video, or read more here:
Learn about Freedom of the Press Foundation here:
FRIENDS: Help Us Fight
Independent journalism has become the last firewall against government and corporate lies. Yet, with frightening regularity, independent media sources are losing funding, closing down or being blacked out by Google and Facebook. Never before has independent media been more endangered. If you believe in Common Dreams, if you believe in people-powered independent media, please support us now and help us fight—with truths—against the lies that would smother our democracy. Please help keep Common Dreams alive and growing. Thank you. -- Craig Brown, Co-founder