report from bradley manning hearing, day one

From NCF, at Bradley Manning's hearing:
And what the day it was! Manning's lawyer David Coombs (whose very nice wife is from TO) is a force to be reckoned with! After a half hour of grilling the Investigating Officer (not a judge) about his civilian job as a prosecutor with the Dept. of Justice, plus the fact that the IO only accepted 2 of the 38 witnesses for the defence (and a few other factors) Coombs called for the IO to recuse himself because of bias. And thus there was a recess - for two hours.

The IO refused to recuse himself and Coombs asked for a stay of the proceedings, thus another two-hour recess and on it went.

So the morning session was full of drama... The afternoon was another series of recesses and then it wrapped up for the day at 3:30 after Manning was read his rights. That was it for day 1. ...

Meanwhile, with all the downtime, plus the wait-time to get in in the first place, a community was forming amongst the public - which ranged from a classical music composer from NYC to Julian Assange's lawyer, a woman from the Australian embassy, oh, and also Omar Khadr's lawyer - great guy! Ann Wright came in for the afternoon session, along with folks from OWS (including the driver of the Wikileaks truck that went missing), various people from the Bradley Manning support network, quite a few Vietnam vets. ...

Security on the base of course is pretty intense: riot cops ready to go, lots of dogs etc. But I have to say all the MPs and Federal Police are very polite and it's very smoothly run. They have a (heated) trailer set up for visitors so that we didn't have to stand in line in the cold waiting to get in.

As for Bradley Manning himself, he's very very tiny but seemed very composed and spoke confidently (mind you, this was just 'yes sir, no sir'.) And has cool geek glasses.

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