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Firedoglake Seeks Paid Archivist For Bradley Manning Court Martial Coverage

4:31 pm in Uncategorized by Brian Sonenstein

Protester sports FDL Bradley Manning t-shirt at SF Pride direct action

Protester sports FDL Bradley Manning t-shirt at SF Pride direct action. (Flickr/Steve Rhodes)

Firedoglake has been at the forefront of the battle for fair justice for Bradley Manning for over 3 years now, and as we gear up to cover his court martial beginning June 3rd, we’re looking for a paid archivist to assist us in collecting, organizing and presenting our reporting to our readership in the most efficient way possible.

Our hope is to revive our Bradley Manning coverage page with Kevin Gosztola’s unparalleled investigative reporting from Ft. Meade. As one of the few journalists to have covered nearly every day of the pre-trial proceedings, we want to give readers full and timely access to more than just his written, knowledgable analysis by creating a hub for all relevant TV and radio interviews, Tweets and other media as well. We especially welcome applicants who have new and innovative ideas for presenting our coverage during the court martial.

To that end, if you have a strong interest in Bradley Manning’s case and possess the following, please copy and paste your CV/Resume and brief introduction (who you are, why you want to be involved) into the body of an email and send it to We’ll be accepting submissions until Monday, May 20th.

  • 15/20hrs per week
  • Willingness to commit for the duration of the court martial (8-12 wks)
  • Proficient in basic HTML/CSS coding
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills
  • A strong work ethic
  • Your own computer and regular access to the internet
  • Experience with and a footprint in social media, such as Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Flickr, Reddit, etc.
  • Confidence to work independently and under tight deadlines

You may work from home and telecommute.

What we want most out of this is to find someone who shares our commitment to providing the public with comprehensive and accurate reporting on Bradley Manning’s court martial. While none of the following skills and qualifications are required or necessary for this position, you may get a leg up if you’re familiar with: Photoshop or graphic/web design, WordPress blogs, online political advocacy and previous archival experiences.

We are offering a stipend to our Bradley Manning archivist commensurate with their skill set and level of experience.

This is a great, hands on opportunity for anyone looking for experience working within a fast-paced news media and advocacy organization. If you or someone you know is interested in helping Firedoglake cover Bradley Manning’s court martial, please copy and paste a CV/Resume and brief introduction into the body of an email and send it to Deadline May 20th, 2013.

Breaking the Silence that Surrounds Bradley Manning

8:06 am in Uncategorized by Brian Sonenstein

Each time Bradley Manning goes to Ft. Meade for a pre-trial hearing, I flip through all of my local news channels to see if maybe someone mentions it – but I have not seen so much as a 5 second nod by a single anchor towards perhaps one of the most important whistleblower cases in US history.

In some ways it’s surprising, and in some ways it’s not.

Bradley was tortured for over 9 months in solitary confinement at Quantico Marine Brig until the public caught on to what was happening and it became impossible to keep him there. Today, Bradley remains in pre-trial confinement at Ft. Leavenworth until his court martial, but we hear from his attorney that his living conditions have drastically improved thanks to the outpouring of concern from activists and supporters.

Even so, the government’s campaign of misinformation and secrecy has allowed them to maintain the outrageous charge that he ‘aided the enemy,’ while keeping Manning and any evidence or witness testimony relevant to his defense behind lock and key, almost completely unchallenged.

The point here is that the media’s general carelessness and lack of interest in this case is what has allowed these government charades to continue unabated, spreading damaging misinformation, allowing for his mistreatment, and pushing his case towards unjust conviction behind closed doors. When the public is privy to details about Manning’s treatment, the uproar makes it difficult for these abuses to continue, and the same should be true with regards to the details emerging from the courtroom.

I think there’s a good chance that with enough support we could get some local media to start picking up this story. It would be enough to get some people talking about this case again, and as we near September’s court-martial, that’s exactly what we all need to be doing because the only thing that will complicate the governments plans is intense public scrutiny.

So we’re running targeted Facebook ads urging Bradley Manning supporters everywhere to contact their local news outlets and request coverage of Bradley Manning’s pre-trial hearings and eventual court-martial. We even put together an easy-to-use tool that allows supporters to contact all their local outlets at the click of a mouse.

We need your help getting this campaign off the ground, activating as many Bradley Manning supporters as possible to call on their local media outlets for coverage of this important case.

If you can help out, click here to chip in $5 or more to help us run these ads:

Bradley Manning Gets His Day in Court

11:31 am in Uncategorized by Brian Sonenstein


Drop the “aiding the enemy” charges against PFC Bradley Manning





It seems like ages since accused Wikileaker PFC Bradley Manning first made headlines after his arrest in Iraq for allegedly leaking the largest cache of diplomatic cables in US history. That’s partly because it really has been ages – Manning has sat in jail for over 18 months without any word of an eventual trial, and has endured truly inhumane treatment at the hands of our government. Luckily, he will soon have his day in court.

Of the over 2 dozen charges leveled at Manning, “aiding the enemy” stands out as the most malicious of them all – mostly because it just doesn’t make any sense. If Manning did what they say he did, and leaked over 250,000 documents to Wikileaks, was the impact on our national security and foreign policy interests really so terrible that we believe it advanced the interests of our enemies?

Or was the leaked information already widely known, of low classification or out-dated, causing nothing more than embarrassment among our foreign policy elite and potentially igniting some much-needed pro-democracy movements along the way?

Some in-house damage assessments by Departments of State and Defense, as well as the White House itself — as outlined in the Defense’s Request for Production of Evidence — seem to believe the latter. If true, would throwing Manning in prison for life as a traitor who “aided the enemy” be a proportionate punishment for the crime?

Then there’s the question of who exactly are our enemies to whom Manning is alleged to have provided aid. The truth revealed in the released cables has been credited with helping to influence the start of the Arab Spring, which saw the popular overthrow of some of the most brutal regimes on the planet. Does our government really want to come to the defense of men like of Mubarak, Qadaffi and Ben Ali – and label those who risked and lost their lives for freedom and democracy as our ‘enemies?’

The “aiding the enemy” allegation is wildly unfounded, and we started a petition a while back demanding that Defense Secretary Leon Panetta drop that charge specifically. It’s vindictive and is the government’s way of producing a chilling affect on any potential whistleblowers who dare point out our government’s crimes by making an example out of Manning.

Manning’s Article 32 pre-trial hearing is scheduled to take place on December 16th. Our beloved Jon Walker will be covering the events from the courthouse. I hope you will join us in signing our petition to Secretary Panetta, and help support Jon’s coverage of the pre-trial hearing in a few weeks.

WATCH: Protest For Bradley Manning, NYC City Hall

7:21 am in Uncategorized by Brian Sonenstein

On April 7th, I attended a rally for Bradley Manning on the steps of City Hall in downtown Manhattan.

According to the press release (see below), “The Rally for Information Freedom,” was sponsored by a coalition of groups, journalists, lawyers and activists all deeply concerned with the actions of our government and the relative media silence that has since followed.

I was able to take a few pictures and some footage of the protestors and speakers. There was a pretty good turn out; I’d estimate about 50 or so people showed up, many of them filming and snapping pictures as well.

And here are a few videos of some of the speakers in attendance (apologies for my shaky camera work, I was trying to snap photos at the same time!):
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Top 10 MyFDL Diaries of 2010

8:45 am in FDL Community by Brian Sonenstein

In case you missed it, be sure to check out the top 10 FDL blog posts of 2010!

One of the things that makes FDL such an important resource for news coverage and analysis is our thriving diarist community. Our diarists write some of the most compelling and thought-provoking pieces of ‘citizen journalism’ to be found on the internet, especially among the progressive left.

From liveblogging the Prop 8 trial, to offering unique insights into the Julian Assange / WikiLeaks saga, our diarists make important contributions to the work of Firedoglake as a whole.

Check out the top 10 MyFDL diaries from 2010 (based on pageviews):

10. Manic Monday Expected in Washington: How Many Mil Contractors Are There? by Rayne

It’s no secret that the US Government has made use of private contractors in theaters of war for decades. Part of the reason why it’s no secret is because of some of the appalling acts committed by these contractors, such as defrauding the government of billions of taxpayer dollars, raping and killing innocent civilians and engaging in international human trafficking. When word broke that Washington Post writer Dana Priest would be writing an article investigating the size and scope of America’s addiction to contracted security and intelligence service, those respective agencies became very nervous. A day ahead of the article’s release, Rayne posed some important questions to the community, such as “How many of the intelligence contractors aren’t actually contracted by CIA but by DIA?” and “Just how many of these intelligence contractors are not only working in Iraq and Afghanistan, but in places the American public at large doesn’t think of as threats – like Central and South America?”

9. Liveblogging Prop 8 Trial Wednesday Morning 6/16 Closing Arguments (49) by Teddy Partridge

The Prop 8 trial to overturn the ban on same-sex marriages in California was, and continues to be, one of the most contentious civil rights battles of this generation. It’s been a long, arduous fight, but our writers have remained at the forefront, meticulously liveblogging the proceedings while providing great context and analysis at the very same time. Teddy Partridge is one of our most popular diarists and was part of a team (along with Marcy Wheeler and David Dayen) covering Perry vs Schwarzenegger from the San Fransisco courtroom. His work garnered a lot of attention and was referenced by writers across the spectrum. This post in particular is just one of several of Teddy’s livebloggings — but the entire set is well worth the read.

8. Rand Paul And Historical Amnesia by Jim Moss

Simply put, Rand Paul is a gaffe machine. As of last spring, it seemed as though the Senate candidate from Kentucky could not make an appearance without creating some sort of controversy. Most notably, Paul got himself in a lot of trouble by acknowledging his opposition to the Civil Rights Act of 1964. While many were caught up in the accusations that Paul was a racist, Jim Moss pointed out that the more subversive and dangerous point being made here was instead about an ideology pertaining to the role of government. In this excellent post, Jim goes through a list of important government contributions to the preservation of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness to disprove the oft-repeated conservative line that government serves to take freedoms, not protect them.

7. Stunning Video of Unemployed Workers: Meet Obama’s Human Shields by Michael Whitney

President Obama caved on his promise to end the Bush tax cuts to the wealthy amidst soaring unemployment and expiring benefits, leaving millions of Americans empty handed and without hope. The AFL-CIO and many other groups worked hard to prevent renewing the Bush tax cuts – an effort that unfortunately failed in the end. As part of the AFL-CIO’s campaign, they put together a tremendous video showcasing several unemployed Americans whose benefits were on the verge of expiration (if they hadn’t expired already). It’s an important look into the struggles facing the nearly 15 million Americans currently out of work.  . . . Read the rest of this entry →