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Government plays secrecy games in Manning trial

This week, another pretrial hearing is taking place at Fort Meade in the court martial of Pfc. Bradley Manning, the soldier who the United States military is prosecuting for disclosing information to WikiLeaks. It begins today and will take place over a period of at least two days. Except, for this hearing, the public will only be able to witness the first hour or so of proceedings and then the rest of the pretrial hearing will be a closed session without the press or public present.

It is the second closed session in recent months. A portion of the proceedings were closed on March 1 to deliberate over whether the defense should be allowed access to a Defense Department “operator”—”John Doe”—who was part of the raid that killed Osama bin Laden and allegedly uncovered digital media with copies of documents Manning disclosed to WikiLeaks.

David Dishneau, who has been regularly covering the proceedings for the Associated Presswrites “government secrecy” is reaching a “new level,” as “military judge, Col. Denise Lind, has ordered what prosecutors say is an unprecedented closed hearing Wednesday at Fort Meade to help her decide how much of Manning’s upcoming trial should be closed to protect national security.”

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