Pfc. Bradley Manning's court-martial over the leak of hundreds of thousands of classified documents has been all about secrecy and security, and his trial has taken on a cloak and dagger feel, too.
It's also taken on the feel of a clown-car.
Manning supporters wearing "truth" T-shirts had to turn them inside out before entering the courtroom. The shirts were made by the Bradley Manning Support Network in early 2012 as an alternative to "Free Bradley Manning" T-shirts banned from early pretrial hearings, spokesman Nathan Fuller said.
Apparently realizing how stupid the court looked for taking this action, they allowed supporters to wear the shirts the following day. But truth was definitely banned the first day of the trial. And I suspect "truth", the concept, will never be allowed into the courtroom.
Asked about this snafu, "Army spokeswoman Col. Michelle Roberts said the earlier decision made 'out of a concern for public safety'..." Indeed. The public has to be protected from truth. It might set them free.
The military/government officials even insisted that news reporters sign a statement wherein they promised not to reveal the names of "spokespeople". For two days, they signed it but on the third day, an AP photographer and reporter rebelled and crossed that section out -- and were allowed into the trial.
Jeebus. Is this Putin's trial against Pussy Riot or is it an American courtroom proceeding against a soldier? It's hard to tell. Admittedly, military courts are not civilian courts. But this style of intense overkill has been part of the government's vendetta against Manning from the outset. And let us recall that the UN "torture chief" called Manning's treatment torture.
This is a trial like no other.