Bradley Manning is a whistleblower or traitor, depending on what side of the aisle you fall on, for stealing hundreds of thousands of classified documents and revealing them to Wikileaks, while still in uniform and part of the military, but his trial for those very actions are bringing about another issue, one that both sides of the aisle can appreciate.
Freedom of the press, which if journalists covering the trial are to be believed, claim is nonexistent.
Armed military guards stand over their shoulders telling them what they can and cannot have open on their computers, as well as reading and reporting what the reporters are typing, looking at or doing.
Kevin Gosztola was there, covering the trial and he claims “Media don’t have press freedom here. We have press security. We are all protected from our own electronic devices.”
Alexa O’Brien tweets “Journalists sending me emails telling me soldier stationed right behind me with a gun. I tell you, OVER THE TOP JUDGE LIND.”
Another from O’Brien says “Armed guard patrolling the aisles of the media center, peering on journalists comp, including behind me. F*cking Creepy.”
Nathan Fuller claims “This is new: armed soldiers roam media center quietly reprimanding journalists for even browsing Internet when #Manning trial’s in session.”
NYT reporter, Charlie Savage, tweets “Creepy having armed MPs in camo patrolling behind each row of reporters & looking over shoulders as we take notes on Manning trial today.”
More examples at Boing Boing.
The NYT described the scene in the media room like this “While [military prosecutor] made his arguments, reporters watched the trial on a close-captioned feed at the media center. Two military police officers in camouflage fatigues and armed with holstered handguns paced behind each row there, looking over the journalists’ shoulders, which had not happened during the trial. No explanation was given.”
The word creepy is used by different journalists covering the Manning trial and that amount of creepy definitely equals intimidation of the press.