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Manning Attorney: Treatment of Accused Whistleblower "Criminal"

The attorney for accused U.S. Army whistleblower Bradley Manning spoke out Monday night in his first public speech about his client’s case. Addressing a church audience in Washington, D.C., David Coombs called Manning’s treatment in U.S. custody "criminal," and said that Manning is feeling optimistic about his chances in court.

David Coombs: "Brad’s treatment at Quantico will forever be etched, I believe, in our nation’s history as a disgraceful moment in time. Not only was it stupid and counterproductive, it was criminal. An entire group of individuals who I — no doubt, are honorable men and women, chose to turn a blind eye to how Bradley was being treated. I can tell you that he is very excited about having his case go forward, and it’s in the process now. It’s been a long time. And he’s also, at this point, very encouraged by the way the proceedings are going."

A pretrial hearing before Manning’s court-martial is ongoing. Coombs says he intends to continue to call Manning’s military jailers to the stand to confront them on Manning’s harsh treatment behind bars.

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