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Manning's friend won't testify

Published time: June 16, 2011 14:56
Edited time: June 17, 2011 01:53

Upon being brought before a grand jury on Wednesday to testify against his friend Bradley Manning, David House invoked his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination, refusing to answer questions regarding Manning’s relationship with WikiLeaks.

Upon being brought before a grand jury on Wednesday to testify against his friend Bradley Manning, David House invoked his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination, refusing to answer questions regarding Manning’s relationship with WikiLeaks.

Speaking to RT, House, a founding member of the Bradley Manning Support Network, says the hearing was a “show trial” that was only being used to curtail press freedom.

House says that the hearing was only being carried out so that the government can establish policies that will give them “broad censorship powers in determining how source information actually makes it into the hands of the media.”

PFC Manning has been held in US prisons for nearly a year now for several charges relating to his supposed disclosure of classified documents to Julian Assange’s WikiLeaks network; if convicted of one of the charges—aiding the enemy—Manning could face life in prison.

The grand jury hearing in Alexandria, Virginia is being used to determine if sufficient evidence exists to bring forth charges against Manning, who is currently behind bars in a Fort Leavenwroth, Kansas prison. House told reporters outside of the Virginia courthouse on Wednesday, however, that during the hour he spent on the stand he only gave the jury his name and address.

“This Nixonian grand jury is chilling the prospect (of the free press),” says House.

“We are entering an age where the Internet has provided an amazing potential for people to assemble online but also an amazing outlet for government to restrict free speech as will,” he says. House noted, however, that an underground system of support for Manning and WikiLeaks is doing a lot to curb the government’s attempts.

“Students that were never politically active are now standing up to support Bradley Manning and WikiLeaks,” says House. “I think the US government is frightened.”

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