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Bradley Manning trial secrecy sparks crowdfunding drive for court stenographer

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bradley manning assets
bradley manning assets

The nonprofit Freedom of the Press Foundation is raising money to pay for a court stenographer to transcribe the events of Bradley Manning’s court martial. Over the next three to four months, the group hopes to raise the $40 - $50,000 it needs in order to pay someone to transcribe each day’s proceedings. In a press release, the organization decried the military court’s overbearing secrecy including its refusal to release an official transcript or copies of written rulings in one of the most widely-reported cases in history. As a result, journalists have had to rely on first-hand accounts from independent reporters like Alexa O'Brien and Kevin Gosztola.

The current situation journalists face in trying to cover the trial is already "Kafkaesque," in the words of documentary filmmaker Laura Poitras, but Judge Lind cracked down further last month, banning cell phones from the court’s media center. The move was made following the Freedom of the Press Foundation’s decision to publish leaked audio of Manning reading a prepared statement at the trial in March.