The New York York Times “missed the boat” by not covering the first public testimony of Bradley Manning on Friday, according to the Times’ public editor Margaret Sullivan.Over the past few days, a court has heard testimony about harsh treatment endured by the 24-year-old Army private-turned-whistleblower after he allegedly disclosed the largest trove of government secrets since the Pentagon Papers, to the website WikiLeaks.
Reporter Kevin Gosztola of Firedoglake — who has covered the hearings at Ft. Meade from the beginning — noted that most of the major news outlets including The Washington Post, CNN, PBS FRONTLINE, Al Jazeera English, NBC News, ABC News, CBS News, The Associated Press, and AFP sent reporters to cover his pretrial testimony.
But the Grey Lady was conspicuously absent, despite having benefitted from Manning’s actions. Eliza grey of The New Republic points out that 54 of the newspaper’s 115 issues in the first four months of 2011 contained stories that “relied on WikiLeaks documents as sources.”
For more than five hours Manning detailed his initial detainment.
He says he spent two months in a “cage” inside a dark tent in Kuwait and then nine months in 23-hours-a-day solitary confinement at a Marine Corps Brig in Quantico, Virginia. The defence has called for charges to be dropped over Manning’s treatment.
In March the U.N. special rapporteur on torture formally accused the U.S. government of cruel, inhuman, and degrading treatment of Manning.