Update: Bradley Manning is American, not British, lawyer says

By David Edwards
Tuesday, February 1, 2011 16:39 EDT
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UPDATE: Bradley Manning, the Army private allegedly behind the Wikileaks release of State Department cables, doesn’t consider himself a UK citizen and won’t be pursuing that avenue in his effort to be released from solitary confinement, Manning’s lawyer said Wednesday.

In what was widely seen as an attempt to gather more official support for Manning, Amnesty International had earlier declared Manning to be a British citizen, and called on the government in London to inquire into Manning’s controversial detention at the Marine brig in Quantico, Virginia.

But Manning “does not hold a British passport, nor does he consider himself a British citizen,” his lawyer, David Coombs, blogged.

“He is an American, and is proud to be serving in the United States Army,” Coombs added.

Under British law, Manning is automatically considered a citizen if one of his parents was born a British citizen. As Manning’s mother was reportedly born in Wales, Manning is technically a British citizen.

But absent an effort by Manning to establish this — such as applying for a British passport — the British government likely has no records of Manning as a UK citizen.

Update by Daniel Tencer


Rights groups revealed Tuesday that Bradley Manning — the US soldier accused of leaking 260,000 US State Department cables to secrets outlet WikiLeaks — deserves the protection of the British government because he is a UK citizen.

“His Welsh parentage means the UK government should demand that his ‘maximum custody’ status does not impair his ability to defend himself, and we would also like to see Foreign Office officials visiting him just as they would any other British person detained overseas and potentially facing trial on very serious charges,” Amnesty International UK director Kate Allen told The Guardian Tuesday.

Under the British Nationality Act of 1983, Manning was considered to be a UK citizen because his mother was Welsh.

Manning’s mother, whose maiden name was Susan Fox, was born in Haverfordwest, Wales in 1953, according to government databases. She married Brian Manning, a US serviceman stationed near the city. The couple had Bradley while living in Oklahoma in 1987.

“Nationality is like an elastic band: it stretches to one generation born outside the UK to a British parent,” Immigration Law Practitioners’ Association’s Alison Harvey said. “And that makes Bradley Manning British.”

But as of Tuesday evening, UK authorities had not received an official request to visit Manning.

“It hasn’t crossed our path yet,” one official said.

In mid-January, the blog UK Friends of Bradley Manning was established to help Manning assert his consular rights.

“It has been confirmed to me that Susan Manning was born in the United Kingdom,” a blogger named Naomi wrote. “Bradley Manning has been a UK citizen since the moment of his birth and remains a UK citizen today. The UK Government now has some very serious questions to answer.”

Manning has been held in some form of solitary confinement for at least the past six months. He faces charges the Army says could result in up to 52 years in prison.

The United Nations’ special rapporteur for torture has reportedly launched an investigation into complaints that Manning’s treatment at Quantico amounts to torture.

– With earlier reporting by Daniel Tencer.

David Edwards
David Edwards
David Edwards has served as an editor at Raw Story since 2006. His work can also be found at Crooks & Liars, and he's also been published at The BRAD BLOG. He came to Raw Story after working as a network manager for the state of North Carolina and as as engineer developing enterprise resource planning software. Follow him on Twitter at @DavidEdwards.
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  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_3QIJ4LGZX6PZOJSD57QIC3NRAA Straw

    The media has access to his lawyer. You’ve accused the guy of lying.

  • Anonymous

    Yes, I do think he should be treated like a human being.

  • Anonymous

    And your hewing to your presentation of black and white with such a fervor tells me what I need to know. You have a great deal of “integrity,” or what you believe integrity to be. Good luck. I wish you all the peace in the world.

    Myself, I stand with those who see evil, or danger, or corruption, and point it out. “Danger, my friends, a cobra!” “Danger, my friends: liars, deceivers and thieves!”

  • Anonymous

    Sometimes, my friend, you have to disobey the law. That does not make you a terrorist. Do you work for the Homeland Security Agency? You are tossing the terrorist word around now. THAT frightens me.

  • http://twitter.com/savagelight ThatBostonMan

    I don’t think it’s smart to disobey the law when anybody could be the undercover cop waiting to distribute “justice”. And no I’m not the secret police, if I were I wouldn’t be posting the stuff I’m posting.

  • http://twitter.com/savagelight ThatBostonMan

    Are you some kind of informant?

  • http://twitter.com/savagelight ThatBostonMan

    There is no UN Army or global intelligence agency to enforce any “crimes against humanity”, and the USA did not sign on to the international criminal court. So that should tell you that the US government does not really believe in the power of the UN. The US government is for itself.

    When you have a UN Army, and your UN Army can install a US President and Senators, then you can change the politics and laws here in America. If you don’t have an Army, then you can’t do it, and you can accept America as it is.

    Regardless of who is in control of America I’m still an American. Whoever happens to be in control happens to be in control.

  • Anonymous

    There is no way to determine this because his human rights are being abused.
    I will say this, the way he speaks is absolutely inappropriate for the
    situation and makes one begin to suspect that his best interests are not for
    his client and this indeed deserves further investigation, but the military
    thinks they are above the law. Where is his right to a speedy trial? And,
    don’t give me this “national security” biz because they have already been
    caught lying about national security to cover up crimes that only had to do
    with enriching people and furthering illegal agendas. This dishonesty must
    be noted and all further evidence and testimony provided from the false
    witness and prosecutor who stands above the law must be considered doubtful.
    The lawyers behavior is not appropriate to the situation and arouses

  • Rush Goofbaugh

    So for you…. in your own little boston world… It doesn’t matter what criminal is in power or what criminal acts they commit? You are an amerikin and you just “accept” that???? Here’s a heads up for you. Amerikin Army regulations, aka laws, were broken… They were exposed… The army did nothing but try to cover it up… Accept that, you great ameirkin war criminal. Just don’t give me any of that love it or leave it bullshit.

  • Rush Goofbaugh

    Oh really…. when did that happen?

  • Rush Goofbaugh

    Hmmmm… he didn’t break his oath, he kept it. He didn’t get kicked out of the army… and he is not in some secret prison. So are you going to visit this planet some time to catch up on current events?

  • Rush Goofbaugh

    Read UCMJ… Manning had a “duty” to reveal the war criminals… Period. So do you think it’s a smart idea for “to commit war crimes”?

  • Rush Goofbaugh

    Manning did his job. He exposed the “scum of the earth”…. people who were committing war crimes.. people without honor… or morals… you know “christians”. lol

    War crimes are a level or two below “child molester”. Why don’t you give up on defending goverment Criminals?

  • Rush Goofbaugh

    All military… not just Manning have to be able to make sound decisions. If they can’t, they shouldn’t be in the military… or even be allowed to walk the streets unsupervised. People like you for example.

  • Rush Goofbaugh

    Manning got caught “doing his job and upholding his oath” the end. There are people who need to be held accountable that is for sure… But Manning ain’t one of them.

  • http://twitter.com/savagelight ThatBostonMan

    I don’t control whether or not a criminal gets in power, I do get a vote on which criminal gets in power, but any President who gets in power will be seen internationally as a criminal.

    If you can’t change it, why complain about it?

  • http://twitter.com/savagelight ThatBostonMan

    Mind telling us where he is? Why can’t you interview him? Why can’t we talk to him? Why can’t he leave? Sounds like a secret prison to me.

    He didn’t get kicked out of the Army? are you seeing he was honorably discharged? Are you saying he is still in the Army?

    He kept his oath? Then why is he in legal trouble and held in some non-disclosed location?

  • http://twitter.com/savagelight ThatBostonMan

    If Manning was doing his duty then he is a hostage according to you, and the people holding him hostage are breaking the law according to you.

    Show your facts, make your case.

  • http://twitter.com/savagelight ThatBostonMan

    Obedience is more important than morality. Accept it.
    If morality were more important than obedience there would be human rights already and we wouldn’t have government sponsored torture, secret prisons, and any of that.

    It’s obvious you don’t have any idea how governments work. The top of society isn’t concerned at all with morality or war crimes and is entirely concerned with maintaining order. They’ll do anything, say anything, to maintain order, and that includes torture, kill, bribe, terrorize.

    You don’t like it? You can’t change it. Thats how it is under every government in the whole world.

  • http://twitter.com/savagelight ThatBostonMan

    Manning revealed government secrets to a foreigner, which means hes disloyal period.

    Or maybe he is loyal to Julian Assange? In that case Julian Assange should get him out of prison.

  • Anonymous

    Nope. Were you offering a job?

  • Rush Goofbaugh

    Soooo then the question is… why vote? I don’t. When you vote, you “legitimize” the criminals and lend them credibility and support. Others see you as a willing war criminal. We are all war criminals because we have a reprehensive form of government. The only difference between you and me is, I’m not a “willing” war criminal. But I accept my responsibility for not being able or willing enough to do what it takes to stop it. But I sure as hell don’t blame Manning for doing the right and moral thing by exposing war criminals. The only people who are pissed…. are people like yourself… the “willing” war criminals.

  • Rush Goofbaugh

    ALL of your questions are public knowledge. Are you playing dumb or are you actually?

  • Rush Goofbaugh

    Bingo… You haven’t read the UCMJ or Geneva yet have you? Well don’t feel bad, neither have most of the military. When I was in… they sat us down in a class room setting and taught UCMJ and Geneva. I don’t know if they do that any more. Each individual soldier has to be able to make a “SCOUS” decision without the help of the SCOUS. If they can’t… they have no business in any branch of the military. When you are about to kill someone you can’t wait for the SCOUS to make a call for you. You HAVE to be able to do that YOURSELF. YOU CANNOT SAY “I was only following orders”. If the order you were following was “unlawful”, you are only stupid and criminally negligent, NOT “without guilty”. Stupid and negligent is not a defense… the last time I checked.

  • Rush Goofbaugh

    Yes you are correct… every government in the world opperates like this. That doesn’t mean I’m going to “accept” it. You are wrong about obedience and morallity. Have you read the “Universal bill of human rights”. The USA signed it. Yes they didn’t sign the doccument that would be able to hold them accountable. Why would you do that if you were guilty of internation war crimes? It doesn’t mean that you and I can’t hold them accountable.

  • Rush Goofbaugh

    You are an apologist and Tory shill for ameican war crimes, period. Manning is quite loyal and honorable… more loyal and honorable than the military that is holding him illegally… and torturing him.
    More loyal and honorable than YOU, Period.

  • http://twitter.com/savagelight ThatBostonMan

    You and I can’t hold them accountable. They know everything about us, can track our bodies from satellites in space, and can murder us legally under the law through Obama’s terrorist assassination program.

    That means you and I can’t do shit. If there are revolutionaries they’ll come from Mexico and will be people the government doesn’t know anything about, rather than people the government has had 20-30 or more years to find all their weaknesses.

    The government knows your health weaknesses through your doctor, knows all your friends and family members through Facebook, knows what you say online, knows where you are at any time, you are completely under their control matrix and you can’t do shit.

    You only think you can, and thats how you and I are different. I know the technology and can say with certainty that Americans can’t revolutionize a goddamn thing, at least not the peasant class of Americans. The foreign national Americans with connections in Mexico on the other hand might be able to.

  • Rush Goofbaugh

    Yes we can hold them accountable. Have you stopped voting? Have you stopped paying your property tax? Have you withheld any other taxes? Taxes are the life blood. You just have to say enough. They really don’t want to throw a lot of tax payers in prison. It’s self defeating…. they know that. Beyond that, Death ain’t so bad… I hardly noticed it the first time… how about you?