Michael Ratner, American attorney for Julian Assange, reports he was in the courtroom and witnessed Manning speak with confidence and intelligence as he detailed the outrages that drove him to upload the documents to Wikileaks:
PAUL JAY, SENIOR EDITOR, TRNN: Welcome to The Real News Network. I'm Paul Jay in Baltimore. And welcome to this week's edition of The Ratner Report with Michael Ratner, who now joins us from New York City.
Michael is president emeritus of the Center for Constitutional Rights in New York. He's chair of the European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights in Berlin. He's also the U.S. attorney for Julian Assange. And he's also a board member of The Real News Network.
Thanks very much for joining us.
MICHAEL RATNER, PRESIDENT EMERITUS, CENTER FOR CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHTS: Good to be with you, Paul.
JAY: So you spent a hell of a emotional day at a remarkable trial of Bradley Manning today. What happened?
RATNER: I went down to Fort Meade, and it was an all-day affair. Bradley Manning was in the courtroom. Most of the press goes to a theater room, but a few of us—I'm not press—go into the room with Bradley Manning. And it was a special day because it was a day in which Bradley Manning's lawyer and Bradley had decided to plead guilty to certain of the charges, but really lesser included charges, not the top charges of espionage and aiding the enemy and all of that.
But I was devastated by the day emotionally. I was devastated by it. But at the same time, you really saw who Bradley Manning was, what a hero he was, and how when he saw wrong, he basically acted.