Big story at Bradley Manning court martial? Military bases have armed police

The closing arguments in the court martial of Bradley Manning wrapped up this afternoon at Fort Meade in Maryland, and the case is now in the hands of Judge Col. Denise Lind. Manning is accused of handing over hundreds of thousands of documents to website WikiLeaks in the largest leak of classified information in U.S. history. So, what’s the big news coming out of Fort Meade? Reporters and bloggers covering the trial are unhappy about their treatment.

Both BuzzFeed and BoingBoing have picked up the story, quoting reporters on the scene who are unhappy about working among armed security, not to mention having their bags searched and having to deal with the spotty quality of the base’s Wi-Fi signal.

Clark Stoeckley, who tweets as @WikiLeaksTruck and posted a photo of himself wearing a “Support Bradley Manning” T-shirt to the proceedings, was banned from the court martial earlier today after being accused of posting threatening messages, but he is asking followers not to overreact.

  • Steven A

    Wait, a hearing at a facility that also has many ranking military officers at it has armed security? I guess if you think 9/11, the USS Cole, and MAJ Hassan were all inside jobs, then maybe you imagine the security to be a bit over the time.

    What a bunch of maroons.

  • Photios

    I wonder why it is that the stupidest people in the U.S. are attracted to careers in elected positions in government and the Press. It is a sad situation when Americans are so unfamiliar with military life that it shocks them to see armed Military Police at a high profile Court Martial.

  • TomJB

    Wow. A military base with military police imagine that! Thy wear camo because they are soldiers I see it every day. And since fort Meade is the military’s premiere signals intelligence base there is of course a whole slew of places with no wifi. Guess its good its not in a SCIF. They would have red visitor badges, be escorted everywhere, and flashing lights let people actually cleared for the intel know that uncleared people are in the facility.

    Would guess also that the number of these reporters and bloggers who know anything about the UCMJ lies somewhere between 0 and 1.

    • CombatDiver

      If it was a SCIF they wouldn’t be allowed to have wireless devices or bluetooth capable devices. I doubt they would even be allowed in a SCIF without a clearance.

      • GMMI

        And if it as a special weapons arsenal, they wouldn’t even get near it.

      • Brendon Carr

        Twenty years later I keep having dreams I’m back in the SCIF but without a clearance or badge. It’s all a mistake and I’m going to get in big trouble.

        • cynicalfel

          That’s the worst dream ever. And I’m sure you’re not alone in having it.

      • BayushiZero

        Considering the nature of Manning’s offenses, the court room REALLY SHOULD be a SCIF.

        Seriously, what gave the press the idea that they are even welcome on an Army base in the first place?

    • Eric Johnson

      Hmm… I wonder what they would think if they did a wrong turn on base and ended up in a secure area on base? Those military police show up with M-16s, lots of ammo, and bad attitudes!!! LOL…

      • Brian Jones

        There’s no way you can just “end up” in a Secure Area…even when you actually HAVE a Restricted Area Badge, with the proper level of Clearance, it’s a hassle to get into the area (bomb dogs, searched bags, etc. at the ECP (Entry-Control Point)).

        So IF they ended up in a Secure Area on base, then DARN RIGHT the MPs will show up with HORRIBLE attitudes and dogs of their leashes…

  • Maxx

    ARMED police? What’s next….Baton-carrying Shore Patrol?

    Cher typing in lower case?


    –USN Ret

    • GMMI

      When I was on Shore Patrol at NAVSTA CHASN, I was armed.

      • BayushiZero

        When I encountered Shore Patrol in off-base housing (as a dependent child), they were armed.

        In Southern California, no less (San Diego).

    • AaronHarrisinAlaska

      Post policy. You’re subject to it. Spent a year and a half as a contract security officer on the front gate at Greely. Part of the job was knowing post policy and enforcing it on top of local and federal laws

  • Txgirlinnh

    Armed soldiers at a military base- that is a stunning revelation from clearly the finest journalists in the profession. These people are so stupid it hurts.

    • BayushiZero

      I had something to that effect to say in response to David Sirota’s moronic tweet. Something tells me he’s going to block me, now. I wasn’t very nice about it, but then, why should I be?

    • Jay Stevens

      If we had had more armed soldiers at Ft. Hood, the Hassan body count would have been lower.

  • CatHerder

    Hey guys, here’s a novel notion: when you are on a military base you are subject to military law! You’re welcome.

    • Brendon Carr

      Actually, that’s not true. Civilians are not subject to military law. They are subject to military jurisdiction on a temporary basis, until appropriate civilian authorities can take jurisdiction.

      • Maxx

        which is why he wrote “when you are on a military base,” which of course, implies a temporary basis and while the OP didn’t state it so, jurisdiction also implies the laws of the base with regards to security.

        • Brendon Carr

          I’m a lawyer and a veteran, and I’ve done post-graduate academic research on problems of military jurisdiction over civilian crimes at bases overseas. Believe me when I tell you civilian laws apply to civilians on military bases. The Uniform Code of Military Justice only applies to active-duty members of armed forces, and members of reserve and Guard components on Federal active duty. No civilians are subject to military law.

          • Brian Jones

            The fact of the matter is that Civilian Authorities have NO JURISDICTION on a Military Base, unless the Base Commander decided to grant them such authority (on a case-by-case basis, or on a Contractual basis).

            Otherwise, Civilians are subject to FEDERAL laws (not UCMJ) for violations, all at the Base Commander’s discretion (for the most part)…typically, civilians WILL be handed off to State Authorities, but if the offense is bad enough, or if the Civilian is a repeat-offender, the Base Commander can AND WILL order FEDERAL prosecution (Case-in-Point: Imagine a Civilian in California smoking his Medical Marijuana on base. Even though it’s legal in the State of California, it is Federally Illegal)…this is all based off of my experiences in the Air Force, and what OSI briefed us on during FTAC and other briefings…


          • Brendon Carr

            Brian, you’re right. None of what you wrote, however, is inconsistent with my point: Military law does not apply to civilians, even on a military base. Military law is Federal, but not all Federal law is military. And being subject to the Federal civilian law-enforcement jurisdiction delegated to military authorities within military bases is not the same as being subject to military law.

      • Ronald Green

        I wouldn’t do anything stupid on a military base if I were you. There are agencies that can make you disappear if they choose and many are associated with the military.

  • tjp77

    Listen you goddamn morons: THE MILITARY IS NOT AMERICA.

    Your freedoms DO NOT follow you inside a military base. The rules are different. This isn’t a civil trial, this is a court martial. You don’t even have a right to be there; the fact that you’ve even been allowed to observe the proceedings is a PRIVILEGE.

    • cynicalfel

      ‘I wonder if individuals who signed up for military ever thought they’d be policing press. #Manning—
      Kevin Gosztola’

      I can bet if those soldiers never thought about policing the press, after that court marshal is over nearly every one involved will agree that policing the press is an ABSOLUTE necessity. It sounds like nearly every reporter who tweeted would have reported anything they could have, court secrecy be dammed.

  • Marvin Nelson

    These idiots give new meaning to the word “stupidity.”

  • JeffWRidge

    That’s nothing. I once saw actual armed police officers in a civilian court room. Imagine, armed police in court. The horrors.

    For those of you born with a humor deficiency, this post is intended as sarcasm.

    • GMMI

      When I was a Deputy Sheriff we had to do our duty in the courts, and surprise we were armed

      • JeffWRidge

        But wouldn’t Sheriff’s deputies having guns lead to violence? After all, the only reason there is ever any violence is because someone had a gun.

        (Just a reminder to those people not paying attention, I’m still not being serious.)

        • GMMI

          I know. Somehow violence just never broke out in the courtrooms

          • JeffWRidge

            It was the uniforms. Criminals love uniforms.

          • GMMI

            Actually, I think it was the realization, that if they tried anything in the courtroom, we’d kick the crap out of them.

          • VerminMcCann

            Wait, is this part sarcasm too?! I’m so confused!

        • GaryTheBrave

          Did someone harangue you because they didn’t get the sarcasm? I get it.

          • JeffWRidge

            Every now and then I get replies from folks who seemed to have left their sense of humor in neutral. Especially when I post something asinine enough that it could actually come from a lefty.

            I once joked that no one would object to voter ID laws if some states didn’t make it illegal for non-whites to have driver’s licenses. I received several responses defying me to prove that there were any states that have such laws.

            I learned my lesson. Some people just take everything too seriously. Since then I try to put disclaimers in my less serious posts. I don’t always remember, but I try.

          • cynicalfel

            The internets is serious business.

  • GMMI

    Slightly off topic is it just me or does Manning look like Alfred E. Neuman?

    The press needs to understand that security requirements inside a military installation are now very much tighter due to the Ft. Hood shooting. They, also, need to know that they are on the base at the sufferance of the post C.O.

  • VerminMcCann

    Holy shit! Federal troops policing an area where the federal government has general police power!

  • bkyguy

    there are armed guards in the county courthouse called bailiffs?

  • Republicanvet

    Hey F Chuck Toad, I think I see some whining.

  • VerminMcCann

    What do you call a guy who describes daily events as melodramatically as possible? You call him “@davidsirota.”

    • objectivefactsmatter

      “What do you call a country that deploys armed soldiers to monitor journalists (in military court)? You call it “America””

      Indeed we do.

      • BayushiZero

        My response (in a tweet) was:

        @davidsirota What do you call a man whining about weapons on a MILITARY BASE?

        A dumbass, or David Sirota. Same difference, really. Grow up.

  • An American Veteran

    Oh the HORROR!!! A Military base with Armed Guards!!! Holy, No Irony Batman!!!

  • Gary D. Alexander

    I wouldn’t let you bastards on the base.

  • Mark81150

    I was an Air Force Security Specialist in the early 80’s.. It’s normal for armed security to have a heavy presence in a situation with so many non military people are in a secure facility.. SAC always operated like this, my base had 27 officers of general rank or higher, because we had launch control of 200 Minuteman III’s.

    Obviously… these guys have zero knowledge and experience with how the military operates on it’s own bases.. they are an unknown, the X-factor, untrustworthy and unpredictable…. so yes, they’ll be under escort near so many flag officers..

    and the service hates nothing more than the unknown factor,.. in that profession, surprises are NOT a good thing.

    and if the security personnel didn’t have weapons drawn in the ready to fire position, it wasn’t a threat.. it was business as usual at a high security event.

    these leftist gasbags really need to get out more..

    they’d have done the same with any group in such a facility, not just them in particular.. Any threat is crushed with overwhelming force instantly, that is the doctrine, they can get over it.

    and if they even thought about Priority A restricted areas.. there are signs in bold red letters, USE OF DEADLY FORCE IS AUTHORIZED… You can be shot for refusing to comply, I and a sgt. were on a patrol where we had a full Colonel face down in the dirt, because he screwed up his authentication code.. and kept him there till a senior officer from our chain of command came to remove him under his custody..

    NOBODY.. screws with Air Force SP’s on their turf.. we were trained to reject orders from outside our chain of command, the mission FIRST,.. rank didn’t matter.. not from outside our unit. You had to respect the rank, but no one could use it to circumvent our procedures… and there was never a “guest” there.. the WSA was need to know. SAC no lone zone territory. Even missile techs were escorted outside the buildings.

    • Michael Anderson (WB)

      Forget all the special circumstances of a military trial and they should still recognize that civilian trials are also covered by armed guards. Total and complete fools.

    • blockthiscnn

      As a former gate sentry at Camp Pendleton, I think you are dead on – these clowns are shocked that the military would have armed personnel on the base. Idiots.

      • BayushiZero

        I remember when Desert Shield/Storm were underway. They upgraded the gate sentries from sidearms to M16s (at least on Navy bases & Pendleton). I can only imagine the insanity of bases buttoning up tight after 9/11.

        • Markward

          M60 right at the gate. Pointed right at any cars trying to breech the security point.

          • Mark81150


            ma baby…

      • cynicalfel

        I’m not certain it was shock that there were guards present so much as that they were shocked that the guard were looking at THEM. Looking over their shoulders, reading what they typed and and what not. I think the lack of a perceived right to privacy is what creeped them out the most. Again, they had no clue how a military instillation operates. Now they’ll go complain about how they weren’t afforded their right as the press or how there’s not privacy or some other claptrap.

    • Republicanvet

      Oh, but what about so much liberal butt hurt?

    • BayushiZero

      Imagine their apoplexy if they discovered that our Nuclear power plants are guarded by rough men with fully automatic weapons. Said men not being military (often former service), nor Police.

      I’m sure being security for a high-profile facility containing/controlling that many nuclear warheads was rather tense, much of the time. Even post Cold-War, there’s still the threat of terrorism.

      • Mark81150

        Curtis LeMay was our Godfather, the fall of Kimpo Airbase in Korea our Alamo, we didn’t take anything for granted, ever. Before Kimpo, where an entire unit of then Air Police, fought desperately to hold back the Chinese while the base evac’ed to a safe area.. and died to the last man doing it… we were reclassified into to disciplines, Security Specialists, and Law Enforcement. LE handled routine SP duties, we in SS were then after trained heavily in light infantry tactics by the US Army, and Ranger qualified Airmen. The AF created it’s own light infantry.

        We were as combat fit as any Army line unit, wargaming with the 101st and 82nd.. were we did win on occasion. We had no command for retreat, the only unit I know of, where you fight to win, or die in place. Expandable assets..

        the cold war only intensified that mindset, no mistakes were tolerated.. and the fastest way to Ft Leavenworth was to deliberately violate procedures with Priority A assets. Nukes, and secret and higher level classified material.

        Tense.. you could say that… LOL.. especially during an ORI.

  • AaronHarrisinAlaska

    Proof these people have no clue how the military works, let alone this country. MPs are almost always armed when on duty and one of the few military personnel that don’t have to check their weapons in sensitive areas. Regardless, when you’re on a military installation, you are subject to post policy, civilian or not.

    • Brian Jones

      I’m not aware of anyone else on Base that would even be ALLOWED to carry a weapon, except for Security Forces…so the part where you said that they were “one of the few military personnel that don’t have to check their weapons in sensitive areas” is a bit redundant…

      Otherwise, EXCELLENT post!!!

      • AaronHarrisinAlaska

        Troops traveling to and from exercises are allowed the possession of their weapons. When traveling from they must hold to them until the weapon has been cleared then which they are stored in an arms room. During FPCons of high mark such as what happened in the immidiat wake of 9/11 ALL soldiers regardless of MO may be required to run shift of armed patrol duty.

  • GaryTheBrave

    There are likely armed security where they work. Try to get into any network news headquarters and you’ll see them.

  • Steve_J

    Poor baby’s.

  • Chip

    Shorter narrative: “Manning’s ass is cooked, no way to sway public opinion…….. So, what can I whine about instead?”

  • Tom Chipp

    At least they weren’t treated like the residents in Boston, the MPs weapons were holstered.

  • MarcusFenix

    Not sure why David Sirota is surprised there are soliders with guns…on a military base.

  • Markward

    It is called a Military Installation, as in you might find solider in uniform there. I’d really hope the media idiots piss off the gate guard and get tackled and searched with a boot on the neck… But I would never want to wish it on the MPs doing their job.

    Fun times rolling on my bike to the Alameda Gate where my Friend’s dad was a Marine manning the gate, I’d go in and meet up with dad (Navy family!) when he would go home.

    • Brian Jones

      THAT sounds really cool!!!

  • Adam Johnson

    They have the option to STAY THE #*&#(& OFF of a Federal Military Installation. Don’t like being subject to search, don’t go past all the signs that say “entering this area is consent to search Title X U.S.C. Section 18”

  • Blake Waymire

    Funny… I went to an air show at Langley a while back and they still had armed security. I didn’t realize that was a big thing at MILITARY BASES! God, journalists are idiots.

    For the record, that’s the safest I’ve ever felt in my life. Great group of men and women over there.

  • RightThinking1

    Big deal. Where are the complaints from the media about armed Muslim psychiatrists?

  • J.J. Sefton

    Tell Sirota “I blame the commander-in-chief.” Heh.

    He deserves a cock-punch.

  • keyboard jockey

    How can you tell a group of parasites – never served their country, their entire lives? They have no clue how U.S. Military protocol works on gasp a U.S. Military installation.

    There should be mandatory Military service in this country just so we stop breeding the snot nosed, self indulgent, clueless class.

    It would be nice to see some photos for the period Manning was serving in Iraq of our wounded from Iraq and Afghanistan. Men and Women with lost limbs, flag covered coffins, with the question “Did Bradley Manning Do This?”

    The answer is, not by himself, he had help from Julian Assange and Wikileaks.

    • Jay Stevens

      “There should be mandatory Military service in this country just so we
      stop breeding the snot nosed, self indulgent, clueless class.”

      Instead, we seem to be breeding a nation of sheep.

      Jay Stevens
      Retired (sort of) sheep dog

      • keyboard jockey

        What’s never going to be fully explained to us – the American people is why people like Manning (private) and Snowden (civilian contractor) had clearance to classified documents in the first place.

  • Oilfart1

    you mean the military police are making sure media pukes are doing what they said they would be doing when they were granted access to a secure area? Sounds like a portion of the government is doing their jobs.

  • PatriotRG

    There should be one verdict in my opinion death by firing squad. To appease the left I would make the firing squad diverse in gender , color and sexuality.

  • PatriotRG

    Beta males like sirota forget the reason he can spout leftist treasonous remarks in a free speech environment and not be hanged from a crain for being a leftist beta male is because of that same armed military he pisses and wines about. By the way does he think he is actually a reporter ? He works for bouffant magazine does he not ?

  • ObamaFail

    I think the libs would be happier if they could be surrounded by armed soldiers of Allah instead of US soldiers.

  • J.E.Bates

    So they finally found something they don’t want the government controlling?

  • Mom2Ian03

    They are on a military base what the hell did they expect????

  • $29561723

    Boo hoo for the Marxist pieces of shit lib journos.

  • AZWarrior

    What did they think was going to happen when we allow unvetted individuals onto an American Military Base? Wonder if they know that State laws don’t apply on a military base, only Military law. Hey media, the Military has guns! Oh, and under the National Security Act of 1950, use of deadly force is authorized. (A sign to this effect is posted at every entrance to every military base.)

    • cynicalfel

      I’ll bet that scared the crap out of them.

      So they let the media in to observe the trial. could they let some of us in to make snarky comments about the media, just loud enough to the reporters to hear, just not disrupt the proceedings?

  • SPQR9

    Sheesh, grow up. Media are perpetual spoiled brats.