David Coombs speaks to Bradley Manning supporters at All Souls Unitarian Church in Northwest D.C.
The lawyer for Army whistleblower Private First Class Bradley Manning is speaking out. For the first time in public, David Coombs is talking about the case against his client, the alleged torture Pfc. Manning has endured and his fight for freedom.
Manning has been in prison for over 900 days without a trial. Coombs and supporters call it an injustice.
"It is by far the most important military case, but it's a case that is significant for all of us," says Coombs. "We live in a country that is built on freedom of speech. We live in a country that is built on government accountability and informed citizens."
Coombs didn't go into details, but used his time in front of the audience and media to paint a picture of a young soldier whose actions he believes have helped expose the reality of wars. Manning is accused in the biggest leak of classified information in U.S. history.
He has been in prison since June 2010 awaiting a court martial. In that time, Manning alleges he's been subjected to solitary isolation and other abuse at the hands of the guards.
"Not only was it stupid and counter-productive, it was criminal," Coombs says. "An entire group of individuals chose to turn a blind eye to how Bradley was being treated."
Some supporters who filled the All Souls Unitarian Church in Northwest D.C. to hear Coombs speak came from across the country. They say Pfc. Manning is a patriot. They joined with Coombs in demanding freedom now for the imprisoned soldier.
"I think his incarceration, under torturous conditions without having been charged or found guilty of anything for this long period of time, is an abomination," says Paulette Frederick.
"We think it's a violation of American principles to treat prisoners this way no matter what they've done, and in this case, he did something that was very important," Lincoln Day adds.