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Dan Choi Tackled, Handcuffed, Kicked Off Base While Trying To Attend Bradley Manning’s Hearing

Military police wrestled “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” posterboy Dan Choi and pinned him to the ground before tearing the epaulet on his uniform, handcuffing him, threatening to charge him with resisting arrest and eventually kicking him off the Fort Meade base when he tried to attend accused Wikileaker Bradley Manning’s hearing. Oh Choi, what have you done now?

According to Choi, he had peaceably attended Manning’s hearing the day before. But this time, base officials at the gate harassed Choi for wearing his uniform (even though Choi has every right to as an honorable dischargee). The officials apologized and let him in ten minutes later. But when Choi noticed a nearby Staff Sergeant reportedly giving him a dirty look, Choi asked, “Hello, staff sergeant, how’s your dog?”

Overhearing Choi, a marshall approached Choi and told him he was heckling. When Choi said that he wasn’t heckling, the marshall asked Choi to leave. Choi refused, saying that he was in a contained area. At which point, the marshall tackled, cuffed and forcibly removed Choi. Even though he didn’t formally charge Choi, he banned him from the courtroom and forbade him from re-entering the base for at least 24 hours.

According to The Daily Kos, Choi supports Manning:

Choi, a West Point graduate, went to the Manning trial because “soldiers stand up for integrity, and if the code of ethics and army values are important, then we should support Bradley Manning.” He added that Manning’s actions were not only in the interest of his unit, but also in the interest of the country. “He believed that our country as a whole needed to have integrity. The law of land warfare says that if a soldier sees a crime—a rape or a murder—it’s their responsibility to report it. As I understood it, he brought it up to the chain of command. The chain of command knew about it, and they were the ones who were in violation of the law of land warfare. To not report it is to be complicit. He was the only soldier in the chain of command to do the right thing, so that’s why we have to support him.”

But that’s hardly a reason to forbid Choi from attending the entire hearing. So far, the public affairs office at Fort Meade have not issued their side of the story. You probably shouldn’t hold your breath waiting for them to.