Saturday, February 04, 2012

Bradley Manning

Bradley Manning is in the news as the US military announced Friday night that they were moving to a court-martial. The Bradley Manning Support Network's Jeff Paterson responded, "This administration owes all Americans an honest explanation for their extraordinary retaliation against Bradley Manning."

This move to a court-martial is not a surprise. Last month, Josh Gerstein (POLITICO) reported, "Another military officer has formally recommended that Army Pfc. Bradley Manning face a full-scale court martial for allegedly leaking thousands of military reports and diplomatic cables to the online transparency site WikiLeaks." In addition, Article 32 hearings are almost always rubber stamps. Monday April 5th, WikiLeaks released US military video of a July 12, 2007 assault in Iraq. 12 people were killed in the assault including two Reuters journalists Namie Noor-Eldeen and Saeed Chmagh. Monday June 7, 2010, the US military announced that they had arrested Bradley Manning and he stood accused of being the leaker of the video. Leila Fadel (Washington Post) reported in August 2010 that Manning had been charged -- "two charges under the Uniform Code of Military Justice. The first encompasses four counts of violating Army regulations by transferring classified information to his personal computer between November and May and adding unauthorized software to a classified computer system. The second comprises eight counts of violating federal laws governing the handling of classified information." In March, David S. Cloud (Los Angeles Times) reported that the military has added 22 additional counts to the charges including one that could be seen as "aiding the enemy" which could result in the death penalty if convicted. The Article 32 hearing took place in December.

AP has a video report on the move to court-martial here. Luis Martinez (ABC News) explains, "Manning faces 22 charges, including aiding the enemy, wrongfully causing intelligence to be published on the Internet knowing that it is accessible to the enemy, theft of public property or records, and transmitting defense information. Aiding the enemy is a capital offense that could bring the death penalty, but Army prosecutors have said they will instead pursue life in prison if the 24-year old Manning is convicted. Manning could also face a reduction in rank to the lowest enlisted pay grade, total forfeiture of all pay and allowances and a dishonorable discharge." Matthew Hay Brown (Baltimore Sun) notes, "There was no word on whether the as-yet-unscheduled court-martial would also be held at Fort Meade, one of three installations within the military district equipped to host such a proceeding."

The Associated Press offers this summary of the scattershot defense offered by Bradley's attorneys, "Manning's lawyers countered that others had access to Manning's workplace computers. They say he was in emotional turmoil, partly because he was a gay soldier at a time when homosexuals were barred from serving openly in the U.S. armed forces. The defense also claims Manning's apparent disregard for security rules during stateside training and his increasingly violent outbursts after deployment were red flags that should have prevented him from having access to classified material. Manning's lawyers also contend that the material WikiLeaks published did little or no harm to national security." Scattershot? That defense remains incoherent until it is has a larger statement attached to it such as "And he's innocent" or "and that's why he did what he did."

The Bradley Manning Support Network has a number of events planned including:

Seattle WA: The campaign to free Bradley Manning

Seattle, Washington
5 February 2012

Lakewood WA: The campaign to free Bradley Manning

Lakewood, Washington
6 February 2012

Olympia WA: The campaign to free Bradley Manning

Olympia, Washington
7 February 2012

The following community sites -- plus Washington Week, Susan's On The Edge and On The Wilder Side -- updated last night and this morning:

The e-mail address for this site is