Bradley Manning's first hearing 27 replies

Please wait...

Commissar MercZ

Notable Loser

300,005 XP

29th January 2005

0 Uploads

27,113 Posts

0 Threads

#1 6 years ago

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/12/17/us/bradley-manning-accused-of-aiding-wikileaks-will-appear-in-military-court.html

Private in WikiLeaks Spying Case Goes to Court

By SCOTT SHANE

FORT MEADE, Md. — A defense lawyer for Bradley Manning, the Army private accused in the most famous leak of government secrets since the Pentagon Papers, began a frontal attack during Private Manning’s first court appearance here on Friday morning, claiming that the Army’s investigating officer at the evidentiary hearing was biased and should recuse himself from the case.

The lawyer, David Coombs, said that Lt. Col. Paul Almanza, the investigating officer who works as a Justice Department prosecutor in civilian life, was preventing the defense from calling witnesses to show that little harm was done by the disclosure of hundreds of thousands of confidential documents provided to WikiLeaks.

“All this stuff has been leaked,” Mr. Coombs said. “A year and a half later, where’s the danger? Where’s the harm?”

Colonel Almanza declined to remove himself from the case, saying he did not currently supervise criminal cases in his job at the Justice Department, which involves child abuse and obscenity, not national security. He said he had no involvement in a separate federal criminal investigation of WikiLeaks.

Mr. Coombs appealed the recusal decision to the Army Court of Criminal Appeals and asked the court to halt the hearing until it could rule. A decision on a possible postponement could come as early as Saturday, when testimony is scheduled to resume at 10 a.m.

At the hearing, the crowd of about 50 people in the unadorned courtroom, including reporters and supporters of Private Manning, caught their first glimpse of the soldier, who turns 24 on Saturday and faces a possible sentence of life in prison.

Private Manning, a slight figure in black-rimmed glasses, a crew cut and camouflage uniform, answered routine questions from the investigating officer in a quiet but steady voice. “Yes, sir,” he said, when asked whether he was satisfied with his lawyers.

At the end of six hours of stop-and-start proceedings, as spectators filed out, one man called out, “Bradley Manning, you’re a hero.” Private Manning did not react.

He is accused of aiding the enemy and violating the Espionage Act by providing WikiLeaks with diplomatic cables, military field reports and war videos. His supporters hail him as a whistle-blower who sought to expose wrongdoing.

The evidentiary proceeding, known as an Article 32 hearing and expected to last about a week, will determine whether the charges proceed to a court-martial or are dismissed. Both prosecutors and Private Manning’s lawyer will present evidence, and the public could learn new details of the origins of the disclosures, which shook governments and embarrassed politicians around the world.

The hearing could shed light not just on Private Manning’s conduct, but also on the possible role of WikiLeaks’ founder, Julian Assange, and other WikiLeaks activists, in soliciting the material or facilitating the leak. A federal grand jury in Alexandria, Va., is considering whether WikiLeaks leaders broke the law, though there has never been a successful prosecution for disseminating leaked secrets, as opposed to leaking them in the first place.

“This is one of the most interesting military cases of the last 20 years,” said Eugene R. Fidell, who teaches military justice at Yale. Mr. Fidell said the case came at the intersection of advancing technology, making it possible to lay bare a truckload of secrets on the Web with the click of a mouse, and the culture of the Facebook era in which nothing stays secret for long.

Reporters from around the world are covering the hearing, with a dozen at a time in the cramped courtroom and about 50 others following the proceedings on a video link from an adjacent media center. Security is tight at the sprawling Army base, which houses the National Security Agency, the intelligence agency that eavesdrops on foreign communications.

Private Manning, an intelligence analyst who served at Forward Operating Base Hammer, near Baghdad, was arrested in May 2010 and accused of exploiting gaping security holes on the military computer system by downloading the secret material onto CDs that he marked as Lady Gaga songs.

His treatment during 19 months of incarceration set off a major controversy. At the jail on the Marine Corps base at Quantico, Va., he was held in isolation and forced to strip off his clothing and sleep in a tear-proof smock, a measure military officials said was necessary because he might be a suicide risk. After an outcry — including sharp criticism from the State Department’s top spokesman, who was fired as a result — Private Manning was moved to a new military prison at Fort Leavenworth, Kan., where his lawyer, Mr. Coombs, said his treatment was better.

The leaked material was made public by WikiLeaks over more than a year, sometimes directly on the organization’s Web site and sometimes in collaboration with newspapers and other media organizations, including The New York Times.

Though WikiLeaks was founded in 2006, it attracted little public attention until it began to post the material Private Manning is accused of providing. The organization released an edited version of a long-withheld video of American helicopters in Iraq fatally shooting people on the ground, two of whom turned out to be Reuters journalists, and gave it the title “Collateral Murder.”

Private Manning is also accused of passing on military reports from Afghanistan and Iraq, as well as a quarter-million State Department cables. State Department officials have argued that the exposure hampered diplomacy by making valuable informants overseas reluctant to speak candidly. But Arab activists say the revelations of high-level corruption in Egypt, Libya, Tunisia and Yemen, among other countries, helped fuel the revolts that have transformed the region.

The hearing comes after about 19 months of detainment. This would be the first 'real' (for the most part) hearing which would consider evidence and the charges against Manning to see if it warrants the next level of prosecution in the military courts.




Guest

I didn't make it!

0 XP

 
#2 6 years ago

Honestly, I think this man is a traitor and should be punished as a traitor, even if those leaks had "minimal" effect. That is something I highly doubt when Afghan informants and others were named.

He is a disgrace to the entire US military and not fit to serve this country, let alone do anything more complicated than work the fryers at Burger King. Didn't he do this crap after getting all upset because his gay lover dumped him?

Then we go and repeal DADT... common sense is truly dead in this country.




Andron Taps Forum Mod

Faktrl is Best Pony

261,593 XP

10th September 2007

4 Uploads

21,746 Posts

1,754 Threads

#3 6 years ago

Ugh.......no.


"I'd shush her zephyr." ~ Zephyr.



Emperor Benedictine

You can't fire me, I quit

55 XP

16th April 2005

0 Uploads

2,437 Posts

0 Threads

#4 6 years ago
ElCommissar;5595634Then we go and repeal DADT... common sense is truly dead in this country.

Uh... what? How does this issue in any way make the case for DADT - a policy which was repealed long AFTER the leaks took place?




Rikupsoni

Victim of Forgotten HopeForum bystander

50 XP

26th April 2004

0 Uploads

3,047 Posts

0 Threads

#5 6 years ago

In my opinion, those are traitors who kill civilians and hide it, never trying to fix your ways to minimize civilian casualties. When the system is too corrupt, someone has to stand up and be a "traitor".

The system indeed isn't too healthy when it's illegal to uncover a war crime. As per Nuremberg principles, the one "just following orders" and not doing something against the war crime is a warcriminal.




Nemmerle Forum Mod

Voice of joy and sunshine

298,365 XP

26th May 2003

0 Uploads

28,147 Posts

5 Threads

#6 6 years ago

Hard choices don't look like pure gains. Even when they do the right thing it's probably still a good idea to punish traitors in some way. Otherwise people will be breaking confidentiality left, right and centre and can claim they thought that it would result in a good thing, to escape from the punishment, later on. Indeed, considering there are so many different ideologies out there and so many definitions of right it would effectively be an unbeatable defence.

I don't think it should cost him everything he's got. After all it was relatively worthless intelligence. Top Secret is just sort of mid-level trash - the military equivalent of gossip. Need to know, color clearances, codenames; that sort of thing's the important stuff.

Five, maybe ten years. That doesn't seem an unreasonable penalty for him to me. Though I suspect the penalty they'll send down will actually be of the, "Take your last look at daylight, you won't be seeing it again." kind.

As for the morality of the issue. Nothing much came of it. The atrocities - such as they were - were revealed and no-one gave much of a shit. It's almost a joke really, you can imagine it on a gameshow: "Who's stupid enough to build a military base in a valley?...." *Durp!* "The US military!" There wasn't much damage either. It's like someone farted and some poor stupid bastard is going to get their life destroyed over it. A waste all around.




Guest

I didn't make it!

0 XP

 
#7 6 years ago
Emperor Benedictine;5595721Uh... what? How does this issue in any way make the case for DADT - a policy which was repealed long AFTER the leaks took place?

This traitor clearly was letting issues related to his sexuality disrupt his performance. That is one of his defenses in this trail. This was something DADT was designed to prevent. If somebody's gay, whatever. But when it disrupts their performance like this, they shouldn't be wearing the uniform.

He sits around in some cozy CONUS office, leaking files to loons like Assange who don't have the faintest grasp of warfare. All the while good American men and women were fighting and dying in Iraq and Afghanistan. Casualty lists from these wars are filled with thousands of honorable soldiers risks their lives daily. Outside of those in the military community, these men and women are all too often forgotten about. Even the DoD and military leadership has done a poor job, as evidenced by the unacceptable disgraces at Arlington and elsewhere.

Yet meanwhile, people have the nerve to call this scrawny, pathetic excuse for a soldier a hero?! It's nothing short of disgusting!

You can argue the information he leaked wasn't all that important. Yet that does NOT excuse the severity of his actions. He deserves life in prison. If this was 67 years ago he would have been shot for this, and one could still argue he deserves that today, despite the different threats we face in 2011.

Rikupsoni, the US military does much to minimize civilian causalities, in doing so often putting soldiers at greater risk. It's a trade-off, and at no other time in military history have things been tipped so towards preventing collateral damage. Men like Julian Assange don't know the first thing about combat, military history, and are more concerned about pushing their agendas, as seen in his edited "collateral murder" BS.




Emperor Benedictine

You can't fire me, I quit

55 XP

16th April 2005

0 Uploads

2,437 Posts

0 Threads

#8 6 years ago
ElCommissar;5595780This traitor clearly was letting issues related to his sexuality disrupt his performance. That is one of his defenses in this trail. This was something DADT was designed to prevent. If somebody's gay, whatever. But when it disrupts their performance like this, they shouldn't be wearing the uniform.

He shouldn't have been wearing the uniform because he was mentally unstable (small wonder) and ideologically opposed to the war in Iraq. The discrimination he faced within the military - and the fact that he felt his sexuality was putting his career in jeopardy and he therefore had nothing to lose - are not really things he could reasonably be expected to control. This whole thing is really the best evidence you could ask for that DADT doesn't (didn't) work as a policy, and you use it to argue in favour of DADT?

He sits around in some cozy CONUS office, leaking files to loons like Assange who don't have the faintest grasp of warfare. All the while good American men and women were fighting and dying in Iraq and Afghanistan. Casualty lists from these wars are filled with thousands of honorable soldiers risks their lives daily. Outside of those in the military community, these men and women are all too often forgotten about. Even the DoD and military leadership has done a poor job, as evidenced by the unacceptable disgraces at Arlington and elsewhere. Yet meanwhile, people have the nerve to call this scrawny, pathetic excuse for a soldier a hero?! It's nothing short of disgusting! You can argue the information he leaked wasn't all that important. Yet that does NOT excuse the severity of his actions. He deserves life in prison. If this was 67 years ago he would have been shot for this, and one could still argue he deserves that today, despite the different threats we face in 2011.

Manning deserves to be shot because he's not as much of a "hero" as some other people involved in the debacle that was the Iraq war? If you say so.




Guest

I didn't make it!

0 XP

 
#9 6 years ago
Emperor Benedictine;5595784He shouldn't have been wearing the uniform because he was mentally unstable (small wonder) and ideologically opposed to the war in Iraq. The discrimination he faced within the military - and the fact that he felt his sexuality was putting his career in jeopardy and he therefore had nothing to lose - are not really things he could reasonably be expected to control.

He should have not been wearing the uniform for a dozen different reasons. Yet talk about "discrimination", aka people expecting him to behave like a soldier, isn't a valid defense for his actions. He still knew what he was doing.

This whole thing is really the best evidence you could ask for that DADT doesn't (didn't) work as a policy, and you use it to argue in favour of DADT?Manning deserves to be shot because he's not as much of a "hero" as some other people involved in the debacle that was the Iraq war? If you say so.

Are you trying to suggest he wouldn't have been an incompetent soldier and traitor if he was allowed to express his "gender confusion"? This guy didn't add anything to the military and still wouldn't, even if he was allowed to creep out everybody who worked with him. The repeal of DADT will protect incompetent individuals like him thanks to spineless military leadership and clueless Washington politicians.

He's not a hero at all. He's guilty of treason and deserves life in prison because of that, not because he happened to be a pathetic excuse for a soldier compared to everybody who has done combat duty overseas. The fact that the war in Iraq was an intelligence debacle doesn't reduce the heroism of those men and women on the front lines.

Excuse me if I lack sympathy for Manning when so many veterans who come home don't get the thanks they deserve.




Emperor Benedictine

You can't fire me, I quit

55 XP

16th April 2005

0 Uploads

2,437 Posts

0 Threads

#10 6 years ago
ElCommissar;5595790He should have not been wearing the uniform for a dozen different reasons. Yet talk about "discrimination", aka people expecting him to behave like a soldier, isn't a valid defense for his actions. He still knew what he was doing.

No, by "discrimination" I refer to the way he was allegedly treated as a result of his sexuality. I don't bring it up as a defense of his actions, but rather as evidence that DADT doesn't work and is counter-productive.

Are you trying to suggest he wouldn't have been an incompetent soldier and traitor if he was allowed to express his "gender confusion"? This guy didn't add anything to the military and still wouldn't, even if he was allowed to creep out everybody who worked with him out. The repeal of DADT will protect incompetent individuals like him thanks to spineless military leadership and clueless Washington politicians.

You seem to have avoided the point, which is that DADT accomplished absolutely nothing in terms of preventing Manning from leaking information, or for that matter from "creeping out" his "heroic" colleagues. So presumably its utter lack of effectiveness will not be missed... though I imagine there are many who lament the blow struck against the institutionalised intolerance of homosexuals.