By the way, the Bradley Manning court martial is winding down also

posted at 12:31 pm on July 14, 2013 by Jazz Shaw

With all the – ahem – other trial related news dominating the headlines, you’re to be forgiven if you didn’t notice that the long awaited court martial of Bradley Manning was drawing to a close as well. We’ve been covering it for you here since the beginning, and it would appear that the end is finally in sight. (For a walk down memory lane with Hot Air, you can catch all of our previous coverage here.) The court martial itself dragged on for nearly a month and a half, with the prosecution putting on a long and meticulous presentation, frequently interrupted by breaks to consider precisely how much could be said in front of who. In that light, it came as something of a surprise when the defense wrapped things up in less than a week and rested.

The defense in the court-martial of U.S. Army Pfc. Bradley Manning rested its case Wednesday after just three days and ten witnesses.

The prosecution, by contrast, took five weeks to present its case against Private Manning, as they pursued charges including “aiding the enemy,” which could carry the death penalty, though the prosecution is seeking “only” a life sentence in military custody with no parole.

The real shocker here came, yet again, from lead defense attorney David Coombs, who I’ve written about extensively and sat through a few conference calls with. (And in terms of nothing changing, his closing still has me wondering if Manning won’t have some basis for an appeal based on a lack of competent representation.) One of his final flourishes was to claim Manning’s actions really had nothing to do with terrorists getting hold of classified information. In fact, it was all the government’s fault for making such a big deal of it.

But defense lawyer David Coombs revealed in court that according to testimony that has not yet been made public, it was the government’s own reaction to WikiLeaks that drew the attention of al-Qaida and Osama Bin Laden, who was later discovered to have asked to see the WikiLeaks files.

“Rhetoric is what drives the enemy to actually go look at WikiLeaks, not the actual publication of the information,” Coombs said, in an argument against the government’s “aiding the enemy” charge.

Did you catch that? If the government hadn’t complained about WikiLeaks, then al-Qaida never would have found out about it. Never mind that Assange was blasting news of the existence of this information across the international press 24/7 and the media was eating it up with a spoon. Surely that could never have enticed the terrorists to give it a look , eh?

This is a court martial, not a civilian trial, so it’s very possible that we’ll have our final answer in fairly short order. I still don’t see anything which leads me to believe that the Army isn’t going to consider this a case of aiding the enemy during a time of war. (Amnesty International, of course, sees things differently. ) But as noted in the article linked above, the consistent position of the Army has been that they don’t intend to seek the death penalty even if they get a conviction on that count and would rather just lock him up and throw away the key. In the end, there may have been some politics involved in that decision up front, but taking the other route would probably be more of a headache than they’d care to deal with. Either way, we should know soon enough.


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GUILTY!

DAMNED GUILTY!

BlaxPac on July 14, 2013 at 12:33 PM

Why do the protesters for guys like this always look like they live in a closet surrounded by foil food wrappers and bits of rancid food. I mean jeebus, a bunch of bedraggled, freak-eyed, unshaven goofnuts muttering to themselves isn’t who I would want defending me.

Bishop on July 14, 2013 at 12:37 PM

Bishop on July 14, 2013 at 12:37 PM

Birds of a feather and all that. Or in other words, the same reason the eco-nutter who let all the minks out of the farm (seriously, google his mug shot) looked like he crawled out the window of special ed class and ran off.

MelonCollie on July 14, 2013 at 12:42 PM

Bishop on July 14, 2013 at 12:37 PM

The sad part is, you could use that description for ANY of the Progressive memes being commented on today, from the TX abortion law rallies to the Snowden discussion threads.

Reason # 102,110 on why I would never become a Progressive: They all look like they dressed in a closet in the dark while the building was being shaken by the Jolly Green Giant.

And, because they smell icky.

BlaxPac on July 14, 2013 at 12:42 PM

Bishop on July 14, 2013 at 12:37 PM

And that’s a heck of a large contingent of protestors in the headline pic, as well. Heh.

Cleombrotus on July 14, 2013 at 12:43 PM

Bishop on July 14, 2013 at 12:37 PM

Counter-culture kooks can’t be expected to follow societal norms like hygiene and decency. Indoor plumbing was and is just one more way they turn you into fascist clones for use by “the Man.”

Sgt Steve on July 14, 2013 at 12:43 PM

FREE BRIANNA!

FREE THE WARRIOR PRINCESS!!!

Blake on July 14, 2013 at 12:44 PM

60 years from now, Manning will look out of his cell window at Leavenworth and try to remember exactly why it was sooo important to lift those files and then send them over to Wikileaks…and for the life of him, he won’t be able to remember…

coldwarrior on July 14, 2013 at 12:45 PM

I still don’t see anything which leads me to believe that the Army isn’t going to consider this a case of aiding the enemy during a time of war.

Which leads me to ask the question: With whom were we at war when he committed this offense?

JohnGalt23 on July 14, 2013 at 12:46 PM

With whom were we at war when he committed this offense?

JohnGalt23 on July 14, 2013 at 12:46 PM

Eastasia?

Or, wait…maybe it was Oceania.

coldwarrior on July 14, 2013 at 12:49 PM

With whom were we at war when he committed this offense?

JohnGalt23 on July 14, 2013 at 12:46 PM

Every place we aren’t babysitting, of course.

MelonCollie on July 14, 2013 at 12:51 PM

Which leads me to ask the question: With whom were we at war when he committed this offense?

JohnGalt23 on July 14, 2013 at 12:46 PM

Why would that matter? Would releasing classified information including the names of covert operatives, to whomever, wherever, be any less a crime against your country in a time of peace?

Mimzey on July 14, 2013 at 12:53 PM

A fair trial followed by a first class hanging.

Assange, you’re next.

locomotivebreath1901 on July 14, 2013 at 12:55 PM

Had Manning chosen to pass along his “finds” while seated in his own apartment in some peaceful neighborhood in Oklahoma…things might be different.

But, Manning was in uniform in a war zone, serving as an intel analyst (his dad was one, as well…back in his navy days) and Manning knew full well that each and every item of intelligence information he encountered was classified at some level…well…releasing classified info from a war zone, while in a war zone…kinda of treasonous at a minimum…and all allegedly because Manning saw “war crimes” being committed…probably thought that if it worked for John Kerry…war crimes all over Vietnam, cutting off ears, Genghis Khan…become an anti-war protestor…next stop the Senate, maybe President someday…Manning probably saw it as a career path…a gateway to greatness…

coldwarrior on July 14, 2013 at 12:57 PM

A fair trial followed by a first class hanging.

Assange, you’re next.

locomotivebreath1901 on July 14, 2013 at 12:55 PM

Set up an auction for veterans for the privilege of pulling the lever, proceeds to benefit disabled soldiers. You’ll rake in dough hand over fist.

MelonCollie on July 14, 2013 at 12:58 PM

In that light, it came as something of a surprise when the defense wrapped things up in less than a week and rested.

The defense strategy was confess and beg for mercy.

myiq2xu on July 14, 2013 at 12:58 PM

the defense wrapped things up in less than a week and rested.

Typical attorney…trying to play God.

coldwarrior on July 14, 2013 at 1:01 PM

…a gateway to greatness…

coldwarrior on July 14, 2013 at 12:57 PM

Well he sure as hell is (in)famous now, isn’t he?

I seriously doubt, short of divine NON-political intervention, that he will receive a death sentence. Life in a military Supermax is on his duty station, and frankly that may be better than what he deserves also.

BlaxPac on July 14, 2013 at 1:01 PM

Well, at least the Defense looks like it dropped the stupid: ‘I betrayed my country because I’m transgendered’ excuse. Still say fry him in a ball gown, but life without lipstick will be fine, too.

Ladysmith CulchaVulcha on July 14, 2013 at 1:02 PM

Bishop on July 14, 2013 at 12:37 PM
Counter-culture kooks can’t be expected to follow societal norms like hygiene and decency. Indoor plumbing was and is just one more way they turn you into fascist clones for use by “the Man.”

Sgt Steve on July 14, 2013 at 12:43 PM

You can thank the Romans for that little necessity.

RickB on July 14, 2013 at 1:04 PM

You can thank the Romans for that little necessity.

RickB on July 14, 2013 at 1:04 PM

We could take a few lessons from the Romans who invented the term ‘decimate’ while we’re played like a fiddle.

MelonCollie on July 14, 2013 at 1:11 PM

Justice for Breanna!

(Can he cross-dress in a woman’s orange jumpsuit?)

Wethal on July 14, 2013 at 1:23 PM

A traitor in uniform should hang.

But, because he’s gay, he’ll just get to hang out with only guys for the next 20 or so years.

Curious punishment.

Maybe they should put him in the women’s wing?

For post-gender fairness.

profitsbeard on July 14, 2013 at 1:33 PM

Bradley, meet your roommate, Bubba.

GarandFan on July 14, 2013 at 1:35 PM

When does illustrious leader weigh in for Manning…

He did it for Trayvon…

He did it for the sexual assault military tribunals…

“When President Obama proclaimed that those who commit sexual assault in the military should be “prosecuted, stripped of their positions, court-martialed, fired, dishonorably discharged,” it had an effect he did not intend: muddying legal cases across the country.

In at least a dozen sexual assault cases since the president’s remarks at the White House in May, judges and defense lawyers have said that Mr. Obama’s words as commander in chief amounted to “unlawful command influence,” tainting trials as a result. Military law experts said that those cases were only the beginning and that the president’s remarks were certain to complicate almost all prosecutions for sexual assault….”

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/07/14/us/obama-remark-is-complicating-military-trials.html?partner=rss&emc=rss&_r=0

workingclass artist on July 14, 2013 at 1:38 PM

snowden’s brother.

unclesmrgol on July 14, 2013 at 1:54 PM

…what dress will he wear?

KOOLAID2 on July 14, 2013 at 1:54 PM

It’s crazy… I go through the gate at Ft Meade every morning and leave every afternoon and I forget that it’s the center of the manning/hippie universe. I did see about seven or eight old hippies with signs about a week ago, but it was raining and they were taking shelter under their signs…

NavyDavy on July 14, 2013 at 2:01 PM

Bishop on July 14, 2013 at 12:37 PM

They’re all members of his MMOG Guild

PJ Emeritus on July 14, 2013 at 2:18 PM

When does illustrious leader weigh in for Manning…

He did it for Trayvon…

He did it for the sexual assault military tribunals…

workingclass artist on July 14, 2013 at 1:38 PM

He can’t because he’d have to defend Snowden too. His need to keep the surveillance going is greater than his need to keep gay liberals on board. His gay-marriage position is enough to keep them happy, so Manning doesn’t matter.

virgo on July 14, 2013 at 2:22 PM

Eastasia?

Or, wait…maybe it was Oceania.

coldwarrior on July 14, 2013 at 12:49 PM

Orwell notwithstanding, when I first read your comment, I thought you said Obama.

turfmann on July 14, 2013 at 2:22 PM

Libs will be going bugchit demanding Obama pardon him and the 2016 donk candidates will all have to promise a pardon or commutation to appease the nutroots.

Southernblogger on July 14, 2013 at 2:25 PM

The defense in the court-martial of U.S. Army Pfc. Bradley Manning rested its case Wednesday after just three days and ten witnesses.

Really, what kind of defense does the gay private’s team really have? Did he not intentionally collect thousands of classified documents and relase them to third parties?

The only thing that is wrong is that only Manning is on trial. His immediate superiors should also face punishment for allowing the conditions that enabled Manning to collect all that data.

Happy Nomad on July 14, 2013 at 2:59 PM

But defense lawyer David Coombs revealed in court that according to testimony that has not yet been made public, it was the government’s own reaction to WikiLeaks that drew the attention of al-Qaida and Osama Bin Laden…

Unfortunately for him, the law does not say anything about “drawing attention to classified matter,” only “releasing classified material without proper authorization.”

Next step: the defense attorney will ask the Court Martial Judges to “look into their hearts.”

RoadRunner on July 14, 2013 at 3:16 PM

Set up an auction for veterans for the privilege of pulling the lever, proceeds to benefit disabled soldiers. You’ll rake in dough hand over fist.

MelonCollie on July 14, 2013 at 12:58 PM

instead of a hanging … a stoning … sell rocks to benefit disabled soldier ..
more money will be made ….

conservative tarheel on July 14, 2013 at 4:35 PM

And that’s a heck of a large contingent of protestors in the headline pic, as well. Heh.

Cleombrotus on July 14, 2013 at 12:43 PM

It’s very convenient when you can fit everyone into one mini-van.

RadClown on July 14, 2013 at 4:48 PM

This is the military justice system, right? The same system that takes three years to try a soldier who killed and wounded dozens of American soldiers in broad daylight while screaming “Allahu Akbar!” at the top of his lungs? That system?

I’m thinking Acquittal, promotion to Sergeant, and a set of feather boas that will knock your socks off.

No Justith No Peath, Baby.

spiritof61 on July 14, 2013 at 5:04 PM

Set up an auction for veterans for the privilege of pulling the lever, proceeds to benefit disabled soldiers. You’ll rake in dough hand over fist.

MelonCollie on July 14, 2013 at 12:58 PM

Not an auction, a raffle. In an auction, you only get the highest bidder amount. With a raffle, you get it all.

I don’t gamble, but I’d “donate” a couple of dollars to the cause.

IrishEyes on July 14, 2013 at 6:38 PM

Not an auction, a raffle. In an auction, you only get the highest bidder amount. With a raffle, you get it all.

IrishEyes on July 14, 2013 at 6:38 PM

D’whoops! Thank you!

instead of a hanging … a stoning … sell rocks to benefit disabled soldier ..
more money will be made ….

conservative tarheel on July 14, 2013 at 4:35 PM

Even better! I like it!

MelonCollie on July 14, 2013 at 8:38 PM

Set up an auction for veterans for the privilege of pulling the lever, proceeds to benefit disabled soldiers. You’ll rake in dough hand over fist.

MelonCollie on July 14, 2013 at 12:58 PM

I was thinking a firing squad would be better than hanging as there are several people who shoot. (I have offered to be on such a squad–if he’s found guilty, of course–and would even pay for the ammunition I use myself.)

Kevin K. on July 15, 2013 at 8:03 AM