Green Room

Bradley Manning should be going to Court Martial

posted at 5:19 pm on January 12, 2012 by

Word came down on Thursday afternoon that the preliminary hearing in the case of accused traitor Bradley Manning has finished up with Lt Col Paul Almanza recommending that Manning go on to face a full Court Martial on a variety of charges. The most serious of these, of course, is aiding the enemy during a time of war.

Intelligence analyst Bradley Manning is alleged to have leaked US government cables to the anti-secrecy website.

Accused of leaking thousands of documents and “aiding the enemy”, he could face life in prison if convicted.

Pte Manning, 24, appeared for a pre-trial hearing in December, in which prosecutors pushed for a court martial.

He was arrested in May 2010 in connection with the leak.

The US Army said in a statement that the head of the tribunal, Lt Col Paul Almanza, had concluded that “reasonable grounds exist to believe that the accused committed the offences alleged.

“He [Lt Col Almanza] recommended that the charges be referred to a general court martial,” the army statement said.

Some of the most common questions popping up on Twitter (and elsewhere) follow with my own take on the answers.

So this is a done deal?

Technically, no. The officer in question is only empowered to pass on a recommendation. The final decision will be made further up the chain, eventually decided by Maj Gen Michael Linnington. However, the odds of their bucking the findings are slim to none in this case. I’d say it’s a near certainty that we’re going to Court Martial at this point.

Will they hang him or shoot him?

First, nothing is a given because this was only a preliminary hearing. Manning is still innocent until proven guilty, so any answer is predicated on a finding of guilty when this is all done. And yet again, the answer isn’t 100% but the heavy odds are that the answer is “neither.” At Court Martial, anything could happen at the sentencing stage, but that’s not the will of the prosecutors. The Army is not seeking the death penalty, and if found guilty on the most serious charge he’ll likely get life without parole.

Will this take down Julian Assange?

The magic 8-ball says, “Future uncertain.” Given the previous findings from Manning’s hard drives which revealed chat logs with the Wikileaks founder, the United States should certainly be interested in chatting with Assange. But he’s currently facing trial on unrelated charges in Europe and the situation becomes vastly complicated from both a legal and diplomatic standpoint.

Can’t Obama step in and stop this?

Technically… he probably could. (I’d need to check with some better legal eagles on that one.) The powers of the man who is not only the Commander in Chief of the military but the President on the civilian side are nearly unlimited in such a scenario. But realistically.. particularly in an election year, I would seriously doubt that Barack Obama would defy the entire military system to set free a person accused of – for all intents and purposes – treason. It would be political suicide. Expect him to back up the chain of command on this one and stay out of it.

How soon will we know?

The wheels of justice sometimes turn a bit faster in the military than they do in civilian courts, but in a high profile case like this it could still be a good long while. I wouldn’t stay up late tonight waiting for an answer.

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He’ll be court martialed.

He’ll be given a life sentence, though they should hang the SOB.

catmman on January 12, 2012 at 5:27 PM

I am still waiting for that murderer rop type at Ft Hood to get his last day on earth! When will we see this happen? manning is a traitor and it seems it is going to take gosh knows how long to see he gets what he should get.
L

letget on January 12, 2012 at 5:40 PM

He can’t get the death penalty. It has to be alleged, pled,and proved. They didn’t do this.

Blake on January 12, 2012 at 5:42 PM

That the Army is not seeking the death penalty is a symptom of decadence. The trouble we have in talking about decadence is that the social conservatives have abused their word to denote their pet causes of abortion and homosexuality. Anyone bothering to read history will notice the existence of societies that were not in the least decadent but practiced infanticide and had rampant homosexuality, e.g. ancient Greece and medieval Japan. We to start talking seriously about decadence.

thuja on January 12, 2012 at 6:18 PM

I would seriously doubt that Barack Obama would defy the entire military system to set free a person accused of – for all intents and purposes – treason.

recommending that Manning go on to face a full Court Martial on a variety of charges. The most serious of these, of course, is aiding the enemy during a time of war.

Whaddya mean “for all intents and purposes”? According to Article III, Section 3 of the US Constitution the crime he is accused of is treason.

single stack on January 12, 2012 at 7:35 PM

I didn’t realize the United States was at war against Julian Assange and Wikileaks. I must have missed that declaration.

Dante on January 12, 2012 at 8:11 PM

Whaddya mean “for all intents and purposes”? According to Article III, Section 3 of the US Constitution the crime he is accused of is treason.

single stack on January 12, 2012 at 7:35 PM

Maybe you should go back and read Article III, Section 3, because that doesn’t match what he did.

Dante on January 12, 2012 at 8:13 PM

Treason is, by intent of the founders, nearly impossible to prove in the American system. An old saying is, “If you are inocent pray that you are in the military judgement system. If you are guilty pray that you are in the civilian system.”

With the exception of the McArthur “Star Chamber Courts,” noted for convicting the few Japanese Generals who were innocent and allowing a large number of the guilty Japanese military and civilians going free of war Crimes after WWII, I agree with this rule of thumb.

Linh_My on January 12, 2012 at 8:31 PM

Maybe you should go back and read Article III, Section 3, because that doesn’t match what he did.

By stealing the information and giving it to Wikileaks he made it available to the enemy we are at war with thereby giving them aid.

single stack on January 12, 2012 at 9:14 PM

By stealing the information and giving it to Wikileaks he made it available to the enemy we are at war with thereby giving them aid.

single stack on January 12, 2012 at 9:14 PM

That is some poor logic.

Dante on January 12, 2012 at 9:26 PM

Traitors should be shot by a firing squad – or hung – or both. But within a week of the discovery of their treason. This guy’s trail is too obvious. Deal with him and save the air he is breathing for someone who deserves it.

Elric on January 12, 2012 at 9:38 PM

If he gets sentenced to life in a military prison, he’ll probably be wishing he’d gotten the death penalty after a year or two. Couldn’t happen to a better traitor.

RoadRunner on January 12, 2012 at 9:42 PM

My husband is a retired Army Lieutanant Colonel. He thinks there is no possible Army jury that won’t convict this guy.

sherrimae on January 12, 2012 at 11:02 PM

If he gets sentenced to life in a military prison, he’ll probably be wishing he’d gotten the death penalty after a year or two. Couldn’t happen to a better traitor.

RoadRunner on January 12, 2012 at 9:42 PM

I know they think he is being abused now. I don’t think Brad is getting the happy ending he envisaged and he shouldn’t… little rat.

lexhamfox on January 12, 2012 at 11:16 PM

I served in both the Army and the Navy. I really wish that he was under Navy jurisdiction. The Marines do run approprate confinement facilities.

Linh_My on January 13, 2012 at 1:53 AM

That is some poor logic.

Dante on January 12, 2012 at 9:26 PM

You’ve already proven many times that you don’t understand logic and don’t have the mental capacity to follow a simple logic sequence, so you’re in no position to judge.

dentarthurdent on January 13, 2012 at 1:09 PM

For those of you who are logic challenged:
US Constitution, Article 3, Section 3:

Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying War against them, or in adhering to their Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort. No Person shall be convicted of Treason unless on the Testimony of two Witnesses to the same overt Act, or on Confession in open Court.

Dictionary.com:

trea·son   /ˈtrizən/ Show Spelled[tree-zuhn] Show IPA
noun
1. the offense of acting to overthrow one’s government or to harm or kill its sovereign.
2. a violation of allegiance to one’s sovereign or to one’s state.
3. the betrayal of a trust or confidence; breach of faith; treachery.

What did Manning do? – violated oath of office, violated security regulations, released classified information to the public.
Is releasing classified information, and violating the regulations pertaining to his security clearance a “breach of faith” and/or betrayal of trust or confidence”? Yes.
If information is made available to the entire public, does that make it available to the enemy? Yes.
Does providing classified information to the enemy constitute providing said enemy “aid and comfort”? Yes.

So unless you’re playing like a little kid going “nanananana I can’t hear you”, or if you are severly logic challenged that’s a pretty clear linkage to defining what Manning did as treason.
However, it’s somewhat of a moot point as the military is not specifically charging him with treason. They are charging him with the multitude of offenses that can more easily be proven in a court martial – the sum total of which easily add up to treason.

dentarthurdent on January 13, 2012 at 2:10 PM

dentarthurdent on January 13, 2012 at 2:10 PM

You are also engaging in some bad logic again. Information was not passed on to an enemy or a foreign government.

When did the United States declare war on Wikileaks and Julian Assange? When was he declared an enemy of the United States?

And why are you consulting a common dictionary instead of a legal code or statute?

Dante on January 13, 2012 at 4:42 PM

Dante on January 13, 2012 at 4:42 PM

You’re still demonstrating your lack of intelligence I see – typical for a libtard.
Yes it was passed to an enemy. It doesn’t matter whether that transfer is direct or indirect.
Read the laws, read the Constitution, read the dictionary you moron.
It doesn’t matter WHO the information is passed to you clueless idiot.

dentarthurdent on January 13, 2012 at 5:03 PM

Dante – Is your real name Froma Harrop?
HA has a video of you on The Daily Show.

dentarthurdent on January 13, 2012 at 5:41 PM

dentarthurdent on January 13, 2012 at 5:03 PM

Oh, name calling. Yeah, that’s about your speed.

Dante on January 13, 2012 at 9:08 PM

Okay, Dante, let me see if I understand what seems to be your line of logic.

Say you have a list of CIA operatives worldwide, the chemical and manufacturing details of the US military’s stealth coating technology, and all the Pentagon’s current briefings concerning Al Queda, Lashkar-e-Taiba and US Hezbollah cells.

You send this info to principal newspapers in the top 100 markets worldwide and display the info on 100 billboards nationwide.

Are you saying that since you have not provided this info directly to Ayman al Zawahiri, Mullah Omar or the like that you haven’t committed treason?

eeyore on January 14, 2012 at 10:59 AM

Dante on January 13, 2012 at 9:08 PM

Hey Froma – I’ve seen plenty of it from you.
Can’t take your own medicine eh?
Go learn how to read, and get of your mommy’s basement to get a dose of the real world.

dentarthurdent on January 14, 2012 at 3:20 PM

eeyore on January 14, 2012 at 10:59 AM

dante/Froma doesn’t understand logic or reason – just lib talking points and a regular flow of “lalalala I can’t hear you”.

dentarthurdent on January 14, 2012 at 3:22 PM

If Manning didn’t intend to make classified information available for the “Aid and Comfort” of ‘our enemies’ why did he give it to Julian Assange and Wikileaks in the first place?

A far better, though still rather weak argument would be the same one that likely caused the military, out of an abundance of caution, to accuse Manning of crimes amounting to treason rather than actual treason: are we – beyond any shadow of a doubt and beyond any imaginable legal challenge – technically at war with those entitles which received aid and comfort from Manning’s alleged treasonous acts?

Knott Buyinit on January 15, 2012 at 12:36 PM

We don’t have to be at war to charge someone with treason.

I would have added treason to the list of charges.

If Manning is sentenced to life, or life without parole, he will be transferred to a normal Fed Prison. That would be the case if he were in the Navy or Marines as well. It’s just a question of who will handle the pretrial confinement.

Yeah, I’d let him dance on air. I’d also offer a reward for the capture of Assange as well. I would double that if they bring just his head.

Quartermaster on January 15, 2012 at 7:36 PM