It’s been quite a while since we last checked in on the continuing adventures of Wikileaks media sensation and accused traitor Bradley Manning, but as promised, the military justice system is grinding along at its own pace and moving toward a resolution. The latest round of activity surrounds requests by Manning’s attorney, David Coombs, to simply skip over all of this bothersome nonsense about having a Court Martial and just dismiss some of the most serious charges out of hand. So… how did that work out?
The judge in the case of accused WikiLeaker PFC Bradley Manning has denied a defense motion to dismiss the charge of aiding the enemy, the most serious charge Manning will face during his court martial.
On the third and final day of pre-trial hearings in Manning’s case, presiding judge Col. Denise Lind on Thursday denied two other defense motions. They included an assertion that prosecutors unreasonably multiplied charges against Manning, and a motion to dismiss a charge dealing with publishing information on the Internet knowing the enemy has access to the Web…
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.
On what basis did David Coombs want to have the charge of aiding the enemy dismissed? Because it was, “too vague.” (Seriously?) As to the other requests, he complained that the government was simply “piling on offenses to increase the sentence.”
I have now sat through numerous conference calls with Manning’s supporters and interviewed a few people involved in the case. While I don’t really have much sympathy for his situation, (assuming, that is, that a conviction is obtained and he is guilty as charged) at this point I have to wonder if he’s really being well served by his defense team. A charge of aiding the enemy is, “too vague?” And for a lawyer to argue that adding more charges is intended to produce a harsher sentence… if you break more laws you do more time. Words really fail me at this point.
In any event, the Court Martial is set to kick off in September. We’ll keep you updated. Most of it will not be open to the public, as is proper in such a sensitive case, but I’m sure we’ll get the results and the highlights in due time.