It’s been a while since we checked in on our old pal
Breanna Bradley Manning and her his ongoing saga of alleged treason. When we last caught up with the accused traitor and abettor of enemy interests, he was seeking to have the charges against him dismissed because they were too vague. The judge gave that argument roughly the same credence as your average episode of Finding Bigfoot, but don’t think for a moment that this minor setback deterred the defense. They’ve come up with a new plan. The trial isn’t valid because finding out if Private Manning released all of our government secrets to the enemy is… (wait for it…) too secretive.
The military trial of the WikiLeaks suspect Bradley Manning is being conducted amid far more secrecy than even the prosecution of the alleged 9/11 plotters in Guantanamo, a coalition of lawyers and media outlets protest.
Led by the New York-based Center for Constitutional Rights, the coalition has petitioned the Army court of criminal appeals calling for the court-martial against Manning to be opened up to the press and public. The group complains that the way the trial is being handled by the trial judge Colonel Denise Lind is a violation of the First Amendment of the constitution that requires public access unless the government can specifically demonstrate the need for secrecy.
(Emphasis mine above)
So… OK then. Manning is accused of releasing a treasure trove of secrets in a scatter-shot fashion, many of which involved sensitive diplomatic and military communications. But the trial is invalid because prosecutors can’t demonstrate the information being discussed during testimony is secret enough?
As I asked in the previous column linked above… is this guy actually getting a real defense from his attorneys? Or could this be a ploy to act in such an incredibly inept fashion that they can shoot for a mistrial later on? I’ve lost track of any sensible thread in all of this.
Could anyone really take this seriously? Apparently so.