Private Manning To Finally Get Day In Court

Author: February 5, 2012 11:24 am

After over a year of solitary confinement under conditions reserved for some of the most violent criminals in the country, Pfc. Bradley Manning, accused of nothing more than blowing the whistle on highly questionable coalition activities in Iraq and Afghanistan, is finally getting his day in court. A judge has referred his case to a general court-martial.

Manning is accused of, among other things, tampering with a military computer, distributing classified material to unauthorized persons (specifically Wikileaks) and aiding the enemy. There are 22 charges being made against him. If convicted, Manning would be facing a maximum sentence of life in prison. Previously, Army officials had made it clear that were not interested in seeking the death penalty for which Manning’s alleged crimes would certainly qualify him for.


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Manning’s defense lawyer are pulling out all the stops to secure his acquittal. From Time.com 

Defense lawyers say Manning was clearly a troubled young soldier whom the Army should never have deployed to Iraq or given access to classified material while he was stationed there from late 2009 to mid-2010.

Manning’s lawyers countered that others had access to Manning’s workplace computers. They say he was in emotional turmoil, partly because he was a gay soldier at a time when homosexuals were barred from serving openly in the U.S. armed forces. The defense also claims Manning’s apparent disregard for security rules during stateside training and his increasingly violent outbursts after deployment were red flags that should have prevented him from having access to classified material. Manning’s lawyers also contend that the material WikiLeaks published did little or no harm to national security.

Manning faces a steep uphill battle and his health has reportedly been compromised from the conditions of his incarceration which, if true, can only be construed as cruel and unusual punishment. No trial date has been set.

 

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2 Comments

  • Henry D. Rinehart

    Yes, I’m sure Private Manning WAS a troubled young soldier. After all his training, after literally months of intense brainwashing by the military, PVT. Manning discovered that they were keeping secrets, not sensitive material, not real secrets, but material that had only been classified as secret to protect men who had committed criminal acts and who would never be punished for them because the military had deliberately hidden all records of them. Murder, misuse of authority, more murder, callous disregard of military procedure and regulations, civilian casualties due to what can only be considered as conspiracy to disobey current military procedures and regulations by a number of commanding officers, and a level of complacency with all this that was chilling in its monumental scope.

    And one more problem, the most damning of them all. PVT. Manning discovered he still had a soul, and a conscience, and he was sickened by what he knew. But the people he had to report these breaches of military regulation and procedure to, and the fact that they had been hidden away so that the criminals responsible would not have to pay the cost of their obscene disregard of human life and their own rules were, in fact, THE VERY PEOPLE WHO HAD HIDDEN THE INFORMATION AWAY SO THEY WOULD NOT FACE JUSTICE. Forced to deal with this real-life Catch-22, and the likelihood that if he made waves for his superiors that he would almost certainly suffer the same kind of “accidental” demise the civilians in many of the incidents had experienced, PVT Manning wrestled with a dilemma and reached an unpalatable solution.

    The only way he could bring these crimes to light with even the barest hope of personal survival was to give the information to an organization that had already proved its ability to spread the word of misuse of power and criminal behavior to the entire world.

    WikiLeaks.

    And for this act of unaccustomed bravery in the face of great personal and moral danger, for acting in accordance with the highest principles of the military he served–complete the mission, at all costs–PVT Manning suffered months of torture at the hands of the very military he had sacrificed his future for. His act of bravery made it impossible for the officers involved to simply kill him and be done with it, as the attention on them was too great for them to get away with that. Instead, though, they subjected him to conditions that would have mentally crippled or killed a lesser man, conditions that put PVT. Manning at severe physical and emotional risk. While they were hoping that the deprivation and abuse he suffered would cause him to snap and possibly even to die outright, the young man who found a way to bring their crimes to light was made of tougher stuff than they’d hoped for.

    So now, having barely survived his illegal treatment at the hands of the very people who should have been tried for their criminal acts in Iran and Afghanistan, PVT. Manning is going to be put on trial. To the people he threatened, in the minds of the leaders of our military forces, the fact that he blew the whistle on so many outrages of military law is more important than the conduct of the officers who flouted that same military law in the first place!

    I wish Private Manning the best of luck, and hope that his defense lawyers are as articulate and passionate in his defense as Private Manning was brave, to have brought the layers upon layers upon layers of crimes committed by our military to light in the first place.

    And I wish there was real justice in this world, and that the people who really deserved to be on trial were, instead of Private Manning. God bless you, son, or however you’d prefer the blessing offered.

    It probably won’t make a difference, Private Manning. But you’re a better man, and a better soldier, than all of the officers responsible for the cover-ups, and probably better than some of those trying your case as well.

    Thank you for being a REAL soldier, and a real human being.

  • This brings to mind the infamous British Cambridge Five spy ring, several of whom were homosexuals, prosecuted for treason. These men betrayed their country, but their country had already betrayed them, by treating homosexuals as criminals. Even the war hero and inventor of the modern computer, Alan Turing, was prosecuted for homosexuality and accordingly suicided, has never been posthumously pardoned.

    Same goes for gays in the US armed forces who could be dismissed despite long and exemplary service, not for any misdeed, but simply being what they are, homosexual. The cost was astronomical, both in human terms with over 14,000 dismissed without rights or benefits, stripped of human value, and in financial terms, estimated between $198 million and $360 million if you include initial training and retraining of replacements.

    That these people felt any loyalty to their country at all is less surprising than that they would go so far as to fight for it in foreign lands.

    I don’t in any way excuse treason, nor disloyalty or any kind of treachery. I prefer things to be argued out in the open, but I think it’s understandable that some people don’t feel loyalty to a country that treats them like sub-class dirt.

    I can only hope that with the demise of DADT, we will see an end to cases like Manning’s. There’s certainly no excuse for his alleged behaviour any more.

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