Bradley Manning, WikiLeaks' alleged source, faces 22 new charges

The Army has brought new charges – including one that carries the death penalty – against Pfc. Bradley E. Manning, a former intelligence analyst accused of leaking hundreds of thousands of classified military and diplomatic documents to the anti-secrecy Web site WikiLeaks.

But prosecutors would not seek Manning’s execution if he were convicted of the capital offense of “aiding the enemy,” officials said Wednesday in a statement that outlined the 22 charges.

Though the statement did not specify the enemy, Manning, 23, is accused of giving documents to WikiLeaks that related to the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq and that U.S. officials have asserted could put soldiers and civilians at risk.

The new charges, filed Tuesday under the Uniform Code of Military Justice, also include wrongfully causing intelligence to be published on the Internet, knowing that it will be accessed by the enemy, and violating Army regulations on information security.

They augment charges brought last July against Manning, who is confined in a military facility in Quantico pending a mental health review to determine his fitness for a court-martial.

[…]

Manning’s supporters reacted to the new charges with dismay. “I’m shocked that the military opted to charge Pfc. Bradley Manning today with the capital offense of ‘aiding the enemy,’ ” said Jeff Paterson, project director of Courage to Resist, which has raised money for Manning’s defense. “While the military is downplaying the fact, the option to execute Bradley has been placed on the table.”

5 comments to Bradley Manning, WikiLeaks' alleged source, faces 22 new charges

  • Raja

    Salon.com, By Glenn Greenwald, March 3

    The U.S. Army yesterday announced that it has filed 22 additional charges against Bradley Manning, the Private accused of being the source for hundreds of thousands of documents (as well as this still-striking video) published over the last year by WikiLeaks. Most of the charges add little to the ones already filed, but the most serious new charge is for “aiding the enemy,” a capital offense under Article 104 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice. Although military prosecutors stated that they intend to seek life imprisonment rather than the death penalty for this alleged crime, the military tribunal is still empowered to sentence Manning to death if convicted.

    Article 104 — which, like all provisions of the UCMJ, applies only to members of the military — is incredibly broad. Under 104(b) — almost certainly the provision to be applied — a person is guilty if he “gives intelligence to or communicates or corresponds with or holds any intercourse with the enemy, either directly or indirectly” (emphasis added), and, if convicted, “shall suffer death or such other punishment as a court-martial or military commission may direct.” The charge sheet filed by the Army is quite vague and neither indicates what specifically Manning did to violate this provision nor the identity of the “enemy” to whom he is alleged to have given intelligence. There are, as international law professor Kevin Jon Heller notes, only two possibilities, and both are disturbing in their own way.

    In light of the implicit allegation that Manning transmitted this material to WikiLeaks, it is quite possible that WikiLeaks is the “enemy” referenced by Article 104, i.e., that the U.S. military now openly decrees (as opposed to secretly declaring) that the whistle-blowing group is an “enemy” of the U.S. More likely, the Army will contend that by transmitting classified documents to WikiLeaks for intended publication, Manning “indirectly” furnished those documents to Al Qaeda and the Taliban by enabling those groups to learn their contents. That would mean that it is a capital offense not only to furnish intelligence specifically and intentionally to actual enemies — the way that, say, Aldrich Ames and Robert Hanssen were convicted of passing intelligence to the Soviet Union — but also to act as a whistle-blower by leaking classified information to a newspaper with the intent that it be published to the world. Logically, if one can “aid the enemy” even by leaking to WikiLeaks, then one can also be guilty of this crime by leaking to The New York Times.


    One owes respect to the living. To the dead, one owes only the truth.

  • Chickadee

    … the one that devotes itself to hysterics of this sort and/or then spends down time thinking up neat new torture techniques. “Hey, waddya think of this, bubba? Lets get the kid nekkid and fool with him all day. Ace man. Freakin’ ace or what?”

    The NY TImes article refers to “Capt. John Haberland, an Army spokesman. ” Is he the guy who champions the pile on or is he just a front?

    Seriously, what is the name or names of those persons in charge of the persecution and hoped execution of Pfc Bradley Manning, innocence be damned?

  • Raja

    The Conference Blog, November 11

    When Bradley Manning, the US Army private suspected of handing over classified documents to Wikileaks, was imprisoned, many believed he deserved his fate. Little did he know, however, that he had an ally in Glenn Greenwald, the former civil rights litigator and now investigative journalist, who believes that Manning acted heroically to uncover the injustices of our political system.

    On November 2, Greenwald sat down with Salon.com founder David Talbot to discuss his new book, With Liberty and Justice for Some: How the Law is Used to Destroy Equality and Protect the Powerful, which details how the American elite manipulate the justice system to serve and protect themselves. This fascinating event has become one of the most-watched shows in the last week on FORA.tv, and is currently available on-demand.

    Greenwald says constitutional rights throughout American history have always been tested and subsequently reaffirmed through social changes such as the emancipation of slaves, the enfranchisement of women and the advancement of gay rights. But over the last 40 years, the American elite has gradually renounced the principle that everyone is equal under the law. “From the shielding of crimes under Bush by the Obama administration to the refusal to investigate or prosecute industry-wide fraud that precipitated the 2008 financial crisis, there is a prevailing, Orwellian sense that protecting the elite is in the best interests of the entire nation,” he said.

  • JustPlainDave

    Brian Bennett | Washington D.C. | November 22

    LATimes – Lawyers for imprisoned U.S. Army Pfc. Bradley Manning plan to call up to 50 witnesses at a pretrial military hearing next month that is expected to air much of the government’s evidence for charges that Manning illegally provided hundreds of thousands of classified documents to the WikiLeaks website.

    The preliminary hearing, scheduled to begin Dec. 16 at Fort Meade, Md., will mark Manning’s first appearance in a courtroom since he was arrested in Iraq in May 2010. The hearing could last up to five days.

    If allowed to testify, some defense witnesses would speak to the role that government whistle blowers have played to expose wrongdoing, Jeff Paterson, one of the organizers of the Bradley Manning Support Network, told reporters on a conference call Tuesday. He said other witnesses would scrutinize the government’s use of computer forensics to collect evidence against Manning.

    more

    [Comment: This is Manning’s Article 32 hearing. ~ JPD]

    In combat one should be very suspicious of painless moral choices. When you are confronted with a seemingly painless moral choice, the odds are that you haven’t looked deeply enough.” ~ Karl Marlantes

  • Chickadee

    (in reference to Timothy McVeigh after thousands of related FBI investigation records were “discovered” that were never submitted for review by the defense or submitted at trial.) Ascroft: “Our system of justice requires basic fairness, even handedness and dispassionate evaluation of the evidence and the facts. Therefore I’ve agreed to postpone the execution of Timothy McVeigh for one month.”

    So it is with Manning who, after 18 months brutality, must surely be mentally unstable by now and to that degree, shielded from a full understanding of his situation. At least that is to be hoped. Otherwise he’d be aware that the system only views his preliminary hearings and the resultant upcoming “trial/court martial” as required but frustrating delays in setting his execution date.

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