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MANNING TO FACE COURT-MARTIAL February 5, 2012

Posted by wmmbb in Human Rights, Iraq Policy, Social Environment.
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As expected, the Major General on the case of Bradley Manning has determined that Bradley Manning is to put before a court martial.

Aljazeera reports on the latest development in the case after twenty months of confinement, including reportedly duress:

A private charged in the biggest leak of classified information in US history will face a general court martial, the army has said.

Major General Michael Linnington, commander of the Washington military district overseeing the prosecution of Private First Class Bradley Manning, announced the decision on Friday.

Linnington’s statement follows a six-week-long Article 32 hearing, during which army lawyers argued that Manning should face the general court martial, the most serious form of military trial.

The decision means that Manning will stand trial for allegedly giving more than 700,000 secret US documents and classified combat video to WikiLeaks.

The whistleblowing website published them online and assisted numerous media organisations in disseminating and explaining the secret material.

Manning accessed the files while serving as an intelligence analyst at Forward Operating Base Hammer, near Baghdad, during a deployment that lasted from late 2009 to mid-2010.

The 24-year-old Oklahoma native faces 22 counts, including theft of public property, wrongfully causing intelligence to be published on the internet, and aiding the enemy.

Aside from anything else, reflecting the way in which computerization has changed the nature of the military, it is extraordinary that a private, or a non-commissioned officer would have access to that amount of confidential material, and one would have assumed that such material would be low level. The military needs very able, perhaps mostly young people, to run the computer systems, regardless of his other “failings”, which were in turn exacerbated by the military culture. Catch 22.

Bradley Manning has a staunch defender in Daniel Ellsberg. He speaks with Keith Olbermann at the time of his pre-trial last December:

Inside Story Americas, also on Aljazeera has a truncated debate with Daniel Ellsberg, Glenn Greenwald and Clifford May. The later argued, without reference to the Collateral Murder video that:

“He voluntarily put on the uniform of the US army, he volunteered for military intelligence, he was trained, not just to protect documents … and he stole not just a few but hundreds of thousands of documents. He clearly violated his responsibilities and oath, and there have to be consequences.”

Glenn Greenwald responded to the debate on his blog at Salon.

Meanwhile across the Atlantic, Julian Assange’s case concerning his deportation to Sweden is under consideration after the presentations by QC’s representing the Swedish Government and himself. The issue for decision is who has the authority to issue a European Arrest Warrant under the agreement reached in 2003. Part of this case as presented by the applicant went to the issue of the independence of the judiciary, which presumably is wholly irrelevant if habeas corpus is a dead letter, as seems to be the established fact in the United States,despite being presumably entrenched in the Constitution. The case before the Law Lords and one Lady in London made for very interesting viewing.

(The Supreme Court is a new court in the court system of England, Northern Ireland and Wales. It opened in October 2009. The court hierarchy is shown here.)

ELSEWHERE:

Wikileaks described this article by Robert Stevens as a good summary of Julian Assange’s case. The article is somewhat biased – as could be expected – against the case put by Clare Montgomery.

John Pilger similarly links the two cases and provides local political color.  John Pilger suggests that the Australian Government is subservient to the pressure and threat power of the US, and that they were instrumental in creating the existing government, although they did not re-elect it.

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