Skip to comments.Army officer recommends trial in WikiLeaks case
Posted on 01/12/2012 3:56:06 PM PST by SmithL
WASHINGTON (AP) -- An Army officer recommended a general court-martial Thursday for a low-ranking intelligence analyst charged with causing the biggest leak of classified information in U.S. history.
Lt. Col. Paul Almanza's recommendation to try Pfc. Bradley Manning on all 22 counts, including aiding the enemy, now goes up the chain of command for a final determination. Almanza sent his report to Col. Carl Coffman, garrison commander of Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall near Washington. Coffman will make a recommendation to Military District of Washington commander Maj. Gen. Michael Linnington, whose decision is final.
The military did not provide a timeline for those actions.
Manning, a 24-year-old native of Crescent, Okla., allegedly gave more than 700,000 secret U.S. documents to the anti-secrecy website WikiLeaks for publication. Prosecutors say WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange collaborated with Manning.
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 could be imprisoned for life if convicted of the aiding the enemy, the most serious charge. The charge carries a maximum penalty of death, but Almanza agreed with prosecutors, who recommended against seeking the death penalty. Ultimately, however, that decision lies with Linnington.
(Excerpt) Read more at hosted.ap.org ...
Trial is fine by me. Bad form to hang him like a sack of potatoes without an actual Guilty verdict.
Now I'm worried. The mildest acceptable sentence is life with no possibility of parole, but . . .
If I can’t be on the jury I’ll volunter to be on the firing squad!
I’m with you...
I smell a possible gun decking of anything significant.
Just look at how the Pentagon reacted to the IG recommendation on Capt Graf...stunning.
He’ll ply the “I’m gay and they picked on me” card. YUCK
He’ll play the “I’m gay and they picked on me” card. YUCK
Manning deserves nothing less than to hanged in public for his crimes! (as soon as he is found guilty)
just as long as it's a short one.
Hmmmmm... Ron Paul says Manning is a hero and a patriot.
Thieves are fearful most of the time!
Only one of many reasons Paul should be feared and his campaign should be denied legitimacy.
From the article:
"Among the claims made during the fifth day of an Article 32 hearing here: Manning threw a screaming tantrum in front of his noncommissioned officer; flipped over a desk and attempted to grab a rifle; and dropped into the fetal position when reprimanded by his NCO."
"In a May 2009 incident, Showman said Manning shrieked, spit, jumped up and down, and waved his arms after being admonished for missing a morning physical training session."
Good grief, how gay can one person be? So being a flaming, hysterical, drama queen homosexual is insanity?
Seriously, while being a self-loathing homosexual may excuse self-destructive behavior, it does not excuse treason.
Try him, find him guilty, and execute him.
I didn’t say what I think should or should not happen, I just pointed out that there is a high likelihood that he will be defended on the basis of insanity.
His unstable behavior was not related to the sexual identity issues, which the Army Times article also mentioned. He has some sort of personality disorder, or may be schizophrenic. People like that are frightening to be around.
Bradly is antisocial, but that does not necessarily mean he has a severe personality disorder, and certainly not schizophrenia. He may have bipolar disorder, but he would have to be diagnosed with that, and I have not yet heard that from his defense team. Most personality disorders would not be sufficient for a mental illness defense. The closest would be borderline personality disorder, but historically that has not worked as an insanity defense.
It used to be antisocial and immature people were seen as having character issues, not mental illnesses. But now every condition has a name. Are you an introverted nerd? There's a pill for that.
They hit him on a UCMJ Article 104 charge (Aiding the enemy), which carries the punishment of " ... death or such other punishment as a court-martial or military commission may direct." I wish they had also charged him under Article 106 (Spies), which only carries the death penalty. His case is almost textbook Article 106:
(1) That the accused was found in, about, or in and about a certain place, vessel, or aircraft within the control or jurisdiction of an armed force of the United States, or a shipyard, manufacturing or industrial plant, or other place or institution engaged in work in aid of the prosecution of the war by the United States, or elsewhere;
Certain place within the control or jurisdiction of an armed force of the United States - Check. The question would be the "found" part. Does Article 106 require being "caught in the act"?
(2) That the accused was lurking, acting clandestinely or under false pretenses;
This may be harder, but he did act under false pretenses by acting as if a blank CD-ROM was a Lady Gaga CD and faked singing to the music while he copied classified files to the disc.
(3) That the accused was collecting or attempting to collect certain information;
(4) That the accused did so with the intent to convey this information to the enemy; and
Another hard one. But the UCMJ does not say "convey directly", just convey.
(5) That this was done in time of war.
He could claim Iraq was not a declared war, but from a military law standpoint, it was considered war.
The thing is, if they Army had hit him with Article 106, he would likely have begged for a plea bargain down to a non-capital 104. He could have turned states evidence against Wikileaks, and been granted a break. Sometimes I wonder why both the military and the federal government no longer even try to use capital spying or treason as a prosecutorial hammer. They should have hit John Walker Lindh with treason. I honestly believe if Lindh had been executed for his crimes, the wimpy Manning would never have tried what he did.
From the Army Times article's descriptions of his outbursts, his behavior is completely consistent with the behavior of either a person with a personality disorder, or a schizophrenic. It simply is not the behavior of a normal person, not even an antisocial or immature person. What is clear is that after the first demonstration of such behavior, he should have had his clearance pulled, and the process of discharging him from the Army should have been initiated.
Please note that I have not said that I think he should get off for reason of insanity. Rather, I think that an insanity defense is the tactic his defense lawyers will use. If the end result is that he is confined to a mental hospital for the rest of his life rather than prison--then I'm fine with that. He'll be equally miserable.