Bradley Manning hearing: charges to be laid out by prosecution
The charges against Bradley Manning, the US soldier accused of orchestrating the largest leak of state secrets in American history, are set to be laid out by the prosecution.
The preliminary hearing to establish whether the US soldier should face a full court martial for allegedly passing more than 250,000 US embassy cables to WikiLeaks, got off to a dramatic start on Friday when his lawyer demanded that the investigating officer step aside because of alleged bias.
Lieutenant Colonel Paul Almanza, the military equivalent to a judge in the proceedings, rejected the call by Manning’s lawyer, David Coombs, to stand down and suspend the hearing pending an appeal on the grounds that he works as a prosecutor for the US justice department.
The department is involved in a criminal pursuit of Julian Assange, founder WikiLeaks, to which Manning is alleged to have transferred a huge trove of US embassy cables and other confidential materials.
Almanza said that under the rules of military justice, a “reasonable person” would not conclude that he was incapable of conducting an impartial investigation into the charges against Manning.
“I don’t believe I’m biased,” Almanza said, explaining that his government work concerns child exploitation and obscenity. He said he has not talked about WikiLeaks or Manning with anyone in the department or FBI.
Source: The Guardian Read more
There is no way in hell that this guy is going to get a fair trial within the military system. Everything, absolutely everything is weighted against him.
The investigating officer has refused 36 of his 38 witnesses, and then claims he “has no bias”. What a load of bullshit!
This guy may, and I say may get a fairly decent trial in civil court, but he certainly won’t get one in the military even if hell did freeze over.
The government need a scapegoat, and everything will be done to see that they get one, even if it means that an innocent man is convicted.
The real culprit here is the government itself. Irrespective if it was Manning who ‘leaked’ the material. The government’s system obviously wasn’t ‘secure’ enough, but then the government would never admit that would they.
Another quote from The Guardian article:
“But Mandie Stanley, a 19-year-old who lives on the Army post with her husband, a member of the Air Force, was less supportive.
“That man did something very wrong,” she said. Stanley spotted the protesters and decided to come out with a sign that said: “Don’t leak classified information, stupid!””
Shit, she has the man guilty even before he’s proven guilty. This is a perfect example of military thinking. Get a life woman!
This man will be found guilty, whether rightly or wrongly. The government has to save face.