PFC Bradley Manning’s Article 32, UCMJ hearing is currently ongoing at Fort Meade, MD.
Unlike a civilian Grand Jury proceeding, to which the Article 32 process is consistently compared, in an Art. 32 hearing, the Defense gets to put on witnesses, introduce evidence, and to cross-examine Prosecution witnesses. Many military defense attorneys consider the Article 32 hearing to be a freebie in that they get to see the Trial Counsel’s hand, and they are under no obligation to do anything at this point. Others see it as a mini-trial, at which to take a stab at reducing the number of charges against the accused, and possibly preventing referral altogether. Mr (LTC, AR) David Coombs, MAJ Matthew Kemkes, appear to be taking the second course of action, including petitioning the Army Court of Criminal Appeals to remove the Art. 32 Investigating Officer, LTC Paul Almanza from the case. The ACCA summarily dismissed the petition on Friday.
The most reliable source I’ve found has been the Army Times. Army Times is an independent paper owned by Gannett. In addition to their own staff writers, they have included coverage from the Associated Press, have used Reuters for other things in the past, and so might use them here as well. The Manning coverage in Army Times has all been in front of the paywall. NBC/MSNBC ran a story by Jim Miklaszewski yesterday in which they stated that Manning was charged with Treason and was facing the death penalty. Neither of these statements are true.
On a side note, any time the word ‘wikileaks’ appears in the URL, it’s blocked on a government computer. I understand the reason for this–if there is any classified information that the user were to open, then he has introduced classified onto an unclassified platform, and how do you prove, 100% absolutely reliably that it came from outside and is not the result of an actual “spill”? You can’t. I understand that. I just think that the implementation was clumsy.
I’m at work and getting ready to go to a soul-sucking staff meeting, to say nothing of actually being at work, so I won’t be taking the usual level of activity in this thread that I try to take until later.