Manning Pre-Trial Confinement Hearing

I was completely unaware that there is a hearing in Military Judge (COL) Denise Lind’s courtroom yesterday and today, and potentially tomorrow, in regards to PFC Bradley Manning’s conditions of Pre-Trial Confinement.

The Washington Post’s coverage

The Baltimore Sun’s coverage

The Asssociated Press, through the Army Times

Judge Lind has yet to rule on whether or not she’ll allow Manning to plead guilty to lesser included offenses as he has offered to do (called plea by exceptions and substitutions).

Open Thread, as well.

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74 replies
  1. 1
    geg6 says:

    I hope Manning gets to plead out to something with a less draconian sentence, but I am pretty sure he’s guilty. At the least, he should get time off for all the time he’s already spent in prison without trial.

    And on to another topic…

    As I mentioned in the previous thread, just to make Doug J’s head asplode, I wrote to Sully yesterday and he posted my reply to his stunningly stupid post “The Roid Age.”

    Why does a gay man think that women find the same men attractive as he does? Or that all women or all gay men find the same thing attractive? I can’t believe he’s really that stupid.

  2. 2
    Soonergrunt says:

    @geg6: “Why does a gay man think that women find the same men attractive as he does? Or that all women or all gay men find the same thing attractive? I can’t believe he’s really that stupid.”
    I should have thought that there would be a certain type that he found attractive and a certain type that he finds unattractive, and that if he is capable of empathy at all, that he would understand that the same rules apply to others, both gay and straight, both male and female.
    Surely he knows somebody who has a uterus who isn’t looking for the same things in a man that he is?

  3. 3
    J.A.F. Rusty Shackleford says:

    Bradley Manning is the new Mumia.

  4. 4
    Cassidy says:

    @geg6: His time incarcerated will count. I’ve never heard of a military judge not including that. He is definitely guilty and I hope he’s convicted, but at this point, I can’t help but feel sympathy with the nature of his incarceration. He betrayed everything I believe in as Soldier, but the rules abuse to “punish” him before his trial just angers me.

  5. 5
    WarMunchkin says:

    So uh, regarding this Paelstinian non-observer non-status status at the U.N., why exactly is this bad? I genuinely don’t understand the posturing on this one.

  6. 6
    Schlemizel says:

    @geg6:

    Has he EVER given you reason to not believe he is that stupid?

    One thing about Sully – to him his is the only opinion, of course you agree.

    Sooner – you need to ready FDL, I’m sure you would have known about this along with why Obama is to blame for it.

  7. 7
    geg6 says:

    @Soonergrunt:

    Yeah, really. Or even another gay man who might have different tastes than he does. The idea that we are all dying to just lie down and spread our legs for these steroid monsters just because he does is just insane. He’s trying to make a case that cartoon characters like Arnold Schwarznegger and WWF wrestlers are now the epitome of attractiveness among males here in America. I’m not seeing it, myself. Nor does my 19 yo niece. Or my gay friend, Vinny, for that matter.

  8. 8
    Schlemizel says:

    @WarMunchkin:

    It would make the eventual destruction of Palestine that Israel is currently carrying out more difficult.

    SATSQ

  9. 9
    Brachiator says:

    @geg6:

    I made the mistake of looking at the Sully column. He and Richard Cohen seem to be trying to out-stupid each other. Here’s Cohen:

    Every rippling muscle is a book not read, a movie not seen or a conversation not held.

    Too.fucking.stoopid.for.words.

    @Soonergrunt:

    Surely he knows somebody who has a uterus who isn’t looking for the same things in a man that he is?

    Uh, I think that there might be a common dicknominator in there somewhere.

    I hope that Manning is allowed to plead to lesser charges, if it will help to resolve this mess without any more pointless, and clearly punitive, punishment.

  10. 10
    Ben Franklin says:

    It’s been eerily quiet since CO/WA got in Holder’s face with some acrid smoke.

    It would be nice to hear something (Inaugural speech) regarding policy, unless that policy shall remain immutable.

    It could be the Obama team figured cannabis would always be a peripheral issue and breaking the marijuana promise was a good way to show they were always ready to stick it to the hippie liberals in the Party. Seriously, after watching Rahm work the first 2 years of the administration it’s a totally credible idea, and we all know those pot smokers are dirty fucking hippies, go ahead and knife them, it’s worked for us before.

    http://www.theleftcoaster.com/archives/020403.php

    After all……THE LAW !

  11. 11
    Tehanu says:

    @Cassidy:

    He betrayed everything I believe in as Soldier

    So — as a soldier — you believe in covering up war crimes committed by your buddies? Or obeying illegal orders and then claiming you were “just following orders”? You are aware that soldiers are expected to know when an order is illegal, aren’t you? I’d like to give you the benefit of the doubt and suppose you’re just talking about loyalty to the army and your superiors, but that doesn’t excuse you from the moral obligation to uphold the meaning of your oath — not just your bosses.

  12. 12
    The Moar You Know says:

    IF he’s guilty of what he’s accused of – and I have no opinion on that, not being a party to the trial, evidence presented, or anything else – then I think he ought to be executed. The information he’s purported to have leaked would certainly have cost lives.

    However, I will freely admit that the entire process is a joke as Petraeus and his crazy side dishes are walking around free, Cheney and Libby are as well, and none of them will never see the inside of a jail for a day, much less a year. Maybe we ought to codify into law that those with money are exempt from laws and punishment, and those without get the chair.

    Get that out into the open and let society stew on that for a while.

  13. 13
    different-church-lady says:

    That reminds me: has anyone checked in on Greenwald since the election? Make sure he’s okay? Seems like nobody talks about him anymore.

  14. 14
    ruemara says:

    @different-church-lady: Stop it. Do we have to make every thread a poo flinging contest?

  15. 15
    different-church-lady says:

    @ruemara: Killjoy.

  16. 16
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Tehanu: If the allegations about Manning’s actions are correct, he dumped far more than just information about possible war crimes into ordinary circulation.

    I would have far more sympathy for a person who tried to report evidence of war crimes up the chain of command and then, having received no response, took the step of publicizing the info. Hell, I would even argue that is the proper action to take.

  17. 17
    Ben Franklin says:

    Did someone mention Glenn?

    It’s 2002 Deja vu, all over again.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/comm.....clear-bomb

  18. 18
    Cassidy says:

    @Tehanu: Oh yeah. Soldiers know what war crimes are and when those orders are illegal. I’m guessing you don’t. My guess is you’re conflating your disagreements with actual law. Common mistake. You’re forgiven.

  19. 19
    Amir Khalid says:

    What could the judge decide to do? Could she — in theory, at least — go as far as releasing Manning from pretrial custody? (I know that’s highly unlikely, I’m just wondering if she has that power.) Alter the terms of his confinement ? Order Manning taken off suicide watch? Dismiss the charges because he was mistreated in custody, as his lawyers are seeking?
    @Tehanu:
    Goodness gracious. Chill out, dude(tte).

  20. 20
    ruemara says:

    @different-church-lady: It’s like you said Candyman three times in front of a mirror.

  21. 21
    Full Metal Wingnut says:

    @Tehanu: I would have sympathy for Manning (his charges, I sympathize and am disgusted by the way he’s been treated) if he had exposed, say, My Lai, or a Pentagon Papers type thing. But an information dump? Sorry. Not “whistleblowing” so much as-hrm I bet there’s stuff in here, let me dump it all.

  22. 22
    Cassidy says:

    @Amir Khalid: Absolutely. She could do that. That wouldn’t fix the problem. Part of the reason for pre-trial confinement is to protect him.

  23. 23
    Maude says:

    @Cassidy:
    As far as I know, it is the defense lawyer who has talked about how Manning has been treated.
    Time served is used by judges in civilian courts.

  24. 24
    Cassidy says:

    @Maude: It’s used in miltary courts as well. Military judges have a great deal of lattitude.

    For instance, a guy goes AWOL. Later he’s picked up in Alabama. He spends a week in jail waiting for perosnnel from Fort KNox to come get him. Then, he spends a month at Knox being processed back in, all while confined, etc. Then, he’s shipped to Fort Bliss, where he went AWOL from, and spend 3 weeks confined until he’s checked out, inprocessed, etc. and handed over to the unit he went AWOL from. Those 8 weeks of confinement will be counted towards his sentence.

  25. 25
    Full Metal Wingnut says:

    @Tehanu: Then expose the war crimes and don’t follow illegal orders. Your specific examples are inapposite precisely because they are (drumroll) specific things. Manning did an info dump.

  26. 26
    Cassidy says:

    @Full Metal Wingnut: Well, Tehanu’s argument is about to be the war(s) are illegal, everyone should have refused to go/ fight/ deploy, millions of ME people killed, DRRRRRRROOOOOOOOOONNNNNNNNEEEEEEEEEZZZZZZZZZ!, etc.

    On some of those points s/he’s clearly got an ethical point that I probably agree with, but s/he will refuse to disentangle their personal ethical stance with some very clear legal definitions, s[ecifically re: Soldiers engaged in a conflict. In the end, no matter what is said, or the logical arguments made, s/he will continue to say that Soldiers and Service Members have/ had a MORAL! duty to something or other to not follow lawfully given orders and wage war, even when that stance isn’t supported by facts or the law. DRRRRRRROOOOOOOOOONNNNNNNNEEEEEEEEEZZZZZZZZZ!

    You all are welcome. I just saved us about 50 wasted comments.

  27. 27
    Cassidy says:

    @Full Metal Wingnut: Well, Tehanu’s argument is about to be the war(s) are illegal, everyone should have refused to go/ fight/ deploy, millions of ME people killed, DRRRRRRROOOOOOOOOONNNNNNNNEEEEEEEEEZZZZZZZZZ!, etc.

    On some of those points s/he’s clearly got an ethical point that I probably agree with, but s/he will refuse to disentangle their personal ethical stance with some very clear legal definitions, s[ecifically re: Soldiers engaged in a conflict. In the end, no matter what is said, or the logical arguments made, s/he will continue to say that Soldiers and Service Members have/ had a MORAL! duty to something or other to not follow lawfully given orders and wage war, even when that stance isn’t supported by facts or the law. DRRRRRRROOOOOOOOOONNNNNNNNEEEEEEEEEZZZZZZZZZ!

    You all are welcome. I just saved us about 50 wasted comments.

  28. 28
    Full Metal Wingnut says:

    @Cassidy: You’re right, probably. Impossible to argue with even the most principled or intelligent person if they refuse to acknowledge any sort of nuance.

  29. 29
    Ben Franklin says:

    “Neither the defense nor the prosecution, believe Manning’s difficulties in the Army are a primary aspect of what happened. Neither side has disputed Manning’s motives, as summed up in this online chat, prior to his arrest: “I want people to see the truth… because without information, you cannot make informed decisions as a public… I was actively involved in something that I was completely against.” According to the prosecution, Manning also provided the following note, to WikiLeaks, when he, anonymously, uploaded a cache of battlefield reports of the Iraq War: “This is perhaps one of the most significant documents of our time… removing the fog of war and revealing the true nature of 21st century asymmetric warfare.”

    http://www.bradleymanning.org/.....onsibility

    His acceptance of responsibility is the lede to ‘whistleblower’ defense…..

    Petraeus, it has been surmised, could be prosecuted, but his defense would not likely be connected to his blowing.

  30. 30
    Full Metal Wingnut says:

    @Cassidy: I’m moderately familiar with the UCMJ and other such topics, but I’m really talking about whistleblowing in general. There needs to be something specific (I’m in a hurry so I can’t really expound further right now), like a Daniel Ellsberg or My Lai oh shit what the fuck is this awful massacre as opposed to: Fuck the gubmint! I’m disaffected!

  31. 31
    Maude says:

    @Cassidy:
    Thank you, I know nothing about military courts.
    In WWII, Ike had the AWOL soldier executed. That has always bothered me.

  32. 32
    different-church-lady says:

    @Cassidy:

    You all are welcome. I just saved us about 50 wasted comments.

    In our dreams you did. This is the internet: all you really did was piss into the wind.

  33. 33
    Cassidy says:

    @Maude: Technically, that’s legal. Bear in mind, just about every crime in the UCMJ is punishable up to death, especially in a time of war. Would that ever happen in the US military today? I would say, emphatically no. It could, but today’s attitude is Bad Conduct/ Dishonorable Discharge the guy/gal and ruin their chances for a normal life ever.

    For all intents and purposes, Manning could be sentenced to death for this.

    @Full Metal Wingnut: That’s about how I understand it. Whistleblowers in the military are protected, legally, if they expose a crime. For instance: If my buddies come back from patrol and one of them confides to me they murdered some civilians. When I go up the chain of command, I am legally protected, although that doesn’t stop people form trying to make my life miserable. AAMOF, if it’s found out later and found out I was told and didn’t report it, then I will be charged with a crime. But this relates to specific actions. Manning isn’t a whistleblower.

  34. 34
    Cassidy says:

    @different-church-lady: A man can dream.

  35. 35
    Yutsano says:

    @Cassidy: You’re optimistic. That’s kinda endearing. Sad part is you were already proven wrong five comments above yours.

  36. 36
    Ben Franklin says:

    Drooooooonnnnnnnnzzzzzzzzzzzzz….like….JOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOSSSSSSS is a fav deflection.

    Dem defense mechanisms r stronnnnnggggggg.

  37. 37
    liberal says:

    @Cassidy:

    In the end, no matter what is said, or the logical arguments made, s/he will continue to say that Soldiers and Service Members have/ had a MORAL! duty to something or other to not follow lawfully given orders and wage war, even when that stance isn’t supported by facts or the law.

    The problem is that the usual Just War distinction between jus in bello and jus ad bellum is utter nonsense, from the point of view of morality.

    What the law says is another matter, of course; but there’s often a disconnect between law and morality.

  38. 38
    Cassidy says:

    @Yutsano: I can only handle one purist at a time.

    What kills me is that there are some very real ethical arguments to be made, but damn if it doesn’t get lost in the wailing and gnashing. At this point, I think Manning should never have been deployed or even in the uniform. This is a kid who would have washed out in Basic. He shouldn’t have fucking been there and it’s heartbreaking. His life is ruined. Even if he only gets 20 years, he’ll be in middle age before he can begin to have a normal life, if that’s achievable after being in prison. Plus, he’ll have a Dishonorable, so he can work the labor pool until he’s too old to work. And yeah, this is the consequences of his decision and he’s smart enough to know what he was doing, but he shouldn’t have been in the Army in the first fucking place.

  39. 39
    Ben Franklin says:

    @liberal:

    often a disconnect between law and morality.

    Bingo ! Because the LAW must always trump morality…..

  40. 40
    Cassidy says:

    @liberal:

    but there’s often a disconnect between law and morality.

    I don’t disagree. But to make the absolutist argument that Soldiers are morally obligated to take a stance of opinion, when the very real legal consequences are incarceration and death, is idiotic.

    @Ben Franklin: Actually, it’s more making fun. I still get a kick out of it. It shows up in every single one of these threads.

  41. 41
    Steeplejack says:

    @geg6, @Soonergrunt:

    It’s just another aspect of Sullivan’s colossally self-absorbed nature. He has shown time and again that he can’t see anyone else’s perspective on anything unless he is beaten over the head with it, and often times even that doesn’t work.

  42. 42
    trollhattan says:

    Looks like Willard is trolling to become Ambassador to Utah.

    http://nymag.com/daily/intel/2.....house.html

  43. 43
    Amir Khalid says:

    @Cassidy:
    This. From what is known about Manning’s behaviour before his Wikileaks stunt — the acting out, the tantrums — I have trouble understanding why he wanted to be in the military at all, or why the US Army thought he had the makings of any kind of soldier. There must have been some kind of psych screening at enlistment which would have weeded him out, surely?

  44. 44
    Cassidy says:

    @Amir Khalid: Normally, you can just tell who doesn’t belong there. Sometimes it’s PT or just physically awkward people, other times it’s just this mental place they’re in where soldiering just doesn’t compute. I can’t explain it very well. But it starts with the Drill Sergeants treating him like shit, punishing him, punishing everyone else for him, and then at that point someone gets the notion he just doesn’t belong.

    But, with the need for bodies, the checks haven’t been in place for a while.

  45. 45
    Yutsano says:

    @Amir Khalid: The Army has recruiting quotas that are very heavily enforced. There’s a shit ton of pressure to get young folks to sign that dotted line and then let the system go from there. Manning must have gotten by all of this somehow, which if you consider the history of gays in the military (always been there even when it was flat-out illegal) is possible. I will never understand why Manning chose this life, but he did, then made an even more unwise choice that he will pay for for the rest of his life.

  46. 46
    Full Metal Wingnut says:

    @Cassidy: Yeah, I’m pretty sure the My Lai guy took a lot of heat.

  47. 47
    Soonergrunt says:

    @Amir Khalid:

    What could the judge decide to do? Could she — in theory, at least —- go as far as releasing Manning from pretrial custody? (I know that’s highly unlikely, I’m just wondering if she has that power.) Alter the terms of his confinement ? Order Manning taken off suicide watch? Dismiss the charges because he was mistreated in custody, as his lawyers are seeking?

    The Judge could order PFC Manning released from Pre-Trial Confinement on several legal grounds, including if she determined that he was not a flight risk.
    She could also simply drop the charges with predjudice, ending the whole thing, although to do so would be extremely unusual, and would probably be appealed by the government.
    The most likely course of action, since PFC Manning has offered to plead to lesser offenses, would be for Judge Lind to give him sentencing credit. This credit would be for multiple days for his time spent in Quantico under the (I believe) improper conditions, up to ten days credit for every day in that environment, and one day of sentencing credit for every day he’s spent in the Leavenworth PTC facility.

    @Amir Khalid: One would think so, especially since he was granted a Special Compartmented Access clearance–the highest clearance level available. My clearance process took over a year to get my SCI when I had one. In Manning’s case, it was in the middle of the war and I think that some of the documents were “pencil-whipped” as we used to say in the Army.

  48. 48
    Ben Franklin says:

    @Cassidy:

    I think, like myself, you had derision in mind, not just humour.

  49. 49
    Soonergrunt says:

    @Ben Franklin: My problem with this assertion,

    “Neither the defense nor the prosecution, believe Manning’s difficulties in the Army are a primary aspect of what happened. Neither side has disputed Manning’s motives, as summed up in this online chat, prior to his arrest: “I want people to see the truth… because without information, you cannot make informed decisions as a public… I was actively involved in something that I was completely against.”

    because the case hasn’t started yet. We don’t know what the Trial Counsel will allege as Manning’s motive. Motive isn’t an element of the crimes charged. The Trial Counsel will not even need to address it because Manning has elected Judge-alone and not a Members Panel trial. If it does come up, it will come up when the Defense presents their case in chief, or during Penalty phase (in the case of a guilty verdict) as either mitigating or extenuating circumstance, if addressed by the Defense or as aggravating circumstances in addressed by Trial Counsel.
    And I’m addressing this comment not to you personally but to address the claim made in the site that you quoted.

  50. 50
    burnspbesq says:

    @Cassidy:

    This. The next court-martial after Manning’s should be of the guards who abused him while he was in the brig at Quantico.

  51. 51
    burnspbesq says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    I would have far more sympathy for a person who tried to report evidence of war crimes up the chain of command and then, having received no response, took the step of publicizing the info. Hell, I would even argue that is the proper action to take.

    You just described Matthew Diaz.

  52. 52
    Cassidy says:

    @Ben Franklin: I reserve my derision for the moral purity aspect of the argument. The drones conversation is a good debate to have, but it’s a complex issue more worthy of debate than just DROOOOOOOOOOOOONNNNNNNNNNEEEEEEEEZZZZZZ! Unfortunately, the typical anti-drones argument doesn’t go beyond some sort of moral absolutism or take into account said complexities.

  53. 53
    Soonergrunt says:

    @burnspbesq: Absolutely.

  54. 54
    Cassidy says:

    @burnspbesq: Definitely. Unfortunately, the methods used to bed rules are easy and well known and largely unable to be prosecuted. Shitty.

  55. 55
    geg6 says:

    @Maude:

    So did George Washington and let’s not even get into the flogging that was meted out regularly in the Continental Army. It simply can’t be pointed out too often that the military is NOT equivalent to civilian life and cannot be if it is to fulfill its function.

  56. 56
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Maude: There is a difference between AWOL and desertion. Off the top of my head, I cannot think of anyone who was executed for being AWOL. Not saying it never happened though.

  57. 57
    Soonergrunt says:

    @Maude: It was bad, sure enough. But I can’t fault the guy for following through on what the law demanded. According to reports from around the ETO, at any given time about 10% of the US Army deployed there was AWOL. That was an entire numbered army’s worth of personnel. That’s more than the entire active US Army today. Slovik had deserted twice before and stated that he would do so again at the first opportunity. Previous punishments had no effect on him.
    The weeks after he was executed, the desertion/AWOL rate dropped to less than 1%.
    Now, I’m not a fan of execution for criminal offenses, but the military is different than the civilian world, and some acts that would only be a slap on the wrist, or wouldn’t even be criminal conduct, like not going to work, have a very different effect on the Nation and the Government when done by a service-member than when done by a civilian, and consequently must have a different punishment, and the same holds for crimes by service-members in wartime vs. crimes by service-members in peacetime.

    @geg6: There’s a story about how Washington arranged for several condemned men to be executed in front of the assembled Continental Army. They were condemned for various offenses like murder, desertion, misbehavior in the face of the enemy, theft, and rape.
    He went up to the line of men on his horse, and commuted the sentences of the murderers, thieves, and the the rapist to life in prison. He had the deserter and the other one hung immediately.

    The thing is that everybody in the military knows what are crimes and what aren’t crimes, and they know that it’s simpler for everyone if they just don’t break the law.

  58. 58
    Temporarily Max McGee (soon enough to be Andy K again) says:

    @Ben Franklin:

    “… I was actively involved in something that I was completely against.”

    So he was actively involved in negotiating whaling treaties with Japan? He was actively involved in the analysis of the relationship of the Italian and Russian PMs?

  59. 59
    Ben Franklin says:

    @Cassidy:

    Absolutely correct. It is highly complex, but worthy of adroit discussion, not yammering from a concrete position of certitude.

  60. 60
    Ben Franklin says:

    @Soonergrunt:

    Exigent circumstances should be the defense. Then motive will have to arise

  61. 61
    Ben Franklin says:

    although relating to S&S, it does seem to have an application, albeit, a stretch. This not UCMJ, of course.

    EXIGENT CIRCUMSTANCES
    Emergency conditions. ‘Those circumstances that would cause a reasonable person to believe that entry (or other relevant prompt action) was necessary to prevent physical harm to the officers or other persons, the destruction of relevant evidence, the escape of a suspect, or some other consequence improperly frustrating legitimate law enforcement efforts.’ United States v. McConney, 728 F.2d 1195, 1199 (9th Cir.), cert. denied, 469 U.S. 824 (1984).

  62. 62
    Ben Franklin says:

    although relating to S&S, it does seem to have an application, albeit, a stretch. This not UCMJ, of course.

    EXIGENT CIRCUMSTANCES
    Emergency conditions. ‘Those circumstances that would cause a reasonable person to believe that entry (or other relevant prompt action) was necessary to prevent physical harm to the officers or other persons, the destruction of relevant evidence, the escape of a suspect, or some other consequence improperly frustrating legitimate law enforcement efforts.’ United States v. McConney, 728 F.2d 1195, 1199 (9th Cir.), cert. denied, 469 U.S. 824 (1984).

  63. 63
    Temporarily Max McGee (soon enough to be Andy K again) says:

    @Ben Franklin: @Ben Franklin:

    Riiiight…So why was the “Collateral Murder” video not part of a huge doc dump?

  64. 64
    Soonergrunt says:

    @Ben Franklin: except for the fact that motive is not an element of the crime under the UCMJ, and is therefore irrelevant to the question of guilt or innocence, then yes I suppose so. But since there will be no way to prove exigent circumstances because he never went to his superiors to prevent a crime (as I suppose you to mean that he had to steal hundreds of thousands of documents, the vast majority of which he never looked at, and give those documents to somebody who wasn’t cleared to look at them, to prevent something he couldn’t possibly have known about because he didn’t look at the documents and therefore was apparently unaware that the vast, vast, vast majority of them detailed lawful operations and not criminal activity, the prevention of which would be the circumstances in exigensis) and therefore would not constitute a legal defense under either the UCMJ or the civilian criminal justice system, but yeah. He could try to claim that.

  65. 65
    Ben Franklin says:

    @Soonergrunt:

    We’re in undiscovered, precedent setting territory, so anything could happen.

  66. 66
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Ben Franklin: The relationship between law and justice is worth exploring. Judges do have some options to avoid manifestly unjust results.

    Law and morality is more problematic. Whose morality? One could find oneself wishing for the protection of the law if one is on the wrong side of the morality police.

  67. 67
    Ben Franklin says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    That’s why concrete LAW, with specific language, not easily misinterpreted, holds sway over us.

    That’s separate from the tendency of Authoritarians to dismiss morality in the quest for easily defined judgements. for the sake of convenience, and the preservation of that immutable icon, THE LAW.

  68. 68
    Soonergrunt says:

    @Ben Franklin: We really aren’t. That’s the thing. The military lawyers I know don’t see anything particularly new or unusual about this case, except the length of time it’s taken to get to trial.

  69. 69
    Carl Nyberg says:

    If Manning released the Collateral Murder video, he’s a whistleblower.

    The Collateral Murder video, clearly depicts murders–illegal under international law and the UCMJ. The video is also circumstantial evidence of the chain of command engaging in a criminal cover-up of the original murders.

    The crimes Manning revealed are far more serious than the crimes Manning stands accused of.

    Manning is a hero. He should be treated like a hero.

    And the governments handling of Manning’s confinement has also been criminal. It violates the UCMJ article that prohibits cruelty and maltreatment of subordinates.

  70. 70
    Carl Nyberg says:

    @Soonergrunt:

    The military lawyers I know don’t see anything particularly new or unusual about this case, except the length of time it’s taken to get to trial.

    Well, the length of time to go to trial is one of those details I was taught was hard and fast.

    The government has exceeded its speedy trial clock, which should make the case against Manning defective.

  71. 71
    Ben Franklin says:

    @Carl Nyberg:

    Each delay of the Article 32 hearing was objected to by the defense.

    http://dissenter.firedoglake.c.....ing-day-2/

    Hmmmmm. I think you’re onto something there.

  72. 72
    Temporarily Max McGee (soon enough to be Andy K again) says:

    @Carl Nyberg:

    Except that “Collateral Murder” wasn’t part of the big dump.

    Hypothetical here: A cop clearly sees a guy strapping sticks of dynamite to the outside wall of a preschool that’s in session. Cop orders guy to step back with his hands up, guy continues, cop shoots guy, preschoolers are saved, cop is a hero.

    A few months later, cop sees another guy, dressed similarly to the late bomber, tinkering with something on the same preschool wall, shoots guy. Guy turns out to be an employee of the gas company who’s just doing his job. Does the cop rate a pass?

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    @Carl Nyberg: and if he only released that, then he’d be a whistle-blower. But for reasons known only to him, he also stole and released tens of thousands of classified documents that depicted lawful activities. And at no point in this whole fiasco has he or his legal counsel asserted that he is a whistle-blower in any legal forum of which I’m aware. Not that it matters because there is no provision for such a defense under the UCMJ as I’m sure you know.

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    Soonergrunt says:

    @Carl Nyberg:
    @Ben Franklin:
    Military law is well settled that it’s not a cut and dried thing. The clock doesn’t start ticking and then never stop. It starts and stops for various reasons, and only those stops that the government caused that were avoidable are tolled against them.
    And rightly or wrongly (or morally or immorally, if you prefer,) the military appeals courts have been very lenient with the government for trial delays. They have been quite a bit less lenient in recent years with appellate delays.
    And while there is very distant precedent for total dismissal in the event that the Judge finds that the government’s delays were avoidable and abusive, the typical remedy has been extra sentencing credit for pre-trial confinement.
    In short, he will probably get significantly fewer years in prison than he would have otherwise, both due to the length of ptc, and the conditions at Quantico Brig, but it’s not likely to avail him a complete dismissal of charges and specifications. I’m sure that’s part of what Defense is aiming at with the offer to make a blind plea to lesser offenses.
    I could be wrong, though. It’s happened before.

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