Thursday, 18 July 2013

Bradley Manning: So It Goes

Ruling on two defense motions to direct not-guilty verdicts, Judge Denise Lind refused to throw out the ‘aiding the enemy’ and Computer Fraud charges against Pfc. Bradley Manning. The defense filed the motions at the conclusion of the government’s case, before it began with its own witnesses, arguing that the government had failed to provide evidence to support its charges. Rules for Court Martial instruct the judge for this type of motion to view the evidence in a light most favorable to the prosecution. The judge ruled that the evidence the government provided was sufficient to not throw out the charges at this time, but at her final verdict she will weigh both government and defense evidence and could still find Manning not guilty.

Judge Lind said that the prosecution established that in his training as an intelligence analyst, Manning learned that the enemy uses the Internet to attempt to obtain classified information and to keep such information secret. He plotted U.S. military activity, she said the government proved, and knew that the enemy would attempt to do the same. That evidence, she ruled, could tend to establish that Manning knew he was dealing with the enemy. (See here for why that evidence is weak, circumstantial, and therefore could set an extremely dangerous precedent.)

Nathan Fuller, Bradley Manning Support Network.

• Negative Manning Decision and the Future of Investigative Journalism.

PS Image updated with Steve Bell cartoon from Friday's Guardian.

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