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Nov 29 2011

Bradley Manning Gets Day in Court

Pfc. Bradley Manning, who is accused of leaking classified data to Julian Assange and WikiLeaks, is finally going to go to court — for a pretrial hearing to determine whether there is even enough evidence to charge him with anything. Forbes reports:

One year, six months, and three weeks after he was first jailed in a military brig in Kuwait, alleged WikiLeaks leaker Bradley Manning will have his day in court: According to a blog post Monday from his lawyer David Coombs, the Army private first class will have a pre-trial hearing in Fort Meade, Maryland on December 16th, a day before his 24th birthday, to examine the government’s charges and evidence and determine whether to proceed with the case against him.

He’s been held all this time, much of it having his rights violated in serious ways, without ever even being charged.

11 comments

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  1. 1
    D. C. Sessions

    And apparently, the Legislature is prepared to change the law so that all of us can have the same treatment: have a look at S. 1867, which declares the world to be a battlefield where the US military can treat anyone (including citizens in their own homes) as “enemy combatants” and subject them to indefinite detention without warrant or charges.

  2. 2
    Bronze Dog

    I suddenly have this dread feeling that he’s going to be “reclassified” at the last minute so that they don’t have to put him on trial.

  3. 3
    Aquaria

    The Sixth Amendment and all the relative case law about speedy trials (Barker v. Wingo; Strunk v. US) mean nothing anymore, obviously.

  4. 4
    Marcus Ranum

    I’ll bet they realize they don’t have a case. The main evidence against him (unless he admitted to something under torture) is via Adrian Lamo, an Asperger’s-suffering sociopath with a lengthy history of lying about virtually everything, and another security consultant who would make an equally poor witness. Lamo, for a brief while, was in the media spotlight as a ‘hacker’ and, during that time, burned a hole through his media contacts by concocting fairly elaborate stories about his exploits which were trivially shown to be untrue. The government is probably facepalming its brains out at the idea of putting him as a witness because of the number of televised documentaries of him making up self-serving bullshit to garner attention. Normally in a computer security investigation you’ve got fairly solid forensic evidence (system activity logs tying a series of file accesses and events to a specific terminal at a crucial time, then physical access logs placing the user at that terminal) but it sounds like the forward area’s system security is so poor that they don’t have anything like that. I bet the situation went from facepalming over “Lamo’s our key witness?” to facepalming over “he implicated himself after he broke in solitary confinement” how do we introduce ‘evidence’ gathered using torture? Then the facepalming got worse the longer they held him and then the Red Cross got involved and now they know that any case they present will be overshadowed by the fact that they abused the prisoner. So, the longer they hold him the worse it gets for them as well as him and I’ll bet some of the people involved are just hoping they can wrap their careers up and get out of there before this career depth-charge is tried.

  5. 5
    D. C. Sessions

    I’ll bet some of the people involved are just hoping they can wrap their careers up and get out of there before this career depth-charge is tried.

    He could always escape to somewhere in the Middle East.

  6. 6
    reverendrodney

    But wait, President Obama declared Bradley Manning “Guilty!”
    (That was on the news… wish I could find it.)

    I believe the government’s message is: “This is what will happen to you if we even THINK you leaked anything.”

    Now, what about Gitmo?

  7. 7
    Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :)

    The main evidence against him (unless he admitted to something under torture) is via Adrian Lamo, an Asperger’s-suffering sociopath with a lengthy history of lying about virtually everything, and another security consultant who would make an equally poor witness.

    That’s an exceptionally unlikely combination of diagnoses, as is the idea that a person having Asperger’s would affect their credibility or character in the way you’re implying. Got a citation, asshole?

  8. 8
    Marcus Ranum

    Azykroth writes:
    That’s an exceptionally unlikely combination of diagnoses

    It wasn’t a diagnosis, it was a fucking comment on a fucking blog, asshole.

    Lamo and his media friends used to portray him as the lone hacker who lived on the road and slept in abandoned houses, etc (much of which was untrue) had no friends, etc. and felt that he was outside the law – which is why he did the things he did. Not a diagnosis of “sociopath” – would you be happier if I’d said “sociopathic” or “antisocial”? Now Lamo has come out as having Aspergers’ and has told some interesting lies about how all that happened (his story: they came and took him away, his parents story: they scheduled an appointment with a doctor)

    As far as citations, fuckface, do your own fucking research and make your own decisions based on that. Why would you fucking believe me since you appear willing to challenge the truth of my comment in the first place?

  9. 9
    Spanish Inquisitor

    I guess it’s not much consolation to say “At least he’s not in Guantanamo!”

  10. 10
    Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :)

    I would be very surprised if he has an actual diagnosis of Asperger’s syndrome given the description you’ve given and I’m disappointed that you’re apparently too thick to see the problem with randomly using it as a term of abuse on a flimsy pretext. What you describe sounds more like narcissistic personality disorder…

  11. 11
    Chris from Europe

    Given the interview with Lamo that I saw, I would guess his problem is substance abuse.

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