The Army has preferred charges against PFC Bradley E. Manning, alleging that Manning unlawfully disclosed classified information and improperly used classified government computer systems to access classified information.

Manning has been identified as the source of a gun camera video depicting an engagement in Iraq in which a number of civilians, including children, were killed and wounded.  He is also believed to have accessed 150,000 classified State Department cables using his SIPRnet access, some of which were delivered to non-cleared persons.  The persons  in question are presumably the proprietors of WikiLeaks.org, which has published a number of purported classified cables on its internet site.

A copy of the charge sheet appears here.

13 Responses to “Army Charges PFC Manning In “WikiLeaks” Case”

  1. Phil Stackhouse says:

    While I haven’t looked at the site – did CAAFLog scoop WikiLeaks on Manning being charged?

  2. Christopher Mathews says:

    Yes, we did.

  3. Samuel L. Jackson says:

    I’m a defense hack, but I say WASTE THE M—-R!

    AND NO I CAN’T STOP SCREAMING, HAVEN’T YOU SEE MY MOVIES? THIS IS HOW I TALK!!

  4. Anonymous says:

    So, umm, you’re a defense hack, and you want to waste him before so much as an Art. 32. That’s unique.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Apparently he’s channeling the Star Wars SLJ who wants to kill the bad guy instead of taking him in.

  6. Army Q says:

    I recently heard that the Army typically does not appoint Judge Advocates to be IOs for 32s unless it is a high profile or complex case (which this would certainly qualify, based upon the assimilation of several Title 18 statutes). Army folk – is this true or did I get bad gauge? My understanding is that the DON almost always appoint JAGs as IOs for all 32s, regardless of visibility or complexity.

  7. Army A says:

    This is true. Most cases have Officers from a variety of branches, rarely if ever JAG. High profile cases, for instance the Ft. Hood shooting case, have JAGs for IOs.

    It would be great to be an IO someday . . . won’t hold my breath.

  8. Christopher Mathews says:

    Interesting. During my time on active duty, the Air Force used JAGs as investigating officers for pretty much every case. High profile or complex cases would often draw a military judge as the IO.

    While one could argue that a non-lawyer investigating officer’s assessment of the case may be closer to that of the “typical member,” I’m not sure that really matters; the IO and the member have entirely different roles.

  9. Phil Stackhouse says:

    BONUS!

  10. Anonymous says:

    Guess it depends on who you think is more (or less) likely to be a rubber stamp. Another attorney in the unit who is part of the SJA office? Another member of the command that wants the Soldier prosecuted?

    Probably a toss-up either way.

  11. Anoncon says:

    Actually the Air Force is pretty much the exception in appointing JAG IO for every case (usually a reservist or prosecutor in the local vicinity). And yes, I’ve seen MJs as IOs.

    Concerning the Title 18 – 1030 charge….I am looking into this as I was erroneously convicted. In my case the IO twice *had two different 32s) recommended dropping this charge because there was no regulation or order prohibiting me to use my access of a database to lookup SS numbers. The TC kept it on the charge sheet and good’ole Colonel Cumbie found me guilty.

    Now, there has been some recent developments in case law (researching for my Error Coram Vobis petition – Motion for reconsideration – Changes in caselaw can be used to overturn a defective charge) which state that there needs to be some sort of policy, regualation, or agreement setting forth Authorized Access, and absent of this there cannot be a charge of exceeding authorized access (Brett Senior & Associates v. Fitzgerald, LVRC Holdings LLC v. Brekka, and EF Cultural Travel BV v. Explorica, Inc”.)

    Now there is one case stating that any use of computer access to commit a crime might be exceeding authorized access because the accused “should have known better” (same argument in my case) – but the accused in that case had an agreement not use her access to commit crimes.

    What I am saying is that the Prosecutor should have some type of regulation or order specifying what the limitations of the accused authorized access is. If the TC is just walking in there with a “he should have known better” argument than the TC should expect to get a shellacking.

    But then again, like the AFCCA, any CCA would likely rubber-stamp it anyway without giving it much thought.

    My beef with this is that there are many other people more deserving that need to be charged with espionage (i.e. the entire AP in Iraq and Afghanistan).

    Anon, its a toss up that doesn’t matter when the IOs recommendation is ignored no matter if it is a JAG or grunt making it.

  12. Anon says:

    I love Colonel Cumbie. A great judge and a true gentleman. I haven’t seen him in quite some time … how’s he doing? Presumably you’ve seen him more recently than I have.

  13. Anoncon says:

    Well my first court-martial was in 2004, he was the judge. For my second court-martial he detailed an outside Judge, but was called as a witness and testified telephonically (for an Article 10 motion). The final time he was a spectator and was waiting on Judge Whittier (sp) in 2007. He shook my hand and told me that I was too smart to get into this kind of trouble again. He asked about me a few years back when one of my Lawyer’s partners went before him.

    You’re right, he is a gentleman and I do not think he has been reversed once as a Judge (he has served as an MJ as back as 95′ as far as I can tell). He is on point and his opinions are sound.

    He was wrong about the Exceeding Authorized Access – but in his defense the caselaw came years after my trial.

    I know he has property in Florida and was asked not to retire a while back, I presume he has gone out to pasture.

    Funny Fact: After Trial my parents stated that they had seen the Judge several before by the Burger King parking lot – when my 71′ MG Midget was being towed off base back to Chicago he stopped and checked it out.