Here is a CNN story about PFC Bradley Manning who is charged with leaking classified videos and cables to WikiLeaks.  CNN reports that Manning is being held in solitary confinement at the Quantico brig pending his Art. 32 hearing.  I found the whole solitary confienment thing odd.  The story also notes that Manning “is suspected in the latest leak of thousands of Afghanistan field reports to the Wikileaks.org website.” 

Bloomberg coverage, here, of the Afghan documents leak.  Bloomberg says the following about the investigation of that leak

Defense Secretary Robert Gates said he asked the Federal Bureau of Investigation to help the Pentagon investigate the leak of secret U.S. documents on the war in Afghanistan.

The leaking of the documents published by WikiLeaks.org is “potentially severe and dangerous” for U.S. troops and their allies in the war, Gates said at a Pentagon news briefing today.

“It is important that we have all the resources we need to investigate and assess this breach of national security,” Gates said. “We will aggressively investigate and wherever possible prosecute.”

Attorney General Eric Holder said yesterday during a visit to Cairo that the Justice Department, which includes the FBI, is investigating the source of the leaks. Whether criminal charges are brought depends on the course of the probe, he said.

Admiral Michael Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, assailed Julian Assange, founder of the website that published more than 91,000 secret U.S. military reports from Afghanistan.

“Mr. Assange can say whatever he likes about the greater good that he thinks he and his source think they are doing,” said Mullen, who joined Gates at the briefing. “But the truth is they might already have on their hands the blood of some young soldier or that of an Afghan family.”

24 Responses to “PFC Manning (of WikiLeaks fame) In Solitary at Quantico”

  1. Anon says:

    Better punt this quickly to the Feds as Unlawful Command Influence has already raised its ugly head…..

  2. Ama Goste says:

    Is he going to remain in solitary, or is this a routine 48-72 hours of adjusting to initial custody in the facility?

  3. Southern Defense Counsel says:

    Anon,

    Sorry I don’t see UCI here. The comments by Gates et al say nothing about whether Manning is guilty. Crying UCI is a bit like crying wolf. A strong accusation that quickly loses it’s punch. Gates has a right, and I believe an obligation, to address leaks and let it be known that they are criminal acts.

  4. Anonymous says:

    I assume anon was referring to ADM Mullins’s comments, not Secretary Gates’s.

  5. Friend says:

    There is a staging process when one goes to a brig – segregation first (seems like solitary) then into general population. The longer one is in, the more privleges. All pretty normal. But that doesn’t make good copy. I think its 48 hours at Quantico but I am probably wrong – again.

  6. DC Steve says:

    Anyone know what the actual charges are?

    Seems like Art 108 (aiding the enemy) would fit, in that he “without proper authority knowingly . . .gives intelligence to the enemy. . . either directly or indirectly.”

    Posting intel on a public website, including indentifying information about informants, would IMHO qualify.

  7. How is this UCI? says:

    Admiral Mullen doesn’t even mention Manning. He talks about how Assange has blood on his hands. Not even close to UCI.

  8. Anonymous says:

    He said that Assange AND HIS SOURCE have blood on their hands.

  9. andrewdb says:

    If he is not kept in solitary, how are they going to protect him from the rest of the population?

  10. wiki says:

    Interesting how gates and mullen try to taint the process by speculating about blood on their hands – oy the histrionics – me thinks they’re trying to deflect attention away from their own oversight of war crimes and cover ups. Just bring the empire back home and maybe nobody else will get blood on their hands.

  11. Late Bloomer says:

    I saw that Congressman Mike Rogers (R – Michigan) has publicly stated that this should be charged as a capital offense and that capital punishment is appropriate.

    Maybe not your garden-variety UCI, but we’re getting closer.

  12. Anon says:

    The beauty of UCI is that it gets the CA on the witness stand at a motion hearing (or the CA’s superior(s) in the chain-of-command) and what comes out of their mouths are a buffet of delights for a wiley defense counsel!

  13. publius says:

    Ah, UCI, the last refuge of a military defense counsel. Did you hear that his squad leader overheard the company commander say his wife ran into in the General’s aide’s wife in the commissary and she mentioned she saw a picture of the accused on Fox News?

    “Maybe not your garden-variety UCI, but we’re getting closer”

  14. publius says:

    Incidentally, any ideas how big USG might go after wikileaks- either w/ criminal charges and/or shutting ‘er down, and whether the accused, to the extent he’s involved, might help in that and thus get some consideration. I’m dead certain his detailed defense counsel are focusing Magoo-like on the awful UCI-y statements of Mullen, Gates, etc. But perhaps he’ll get lucky in choosing civilian counsel, who might actually have his best interests in mind. Rather than suffer for his detailed DC’s delusions of grandeur and self-conscious, overcompensating attacks on the structure of military justice, he might cut an early cooperation deal.

    Note: criticism re detailed defense counsel stems from performance generally of military defense bar in high profile litigation over the last decade or so, not any precise information about this guy’s detailed DC, about whom I know nothing.

  15. Charles Gittins says:

    Pretrial confinement for leaking a document or a bunch of documents? Presumably his access has now been denied, so there is little likelihood of future criminal misconduct. Flight risk? C’mon man! How is this guy even in pretrial confinement? That is really the question that we need tro be asking.

    If we start putting all the military personnel who leak classified infomation into pretrial confinement, the Pentagon will be empty.

  16. Anonymous says:

    I think it’s fairly common in a case like this to put the accused in solitary pretrial confinement. The argument I’ve been given is essentially that the accused himself is “classfied”, like a disk or thumbdrive, which could be improperly downloaded by anyone he comes in contact with. The advantage to the defense is that the confinement triggers assignment of counsel, at least for a limited purpose, which wouldn’t happen if the government just kept the accused indefinitely in some sort of “safe house” while he’s being de-briefed.

  17. soonergrunt says:

    You need to read the Lakin threads, whereby you would learn that the accused’s opinion about politics or the CinC or the nation’s role in Iraq, Afghanistan, or Whogivesadamnopia are utterly irrelevant to the questions of his guilt or innocence. If Manning is convicted, his counsel can submit that stuff for consideration at sentencing, but your issue is not with these guys here.
    Please direct all political rants to 1600 Pennsylvania Ave NW, Washington, DC 20500. Be sure to send everything in triplicate, one for the file, never to be read again; one for the low level intern who will enter your information, misspelling your first name, in the machine that automatically sends you a pre-printed Christmas Card; and one to be destroyed so that it can’t be leaked by Bradley Manning.

  18. wiki says:

    @ okie from muskogee, the so-called soonergump, you’ve spoken like a true military prosecutor and fan of BP (Brewer & Palin, nitwit). You seem to be saying, “this is caaflog! Take that extenuatin’ an’ mitigation stuff elsewhere. We here don’t care ’bout no RCM 1000s. Jus’ get us that conviction!”.

    So, you want us to not consider sentencing arguments here. We should just focus on how many ways we can find this alleged homosexual guilty and put him on the electric chair. Meanwhile, it’s quite alright for the top brass, CinC, and talking heads to spew on about aggravating circumstances well before the guilt phase.

    I’m posting exactly where I need to be posting. Perhaps you are too.

  19. soonergrunt says:

    @ okie from muskogee, the so-called soonergump, you’ve spoken like a true military prosecutor and fan of BP (Brewer & Palin, nitwit). You seem to be saying, “this is caaflog! Take that extenuatin’ an’ mitigation stuff elsewhere. We here don’t care ’bout no RCM 1000s. Jus’ get us that conviction!”. So, you want us to not consider sentencing arguments here. We should just focus on how many ways we can find this alleged homosexual guilty and put him on the electric chair. Meanwhile, it’s quite alright for the top brass, CinC, and talking heads to spew on about aggravating circumstances well before the guilt phase. I’m posting exactly where I need to be posting. Perhaps you are too.

    Actually, all I did was suggest that you should keep the politics out of it. If you want to talk trial tactics and military law, this is the place. I’ll also note that matters of mitigation and extenuation aren’t for the main trial in the court martial. IANAL, but from what these guys are saying, the defense you seem to propose, that PFC Manning did this stuff because he believed that his judgement and ethics are superior to that of his superiors will probably not have good results with a jury composed of career officers and NCOs.
    Another reason you might want to read some other parts of this blog is so that you won’t go smearing a flaming liberal like myself with the conservative label.
    And lastly, since I didn’t personally attack you, I think I’m entitled to the same treatment.

  20. Late Bloomer says:

    And it wouldn’t be America without the indomitable Michael Moore, who has weighed in (literally and figuratively), calling PFC Manning a hero and calling for his immediate release.

  21. wiki says:

    @ soonergrunt. You are correct, sir, I owe you an apology for the smear. Sorry. But, I think my original post that gates and mullen are tainting the process is relevant. Sentencing is part of the process. They are making a well-publicized case in aggravation and we’re not even at the Article 32 yet. It doesn’t matter what type of E & M case the accused may choose to make. The leadership shouldn’t be out there with this case in aggravation, particularly when they know they have a high-viz accused (he hasn’t been charged with this leak yet as far as I know, but we’re probably getting there soon). Also, I believe I read somewhere that the leadership is preventing DC from making any comments. Not fair to just get one side out there. It’s all about due process, after all, isn’t it?

  22. soonergrunt says:

    Thanks for that.
    Well, they haven’t actually said that Manning is responsible for the Afghan leaks. They spoke of Mr. Assange’s source. I’m sure they believe that Manning is the source for that too, but that is why we have trials, after all.
    Part of the confusion is covering both of these things in one story, which is easy to do because Wikileaks is involved in both.
    I’ll note for the record that it’s a good thing that I’m not eligible as a retiree to sit on the panel. I think Manning’s guilty as hell. And while I’d throw the book (and an anvil) at him if I could, he is entitled to as fair a trial as we can give him with as impartial a panel and/or judge as possible.

  23. soonergrunt says:

    And to revise my comment, I think Manning is guilty as hell of the offenses as charged, which do not mention Afghanistan at all.
    AS an aside, Newsweek is reporting that the Taliban have begun reprisals against Afghan persons identified in the Wikileaks archive.
    http://www.newsweek.com/2010/08/02/taliban-seeks-vengeance-in-wake-of-wikileaks.html

  24. wiki says:

    Not so fast on that reprisals conclusion. From that linked article, “While it is unknown whether any of the men were indeed named in the WikiLeaks documents, it’s clear the Taliban believes they have been cooperating with Western forces and the Afghan government.”. It sounds like, contrary to Newsweek’s claim, that these threats are out there, but they’re just speculating that they are a result of the leak.