After nearly 900 days in pre-trial confinement, PFC Bradley Manning’s lawyer is saying enough is enough, bring my client to trial or dismiss the charges. Here is Manning’s recently filed motion to dismiss. Coverage here.

Prior motions to dismiss coverage here and here. Trial on charges that Manning alleged leaked classified information to the website Wiki[shhh] is set to begin in Feb. 2013.

12 Responses to “PFC Manning’s 117-page Motion to Dismiss”

  1. k fischer says:

    No Man,

    I think Mr. Coombs is saying much more than that.  He’s twice previously said enough is enough, bring my client to trial.  Now he is saying that the Defense has done everything to get this case to trial, and the Government has refused through negligence or by outright design.  

    There are some pretty bold accusations regarding the veracity of the 5 Government lawyers, especially  Major Fein, on this case and their dilligence, from the pre-preferral processing of the case, to discovery violations, to the rubberstamping of delay requests by the Convening Authority, to the candor to the Court regarding when the Government learned of the existence of undisclosed damage assessments that seem to favor the accused, etc.  

    This case reeks of US v. Chaplain Yee, which resulted in a bunch of nothing.  If this case was so important and Manning such a traitor, then why hasn’t the Government proceeded accordingly?  

    Can’t wait to read the Government’s response, as there are typically two sides to the story. 

  2. Mike "No Man" Navarre says:

    KF–

    To be perfectly honest I have not read the entire motion.  I agree it is more than your average speedy trial motion.  This case should be a fun ride.

  3. k fischer says:

    I gave the entire 117 pages a curt review.  I thought it appeared to be well written.  

    But looking at the broad strokes and taking together the 845 days it took to get to trial, the discovery issues, the requests for delay citing the same reasons over and over again, the fact that Manning was held in pretrial confinement consisting of a great deal of time in Maximum security despite the shrinks advising that he be released, I would dismiss with prejudice unless the Government had a really good reason for so the delay.  Then again, I’m a defense hack. 

    Also, I find it ironic that he’s being tried at Ft. Meade, home of the NSA and 24 miles away from Washington DC, yet it took them over 500 days to deal with classified documents issues. 

  4. k fischer says:

    And the brief has some paragraphs that are quite entertaining:  

    “While the Defense recognizes that this case is not your ordinary court-martial, the Government cannot  repeatedly utilize the complexity excuse as some get-out-of-diligence-free card.”

    “While the Government may prefer that those who come under the aim of its prosecutorial crosshairs go quietly into the night, the United States Constitution permits a defendant to do otherwise.”   
    “Moreover, despite the Government’s constant attempt to conjure up the image of the tired, overworked attorney who must search high and low for discoverable information while simultaneously fighting off innumerable borderline-frivolous motions from the Defense, that is simply not the reality.”

  5. stewie says:

    it is somewhat hard to understand why this has taken almost three years to get to trial. We have death penalty cases that don’t take that long to go to trial.

  6. Dew_Process says:

    Stewie, while I agree, it might be better that they take their time in death penalty cases and figure out how to do it right!

    I defended Chaplain’s Yee’s co-defendant [Gene Fidell masterfully defended Yee] and after about 6 months of hearing excuses about why this couldn’t be “de-classified” or the “Agency Responsible” for that document was “too busy” at the moment, the Military Judge resolved it quite simply.  She told Trial Counsel, either have the documents declassified or provide an unclassified summary sufficient to comply with MRE 505 and Confrontation by X date, or she was impossing the sanction of preclusion.  Strangely enough, it worked.  Oh, and she also released the Accused from his onerous pretrial confinement and restricted him to Base.

    KF – you’re probably spot on about some of the Damage Assessment Reports – there’s probably a lot of entertaining Brady material in some of them.

  7. Bill C says:

    This may be a dumb question, but if the MJ dismisses (which is unlikely) what stops the U.S. Attorney from picking up the case?  They put it on the “rocket docket” and we are done by the Spring.

  8. k fischer says:

    Bill, 

    If she dismisses it with prejudice, then wouldn’t it be double jeopardy?  Same sovereigns.

    DP,

    If the damage assessments were really that bad, then I would expect the US Government to move with expediency and fry the bastard and not give him any excuses. But, didn’t the damage assessments show that there was no injury? If so, then that is not in the slightest entertaining.  Basically, you have the Government eviscerating Article 10 over a case, that while illegal acts might have occurred, there was no damage.  

    It would be like filing a false claim that never got paid.  Did the filer expose himself as a dirtbag who breaks the law?  Yes.  Am I going to go all nuts trying to fry the guy on a bunch of crazy charges I can’t prove?  No.  Am I going to ask for over 300 days of delay while the accused is in pretrial confinement so the defense will have a reason to call my Convening Authority as a witness in the Court Martial?  No.  I’m going to charge what I have and get a conviction and hopefully some jail time and a kick.  It’s not like Manning is some serial child molester.  I could at least understand the hatred, then.  

    As far as State secrets go, Scooter Libby didn’t spend a single day , let alone almost 3 years in jail.  The current Administration reveals military secrets all the time and has to be told to STFU by the Sec Def.  Yet, we’re going to crush the nuts of some stupid PFC because he broke the law by releasing info that he never should have access to in the first place, especially considering his mental issues?  Where’s is Bradley’s S-2 in all this?  I bet he got a Bronze Star after the deployment.

    Entertained by the damage assessment?  If it’s bad, then I would be mad at the Government for screwing the case up.  If there was no injury, then this whole thing has been a bunch of nothing.  Just like Chaplain Yee.  Charge him with treason, castigate him in the press, and wind up with nothing but an adultery charge. 

  9. Gene Fidell says:

    I’m going to speculate: the government has been slow rolling Pvt Manning’s case in hopes they could in the meantime get custody of Julian Assange, then use Manning as a witness against him.

  10. Lieber says:

    It’s a complicated case and most of the speculation here is way off-base.  I understandably can’t respond with specifics.  I’ll submit that there’s a very good reason why the defense would want him in PTC as long as possible (not submitting an Art. 10 motion would be malpractice of course).  BTW, as was released to the press (just no one noticed), virtually the entire immediate CoC received career-ending adverse actions.

  11. stewie says:

    I don’t think there is a ton of speculation, but almost three years? How complicated can it be??

  12. Phil Cave says:

    “immediate COC,” and the ‘more senior COC who have a share of the accountability?