Top 10 military justice stories of 2012 – #3 The Continuing PFC Bradley Manning and Wiki[shhh] Spectacle
Numbers 2 and 3 on our list have multiple things in common, including overlap with both #9 on this year’s list and being on previous year’s lists. And while the Kabul Klipper thought the Manning case wasn’t news last year (though I did), it was certainly this year. To recap:
- Manning was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize.
- A writ was filed in his case by CCR to get access to the court-martial and classified material (wait, isn’t that what got Manning in trouble?).
- Julian Assange (founder of Wiki[shhh]) called for Manning’s release because unlike himself he feels Manning is not a criminal (that’s a little joke, he is innocent until proven guilty . . . in most countries).
- The UN Special Rapporteur on Torture called Manning’s conditions of confinement torture and asked for, but was denied, unmonitored access to Manning.
- And Manning’s counsel held a bake sale (ok, not actually a bake sale, though baked goods were available) to raise money for his defense.
So a big news year . . . oh wait, I almost forgot, stuff actually happened in his court-martial too!!!
- Charges were referred, including aiding the enemy charges.
- The military judge denied a motion to dismiss the aiding the enemy charges.
- His counsel filed another motion to dismiss, this one 117-pages.
- Mannings’s offer to plea to some of the charges was given the green light.
- And the court held a week long hearing on the somewhat surprising conditions of Manning’s initial pre-trial confinement at Marine Corps Brig Quantico, here, here, and here, among others.
It has been a busy year for PFC Manning. And with a trial date set for mid-March (so says LA Times, here), I would not be surprised if the case ends up on another Top 10 list next year. Stay tuned, the next scheduled session is an Art. 39a session on Jan. 8, 2013 at Ft. Meade. Maybe we’ll find out the result of the unlawful pre-trial confinement motion, which I think could be an interesting legal decision rather than just a media spectacle.