Number three this year looks a lot like #3 last year, the PFC Manning case has been a media darling, earning multiple spots on our top ten list. But alas Bradley Manning’s time in the spotlight has run its course. His case finally made its way to court-martial and resulted in a sentence of confinement for 35 years, report here. While his supporters may bring the case back to life when the appellate process starts to drag on, and it will, for now we may have seen the end of 24/7 Manning coverage around the globe. Here’s a recap of this year’s festivities.
Judgment Week continues.
Within a week we may have resolution of three of the most high profile courts martial in the last decade.
Another high profile court martial case is awaiting a decision. MAJ Nidal Hasan expedited that process by not making a closing argument and allowing members to begin deliberations after hearing only the trial counsel’s version of events, AP report here and CNN coverage here.
SSGT Robert Bales apologized for his actions Thursday at a sentencing hearing to determine if he will be eligible for parole, LA Times report here. Closing arguments are Friday and deliberations will likely begin today.
AP via WRAL has this summary of the Manning case key elements and next steps.
Apparently this thing called trending on Twitter tells you what the collective world conscience is thinking about. And I just checked with our CAAFlog twitter page (@CAAFlog) and it looks like “Bradley Manning” is trending right now. A closer look at those trending tweets reveals most are organizations calling the sentence appalling and similar sentiments.
So maybe this is the counter conscience argument, but I’d like to think of it as just my $.02.
First, this is not a civilian prosecution. This is a court-martial of a US Army intelligence analyst (Military Occupational Specialty 35F) that entered the Army in October 2007. He was assigned to the 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division and deployed to Iraq in October 2009. His job was to protect classified information and use it to aid US forces in fighting our nation’s (and our Coalition partners’) enemies in Iraq. Regardless of whether anyone actually died as a result of the releases Manning made, I don’t think it is a stretch to say that the charges he was convicted of run directly contrary to what he was supposed to be doing in Iraq.
AP via Navy Times, here, reports that military judge COL Denise Lind will announce her sentence for PFC Manning tomorrow at 10 am.
The Hasan trial rolls on at Ft. Hood. And CNN, here, and others wonder if Hasan is just trying to become a martyr for his “cause” as he sits potted plant like acting as his own attorney in hos court martial. Stars and Stripes coverage of yesterday’s highlights here.
Closing arguments in the PFC Manning sentencing phase wereheld yesterday. Coverage here (WaPo) and here (AP via Military.com). Military judge, Colonel Denise Lind, will now determine Manning’s sentence.
The SSGT Robert Bales contested sentencing hearing gets underway at Joint Base Lewis-McChord this week. Tacoma News-Tribune report here. With the death penalty off the table for the murders of 16 Afghan civilians, and a mandatory life sentence, the only issue for members to decide is life with or without a chance of parole.
The BG Jeffrey Sinclair court has members. Selection was completed last week and a trial start date has been set for Sep. 30. WaPo report here on what we may start calling the Poppa Panda Sexy Pants court-martial. Members selection report here (FayObs).
The Austin American Statesman has this report on yesterday’s proceedings in the MAJ Nidal Hasan court martial. And in possibly one of the oddest rulings you’ll see, apparently prosecutors now can’t read about their own case (this post may even be off limits):
Military judge Col. Tara Osborn will not give prosecutors access to a mental health evaluation that Maj. Nidal Hasan has already released to the media, ruling that Hasan’s mental state has not been introduced as an issue in the ongoing court-martial.
Wednesday morning, Hasan had agreed to release the military sanity board report to prosecutors. Over the last week he has released several pages of the 49-page report to Fox News and the New York Times. Osborn ordered prosecutors not to download available copies from the Internet.
Additonal coverage from the LA Times here.
Lawyers for MAJ Nidal Hasan have asked to take over his defense or diminish their roles because they say their client has a death wish. WaPo reports here on yet another delay in the trial as military judge COL Tara Osborn attempts to sort it out. Here (Tues) and here (Wed) are links to LA Times coverage of some of the testimony in the case so far.
Members’ selection in the BG Jeffrey Sinclair court-martial continues today. FayObs report here. Five members have reportedly been selected so far.
Sentencing continues in the PFC Manning case. Yesterday’s testimony coverage can be found here (Reuters). Military judge COL Denise Lind ruled that some government evidence reltated to the chilling effect on US diplomacy was inadmissible, so she won’t consider it in sentencing, AP (via WaPo) coverage here.
And yet another general is in trouble, or at least was in trouble. See report from WaPo here on the ethical violations committed by the former CG for the Eighth Army in South Korea.
The military judge in the Bales case mistakenly gave the trial counsel the unredacted 706 Board results for Staff Sergeant Bales, who then read the report. The defense now wants the TCs removed from the case. Tacoma News-Tribune coverage here. H/t SC
Major Nidal Hasan announced that he was the shooter in the Ft. Hood shootings as he defends himself in his capital court-martial at Ft. Hood. AP via the Dallas Morning News here and the LA Times here.
At Ft. Hood the capital court-martial of MAJ Nodal Hasan begins. WaPo coverage here.
The PFC Manning sentencing continues, WaPo coverage here, with evidence of the harm/potential harm to national security caused by the offenses:
A senior U.S. official told a military court Monday that while he believed the leaking of a huge number of classified cables by Army Pfc. Bradley Manning had a chilling effect on diplomatic relations, the State Department never completed a formal damage assessment.
On Tuesday, Judge Denise Lind ruled on multiplicity for sentencing motions and reduced Manning’s potential maximum sentence to 90 years, ABC News report here.
Members selection in the sexual assault case of BG Jeffrey Sinclair continues this week. See FayObs here.
Former Marine JA and Deputy Asst SecDef for Detainee Affairs Willaim Lietzau has some candid comments on Gitmo in the Daily Mail, here.
1LT Clint Lorance faces a general-court martial for the alleged murder and unlawful targeting of Afghan civilians reports the Fayetteville Observer , here. The first day of testimony in the case included several soldier’s testimony that they disagreed with their platoon leaders orders to shoot at the two civilians that were killed and other targets.
Judge Lind found PFC Bradley Manning not guilty of the aiding the enemy charge and specification, but guilty of many of the Espionage Act charges and other charges. Here is one reporter’s account (linked to these Tweets) of the verdicts as they came, the first “charges” are actually the “Additional Charges.”
Every media outlet’s military justice coverage is focused on the announcement of the verdict in the PFC Bradley Manning court-martial. Judge Lind announced yesterday that her decision will be made today. Coverage from various folks here (CNN), here (AP via WaPo), and here (NBC News).
But another case more than three years in the making gets under way soon as well. The MAJ Nidal Hasan court-martial at Ft. Hood begins Aug. 6, 2013 reports the Dallas Morning News in this what to expect from the trial preview.
The armed services have agreed to re-open 31 sexual assault cases after the DoD IGv found flaws in the investigation of those cases by the defense criminal investigative services. USAToday report here.
The Fayetteville Observer reports here that panel selection begins today in the BGEN Jeffrey Sinclair court-martial. Opening arguments are scheduled for Sep 30.
AP via WaPo reports here on the defense motion to dismiss in the PFC Manning court-martial.
The National Review has this piece on Pres. Obama’s comments on sentences in sexual assault cases.