CAAFlog » Court-Martial News » PFC Manning

Here is a link to Army Times coverage of the Harvard Kennedy School disinviting Chelsea Manning from the list of 2018 Fellows after a severe case of public backlash. Here is the school’s statement, which talks about the “extent to which [a Fellow’s] conduct fulfills the values of public service to which we aspire.”

So Chelsea (former Bradley) Manning has a fellowship at Harvard Kennedy School’s Institute of Politics. Release here. Prompting the resignation of at least one other fellow, here. H/t JK

Here is CNN coverage of POTUS’s early morning tweet paraphrasing Fox News coverage of a Private Manning article, here, that was critical of President Obama for being insufficiently progressive. The tweet reads:

Ungrateful TRAITOR Chelsea Manning, who should never have been released from prison, is now calling President Obama a weak leader. Terrible!

Just in case you were wondering, I have not found anything that specifically prohibits raising UCI at any point in the court-martial process. Any thoughts on UCI over the post-trial process? H/t LM

Here is the NYT article on the commutation of Private Manning’s sentence that results in a release date in May of 2017 rather than finishing the remaining 27 or so years and being released in approximately 2045. H/t JK

According to this CNN report, PFC Manning – who pleaded guilty to some offenses and was convicted of others in connection with the mishandling of classified material, and who received a sentence that included confinement for 35 years – was hospitalized yesterday after an apparent suicide attempt.

Readers may recall that Manning bitterly protested being placed in a suicide watch status while in pretrial confinement (some discussions here and here and here), and received 112 days of extra credit due to the conditions of the pretrial confinement.

For a good overview of the Manning case, see our #3 Military Justice Story of 2013 and our high-profile case page.

Coverage abounds of the recently filed appeal of PFC manning at the Army Court of Criminal Appeals, here (AP via Army Times), here (ABC News), here (AP via Stars&Stripes), and here (Wired)–yes, some of that is naval gazing.

Here is a link to the brief, all 209 pages, which features what it presents (at 34-44) as a seeming circuit split on application of  “exceeds authorized access” in the one specification of violating 18 U.S.C. § 1030(a)(1) (the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA)).  The first argument doesn’t seem like a strong attack on the pre-trial punishment violations that Judge Lind remedied by awarding 112 days of additional pre-trial confinement credit.  And the RCM 1001(b)(4) argument is interesting in alleging that the parade of testimony concerning the potential impact of the leaks made by PFC Manning was not “directly relating to or resulting from the offenses”–though the argument focuses on “resulting from” and fails to discuss what the broader phrase “relating to” means.

It is difficult for me to comment on the legal and factual sufficiency arguments, but feel free to speculate if you have more information about the evidence than I do (or even if you don’t, which will likely happen).

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.

Read more »

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. 

Read more »

As PC notes below, coverage of MAJ Hasan resting without presenting any evidence in his own defense is here (LA Times).

Covergae of PFC Mannings sentence to 35 years confinement is here (WaPo).

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 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.

PFC Bradley Manning makes an unsworn statement at his sentencing causing the largest ever use of the heart emoticon on Twitter. Coverage here (AP via USA Today) and here (NPR).

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

Judge Lind following CAAF’s guidance and using a scalpel rather than a sledge hammer to close hearings during the Manning sentencing phase. See Courthouse News here and the Baltimore Sun here.

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.