After 14 days and 80 witnesses, the United States government prosecuting Pfc. Bradley Manning in the long-awaited trial against the military whistleblower has rested their case.
As Manning’s defense team prepares to present their case next week, they are hoping Manning’s prospects have risen after the government was forced to close their portion of the trial with an “embarrassing admission” that the Army had misplaced Manning’s military contract, the Acceptable Use Policy (AUP) , which laid out the terms of his access to classified information.
Over three years after being arrested for leaking details of military atrocities and intelligence to WikiLeaks, Manning is on trial for 21 charges including aiding the enemy, which carries a possible life sentence … //
… Consequently, the defense is expected to begin next Monday with a motion to have a number of the charges against Manning dismissed on the grounds of lack of evidence.
To counter the ‘aiding the enemy’ charge, Manning’s attorney David Coombs will argue that, rather than premeditation, the soldier was provoked to leak information after witnessing a series of military atrocities and that he specifically chose information “that he believed the public should hear and see, information that would make the world a better place.”
Manning has already pleaded guilty to a number of charges which carry a combined maximum prison term of 20 years, including reduced charges on seven of eight espionage counts and two counts of computer fraud. He has also admitted guilt for violating a military regulation prohibiting wrongful storage of classified information.
“Such a substantial admission of responsibility has failed to satisfy military prosecutors, who are clearly determined to send a bold message that will give any would-be leaker pause,” notes Pilkington, who adds that the “aggression displayed” by the US government carries “additional significance” in light of NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden’s ongoing attempts to seek amnesty from US persecution.
All of the trial transcripts are made available to the public via the Freedom of the Press Foundation, which has led a grassroots initiative to crowd-fund a stenographer for the duration of the trial.
US government rests its case in Bradley Manning WikiLeaks trial: Admission that army has mislaid standard contract signed by private boosts defence hopes of having some charges dismissed, on The Guardian, by Ed Pilkington at Fort Meade, July 2, 2013;
Letter from Berlin: Spying Scandal Shakes Up German Campaign, on Spiegel Online International, by Charles Hawley, July 4, 2013: German Social Democrats are demanding that Berlin investigate top managers at the American intelligence agency NSA for alleged espionage. It’s just the latest example of how the vast spying scandal is making waves in the German election campaign …;
Video: Bradley Manning Heads for Trial – No One Charged for Murdered Civilians, 15.55 min, on TRNN.