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A Blog by Gary Wright II

PFC Manning now facing 34 charges and life in prison

Wednesday, March 2nd, 2011

Since I wrote my blog entry earlier today, a new statement was released about the case:

Today the Army notified PFC Bradley Manning of 22 new charges (for a total of 34) in the case where he has been accused of leaking classified information. One charge, "aiding the enemy" is punishible by death. Although the prosecution has said they were not seeking the death penalty, the final decision is up to Major General Karl R. Horst, the commanding general of the U.S. Army Military District of Washington.

Yesterday, the commander of U.S. Army Headquarters Command Battalion recommended the following charges:

  • Aiding the enemy in violation of Article 104, Uniformed Code of Military Justice (UCMJ)
  • 16 Specifications under Article 134, UCMJ:
  • Wrongfully causing intelligence to be published on the Internet knowing that it is accessible to the enemy (One Specification)
  • Theft of Public Property or Records, in violation of 18 United States Code (U.S.C.) 641 (Five Specifications)
  • Transmitting Defense Information, in violation of 18 U.S.C. 793(e) (Eight Specifications)
  • Fraud and Related Activity in Connection with Computers in violation of 18 U.S.C. 1030(a)(1) (Two Specifications)
  • Five Specifications in violation of Article 92, UCMJ, for violating Army Regulations 25-2 "Information Assurance" and 380-5 "Department of the Army Information Security Program."

Under the UCMJ, the Convening Authority ultimately decides what charges to refer to court-martial, and whether to seek the death penalty if Article 104 is referred. Therefore, if convicted of all charges, Manning would face a maximum punishment of reduction to the lowest enlisted pay grade (E-1); total forfeiture of all pay and allowances; confinement for life; and a dishonorable discharge.

Earlier today, David Coombs (Mannings attorney) wrote: "The decision to prefer charges is an individual one by PFC Manning's commander. The nature of the charges and the number of specifications under each reflects his determination, in consultation with his Staff Judge Advocate's office, of the possible offenses in this case. Ultimately, the Article 32 Investigating Officer will determine which, if any, of these additional charges and specifications should be referred to a court-martial."

At the request of Manning's defense attorneys, the trial proceedings have been delayed since July 12, 2010, pending the results of a defense requested inquiry into Manning's mental capacity and responsibility pursuant to Rule for Courts-Martial (RCM) 706. Depending on the results of the RCM 706 board, an Article 32 hearing may follow. An Article 32 hearing is the equivalent of a grand jury, with additional rights afforded to the accused.

How can we condemn a soldier for upholding his oath and reporting war crimes? If he is found guilty, we need to make damn sure the others involved are also held accountable. The military won't go after soldiers who purposely killed innocent civilians, yet they go after Manning for reporting the crimes.

I am going to keep Manning in my thoughts and prayers in the hopes that he will remain strong and that justice will eventually be served.

Best regards,

-- Gary Wright II

I've written several blog entries on this topic. To read more, visit our page devoted to PFC Bradley Manning .

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