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The Courts The Military United States

Bradley Manning's Court Date Finally Set 523

bs0d3 writes "Bradley Manning has finally been scheduled for a day in court. On December 16, he will have an Article 32 hearing (military pre-trial). Private Manning has been in jail for one and half years. The Article 32 hearing will begin at Fort Meade, Maryland. The primary purpose of the hearing is to evaluate the relative strengths and weaknesses of the government's case, as well as to provide the defense with an opportunity to obtain pretrial discovery. Further trial dates and locations are still unknown."
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Bradley Manning's Court Date Finally Set

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  • by artor3 ( 1344997 ) on Monday November 21, 2011 @04:54PM (#38128548)

    I'm actually curious about this. Normally, the defendant can assert their right to a speedy trial, and at that point the prosecution has to take the case to court within a short window (like a month or something). Has it taken this long because Mr. Manning has been getting his own ducks in a row before the trial? Or does the military not guarantee the right to a speedy trial? If it's the latter, what's to stop them from just locking someone up and throwing away the key by never actually going to court? The military justice code can't possibly be that fucked up.... can it?

  • by dkleinsc ( 563838 ) on Monday November 21, 2011 @04:58PM (#38128608) Homepage

    cause being held without due process for 18 months under conditions that are considered torture by international observers is full of awesome in this country.

    You're right, you just didn't quite make the point strongly enough.

    One interesting question is whether the treatment of Bradley Manning is better or worse than the treatment of Yaser Hamdi [], a US citizen imprisoned for 3 years and then (once the US Supreme Court said that was not OK) deported to Saudi Arabia, all without having been charged with a crime, much less convicted of one.

  • Re:Good Luck (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 21, 2011 @05:13PM (#38128820)

    Having been a military paralegal, I have to say that the military actually offers many protections that civillian courts do not. Think of the article 32 hearing as a grand jury, but instead of the prosecutor running the show, the accused can actually bring evidence on his own behalf, has full representation by council, and the prosecution must give the defense all the evidence they will use. Full discovery rules apply here, not just at trial.

  • Re:spin. (Score:4, Interesting)

    by jkauzlar ( 596349 ) on Monday November 21, 2011 @05:16PM (#38128852) Homepage

    I wonder if the treatment he received in prison will play into the trial at all? I agree he should of course be punished, as the law is the law, but let's not forget these leaks were a catalyst for the Tunisian uprising, which lead to the revolts in Egypt and Libya, which is leading to the ongoing riots in Syria, etc. Some would argue the Arab Spring was furthermore a catalyst for OWS and the earlier protests in Wisconsin.

    Of course, by the looks of it, he leaked everything he could get his hands on and so had no particular motive in mind except to undermine the classification system, but wittingly or not, the man's a hero. I wish him the best of luck.

  • by DeadCatX2 ( 950953 ) on Monday November 21, 2011 @05:22PM (#38128924) Journal

    I've seen you claim this POW thing elsewhere in comments. Got any evidence to support this?

    Because the UCMJ Article 10 also promises a speedy trial. In fact, the courts have found that Article 10's Speedy Trial is more exacting than the Sixth Amendment.

    United States v. Thompson, 68 M.J. 308 (when a servicemember is placed in pretrial confinement, Article 10, UCMJ, provides that immediate steps shall be taken to inform the accused of the charges and to either bring the accused to trial or dismiss the charges; Article 10 creates a more exacting speedy trial demand than does the Sixth Amendment).

  • by Quila ( 201335 ) on Monday November 21, 2011 @05:28PM (#38129016)

    Everything can be waived upon request. However, this is the period where the government conducts its investigation. A big, complex case would mean a long investigation.

    Here the soldier is at an advantage over a civilian, because he actually gets to be involved in the hearing and present and cross examine witnesses. A civilian prosecutor can (and often does) hold a grand jury without the interests of the defense being presented, thus the saying about indicting a ham sandwich.

    This is one reason why courts martial have a high conviction rate. Most cases that wouldn't result in a conviction don't get referred for trial after an Article 32 hearing. This is how our civilian grand jury system is supposed to work.

  • by Quila ( 201335 ) on Monday November 21, 2011 @05:39PM (#38129180)

    Well, if I were innocent. You don't get a group where the two sides have tried to produce the most ignorant jury possible. They're not likely to be swayed by the pretty charts and rhetoric of the prosecution if they have no real basis.

    You get career military people who are generally well-educated and know the military laws themselves. The average officer on the jury is field-grade, and he'll have a military-oriented master's degree at minimum. Enlisted normally don't rise to the ranks that get put on juries without having at least a batchelor's.

  • Re:Weak sauce (Score:5, Interesting)

    by betterunixthanunix ( 980855 ) on Monday November 21, 2011 @05:59PM (#38129468)

    In the end it seemed like a big bowl of nothing

    How about the fact that the DEA -- supposedly a law enforcement agency -- has amassed such vast signals intelligence power that dictators are demanding DEA assistance in spying on political opponents? We knew that the war on drugs was out of control before the leak, but this gives a clear indication of just how out of control things are, and shows us why the government considers the DEA to be a member of the intelligence community. It is also a warning sign, because unlike the CIA, FBI, or NSA, the DEA is allowed to engage in both foreign and domestic operations, including intelligence gathering.

  • by Quila ( 201335 ) on Monday November 21, 2011 @06:34PM (#38129894)

    Here's something that will spin your brain: This is Bush's drawdown. Yep, agreed to in 2008 with the government of Iraq.

    The only possible way this had anything to do with the drawdown would be if Obama had been planning to keep the troops there despite the Bush agreement, but decided not to after this got out.

  • Re:spin. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by DeadCatX2 ( 950953 ) on Monday November 21, 2011 @06:38PM (#38129958) Journal

    So you want Manning punished for publishing classified info.

    Do you want those who improperly classified info to be punished, as well? For had such info not been classified in the first place, Manning might not have been motivated to release everything.

The party adjourned to a hot tub, yes. Fully clothed, I might add. -- IBM employee, testifying in California State Supreme Court