Three Reasons Why the Charges against Bradley Manning Should be DroppedSubmitted by legalizeliberty on Thu, 01/24/2013 - 23:53
A military judge has rejected a request to dismiss all charges against U.S. soldier Bradley Manning, who stands accused of passing secret material to the whistle-blower website WikiLeaks.
Judge Denise Lind said there was no prosecutorial misconduct, ruling out the dropping of all 22 counts against Manning. The judge, however, did acknowledge Manning’s mistreatment at the hands of the U.S. military and granted him a mere 112 days credit off any eventual sentence.
“She confirmed that Bradley was mistreated, and vindicated the massive protest effect that was required to stop the Marines at Quantico from torturing Bradley,” Jeff Peterson of the Bradley Manning Support Network said. “Yet 112 days is not nearly enough to hold the military accountable for their actions.”
Notwithstanding Judge Lind’s rather obtuse ruling, a compelling case can still be made for the dismissal of all charges against Manning.
First, let us consider Manning’s mistreatment.
During his pretrial detention, Manning was subjected to measures that appear to be right out of the CIA’s “enhanced interrogation” manual. A formal UN investigation denounced the conditions in which Manning was being held as “cruel and inhuman.” And there has even been some protest from within the U.S. government. In March 2011, President Obama’s state department spokesman, retired air force colonel P.J. Crowley, resigned after publicly condemning Manning’s treatment. Crowley told an audience that Manning was being mistreated by the Defense Department; he denounced the treatment as “ridiculous and counterproductive and stupid.”
The forced nudity, prolonged solitary confinement, sensory deprivation, and other indignities that Manning endured strongly suggest his jailers were attempting to demoralize and break him, perhaps to turn him into a witness against Julian Assange, the founder of WikiLeaks and reportedly the target of a secret federal indictment. Whatever the motivations of Manning’s tormentors, their actions were abusive and illegal.
When such abuses are exposed, the interests of justice dictate that the accused should be immediately released and the charges dropped.