, Muskogee, OK

Oklahoma News

July 19, 2013

Judge upholds most serious charge in Manning case

FORT MEADE, Md. (AP) — A military judge refused Thursday to dismiss a charge that Army Pfc. Bradley Manning aided the enemy by giving reams of classified information to the anti-secrecy website WikiLeaks.

It is the most serious charge Manning faces, punishable by up to life in prison without parole. Col. Denise Lind, the judge in Manning’s court-martial, denied defense motions to acquit him of that charge and a computer fraud charge. The defense had cited a lack of prosecution evidence.

Lind found that the government had presented some evidence to support both charges.

Manning showed no reaction to the rulings, sitting forward in his chair and appearing to listen intently, as he has throughout the trial.

More than two dozen of his supporters also sat quietly in the courtroom, some wearing T-shirts reading, simply, “truth.”

“We’re disappointed,” Jeff Paterson, a board member of the Bradley Manning Support Network, said outside the courtroom.  “However, we’re very hopeful” that Manning eventually will be found innocent of the charges, he said.

The trial is moving toward closing arguments, possibly next week.

To convict Manning, prosecutors must prove the charges beyond a reasonable doubt; they had to meet a less stringent standard in convincing Lind that the charges should stand.

To convict him of aiding the enemy, the government must prove Manning gave WikiLeaks intelligence with “evil intent” and “actual knowledge” that what he leaked would be seen by al-Qaida members. Prosecutors produced evidence that al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden obtained digital copies of some of the leaked documents WikiLeaks published. Lind said prosecutors also produced evidence that Manning knew from his training and other military documents, that “it must be presumed foreign adversaries will view” anything posted on the WikiLeaks website.

The government also charged Manning with espionage and theft.

Manning has said he leaked the material to provoke public discussion about what he considered wrongdoing by American troops and diplomats. The material included video of a 2007 U.S. Apache helicopter attack in Baghdad that killed 11 men, including a Reuters news photographer and his driver.  A military investigation concluded the troops reasonably mistook the photography equipment for weapons.

Paterson and other critics said the judge’s refusal to drop the charges is a blow to whistleblowers.

“The government is equating all leakers with traitors and they’re not,” Boston College Law School professor Mary-Rose Papandrea said in a written statement. “There are very important differences between those who send information to the enemy with the intent of aiding the enemy and those people who release information to the public with the intent of informing the public debate. It’s time for our legal system to draw some clear distinctions between these two categories.”

Text Only
Oklahoma News
AP Video
Arizona Prison Chief: Execution Wasn't Botched Calif. Police Investigate Peacock Shooting Death Raw: Protesters, Soldiers Clash in West Bank Police: Doctor Who Shot Gunman 'Saved Lives' 'Modern Family' Star on Gay Athletes Coming Out MN Twins Debut Beer Vending Machine DA: Pa. Doctor Fired Back at Hospital Gunman Raw: Iowa Police Dash Cam Shows Wild Chase Obama Seeks Limits on US Company Mergers Abroad Large Family to Share NJ Lottery Winnings U.S. Flights to Israel Resume After Ban Lifted Official: Air Algerie Flight 'probably Crashed' TSA Administrator on Politics and Flight Bans Raw: National Guard Helps Battle WA Wildfires Raw: Ukraine's Donetsk Residents Flee Senators Push to End Hamas Threat in Cease-Fire A Young Victim's Premonition, Hug Before MH17 Raw: Deadly Storm Hits Virginia Campground Death Penalty Expert: 'This is a Turning Point' Raw: MH17 Victim's Bodies Arrive in Netherlands

Should a federal judge have the power to strike down Oklahoma's ban on gay marriage?

     View Results
Featured Ads

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.