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In the end, April 10, 2013 could turn out to have been a truly auspicious day for Bradley Manning.

On Wednesday of last week, trial judge, Colonel Denise Lind ruled that the U.S. government would now have to prove that the WikiLeaks source had "reason to believe" that disclosing what they consider 'state secrets' would be both harmful to the United States -- and -- beneficial to nation states under the influence of al-Qaeda or other extremist groups wishing to do harm to the U.S.

From the Guardian U.K.:

The ruling from Colonel Denise Lind, sitting in a military court at Fort Meade in Maryland, raises the burden of proof for the prosecutors who are trying to have the US soldier jailed for life for his actions in passing hundreds of thousands of classified state documents to the anti-secrecy website WikiLeaks. Manning has pleaded guilty to the leak, but only to lesser charges that carry an upper sentence of 20 years in military jail.
Manning pleaded not guilty to the most egregious charge of 'aiding the enemy' which could conceivably mean a death sentence. The government has stated that instead it would seek a life sentence in military custody.  

Manning is set to go to full court martial on 3 June, with the trial expected to last for 12 weeks. The scale of the WikiLeaks breach of US intelligence – including war logs from Iraq and Afghanistan, videos of US helicopter attacks, as well as a mountain of diplomatic cables from around the world –  coupled with the seriousness of the charges, will ensure the trial will be the most high-profile prosecution of a leaker in a generation.
In a separate, more portentous decision, Judge Lind has now given the prosecution team permission to call witnesses to attest that Manning's disclosure actually reached "the enemy." The ruling delivered a blow to Manning's civilian lawyer, David Coombs, who had tried to preclude evidence related to end use of both the leaks and videos on grounds that they were irrelevant and even prejudicial to Manning.
But the judge found that it was relevant, particularly to the key prosecution accusation that the soldier "aided the enemy". She listed a number of hostile groups as "the enemy" in this case, including al-Qaida, al-Qaida in the Arabian peninsula, and an unspecified number of other organisations referred to only by code name.

Lind stressed that to be found guilty, Manning would have to be shown beyond reasonable doubt to have knowingly dealt with an enemy of the US. The crime could not be inadvertently or accidentally committed, she said.

The ruling opened the proverbial door to an appearance of "John Doe" as a witness for the prosecution team. "John Doe" in this case is purported to be an unnamed member of the 'Seal Team Six', the Naval special ops team responsible for killing Osama bin Laden in Abbottabad, Pakistan back in 2011.

During the raid that killed bin Laden, "John Doe" reportedly found and then removed three items of digital media at the compound where the team found bin Laden hiding. Analysts found that the items contained unspecified WikiLeaks material reportedly requested directly by bin Laden.

Both the Defense Dept. and the CIA have demanded measures that would guarantee the anonymity of the witness, including having him appear in disguise even in closed session at a secret location with no media or members of the public present at the time. The judge has yet to rule on the finalization of those conditions.

But Manning's defence lawyers are protesting about the restrictions on cross-examination and discovery, arguing that they cannot properly represent their client if they are withheld access to the witness.

The question of how to handle classified information during the trial continues to exercise Lind and both sets of lawyers. Paradoxically, though most of the classified material that will be referred to in testimony is now in the public domain courtesy of WikiLeaks, it is still considered a US state secret and any mention of it has to be redacted or discussed in closed court.

According to Judge Lind, a two-day-long "dry-run" of a sample witness testifying and being submitting to cross examination will be held in an upcoming private session early next month. Reportedly, the purpose for the experimental session is to find out if there are alternatives to holding all testimony deemed 'sensitive' in a secret session.

The judge also expressed displeasure at the recent unauthorized recording of the defendant's personal statement to the court published on the internet, which is a violation of court martial rules.

"I have not ordered people in the media operation center to be screened for recording devices, and I hope I will not have to."
It's good to know the judge is insistent on the government actually proving its case, especially in a military tribunal carried out with esoteric rules.

I certainly hope Manning benefits from this ruling.

He deserves his fair day in court.

Originally posted to markthshark on Mon Apr 15, 2013 at 03:43 AM PDT.

Also republished by Anonymous Dkos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (124+ / 0-)

    "That men do not learn very much from the lessons of history is the most important of all the lessons of history." ~ Aldous Huxley

    by markthshark on Mon Apr 15, 2013 at 03:43:39 AM PDT

    •  I'd like to think public pressure had something... (18+ / 0-)

      to do with the judge's decision. But even if it didn't it's welcomed in the name of fundamental fairness.

      "That men do not learn very much from the lessons of history is the most important of all the lessons of history." ~ Aldous Huxley

      by markthshark on Mon Apr 15, 2013 at 03:56:32 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I'd like to think common decency and (22+ / 0-)

        a sense of justice had something to do with it, but I'd probably be wrong.

        What is truth? -- Pontius Pilate

        by commonmass on Mon Apr 15, 2013 at 04:11:17 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  You'd probably only be wrong if you attributed... (7+ / 0-)

          either one of those senses to U.S. military tribunals.

          "That men do not learn very much from the lessons of history is the most important of all the lessons of history." ~ Aldous Huxley

          by markthshark on Mon Apr 15, 2013 at 04:17:11 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  This is unfair, markthshark (6+ / 0-)

            There are a lot of good people working in the military legal system, and this is NOT one of the sloppily put together, still barely functioning military commissions.

            This is a court-martial.  They look like federal trials (except for the uniforms), except that their conviction rates are lower.  I have no doubt that COL Lind is using both decency and a sense of justice in applying the law.

            "There is no difference between us. The only difference is that the folks with money want to stay in power..."--Shirley Sherrod

            by Wide Awake in KY on Mon Apr 15, 2013 at 07:18:18 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  I have no doubt either... (4+ / 0-)
              I have no doubt that COL Lind is using both decency and a sense of justice in applying the law.
              And she's also working in a system she didn't create. But the rules of evidence are completely different. Hearsay is allowed for one. The standard of proof for treason should be higher than it is.

              But I guess he should be thankful that they only want to keep him locked up for the rest of his freakin' life... instead of executing him, which they could do.

              "That men do not learn very much from the lessons of history is the most important of all the lessons of history." ~ Aldous Huxley

              by markthshark on Mon Apr 15, 2013 at 07:45:22 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Not real familiar with courts-martial, are you? (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Neuroptimalian, Wide Awake in KY

                Saying the judge didn't "create" the system really is a meaningless statement: few federal judges have anything to do with passage of the statutes they enforce.  Manning is being tried under the Uniform Code of Military Justice, a federal law passed by both houses of Congress and signed by the President more than 60 years ago.  So yeah, Judge Lind didn't write the law.  But it's the same law that every other soldier, sailor, airman, and marine is required to obey.  

                Your statement that the military rules of evidence are "completely different" is simply wrong -- they are remarkably similar to the civilian federal rules of evidence.  When the FREs are amended, the military rules of evidence follow suit automatically, unless the President promulgates differing rules by executive order.  Hearsay is not allowed under MRE 802, just as it is forbitten under FRE 802, except in accordance with enumerated exceptions found in FRE (and MRE) 803, 804, and 807, and military appellate courts can and do turn to civilian federal appellate court decisions in applying those rules.  

                The standard of proof for a conviction is beyond a reasonable doubt, the same as in the civilian system.  If convicted, Manning will have the opportunity to appeal first to a military appellate court, then an appellate court consisting of civilian judges appointed by the President and confirmed by the Senate, and then to the Supreme Court.  There are substantial differences in procedure, but military courts are not the star chambers you seem to imagine.

                Mitt Romney enjoys the soft bigotry of low pigmentation.

                by Califlander on Mon Apr 15, 2013 at 12:31:11 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  I guess the "star chamber" treatment came before.. (0+ / 0-)

                  this latest court proceeding. It's good to defend the process... unless the process has been perverted -- the rules chucked out the window -- the decisions shrouded in secrecy.

                  You're right, before today, I didn't know all the enumerated differences between military tribunals and commissions. It's a learning process. But it's tough to wade through all the secrecy and obfuscation.

                  One thing I damn well do know is that this whole Manning thing is ANYTHING but normal Uniform Code of Military Justice procedure. Since when has the government ever tried to circumvent the burden of proving intent when the defendant is charged with treason?

                  This whole thing has been a sham since the day he was taken into custody.

                  Solitary confinement for nearly three years -- tortured -- about 20 minutes of exercise and sunlight per day but constant bright artificial light for the other 23 hours and 40 minutes. Forced to stay awake, sitting on a bench perfectly straight not even allowed to lean back against the wall. Held on suicide watch for months and months after trained psychiatrists said he wouldn't harm himself.

                  Other than Manning, do you know ANYONE else subject to the rules of the UCMJ who's been treated like that? Gotta wonder how many other rules they're changing when it's convenient to do so. At the very least, he's been held in violation of Article 13, which I'm sure you're aware of.

                  Defense motion to dismiss charges

                  This latest trial might be the only time in the past three years that he's being treated like an actual human being.

                  Guardian U.K.

                  Baltimore Sun

                  Human rights investigations evidence-based, independent and rigorous investigation of human rights abuses

                  Read the links and THEN lecture me about how they've adhered to the UCMJ throughout this process.

                  "That men do not learn very much from the lessons of history is the most important of all the lessons of history." ~ Aldous Huxley

                  by markthshark on Mon Apr 15, 2013 at 04:48:51 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Take a look around CAAFlog (0+ / 0-)

                    Some folks who practice in military courts (both civilian and military attorneys) and who generally come at things from a defense perspective might give you a fresh perspective.  

                    Or, if you don't think that'd be of benefit to you, don't look.

                    The judge ruled that Manning was not held in solitary, which I'll take over your claim that he was, given that she actually saw and heard the evidence in court.  She awarded Manning 112 days of confinement credit for unlawful pretrial confinement for other violations -- which, as you can gather by the label, aren't supposed to happen, but as you can also gather do sometimes, and can and are redressed through the courts the way they were here.

                    I notice you've abandoned your claim about the rules of evidence, which is good because you were wrong, but to the extent you think the burden of proof is different in a military court than a civilian one, you're still wrong.  You may be confusing arguments over what elements must be proven with the quantum needed to prove them.  In military courts, as in civilian, the government still must prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

                    Bottom line: if you think Manning got a raw deal because you don't think what he did was wrong, that's a defensible point of view.  Not one I share, but there it is.  If you want to make up stuff about the UCMJ and the rules of evidence, though, you don't really help your point.

                    Mitt Romney enjoys the soft bigotry of low pigmentation.

                    by Califlander on Mon Apr 15, 2013 at 11:49:29 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  I said it's a learning process... (0+ / 0-)

                      Not enough of a concession for you? Oh well.

                      I notice you've abandoned your claim about the rules of evidence, which is good because you were wrong
                      But when you give your position away, i.e...
                      Bottom line: if you think Manning got a raw deal because you don't think what he did was wrong, that's a defensible point of view.  Not one I share, but there it is.
                      And...
                      The judge ruled that Manning was not held in solitary, which I'll take over your claim that he was, given that she actually saw and heard the evidence in court.
                      ... it's pretty easy to conclude at this point that you're more than willing to give deference to a system that's capricious, fundamentally unfair and gratuitously punitive. We're just at opposite ends of the spectrum.

                      Obviously you didn't bother to read the material at the links I provided -- where multiple human rights violations are enumerated. Detainees at Guantanamo get [marginally] better treatment than Bradley Manning.

                      But that's fine. To each his own.

                      'Nuff said

                      "That men do not learn very much from the lessons of history is the most important of all the lessons of history." ~ Aldous Huxley

                      by markthshark on Tue Apr 16, 2013 at 07:50:56 AM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

      •  Military tribunals have to follow the Constitution (10+ / 0-)

        The Constitution requires two witnesses to testify against someone accused of treason.  The Constitution requires that the defense be allowed to confront witnesses (i.e. cross examine them).  Innocence until proven guilty is a cornerstone of American justice.

        I don't think public pressure had anything to do with it.

        I do not feel obligated to believe that the same God who has endowed us with sense, reason, and intellect has intended us to forgo their use -- Galileo Galilei

        by ccyd on Mon Apr 15, 2013 at 04:16:52 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  I'd like to think it had nothing to do with it (4+ / 0-)

        if judges respond to public pressure, then we are on a short road to mob justice.  I'd prefer that it has to do with strong and well written laws enacted bythe people's representatives and judges who vigorously enforce those laws.

        Hay hombres que luchan un dia, y son buenos Hay otros que luchan un año, y son mejores Hay quienes luchan muchos años, y son muy buenos. Pero hay los que luchan toda la vida. Esos son los imprescindibles.

        by Mindful Nature on Mon Apr 15, 2013 at 07:39:05 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  You and me both... (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          flitedocnm, cotterperson
          I'd prefer that it has to do with strong and well written laws enacted bythe people's representatives and judges who vigorously enforce those laws.
          But if you knew how many petitions I've signed and phone calls I've made on behalf of Manning, you'd know why I'd like to think that it all made a difference.

          I do have confidence in this judge though. I think she'll continue to try to do the right think by Manning.

          "That men do not learn very much from the lessons of history is the most important of all the lessons of history." ~ Aldous Huxley

          by markthshark on Mon Apr 15, 2013 at 07:52:59 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Here's to a fair judge and a fair trial (19+ / 0-)

    These reasonable decisions by the judge give me hope that justice will be served.

    look for my eSci diary series Thursday evening.

    by FishOutofWater on Mon Apr 15, 2013 at 03:58:19 AM PDT

    •  No judge likes to be overturned on appeal (6+ / 0-)

      If a couple of those rulings had gone the other way, there would be a ripe invitation for appeal and having them overturned.  Although the justice system (even the military justice system) may seem arbitrary and capricious sometimes, it really is far from it.

      I do not feel obligated to believe that the same God who has endowed us with sense, reason, and intellect has intended us to forgo their use -- Galileo Galilei

      by ccyd on Mon Apr 15, 2013 at 04:22:16 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  WHO, pray tell, is this undefined "enemy"... (28+ / 0-)

    ... of the US.

    WHY is publicity regarding whistleblowers couched in sinister cold-war era terms of "us vs. them"?

    Always it's this totally vague and totally undefined "enemy" that we're being told we must be afraid of.

    Someone's forgetting recent history.  WE didn't have any enemies until WE invaded Iraq on flimsy justification based on lies for oil.  A little fanatical criminal gang whose individual members are from various countries who used to hang out in the mountains in Afghanistan does not make for an army supported by any country or any country's leaders, so they don't actually count.

    WE didn't HAVE "enemies" until WE created them!  [More specifically, Dumbya, Dickie and their lying war criminal cohorts created them, but WE are the ones being mentioned in Moronic Media as having mythical "enemies."]

    So, dear "gummint" prosecutors and "leaders," first define the "enemy."

    I'm sick of attempts to steer this nation from principles evolved in The Age of Reason to hallucinations derived from illiterate herdsmen. ~ Crashing Vor

    by NonnyO on Mon Apr 15, 2013 at 04:14:17 AM PDT

    •  Excellent point (13+ / 0-)

      Before 9/11, Bin Laden was a criminal.  After 9/11 he's an enemy of the state?  When did Al Capone go from being a criminal to an enemy of the state?  (Answer:  He didn't)  Our enemy in the Afghanistan war was the Taliban.  In the Iraq war it was the Saddam Hussein regime.  Both wars propagated insurgencies, but are insurgents really "enemies of the state?"  I don't really know, but it deserves some attention.

      I do not feel obligated to believe that the same God who has endowed us with sense, reason, and intellect has intended us to forgo their use -- Galileo Galilei

      by ccyd on Mon Apr 15, 2013 at 04:36:10 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Bin Laden was an enemy of the state before 9/11 (4+ / 0-)

        But what does that matter?  He was an enemy of the state when Manning made the leaks.

        •  By accounts of the Navy Seals at the Bin Laden (5+ / 0-)

          compound, Manning personally and deliberately gave Bin Ladan sensitive materials?

          Is that the US prosecutor's argument? And those Navy Seals (a couple of whom appear to be teabagging nuts) will seal the case?

          Or did  Bin Laden scrounge around and download info from Youtube or wherever... maybe the Collateral Murder video?

          You know, after WWII and the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki where up to 500,000 innocent people perished because of the bombing raid of 2 US pilots... Paul Tibbits and Charles Sweeney... those two men did not cower in fear after their bombing raids and the US did not stoke the fear in American people that the Japanese ninjas would come to get you in your sleep.

          These Navy Seals that killed ONE man now live in fear. One guy is demanding security forces to protect his family. Our entire culture is saturated with fear.  

          Why is the image of a Muslim fighter more powerful than that of a Japanese Ninja? Why does that strike fear in Americans? Why would killing 1 man who the entire world knows was a murderer... why do our Armed Forces cower in fear from him?

          The US has made a horrible mistake in elevating Bin Laden to that stature.

          Anyway, even our military is saturated in fear and its entire raison d'etre is fear and trepidation.


          A society grows great when old men plant trees in whose shade they know they shall never sit.

          by bronte17 on Mon Apr 15, 2013 at 08:54:35 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Elevating bin Laden to boogeyman stature (8+ / 0-)

            was a feature, not a bug. Obama exploited Dubya's bluff by getting rid of bin Laden -- a purely symbolic act.

            However, like a kind of reverse Jedi, bin Laden now seems more powerful in death than he was in life: the government intends to have bin Laden insure that Bradley Manning is never free.

            •  yes and no... (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              thomask, NonnyO, markthshark

              I see your points as valid with the exception of getting rid of Bin Laden.

              He should have been brought to justice, but that couldn't happen because of the implications for previous US support of him.

              There were some pitfalls when the Cold War "walls" came down. The vacuum in Afghanistan was one of them.


              A society grows great when old men plant trees in whose shade they know they shall never sit.

              by bronte17 on Mon Apr 15, 2013 at 10:33:14 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

          •  The fact that the prosecutors tried... (6+ / 0-)

            to get away with not proving Manning's intent was to aid the enemy says to me that their case is weak.

            They wanted a show trial that would end up sending a chilling message to anyone else who would even think about releasing information that could embarrass them.

            They succeeded with that, at least to a certain extent. But I think the judge saw through their dubious effort to seal the deal, and forthrightly smacked 'em down for it.

            "That men do not learn very much from the lessons of history is the most important of all the lessons of history." ~ Aldous Huxley

            by markthshark on Mon Apr 15, 2013 at 10:24:04 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  Thank you for saying it better than I could (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            markthshark, bronte17

            Elevating OBL and his henchmen to oogledeboogledey-BOO fearful caricatures was insane.  It was like "We're telling you this guy's nasty, so you better cower in fear and do as we say, not as we do."

            I was never afraid of OBL (or his alleged cohorts), and more curious about why we were being told to be afraid when I didn't see any logic to the idiotic fear-mongering rhetoric, but I was damned sure pissed off that our rights were taken away, all done in the name of being told we had to fear common little criminals and give up our rights to be "safe" when there are/were so few of them and so many of us.  Even when all conditions are perfect, "absolute safety" can never be guaranteed.  Worse, I'm even more pissed because our rights have not been restored to us!  It's long past time to officially give us our Constitutional rights back!!!

            I'm sick of attempts to steer this nation from principles evolved in The Age of Reason to hallucinations derived from illiterate herdsmen. ~ Crashing Vor

            by NonnyO on Mon Apr 15, 2013 at 04:41:43 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  "insurgents" are, by definition, opposed to the (3+ / 0-)

        established, ruling regime. So, they are, by definition, enemies of the state.
        Whether the state has legitimacy is another matter. Laws are, after all, man made, but impersonal. The rule of law is secular. In a theorcratic state, the law is presumed to be authorized by the deity -- also an impersonal entity.
        Everywhere and at all times, man has been intent on ruling, exercising authority, without being personally responsible.
        "Personal responsibility" is not an exception. "Ability" is not "actuality." "Personal responsibility" says, "I could be responsible, but I'm not." See? It is possible to admit and deny at the same time.

        We organize governments to deliver services and prevent abuse.

        by hannah on Mon Apr 15, 2013 at 05:19:37 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Well, you've just defined 'enemy of the state'... (4+ / 0-)

          more comprehensively than our government ever has.

          That's the problem: they've created this esoteric, 'secret-society'-type system of military justice, in which their credibility is diminished considerably in the eyes of the public.

          It's almost to the point of cultism.

          "That men do not learn very much from the lessons of history is the most important of all the lessons of history." ~ Aldous Huxley

          by markthshark on Mon Apr 15, 2013 at 06:07:59 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  There is also a dangerously thin line (4+ / 0-)

            between being an opponent of the prevailing political order, and an "enemy of the state".

            The entire basis for Manning's trial is that by aiding an "enemy", that he himself is also an enemy of the state.

            There are many who would suggest that anyone who supports an enemy, in any way, even inadvertently, is also an enemy.

            Hence, we have people who have donated money to Islamic charities placed on terrorist lists.

            Nixon had his "enemies list". And he went after them with the IRS and the FBI.

            And there are people in high places, right now, who would say that anyone who in any way supports Bradley Manning, is an enemy of the United States.

            That anyone who demonstrates against the corporate order is an enemy. (Look at the brutal suppression of OWS.)

            Even that anyone who might write a supportive comment in this diary is an enemy.

            It is more than a little distressing to see how far we have tilted towards authoritarian rule under the administration of a constitutional scholar.

            Let us hope that Judge Lind understands the thin line, and truly does everything in her power to seek fairness and justice.

      •  The USA has more "enemies of the state" now, (3+ / 0-)

        than before it invaded Iraq and Afghanistan. This may not be legally relevant to Manning's trial, but it should at least be morally relevant.

    •  The judge defined them (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ccyd, citylights, JerryNA, erush1345
      But the judge found that it was relevant, particularly to the key prosecution accusation that the soldier "aided the enemy". She listed a number of hostile groups as "the enemy" in this case, including al-Qaida, al-Qaida in the Arabian peninsula, and an unspecified number of other organisations referred to only by code name.
      And, what does it matter to Manning's motives who created those enemies?

      And.. anyone who thinks we had not "enemies" before Dubya is either naive or a fool.  Dubya did not invent Al Quaida.

      •  But was Bin Laden always an enemy of the state? (8+ / 0-)

        There is no question that Bin Laden was hostile to the U.S. for many years before he stated to take action with the African embassy bombings and the U.S.S. Cole.  I think you could make a strong case that he was an enemy in the generic sense of the term at that time.  My question is:  When did he become an enemy of the state?  It is kind of like the "War on Terror."  How do you declare war on a tactic?  I don't recall Congress voting on that.

        I do not feel obligated to believe that the same God who has endowed us with sense, reason, and intellect has intended us to forgo their use -- Galileo Galilei

        by ccyd on Mon Apr 15, 2013 at 04:53:05 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  As near as I could tell... (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          markthshark, native

          ... first it was OBL who declared himself an enemy of the US.  Or declared a jihad against the US.

          I don't remember him as being anything other than a fanatical gang member or a fanatical leader of a criminal gang.

          You're quite correct about declaring war on a tactic.  That's all guerrilla warfare is: a tactic, and it is designed to make people afraid the same thing will happen to them.  They use low-tech weapons to cause the most destruction and/or loss of life.  [The ancient Celts were very good at guerrilla warfare tactics and bedeviled Caesar's armies in Gaul and Germania.]

          Congress could not legally declare war on a gang of criminals (the 19 criminals who actually committed the crimes which were accomplished with low-tech weapons died with their victims, but had any survived they could have only been tried for hijacking planes, felony murders, and property damages)..., so the Congressional option was to vote for AUMF when they should have just stood up to the little shite, but Dumbya (and his puppet master, Dickie) took it a few steps too far and usurped Congressional war powers to invade Iraq on his own say-so.  Obama is now using AUMF to "justify" drone bombings in countries with whom we are not at war (i.e., long after Dumbya is out of power the US is still engaged in war crimes).  AUMF needs repealing...!  Giving one person the power to declare war (as Dumbya did against iraq) is unconstitutional, and yields Congressional power to one person who can then act as a dictator.

          So very, very many unconstitutional and illegal pieces of legislation need repealing..., and We The People all deserve to have all of our constitutional rights restored to us!

          I'm sick of attempts to steer this nation from principles evolved in The Age of Reason to hallucinations derived from illiterate herdsmen. ~ Crashing Vor

          by NonnyO on Mon Apr 15, 2013 at 06:19:28 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Aside from being part of the Afghan resistance... (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            NonnyO, protectspice, Laconic Lib

            against the Soviet Union?

            I don't remember him as being anything other than a fanatical gang member or a fanatical leader of a criminal gang.
            He fought with the Northern Alliance, which was totally supported by the CIA back in the day.

            "That men do not learn very much from the lessons of history is the most important of all the lessons of history." ~ Aldous Huxley

            by markthshark on Mon Apr 15, 2013 at 06:28:16 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  I never paid attention... (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              markthshark

              ... OBL was just a little twerp to my way of thinking, and the lives and thoughts of fanatical little criminals just aren't that interesting, so I ignored him.

              I'm sick of attempts to steer this nation from principles evolved in The Age of Reason to hallucinations derived from illiterate herdsmen. ~ Crashing Vor

              by NonnyO on Mon Apr 15, 2013 at 07:09:04 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

        •  Oh, and as far as being "an enemy of the state" - (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          markthshark

          ... I don't think a pipsqueak little fanatical criminal could justifiably be declared an "enemy of the state."

          I'm sick of attempts to steer this nation from principles evolved in The Age of Reason to hallucinations derived from illiterate herdsmen. ~ Crashing Vor

          by NonnyO on Mon Apr 15, 2013 at 06:21:08 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  Did we have these enemies before CIA involvement (6+ / 0-)

        in the Middle East? I don't blame Dubya for Al Queda, but I do blame him for its continued health. He did more to assure that than Bradley Manning ever could.

  •  Turning jurisprudence on it's head (16+ / 0-)

    A judge requires the prosecution to prove their case.

    "Til you're so fucking crazy you can't follow their rules" John Lennon - Working Class Hero

    by Horace Boothroyd III on Mon Apr 15, 2013 at 04:17:31 AM PDT

  •  Assuming the Seal team member gathered three (7+ / 0-)

    pieces of digital data from the Bin Laden compound,how could he know what was on the media unless he kept the devices in his custody and viewed/copied the files and can confirm that the data on the media was 1) from the Wikileaks received files and 2) had military intelleigence value. It would mean that Seal team member was CIA with highest clearance who can testify as to complete contents, possible use, and chain of custody. If the media devices were ever out of his posession, especially if he did not look at or copy the files first he cannot truthfully testify.

    I'd tip you but they cut off my tip box. The TSA would put Moses, Jesus, and Muhammad on the no-fly list.

    by OHdog on Mon Apr 15, 2013 at 04:33:37 AM PDT

    •  Chain of possession (8+ / 0-)

      I don't think the guy had time to analyze the contents of the digital media at the time.  I think he would be offered only to prove that the source of the items in question was Bin Laden's compound in Pakistan.

      I do not feel obligated to believe that the same God who has endowed us with sense, reason, and intellect has intended us to forgo their use -- Galileo Galilei

      by ccyd on Mon Apr 15, 2013 at 04:40:07 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  You could use that reasoning (4+ / 0-)

      with any piece of evidence in any trial.

      I believe that as long as proper "chain of custody" can be established, that is all that's needed to allow testimony regarding the evidence.

      There is always some assumption that law enforcement witnesses are not lying or have an ulterior motive - as long as the evidence can be proven to have been safeguarded from tampering and was obtained legally.

      The idea that a member of Bin Laden's kill team would be presenting evidence against Manning is really bad news for Manning.  The President is on record praising the actions of these people.

      •  The guy probably has to testify (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        citylights

        Chain of custody is something that the defense must probe.  As noted above, the concern is:

        But Manning's defense lawyers are protesting about the restrictions on cross-examination and discovery, arguing that they cannot properly represent their client if they are withheld access to the witness.
        It gets back to the "secret" documents that are publically available.

        I do not feel obligated to believe that the same God who has endowed us with sense, reason, and intellect has intended us to forgo their use -- Galileo Galilei

        by ccyd on Mon Apr 15, 2013 at 05:01:16 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  That's not really how it works... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      markthshark, erush1345

      The prosecution doesn't have to show that the person who collected the item from the suspect had it in his possession from that day until the trial.  He can turn it over to a superior, who will keep chain of custody documents regarding the evidence.  Even if chain of custody is slightly imperfect, a judge probably isn't going to throw the evidence out.

      Also, military courts follow more liberal rules of evidence than civilian courts.  

      •  Including allowing 'hearsay' evidence, right? (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        misslegalbeagle, Laconic Lib
        Also, military courts follow more liberal rules of evidence than civilian courts.

        "That men do not learn very much from the lessons of history is the most important of all the lessons of history." ~ Aldous Huxley

        by markthshark on Mon Apr 15, 2013 at 06:30:47 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  From what I understand, there is more (3+ / 0-)

          liberal use of hearsay evidence in military commissions (which are different from courts martial).  I think you can bring hearsay evidence when the declarant is unavailable and you have to give the other side notice (and a chance to object).  

          But courts martial still don't allow hearsay, to the same extent that hearsay is barred in a regular federal court.  But I'm just a boring civilian lawyer, so take what I'm saying with a grain of salt!

        •  No (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          erush1345

          This isn't a GTMO military commission.  This is a General Court-Martial.  The military rules of evidence, which copy the federal rules of evidence almost word for word, prohibit hearsay except in a limited number of exceptions (public records, present sense impressions, and so on).  The rules to look at, if you are interested, are in Article VIII, and you might want to look specifically at 801, 803, and 804.

          "There is no difference between us. The only difference is that the folks with money want to stay in power..."--Shirley Sherrod

          by Wide Awake in KY on Mon Apr 15, 2013 at 07:13:18 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Then why did they try to get away with... (0+ / 0-)

            not having to prove his deliberate intent to provide aid and comfort to the enemy?

            How does one argue that credibly? If that's not a classic example of trying to manipulate the system... what is?

            I do admit I get confused by the differences between courts martial trials and military commissions.

            But I'm not the only one and I think our government wants it like that.

            "That men do not learn very much from the lessons of history is the most important of all the lessons of history." ~ Aldous Huxley

            by markthshark on Mon Apr 15, 2013 at 08:06:16 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  They were at the time (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      native, markthshark, protectspice
      It would mean that Seal team member was CIA
      They are temporally members of the CIA when they go into Pakistan. Heard an interview last week on the radio discussing this (had to do with areas of operations, JSOC get Afghanistan, CIA gets Pakistan). There was some kind of funny name to describe the process and I can't remember it.

      Help me to be the best Wavy Gravy I can muster

      by BOHICA on Mon Apr 15, 2013 at 06:34:14 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Further (8+ / 0-)

    Even if the material from the bin Laden compound shows that UBL requested the information, all that means is he requested the material be brought to him. Unless the prosecution can prove that UBL was, personally, or through his couriers, instructing Manning to download the materials in question and hand it, personally, over to UBL or his couriers, then this is no different from UBL demanding someone google something for him, quite honestly.

    From what I can tell, the judge is demanding the trial proceed according to standard rules of evidence, which is a very good thing for Bradley Manning.

    Radarlady

  •  I'm waiting for the first conservative website... (5+ / 0-)

    ...to point out that rulings like this are the natural consequence of having girl colonels.

    To my limited knowledge, any kind of treason charge requires that proof of intentionality...there's no treason equivalent of criminally negligent homicide, is there? Since the government certainly can't prove intent to aid the enemy, it looks like we're back to the lesser charges Manning should have faced in the first place.

    You know, I sometimes think if I could see, I'd be kicking a lot of ass. -Stevie Wonder at the Glastonbury Festival, 2010

    by Rich in PA on Mon Apr 15, 2013 at 04:56:34 AM PDT

  •  The only enemy of the state (5+ / 0-)

    is W. He lied us into war. He destroyed a country who had nothing to do with 9/11, he killed countless numbers of innocent people and he is responsible for the killings that are still going on in Iraq.
    Why is he still enjoying freedom. He should be locked up together with his cronies!

    El pueblo unido jamás será vencido. The people united will never be defeated

    by mint julep on Mon Apr 15, 2013 at 05:29:12 AM PDT

  •  What is meant by "aid" here? (8+ / 0-)

    Did he reveal actually useful classified information that could have materially helped the "enemy", like troop counts or locations or the names of informants and spies, or did he merely give "aid and comfort" to said alleged "enemy" by revealing potentially embarrassing but not useful information? Because the "aid and comfort" charge is profoundly bogus and harkens back to the Alien and Sedition Acts. Perhaps it's a violation of the UCMJ since as a soldier you're expected to comport yourself a certain way, and Manning deserves some punishment (time served), but not a high crime that could get him executed.

    Sacrificial lamb and show trial to ease the conscience and misdirect from the real crimes of his accusers and the people they're protecting who should be put on trial for actual high crimes that deserve the death penalty.

    "Liberty without virtue would be no blessing to us" - Benjamin Rush, 1777

    by kovie on Mon Apr 15, 2013 at 05:49:50 AM PDT

    •  Goal - intimidation pure and simple (8+ / 0-)

      the prosecutions have put a damper on regular journalism as well

      along with wire taps and other extensive surveillance, reporters risk a life in prison to do their job

      what a country we have!

      the American people have no right to know what the government does in their name, and even if they did know, they would be unable to understand

      thanks to decades of educational decline and media propaganda this might be the case

      but a democracy requires an informed citizenry

      and a nation wide educational system

      as the biosphere collapses and the military is running wild, we have little time to respond

      but, heck, the 1% is doing well

  •  The American leaders (10+ / 0-)

    driving the war on terror have done much to "aid the enemy." Bradley Manning, by contrast, has served humanity. Don't look now, but the nutty doctor from Texas is making sense again:

    Ron Paul: Bradley Manning Promotes Peace More Than Obama

    Army Pfc. Bradley Manning, who is accused of providing an enormous stash of classified government documents to WikiLeaks for publication, deserves a Nobel Peace Prize more than President Barack Obama, according to former Texas Rep. Ron Paul.

    "While President Obama was starting and expanding unconstitutional wars overseas, Bradley Manning, whose actions have caused exactly zero deaths, was shining light on the truth behind these wars," the former Republican presidential contender told U.S. News. "It's clear which individual has done more to promote peace."

    •  nutty doctor, hey what do you mean? (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      PhilK, markthshark

      this is part of the way that issues or ideas that don't fit the empire's view of the world are marginalized

      call him a nutty doctor rather than consider what he says

      One very common tactic for enforcing political orthodoxies is to malign the character, "style" and even mental health of those who challenge them. The most extreme version of this was an old Soviet favorite: to declare political dissidents mentally ill and put them in hospitals. In the US, those who take even the tiniest steps outside of political convention are instantly decreed "crazy", as happened to the 2002 anti-war version of Howard Dean and the current iteration of Ron Paul (in most cases, what is actually "crazy" are the political orthodoxies this tactic seeks to shield from challenge).
      This method is applied with particular aggression to those who engage in any meaningful dissent against the society's most powerful factions and their institutions. Nixon White House officials sought to steal the files from Daniel Ellsberg's psychoanalyst's office precisely because they knew they could best discredit his disclosures with irrelevant attacks on his psyche. Identically, the New York Times and partisan Obama supporters have led the way in depicting both Bradley Manning and Julian Assange as mentally unstable outcasts with serious personality deficiencies. The lesson is clear: only someone plagued by mental afflictions would take such extreme steps to subvert the power of the US government.
      most of the article is about how Chomsky has been discussed over the years

      also - check out the way that hide ratings have been used here on dailykos

      http://www.guardian.co.uk/...

      •  Uh, Don, I was being ironic (3+ / 0-)

        this should've been a dead giveaway:

        "is making sense again"
        And  surely you've read enough of my stuff by now to know where I'm coming from.
        •  david - i was being ironic as well (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          markthshark

          at the time I wrote this I was generally aware of your positions

          but the more important point is to highlight how personality and slanders are used to attack positions that are not in the main stream, i.e., those who support the 1%

          i well recall a physician friend and his wife watching an interview of Bill Clinton and they came to the conclusion he was lying about his affairs. They took that to being politically engaged. In other words, personality over all.

          Chomsky spent most of his life being published by a small company in the Boston area.

          What would the world be like if he was center stage?

          From my two years at Berkeley in the 60's, Chomsky on the steps of Sproul Hall stands out from the hundreds of speeches that I heard.

  •  Secret witnesses, closed-door trials, (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    FishOutofWater, markthshark

    I wonder what this reminds me of?

    Gee, could it be that I'm reminded of the Star Chamber? I wonder why?

    "Violence never requires translation, but it often causes deafness." - Bareesh the Hutt.

    by Australian2 on Mon Apr 15, 2013 at 11:04:24 AM PDT

  •  Musharraf’s farmhouse declared as sub-jail (0+ / 0-)

    Musharraf’s farmhouse declared as sub-jail   

    Islamabad administration on Saturday declared the farmhouse of former President Gen (retd.) Pervez Musharraf a

    sub-jail.
    The decision comes a few hours after an anti-terrorism court (ATC) sent the former president to jail on 14-day

    judicial remand till May 4 in connection with judges’ detention case.

    According to the administration, this decision was taken due to security concerns. Jail administration will take

    over the control of Musharraf's house.A deputy supritendat of police (DSP) will be deployed at Musharraf's

    farmhouse.
    http://www.pkaffairs.com/...

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