What, No Twinkie Defense?

Private Bradley Manning’s Article 32 hearing, the military’s equivalent of the preliminary hearing, where evidence is presented (not too much, btw, just enough to show cause for a trial) started last week, for a primer:

Next year the military will try both Manning and Major Hasan. Each trial will naturally have different elements since the charges are vastly different, but I am struck at the similarities of the defenses presented, or will be presented.

Much hay was made on the red flags that Hasan’s supervisors neglected or ignored, the loner who shunned normal intimacies and withdrew into his religion, the militant and Islamic Jihad leaning slideshow he used in his presentations and the “Solider of Islam” embossed on his business cards, that any competent supervisor should have connected the dots and concluded that Hasan was a ticking time bomb. That, and a predictable run at an insanity defense, worth a try.

The Manning lawyers are equally complicit at blame throwing:

A military hearing for Pfc. Bradley Manning, the Army private charged with spilling secrets to WikiLeaks, focused Sunday on why he remained entrusted with highly sensitive information after showing hostile behavior to those around him.

On the third day of the hearing at Fort Meade to determine whether Pfc. Manning will be court-martialed on 22 charges, including aiding the enemy, his defense sought to build on its case that his supervisors in the 2nd Brigade Combat Team should have seen enough red flags to suspend or revoke his access to secret information months before the leaks.

The defense has emphasized what it regards as a failure by Pfc. Manning’s closest supervisor, Sgt. First Class Paul Adkins, to suspend the intelligence security clearance after at least two fits of rage by the private during which he overturned furniture. Sgt. First Class Adkins refused to testify Sunday when called to do so for the government.

The refusal to testify by this Sgt. Adkins is very curious, more will be made of this during the actual trial. The insanity card will also be played when needed, but a new wrinkle for Manning will be the stress he endured over his sexual confusion. The defense will have two aces to play, one is gender identity:

Ellen Nakashima and Julie Tate of The Washington Post assessed Manning’s defence team’s so-called “gay soldier” defence. They summarized the defence’s portrayal of Manning as “a deeply troubled soldier struggling with issues of gender identity whose alleged leaking of classified material to WikiLeaks could have been prevented by superiors.” “By airing superiors’ failure to address Manning’s personal issues, the defense team is ‘trying to discover all the failures of the chain of command which would help them in setting up the mitigation argument for the sentencing portion of the proceeding,’

And the other ace:

The soldier accused of leaking state secrets to WikiLeaks blames stress of being gay in military’s hostile ‘don’t ask don’t tell’ era

Personally, I find the sexual confusion defense much more credible, the uncertainty of whether sucking another man’s dick sounds good to you, that would tend to cause some sleepless nights.

I’m glad that the military took the death penalty off the table early, this will focus the prosecution and help the jury in considering just the facts and coming to a proper verdict.

There is no doubt that Manning knew what he was doing and that his actions were damaging (and lethal) to a number of countries and people. He needs to do some serious time.

Comments are closed.

  1. balthazar

    Military trials dont really have “juries” in the sense people are used to. Its normally a 3 person panel that are basically judge and jury. There can be more than 3 members nut most of the time is not. I thought the difference was significant enough to mention it. Also the verdict does NOT have to be unanimous.

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  2. Mississippi Yankee

    SO,

    There will not be a treason charge because it doesn’t pass constitutional muster:

    Article Three of the United States Constitution establishes the judicial branch of the federal government. The judicial branch comprises the Supreme Court of the United States and lower courts as created by Congress.

    Section 3: Treason

    Section 3 defines treason and its punishment.

    Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying War against them, or in adhering to their Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort. No Person shall be convicted of Treason unless on the Testimony of two Witnesses to the same overt Act, or on Confession in open Court. The Congress shall have Power to declare the Punishment of Treason, but no Attainder of Treason shall work Corruption of Blood, or Forfeiture except during the Life of the Person attainted.

    A military court doesn’t have the constitutional power to get a treason conviction.

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  3. hist_ed

    A military court doesn’t have the constitutional power to get a treason conviction.

    Where do you get your information? Your quote doesn’t support it. Several men were tried and convicted of treason by a military court in connection with Lincoln’s assassination. A German-American dual citizen who landed in the US with a German sabotage squad was also convicted in military court and executed.

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  4. sahrab

    A military court doesn’t have the constitutional power to get a treason conviction.

    That maybe true for Civilians, but Military personnel wave (and acknowledge) the forfeiture of certain rights when they sign up, and don’t fall under the same Constitutional protections.

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  5. Thrill

    You’re way off base. Note the definition for treason you cited, MY:

    Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying War against them, or in adhering to their Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort.

    What was Manning charged with?

    On the third day of the hearing at Fort Meade to determine whether Pfc. Manning will be court-martialed on 22 charges, including aiding the enemy

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  6. richtaylor365 *

    The video I posted referenced 22 charges filed against Manning, these included aiding the enemy, fraud, theft, and 8 separate counts of violating The Espionage Act. There was no specific mention of “treason”.

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  7. Thrill

    The video I posted referenced 22 charges filed against Manning, these included aiding the enemy, fraud, theft, and 8 separate counts of violating The Espionage Act. There was no specific mention of “treason”.

    But it IS a treasonous act as the Constitution defines it.

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  8. ryansparx

    I’m no lawyer, but you see, obviously the Constitution says “aid and comfort” when Manning just gave aid, without the comfort. If he would have wrapped the information in a bow, perhaps with an uplifting note (any smiley faces or hearts also submitted for evidence), THEN it would be aid and comfort, and thus treason.

    C’mon folks, this was an easy one.

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  9. JimK

    Anyone gonna mention the sainted Ron Paul calling this fucking traitor a hero? (video link with his own mouth saying it)

    Anyone? Beuller?

    The silence on this as compared to any gaffe by any other Republican is goddamned deafening. Don’t talk to me about Perry hating gays or Newt’s ridiculous intellectual exercises until you’re honest about Saint Paul. He’s a fucking nut and a fringe kook and he’s way too dangerous to even be considered for President.

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  10. Section8

    Don’t talk to me about Perry hating gays or Newt’s ridiculous intellectual exercises until you’re honest about Saint Paul.

    Ok, so we can agree that all of the candidates have said things that might not be the best. That will continue regardless. All one has to do is open their mouth enough, and in campaigning that’s going to happen. The difference between Ron Paul making such statements is that he wants the government to get back to the Constitution, rather than the left who see it as an old worthless document crafted by slave owners and see the likes of Manning as a reason to do away with it altogether and simply vote in great people who will do nothing but great things (fantasy).

    As for secrets, keep in mind the government continues to have no issue taking yours. We need to ask ourselves is there anyone interested in stopping that.

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  11. ryansparx

    Don’t talk to me about Perry hating gays or Newt’s ridiculous intellectual exercises until you’re honest about Saint Paul.

    Don’t you dare blaspheme his name so callously.

    He’s a fucking nut and a fringe kook and he’s way too dangerous to even be considered for President.

    That’s it, I’ve had enough of your heresy, take it back right now or it’s eternal hellfire for you.

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  12. JimK

    Section, he called this piece of shit traitor a political hero and a true patriot. That’s…that’s just way, way too much.

    In my opinion, that is worse than Perry’s remarkably bad homophobic ad or Newt’s idea to send Raylan Givens after judges he just don’t like. It puts Paul squarely in the role of a danger to this country, if he believes that Manning did the moral thing if not the legal thing. My $0.02. Worth what ya paid for it.

    ryan: I am the God of hellfire and I bring you…

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  13. sahrab

    Anyone gonna mention the sainted Ron Paul calling this fucking traitor a hero? (video link with his own mouth saying it)

    Jim,

    I’m on the fence with Ron Paul, but you need to revisit your Youtube link. Watch it in its entirety, his entire speech is about a Government that breaks the law, and how Government (mainly the CIA) destroys evidence and documents when asked to support its actions.

    He did not (directly) defend Bradley Manning nor call him a hero (he kind of lumped WikiLeaks in with others from Vietnam whistle blowers), he stated whistle blowers should be protected, ESPECIALLY when calling out the government for breaking its own laws.

    In this part of the speech, he is talking about sovereign immunity of the Government, and that he’d remove it. He then goes on to talk about whistle blowers. What i take from his speech, (which he reiterates in it) if a whistle blower is willing to break the law and face the consequences, for exposing government corruption, illegality and unconstitutionality, the whistle blower should be protected. How else will this be found out, exposed and corrected?

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  14. richtaylor365 *

    if a whistle blower is willing to break the law and face the consequences, for exposing government corruption, illegality and unconstitutionality, the whistle blower should be protected.

    He is protected, right now. There are several whistle blower laws that Manning could have afforded himself, with total protection, he did not use them. What he did instead was to provide Wikileaks with pretty much everything he could get his hands on, thousands of documents that had nothing to do with possible government impropriety or illegality, most were diplomatic correspondence that embarrassed and compromised our allies. Manning is NOT a whistle blower and Paul knows it.

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  15. Mississippi Yankee

    From Wikipedia concerning the Lincoln case:

    The eight suspects were tried by a military tribunal ordered by then-President Andrew Johnson on May 1, 1865. The nine-member commission was presided over by Major General David Hunter. The other eight voting members were August Kautz, Albion P. Howe, James A. Ekin, David Clendenin, Lew Wallace, Robert Foster, Thomas M. Harris and Charles H. Tompkins. The prosecution team included Judge Advocate General Joseph Holt, John A. Bingham, and H.L. Burnett.[72] The transcript of the trial was recorded by Benn Pitman and several assistants, and was published in 1865.[73] The fact that they were tried by a military tribunal provoked criticism from both Edward Bates and Gideon Welles, who believed that a civil court should have presided. Attorney General James Speed, on the other hand, justified the use of a military tribunal on grounds that included the military nature of the conspiracy, that the defendants acted as enemy combatants and the existence of martial law in the District of Columbia. (In 1866, in the Ex parte Milligan decision, the United States Supreme Court banned the use of military tribunals in places where civil courts were operational.)[74] The odds were further stacked against the defendants by rules that required only a simple majority of the officer jury for a guilty verdict and a two-thirds majority for a death sentence. Nor could the defendants appeal to anyone other than President Johnson.[75]

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lincoln_assassination#Conspirators.27_trial

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