Accused WikiLeaker to take stand over his claims of prison abuse
November 26th, 2012
07:22 PM ET

Accused WikiLeaker to take stand over his claims of prison abuse

By Mike Mount

U.S. Army private Bradley Manning is expected to take the stand for the first time this week as his lawyers plan to use his claim of mistreatment by military jailers to get his case thrown out.

The Army intelligence analyst is suspected of leaking hundreds of thousands of classified military and State Department documents while serving in Iraq. Many of them ended up on the WikiLeaks website. WikiLeaks has never confirmed that Manning was the source of the information.

Manning's lawyer, David Coombs, filed a motion last August to dismiss charges based on a claim, Manning says, of harsh treatment while held at the brig at the Marine base at Quantico, Virginia.

The pre-trial hearing that starts Tuesday at Ft. Mead, Maryland, will be the first time Manning will have spoken in court other than answering procedural questions, said Jeff Paterson, a spokesman for the Bradley Manning Support Network.

Paterson said that he expects Manning will not take the stand until Wednesday or Thursday, following testimony by the government's witnesses from Quantico.

Manning's lawyers and supporters claim he was subjected to mistreatment during his time in the jail from July 2010 until he was moved to the military prison at Ft. Leavenworth, Kansas, in April 2011, according to Paterson.

Paterson said Manning was required to stand nude in front of guards outside his cell, was prevented from exercising, and had to respond every five minutes - around the clock - to loud verbal queries to ensure he was not trying to commit suicide.

The Pentagon has maintained that Manning was held in accordance with rules governing all maximum-custody detainees at Quantico for his protection and the safety of others, and that Manning was on "POI" status, for "prevention of injury."

Paterson told Security Clearance that if the motion to dismiss is denied, Coombs will request a "time-served" credit that could shave more than seven years off any sentence he is given, if convicted.

Charges against Manning include aiding the enemy, wrongfully causing intelligence to be published on the Internet, transmitting national defense information and theft of public property or records.

He could receive a sentence of up to life, if convicted.

soundoff (40 Responses)
  1. carrie5

    Praying that a lot more STRONG AND GOOD human beings like Manning. I pray for his freedom. God bless him for only few can withstnds the courage he had done AND MADE all these evil secrets of EVIL LAWAKERS that is, MAYBE A BRIDGE OR causing to kill us all.

    November 27, 2012 at 10:48 am | Reply
    • juggler523

      Manning swore an oath and signed an agreement to NOT release classified information. He violated both. His was not the choice to decide to do so. He broke federal law in doing so. He is not a patriot. He is a spoiled little punk who broke the law, placed innocent people in harm's way – all because he felt his personal politics trumped his sworn duty. He screwed up and for that he should be severely punished.

      November 27, 2012 at 12:56 pm | Reply
      • Brian

        Put people in harm's way by shining the light on war crimes being committed? Good to see how easily manipulated some people are.

        November 28, 2012 at 11:46 pm |
  2. mcalleyboy

    Not sure that anything positive came out from the leaks, only embarrassment from our leaders they seem to have two faces, one that works with the foreign government and the other that in some of the memo's shed's a bad light, better to be open and get it out right in front of them.

    November 27, 2012 at 6:30 am | Reply
  3. Uwe Boll

    Judging by your comments, this guy needs to leave your "country of freedom" asap. I'm sure he'll be welcomed in Europe.

    November 27, 2012 at 5:50 am | Reply
    • juggler523

      Who GIVES a %#$@ whether Europe would accept him or not??? Irrelevant!

      November 27, 2012 at 12:57 pm | Reply
  4. Bash

    Hope they look him up and throw away the key,or just shoot him. Last time I checked Treason was punishable by Death.

    November 27, 2012 at 4:34 am | Reply
    • Bash

      ^lock^

      November 27, 2012 at 4:36 am | Reply
  5. Chris

    Fact is, no one has been hurt or killed that can be linked to any of the leaks, he had good intentions with leaking the files (freedom of information, transparancy of government etc) so I think the way this is being handles is absolutely 100% WRONG! He should be released on bail IMMEDIATELY! The USA can be as bad as Iran with this stuff!

    November 27, 2012 at 3:35 am | Reply
    • BobZemko

      How do you know that no one has been hurt or killed?

      November 27, 2012 at 10:14 am | Reply
    • juggler523

      By your post it is OBVIOUS you have no clue about non-disclosure agreements, and US law. Manning swore under penalty of prosecution that he would not divulge classified material. He violated that oath and for that reason, he should be prosecuted. His intentions are irrelevant. He was entrusted with classified material ONLY after signing a non-disclosure agreement promising to NOT do so. It is so clear cut!!!

      November 27, 2012 at 1:01 pm | Reply
  6. condorito

    Funny, Bush's friend revealed TOP secret information about Valerie Plume (I think that was the spelling of her name) and got his write slapped and Manning revealed secret info, much of it consisting of data/information available through open sources and also information that actually showed how the US Govt was lying to us. Perhaps that was the biggest crime. Nonetheless Manning did break the law and a penalty is surely appropriate but not a life sentence. What he revealed is nothing compared to Daniel Ellsberg of the Pentagon Papers fame during the Vietnam war. Ellsberg got off though, since the government engaged in illegal breakins and other shenanigans in the case against him. By now most people have forgotten about Manning and all of the info he released is old. Too bad he wasn't emailing stuff during the Benghazi attack...we all would have found out the real truth real quick.

    November 26, 2012 at 11:54 pm | Reply
    • condorito

      I meant "wrist" slapped, not write slapped. Typing these comments after reading some of these articles can result in spelling glitches. I guess I should have had a beer first.

      November 26, 2012 at 11:57 pm | Reply
    • juggler523

      Valerie Plume's ID was not "TOP SECRET". You clearly just made that up to support your fallacious position. Personal information about her was sensitive in nature and should not have been revealed, but TOP SECRET? Silly!

      November 27, 2012 at 1:03 pm | Reply
  7. calculus

    He is not a hero, he is a traitor. he should be shot for what he did

    November 26, 2012 at 10:22 pm | Reply
    • Chris

      That is a discusting thing to say, you are a terrible person.

      November 27, 2012 at 3:32 am | Reply
    • carrie5

      You're HORRIBLE...seems not a human one afterall. To all these bad men including you, what Manning did was wrong, but to ALL BEAUTIFUL HUMAN BEINGS on earth, what Manning did was right!!!

      November 27, 2012 at 10:40 am | Reply
      • juggler523

        You are clueless. Manning divulged classified information that was classified because if it was revealed, it could aid our enemies. He swore an oath and signed an agreement to NOT do so. PERIOD! There was NOTHING admirable in his actions. He was self-serving. He is a spoiled punk kid who put his immature self ahead of the oath he swore to uphold. You are ignorant to idolize such a pathetic person.

        November 27, 2012 at 1:06 pm |
  8. Qreur

    A civilization afraid of sharing information is afraid of revealing its real intentions.

    November 26, 2012 at 9:31 pm | Reply
    • Jeroen

      Might be true, but the population simply does not and has no need to know everything that is going on. Some things might simply be needed, but they do not have to be popular.

      November 27, 2012 at 4:21 am | Reply
  9. Tom

    Sad that country is being preferred over humanity in this case. A man who should be honored for taking a stance for humanity is behind the bars..

    November 26, 2012 at 8:36 pm | Reply
  10. Brian Purdue

    A "Private" has access to important secret information? Surely you jest.

    November 26, 2012 at 8:18 pm | Reply
    • condorito

      There are many levels of secret, and simply "secret" is no big deal and involves much less than, let's say TOP SECRET. Also, there are more than 50 different access classifications and many agencies have their own that are different from those of other government agencies.

      November 26, 2012 at 11:59 pm | Reply
    • Joe

      You might be surprised. The younger troops work with (and gather) a great deal of the "important secret information" you mention. The information is often of less importance than the collection methods used. If a target knows that a certain source of information is vulnerable, they can work to stop that source. The loss of an information source can take years to replace – if it can be replaced at all.

      November 27, 2012 at 1:13 am | Reply
      • juggler523

        Joe – agreed. In short, if the enemy knows what we know about them they can be more secretive about the information and we will no longer be able to collect it. OR they could deduce that the information was divulged by a particular person or persons and those persons could be in serious jeopardy. Manning's personal political agenda put much more at risk than we may ever know.

        November 27, 2012 at 1:11 pm |

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