Article 32

On the Manning Art. 32, Court Secrecy & Nat. Sec. Cases

I somehow stumbled into an article for The Nation by Rainey Reitman entitled Access Blocked to Bradley Manning’s Hearing. To make a long story short, in a Twitter exchange today with Ms. Reitman and Kevin Gosztola of Firedoglake (who has done yeoman’s work covering the Manning hearing), I questioned some of the statements and inferences made in Ms. Reitman’s report. She challenged me to write on the subject, so here I am.

First, Ms. Reitman glibly offered to let me use her work as “foundation” to work off of. Quite frankly, not only was my point not originally to particularly go further; my point, in fact, was that her foundation was deeply and materially flawed.

Reitman starts off with this statement:

The WikiLeaks saga is centered on issues of government transparency and accountability, but the public is being strategically denied access to the Manning hearing, one of the most important court cases in our lifetime.

While the “WikiLeaks saga” is indeed centered on transparency and accountability for many of us, that simply is not the case in regard to the US Military prosecution of Pvt. Bradley Manning. The second you make that statement about the UCMJ criminal prosecution of Manning, you have stepped off the tracks of reality and credibility in court reportage and analysis. The scope of Manning’s Article 32 hearing was/is were the crimes detailed in the charging document committed and is there reason to believe Manning committed them. Additionally, in an Article 32 hearing, distinct from a civilian preliminary hearing, there is limited opportunity for personal mitigating information to be adduced in order to argue for the Investigating Officer to recommend non-judicial punishment as opposed to court martial trial. That is it. There is no concern or consideration of “transparency and accountability”, within the ambit suggested by Ms. Reitman, in the least.

Calling the Manning Article 32 hearing “one of the most important court cases in our lifetime” is far beyond hyperbole. First off, it is, for all the breathless hype, a relatively straight forward probable cause determination legally and, to the particular military court jurisdiction it is proceeding under, it is nothing more than that. The burden of proof is light, and the issues narrow and confined to that which is described above. The grand hopes, dreams and principles of the Manning and WikiLeaks acolytes simply do not fit into this equation no matter how much they may want them to. Frankly, it would be a great thing to get those issues aired in this country; but this military UCMJ proceeding is not, and will not be, the forum where that happens.

Moving on, Reitman raises the specter of “the death penalty” for Manning. While the death penalty remains a technical possibility under one of the charges, the prosecution has repeatedly stated it will not be sought and, after all the statements on the record in that regard, there is simply no reason to embellish otherwise. Reitman next states:

This case will show much about the United States’s tolerance for whistleblowers who show the country in an unflattering light.

No, it most certainly will not. In fact, the Manning criminal military prosecution has nothing whatsoever to do with “whistleblowers”. Despite the loose and wild eyed use of the term “whistleblower” in popular culture, not to mention by supporters of Bradley Manning, the concept Continue reading

Emptywheel Twitterverse
JimWhiteGNV RT @DCreDC: Please note, #MI03, @RepJustinAmash's brave (1 of 8) and humane No vote tonight against funding the 5%-effective #IronDome whil…
1hreplyretweetfavorite
JimWhiteGNV RT @drunkenpredator: "Also, we blew some folks up with robots. Lotta folks, come to think of it."
2hreplyretweetfavorite
JimWhiteGNV @Pedinska Indeed. Then it turns into what we call UFC grooming.
2hreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz Just saw my first @RubenGallego commercial on TV, was at 6:51pm on @CNN Good to see, need more. Go Ruben!
2hreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz It is really brave of High Holy Civil Rights Constitutional Law Scholar+Humanitarian Obama to "condemn" the Palestinians in face of genocide
2hreplyretweetfavorite
JimWhiteGNV This grooming session looks peaceful for now, but is likely to escalate to violence. http://t.co/gdcySOJOkN
3hreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel Apparently Director of "Intelligence" Clapper doesn't remember that just 5 years ago govt declassified more than 480 pages of torture docs.
3hreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel RT @ChadPergram: DNI Clapper: The redactions were the result of an extensive & unprecedented interagency process..to protect sensitive clas…
3hreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel @Casual_Obs Most of what @onekade is riffing on is in this post. http://t.co/HBWMUN6eR9 I was riffing too.
3hreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel @Casual_Obs No, I used that. It's the mid-point of estimates, but as @onekade notes, some estimates are 3X that.
4hreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel @jilliancyork You had me worried! @EFF
4hreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel @Kittfornow Well, sure. But faking accountability while protecting the powerful comes naturally to Bayh. Like breathing. @onekade
4hreplyretweetfavorite
August 2014
S M T W T F S
« Jul    
 12
3456789
10111213141516
17181920212223
24252627282930
31