Thursday, January 12, 2012

Wikileaks suspect bound over for trial; will likely face general court martial this year

Wikileaks suspect Bradley Manning, the man who may have longed to be a woman, is one step closer to an Army general court martial today. Pvt. Manning, 24, was arrested in 2010 and charged with multiple offenses under the armed forces military code, including the unauthorized delivery of classified materials and "collaborating with the enemy." Manning is accused of turning over tens of thousands of sensitive documents to Wikileaks, an organization which publishes, online, information received from anonymous whistleblowers. He faces life imprisonment if convicted. I posted on this interesting case in December, which you can read here:

Manning underwent an Article 32 proceeding, the military equivalent of a preliminary hearing or grand jury investigation, at Ft. Meade, Maryland last month. Evidence was presented that Pvt. Manning was interested in gender identity issues, sometimes used a female name during online chats and may have dressed like a woman - all while posted in Baghdad in 2009-2010.

The Article 32 military judge officially found "probable cause" today, meaning there is sufficient evidence for the case to be presented to a full court martial, the Army equivalent of a criminal trial. The case still must be reviewed by several levels of higher brass, but there is little doubt as to the outcome of that process. Manning will likely be tried later this year. For reasons explained more fully in the above link, it's probable that a defense focused on Manning's mental state and psychiatric issues will be presented.

The Wikileaks disclosures severely tested U.S.-Mexico relations in early 2011, and resulted in the resignation of the then American ambassador to this country. The new U.S. ambassador, Earl Anthony Wayne, arrived last September.

U.S. concerns over Yucatán narco violence revealed in Wikileaks disclosures:

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