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article imagePrivate Bradley Manning may face full military court martial

By Lynn Herrmann     Jan 13, 2012 in Politics
Washington - The presiding officer at Private Bradley Manning’s pre-trial hearing has found “reasonable grounds exist” for the soldier to face a full U.S. military court martial, which could begin within three to four months.
Manning, accused of leaking thousands of sensitive and embarrassing government documents, could face a sentence of life in prison over what government officials claim is one of the most serious intelligence violations in the history of the country.
Lieutenant Colonel Paul Almanza, the investigating officer in the hearing, “concluded that the charges and specifications are in the proper form and that reasonable grounds exist to believe that the accused committed the offenses alleged,” the U.S. Army Military District of Washington said in a statement, according to Agence France-Press. “He recommended that the charges be referred to a general court-martial.”
According to the Sydney Morning Herald, Col. Carl Coffman of the special court martial convening authority will make a final decision, but he’s given the option of passing the decision up to Major-General Michael Linnington.
Among the 22 charges recommended against Manning are aiding the enemy by indirect means, theft of public records, computer fraud, making intelligence available to the enemy via the Internet, and violation of military information security.
Supporters of Manning note the military’s incompetence, including lack of security where Manning was stationed in Iraq at the time of the alleged intelligence breach.
The fallout over the Manning episode has led to repercussions for just a handful of people. Among them, former State Department spokesperson P.J. Crowley, who was forced to resign after stating the government’s solitary confinement treatment of Manning at Quantico, including solitary confinement, strip downs and other basic rights violations, was “ridiculous and counterproductive and stupid.”
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