Pfc Bradley Manning will likely face court martial – and if we don’t act now, he could be convicted on charges that he ‘aided the enemy.’
Last week, Lt. Col. Paul Almanza, the investigating officer in Pfc. Bradley Manning’s Article 32 hearing, recommended that Manning face a court-martial for all 23 charges of which he is accused.
The charges Almanza has recommended are absurdly disproportionate to the acts Manning is accused of committing — the most egregious being “aiding the enemy,” which rests on the government’s dubious claim that Manning knowingly provided intelligence to terrorist groups like al-Qaeda, merely because, they claim, he knew Wikileaks might publish some information on the Internet.
Following through on this accusation would set a dangerous precedent for how the government deals with whistleblowers. It would also threaten the foundation of investigative journalism by essentially criminalizing the publishing of any intelligence information.
We’re calling the Department of Defense to demand they drop the “aiding the enemy” against Manning. To make your voice heard:
1. Dial 703-571-3343
2. Press 5 to leave a comment
* If the mailbox is full, leave a written comment for the DOD here: https://kb.defense.gov/app/ask/session/
We see Lt. Col. Almanza’s recommendation as just another step in what is becoming a sham trial. Almanza himself serves as a prosecutor for the Justice Department, which is also investigating Manning, but refused to recuse himself as investigating officer despite the obvious conflict of interest. Manning’s lawyer, David Coombs, claims the DOJ wants to flip Manning and have him testify against Julian Assange and WikiLeaks.
Manning’s defense hasn’t had much of a chance to present testimony supporting the argument that the information leaked did not jeopardize US national security interest and that Manning was not properly supervised. Of the 48 witnesses requested by Manning, Almanza only allowed 12 to testify – 10 of which were also requested by the government. Coombs has been forced to request oral depositions of the denied witnesses, who he says have the potential to show (among other things) just how baseless the “aiding the enemy” charge really is.
Almanza’s recommendation will now move up the chain of command, where Maj. Gen. Michael Linnington will ultimately decide if Manning should be court-martialed, and on what charges. This is our chance to stop the ‘aiding the enemy’ charge from making it to Manning’s court martial.
We are organizing activists to stand up to the zealous overcharging of Bradley Manning, beacuse his life and the protections for other, future whistleblowers depend on it. In just a few hours we’ve already logged more than 400 calls to the Pentagon to demand they drop the “aiding the enemy” charges against Manning.