FORT MEADE, Md., Nov. 29 (UPI) — A judge at Fort Meade, Md., approved a deal in which Army Pfc. Bradley Manning, charged with leaking classified material, would plead guilty to lesser charges.
Thursday’s ruling by the military judge, Col. Denise R. Lind, leaves open the question of whether Manning will be court-martialed on more serious charges, including violating the Espionage Act and aiding the enemy, The Washington Post said.
The agreement calls for Manning to accept responsibility for having turned over classified information to the online whistle-blower site WikiLeaks, the newspaper said.
If Manning accepts the terms of the agreement, he could be sentenced to 16 years in prison, the Post reported. Legal analysts say the more serious charges would be difficult to prove, the report said.
He could receive a life sentence if convicted on all charges at his military court martial. More…
Bradley Manning’s treatment is a disgrace
By Glenn Greenwald,gulfnews.com/ –
Over the past two and a half years, all of which he has spent in a military prison, much has been said about Bradley Manning, but nothing has been heard from him. That changed on Thursday, when the 23-year-old US army private accused of leaking classified documents to WikiLeaks testified at his court martial proceeding about the conditions of his detention.
The oppressive, borderline-torturous measures to which he was subjected, including prolonged solitary confinement and forced nudity, have been known for some time. A formal UN investigation denounced them as “cruel and inhuman”. President Barack Obama’s State Department spokesman, retired air force colonel P.J. Crowley, resigned after publicly condemning Manning’s treatment. A prison psychologist has testified that Manning’s conditions were more damaging than those found on death row, or at Guantanamo Bay.
Still, hearing the accused whistleblower’s description of this abuse in his own words viscerally conveyed its horror: “If I needed toilet paper I would stand to attention and shout: ‘Detainee Manning requests toilet paper!’”, Manning said. And: “I was authorised to have 20 minutes sunshine, in chains, every 24 hours.” Early in his detention, he recalled, “I had pretty much given up. I thought I was going to die in this eight by eight animal cage.”
Manning’s repressive treatment is one of the disgraces of Obama’s first term, and highlights many of the dynamics shaping his presidency. He not only defended Manning’s treatment but also, as commander-in-chief of the court martial judges, improperly decreed Manning’s guilt when he asserted that he “broke the law”. More…