Judge in Bradley Manning Trial Won't Drop "Aiding the Enemy" Charge


Credit: United States Army

Judge Colonel Denise Lind, who is presiding over the Bradley Manning trial, has declined to dismiss the government's charge that Manning aided the enemy when he leaked classified information to Wikileaks. If found guilty of aiding the enemy Manning could spend the rest of his life in prison.

From The Washington Post:

The judge said that because Manning maintained and possessed intelligence publications, he would have been aware of the use of the Internet by terrorist organizations. She noted that Manning was trained as an all-source intelligence analyst and would have learned in that training that when U.S. forces were conducting operations, critical information must be protected.

Manning's defense argued that Manning never expressed any intent to aid Al Qaeda or any other enemy:

From The Washington Post:

Defense lawyer David Coombs has argued that before he was identified as the leaker, Manning, in a series of online chats, including with WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, never articulated any intent to aid al-Qaeda or "any potential enemy that has ever, at any time, been identified by the government." Instead, he said, Manning's motivation was to increase public awareness "in order to spark change and reform."

The government, however, has insisted that Manning is distinct from "an infantryman or a truck driver" and that as an intelligence analyst, he would know that terrorists make extensive use of the Internet.

Earlier this month the government introduced a stipulation of fact relating to an Al Qaeda propaganda video that featured some of the data leaked by Manning. The government also introduced into the court record a letter in which Osama Bin Laden requested information released by Wikileaks which was acquired during the Navy SEAL raid on Bin Laden's compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan in May 2011.

Watch Reason TV's recent video on the Bradley Manning trial below: