Army judge rules military mistreated Wikileaks whisterblower Manning

Army judge rules military mistreated Wikileaks whisterblower Manning

Fort Meade : MD : USA | Jan 09, 2013 at 7:07 AM PST
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Wikileaks founder Julian Assange

Col. Denise Lind has ruled the Army mistreated Wikileaks whistleblower Bradley Manning when he was held the Quantico Brig.

She ordered that Manning get credit for 112 days served, if convicted. She refused to dismiss the charges against him because of the Army’s misconduct. And she rejected a defense argument that charges should be dropped because Manning has been denied his speedy trial rights. The judge delayed his trial until June, meaning he will have been in jail for more than three years with no trial.

The appointment of former Sen. Chuck Hagel as Defense secretary means a more sympathetic leader would be in charge of the military. He served as an enlisted man in Vietnam and was opposed to the Iraq war as a senator from Nebraska.

She could have held that Manning was due to 10 days credit for each one day served.

The Washington Post reported that Lind ruled “dismissal of charges is not appropriate” and would be fitting only in the case of “outrageous” conduct.

Manning has been held for nearly three years without a trial for leaking information about alleged US Army war crimes in Iraq, including the infamous helicopter incident when civilians on the street were gunned down in Baghdad.

He is a legacy of a war started by President George Bush because of non-existent weapons of mass destruction and tactics directed by disgraced Gen. David Petraeus.

Lind said Bradley’s confinement was “more rigorous than necessary,” and that it “became excessive in relation to legitimate government interests,” the Bradley Manning Support Network reported.

She said Manning was held on Prevention of Injury watch for too long against psychiatrists’ recommendations. Arrested in May 2010, he was moved almost immediately to Quantico.

During his time at Quantico, before he was moved to Ft. Leavenworth in April 2011, he was forced to appear naked, sleep in his underwear and held for long periods in solitary. The UN said his treatment amounted to torture.

The judge has already ruled that evidence showing no harm was done would not be admitted because Manning had no way to know that would be true. The information Wikileaks provided newspapers was relatively old.

Wikileaks has said the Army mistreated Manning, who was busted from specialist to private, to try to force him to help prosecute its founder, Julian Assange.

Assange himself is living at the Peruvian embassy in London after the UK government said it was going to send him back to Sweden. In Sweden, two women alleged he raped them, although no charges have been filed. It is feared Sweden would send Assange to the US so he could be tried on terrorism charges.

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Bradley Manning
Reuters provided this photo of Bradley Manning, shown outside a hearing room in Fort Meade, Maryland.
Robert Weller is based in Denver, Colorado, United States of America, and is an Anchor on Allvoices.
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