US Army Private First Class Bradley Manning departs the courtroom after day four of his court-martial at Fort Meade, Maryland June 10, 2013. (Reuters/Gary Cameron)
Final arguments in the case of United States of America v. Manning, Bradley E., PFC., at Fort Meade, Maryland, were delivered at the end of last week, and the military judge, Denise Lind, adjourned for the weekend to deliiberate.
She called the court back to order briefly this morning, then adjourned again for further deliberations. Among the other charges, Manning still faces the most serious “aiding the enemy” charges that could send him to prison for the rest of his life. UPDATE at noon: Lind announced that she will deliver the verdict at 1 pm on Tuesday.
Today, Manning’s attorney, David Coombs, said that he would call twenty-four witnesses in the sentencing phase of the trial, coming up. Manning much earlier pleaded guilty to several charges. Coombs also said the verdict might not come until tomorrow.
Most of the stalwarts who have covered the trial, and previous hearings, for many months, remain at the scene, including Kevin Gosztola, former Nation writer and co-author of my book on the Manning case. Follow him on Twitter today @kgosztola. Others at the scene: @NathanLFuller and @carwinb.
Fuller, director of the leading Manning defense committee, tweeted today: “Given how this trial has gone thus far, I expect Bradley
#Manning to be convicted of all charges against him.”
The Bradley Manning Support Network released this statement this afternoon:
In an ominous sign for Manning, military judge Denise Lind altered important charges last week in order to assist prosecutors ahead of verdict. In so doing, defense attorney David Coombs explained, “The Government has pushed this case beyond the bounds of legal propriety. If the Government meant ‘information’, it should have charged information.” Up until last week, Manning was charged with stealing entire databases. The Defense has no way to defend Manning against these new charges after the fact. Army private Bradley Manning faces a potential life sentence for passing hundreds of thousands of classified military and diplomatic documents to the transparency website WikiLeaks, to expose U.S. criminality in its wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and further abuses around the world. Never in the history of American military law has a person been charged with Article 104 of the Uniform Code of Military Law, “Aiding the Enemy,” for providing information to the media in the public interest. However, Manning faces life in prison tomorrow if convicted of this charge alone—despite all evidence to the contrary. "I believed that if the general public, especially the American public, had access to the information ... this could spark a domestic debate on the role of the military and our foreign policy in general," Manning said in a February statement.