The U.S. has formally pressed criminal charges against Army Private Bradley
Manning for allegedly leaking secret military files to Wikileaks,
including the hugely controversial video
of U.S. helicopters killing civilians in Iraq. Manning faces several charges, including espionage, that could carry a sentence of up to 52 years in prison. These charges, however, raise more than they resolve about the complicated
case. Here's what we still don't know.
Private Manning charged with disclosing iraq-slaughter video. Trigger happy Apache crew remain uncharged. More shortly.
- What About Much-Discussed, Unseen 'Gharani Massacre' Video? Liberal blogger Marcy Wheeler wonders, "Note, first of all, the absence of any reference to the Gharani video, which Wikileaks also claims to have but has not yet released, and which Manning claimed to have passed onto Wikileaks. That may suggest that the government doesn’t have evidence tying Manning to the leak of that video (as opposed to the Iraqi one). It may suggest someone entirely different leaked it to Wikileaks. Or it may simply suggest the video wasn’t successfully leaked (which I raise because of the possibility that the government may have managed to sabotage an attempted leak)."
- How Did He Gain Access? Salon's Alex Pareene writes, "It's never been clear how Manning gained access to all the classified material. Also still unclear are the roles and motives of self-promoting hacker Adrian Lamo -- whom Manning 'confessed' to -- and Wired magazine's Kevin Poulsen, who published the Lamo/Manning chatlogs."
- What's Next for Manning? Army spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Eric Bloom tells Boing Boing, "As part of the Uniform Code of Military Justice, the next step in proceedings would be an Article 32 Hearing, which is similiar to a grand jury. An investigating officer will be appointed, and that officer looks into all facts of the matter, does an investigation, and upon conclusion, the findings will be presented to a convening court martial authority. The division commander will consider based on what is in that, what the next steps are. Either there is enough evidence or not enough evidence to proceed to a court-martial."
- Will He Accept Wikileaks' Lawyers? Wired's Kim Zetter and Kevin Poulsen write, "Manning was put under pretrial confinement at the end of May, after he disclosed to a former hacker that he was responsible for leaking classified information to Wikileaks. He’s currently being held at Camp Arifjan in Kuwait and has been assigned a military defense attorney, Capt. Paul Bouchard, who was not available for comment. Bloom said that Manning has not retained a civilian attorney, though Wikileaks stated recently that it commissioned unnamed attorneys to defend the soldier."
- Are Lamo Chats Really the Primary Evidence? Liberal blogger Marcy Wheeler points out that Manning's charge sheet is significantly different than the crimes he described in online chats with Adrian Lamo, who turned him in. "All of which raises some questions about what the government knows and how it knows it. Clearly, they are not using Lamo’s IM logs as primary evidence. ...Now, I’m guessing that means Lamo did more than tip off the government about Manning. But that’s just a wildarsed guess."
- Why No Charges for CIA Waterboarders or Apache Pilots? Salon's Glenn Greenwald raises the obvious point. "Manning should have tortured someone as he leaked the video - he could have gotten some of that sweet LOOK FORWARD imperial immunity. ... Torture people => imperial immunity. Shoot at unarmed rescuers & their kids => nothing. Leak evidence of war crimes => 53 yrs in prison."