Manning faces more charges for classified leaks
March 3, 2011
FORT LESLEY J. MCNAIR, D.C. (Army News Service, March 2, 2011) -- After seven months of additional investigation, the U.S. Army has charged Pfc. Bradley E. Manning with 22 additional charges.
The charges allege that as a military intelligence analyst, Manning aided the enemy by unlawfully downloading classified information from government computers, improperly storing it, and transmitting it for public release and use by the enemy.
Manning was assigned to a support battalion with the 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division, based at Forward Operating Base Hammer, Iraq. There he allegedly downloaded thousands of classified military and State Department documents and sent them to Wiki Leaks.
He was originally charged July 5 with violations of the Uniformed Code of Military Justice, or UCMJ, Articles 92 and 134 for "transferring classified data onto his personal computer and adding unauthorized software to a classified computer system." He was also charged with "communicating, transmitting and delivering national defense information to an unauthorized source and disclosing classified information."
Over the last several months, the U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Command and other agencies have been involved in his investigation, and officials said it is still ongoing.
"The new charges more accurately reflect the broad scope of the crimes that Private First Class Manning is accused of committing," said Capt. John Haberland, a legal spokesperson for U.S. Army Military District of Washington. "The new charges will not affect Private First Class Manning's right to a speedy trial or his pretrial confinement," he added.
On March 1, the commander, U.S. Army Headquarters Command Battalion, preferred the following specific charges:
- Aiding the enemy in violation of Article 104, Uniformed Code of Military Justice
- 16 specifications under Article 134, UCMJ.
- Wrongfully causing intelligence to be published on the Internet, knowing that it is accessible to the enemy (one specification)
- Theft of public property or records, in violation of 18 United States Code 641 (five specifications)
- Transmitting Defense information, in violation of 18 U.S.C. 793(e) (eight specifications)
- Fraud and related activity in connection with computers in violation of 18 U.S.C. 1030(a)(1) (two specifications)
- Five specifications in violation of Article 92, UCMJ, for violating Army Regulations 25-2 "Information Assurance" and 380-5 "Department of the Army Information Security Program."
The charge of aiding the enemy under Article 104 is a capital offense; however, the prosecution team for the United States has notified the defense that the prosecution will not recommend the death penalty to the convening authority, Maj. Gen. Karl R. Horst, commanding general, U.S. Army Military District of Washington.
Under the UCMJ, the convening authority ultimately decides what charges to refer to court-martial, and whether to seek the death penalty if Article 104 is referred. Therefore, if convicted of all charges, Manning would face a maximum punishment of reduction to the lowest enlisted pay grade, E-1; total forfeiture of all pay and allowances; confinement for life; and a dishonorable discharge.
At the request of Manning's defense attorneys, the trial proceedings have been delayed since July 12, 2010, pending the results of a defense-requested inquiry into Manning's mental capacity and responsibility pursuant to Rule for Courts-Martial 706.
Depending on the results of the R.C.M. 706 board, an Article 32 hearing may follow. An Article 32 hearing is the civilian equivalent of a grand jury, with additional rights afforded to the accused.
Manning remains confined in the Marine Corps Base Quantico Brig in Quantico, Va. He was notified of the additional charges in person during a command visit today. Despite his pretrial confinement, Manning is presumed innocent until proven guilty, and officials said the Army is committed to ensuring the continued safety and well-being of Manning while in pretrial confinement.