US military judge refuses to dismiss Manning charges
Published Wednesday, April 25, 2012
A US military judge on Wednesday refused to dismiss the charges against an Army private accused in the biggest leak of government secrets in US history.
Army Colonel Denise Lind is presiding over a pretrial hearing at Fort Meade in the court-martial of Pfc. Bradley Manning.
The defense says prosecutors have been so slow in sharing required information that the only remedy is to throw out the charges.
Prosecutors say they are working diligently to meet their obligations.
They say it takes time to obtain documents from civilian agencies and search those records for relevant material.
Manning, 24, is accused of sending hundreds of thousands of sensitive documents to the anti-secrecy website WikiLeaks.
WikiLeaks released waves of classified US diplomatic cables in 2010 to a number of major media outlets that sparked international intrigue, and fury in Washington.
Some of those cables concerning Lebanon were released by Al-Akhbar.
Manning was arrested in May 2010 while serving as an intelligence analyst in Iraq. Much of the case against him centers around chat logs with hacker Adrian Lamo, who passed on the logs that reportedly suggest Manning was behind the leaks to the FBI.
Lamo transferred the logs despite assuring Manning at the time that he had his full confidence.
Manning's maximum custody detention has been a source of controversy surrounding the case, with Daniel Ellsberg, the man behind releasing the Pentagon Papers in 1971, accusing the army of "no-touch torture."
US State Department spokesperson Phillip J Crowley resigned in March 2011, two days after slamming Manning's treatment as "ridiculous and counterproductive and stupid."
Supporters of Manning believe the US was trying to pressure the whistleblower into implicating WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, himself fighting a UK extradition case to Sweden on charges of rape.
Assange denies the allegations, insisting it is a political plot to have him extradited from Sweden to US over the explosive leaks.