The lawyer insists that both the court and the prosecution had purposely made lots of mistakes during the investigation. Next hearings are scheduled for next week, and Manning`s defense thinks that the government will stick to the already chosen line.
Out of 22 charges faced by Manning, “aiding the enemy” is the gravest and could cost him a life sentence in prison. Actually, this charge is equal to treason and carries a death sentence, but the Pentagon said it wouldn't insist on such a verdict. Manning`s lawyer David Coombs thinks that in view of this an ordinary US soldier has fewer chances to face a fair and unbiased trial than a terrorist.
The defense has more than once criticized the court for attempting to delay the trial and bypass some required procedures. For quite long the prosecution would not let the lawyers get familiar with the evidence. Manning`s lead lawyer David Coombs said that since his client`s arrest two years ago the Pentagon has not checked all the evidence which is required before passing the documents over to the defense. Under the US law, the prosecution has to release any document which could be useful for a defendant. Manning`s defense has eventually achieved its goal after the court officially obliged the government to familiarize the lawyers with all information they needed on the issue. Still there are few chances, however, that the court’s verdict would prevent the army elite from sending Manning to prison.
Evidently, the government hopes to blame Manning for its own grave mistakes. The investigation into the case has already resulted in brining to light some unpleasant details about the army elite. Many witnesses testified that the security level at Manning`s station in Iraq was very low. Moreover, the question is how Manning who is said to be in a fragile mental state and has never hidden his critical attitude towards the US foreign policy was employed at such a challenging post of an intelligence analyst? This all reminds me of another scandal when military physicians refused to diagnose soldiers with post-traumatic stress diagnoses in order to save money.
It is quite clear that high-ranking army officials were most of all outraged with a video footage of an Apache helicopter killing 12 civilians, journalists among them, in Baghdad in 2007. Manning handed it to WikiLeaks. That is why the Pentagon and the government have been emphasizing the ‘aiding the enemy’ charge. To find Manning guilty of this, the court has to prove that he had purposely handed the classified data to WikiLeaks as he was aware that it would be acquired by Al- Qaeda. Now since it cannot be done legally, Manning`s defense should certainly get prepared for new tricks of the prosecution.