Bradley Manning: Why the Expense and Bother of a Trial?

The POTUS has already decided the outcome.

This administration supposedly renounced torture, but it is hard to think of any other word for the cruelties inflicted on Pfc Bradley Manning since he was arrested for allegedly providing Julian Assange of Wikileaks with classified material, including video of a helicopter crew hollering in delight while mowing down civilians in Iraq.

None of the perpetrators of what looks like an atrocity faced any consequences, but Manning was confined for 23 hours a day in a tiny cell, often naked, and awakened every five minutes. This was too much for State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley, who resigned after calling Manning’s treatment “counterproductive and stupid.”

Presiding over Manning’s preliminary hearing last week was Army Reserve Lt. Col. Paul Almanza, who in civilian life works as a prosecutor for the Justice Department. Since Assange is under investigation by the department, which would presumably not hesitate to lean on Manning for a little dirt, it does not take a legal scholar of, say, Obama’s stature, to see grounds for recusal in this set-up.

Almanza refused to budge, however, and is now weighing whether he should recommend a court martial. There is little room for doubt on that score, or, indeed, whether Manning will be convicted. Obama has already publicly declared Manning “broke the law,” and it is not regarded as a wise career move for army officers to gainsay their commander in chief.

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