Bradley Manning’s Speedy Trial Motion Hearing, Day 1
Pfc. Bradley Manning, the soldier being prosecuted by the military for allegedly releasing classified information to WikiLeaks, is back in court at Fort Meade in Maryland. The defense will be making its case that Manning has had his speedy trial rights violated.
The defense contends the government has shown a “tremendous lack of diligence in the processing of this case violated that fundamental right.” With regards to request for delays, Court Martial Convening Authority, Carl R. Coffman, “abandoned any attempt to make an independent determination of the reasonableness of any government delay request”:
…Instead, the Convening Authority operated as a mere rubber stamp by granting all delay requests, which totaled 327 days, without being provided with or itself providing any reasons that justified the excluded delay as reasonable… [emphasis added]
The defense believes, “A military accused’s right to speedy trial is fundamental. The government’s processing of this case makes an absolute mockery of that fundamental right.”
Manning is currently scheduled to go on trial on June 3, 2013. By then, Manning will have been in pretrial confinement for 1101 days. Months ago, the defense mentioned, “The Empire State Building could have been constructed almost two-and-a-half times over in the amount of time it will have taken to bring Pfc. Manning to trial.”
The governrment defends the length of time it has taken by emphasizing how this case involves so much classified information or “national defense information.” Seven hundred thousand documents were allegedly released by Manning. Five hundred and twenty thousand pages of discovery evidence has been turned over to the defense. One hundred thousand of those pages are classified. The scale of material has taken a long time for the gears of government bureaucracy to process.