On July 27, the defense counsel representing Army PFC Bradley Manning filed a motion to dismiss “owing to the unlawful pretrial punishment to which PFC Manning was subjected while at Marine Corps Base, Quantico [Virginia].” Another motion was filed requesting a continuance of the proceedings owing to the slow production by the government of reams of documents that are “obviously material to the preparation of the defense.”
David Coombs is Manning’s civilian lawyer and in a recent blog post he declared that the contents of the Article 13 motion (the motion to dismiss) would “shock the conscience of the court.” Coombs’ confidence was well founded as the tale related by him in the motion is disturbing and shines an unfavorable light on high-ranking American military officials.
One such revelation concerns a three-star Army general that allegedly ordered the brutal treatment of Manning while he was detained at the brig in Quantico. Coombs claims that emails he has obtained demonstrate that two separate brig commanders carried out the general’s orders in “clear violation of Article 13 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ).
In relevant part, Article 13 reads:
No person, while being held for trial, may be subjected to punishment or penalty other than arrest or confinement upon the charges pending against him, nor shall the arrest or confinement imposed upon him be any more rigorous than the circumstances required to insure his presence, but he may be subjected to minor punishment during that period for infractions of discipline.
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Photos: David Coombs, Bradley Manning’s civilian lawyer (left); Army Pfc. Bradley Manning is escorted from a courthouse in Fort Meade, Md., last year: AP Images