Convicting Private Manning
President Obama said in an impromptu interview that accused WikiLeaker Pfc. Bradley Manning “broke the law” by sharing classified documents.
The trouble is, Manning has yet to be tried in a court of law. The 23-year-old has been incarcerated since May 2010, facing a battery of charges for his alleged involvement in releasing state secrets to Julian Assange’s WikiLeaks site. He was moved from Quantico, Va., to Fort Leavenworth, Kan., last week amid growing concern about the severity of his treatment. Protesters in San Francisco had pressed Obama on Thursday to free Manning, spurring his off-the-cuff remarks. — KDG
Wait, before you go…
Glenn Greenwald at Salon.com
It may be that Obama spoke extemporaneously and without sufficient forethought, but it is — at best — reckless in the extreme for him to go around decreeing people guilty who have not been tried: especially members of the military who are under his command and who will be adjudged by other members of the military under his command. Moreover, as a self-proclaimed Constitutional Law professor, he ought to have an instinctive aversion when speaking as a public official to assuming someone’s guilt who has been convicted of nothing. It’s little wonder that he’s so comfortable with Manning’s punitive detention since he already perceives Manning as a convicted criminal.
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