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Twitter Account Claiming To Be US Army PFC Bradley Manning Trial Judge DeLind Causes The Internet To Hyperventilate

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January 20, 2013 in World News


| WTF News |
Baran Hines

A Twitter account popped up Saturday purporting to be the trial judge in US Army PFC Bradley Manning’s military tribunal.

The first tweet from 2:21pm ET Jan 19

The rest of the tweets were written in a fashion suggesting inaccurate info that reads similar to other hoaxes.

The final tweet as of this article, 17 hours ago

The internet started to hyperventilate

Not everyone buys it and Bianca Jagger clarifies her statements as well

Starting to sound more hoaxy

An attempt to authenticate with remorse

The Twitter account in question has puzzled some people and could be the latest iteration of fake accounts causing real confusion. Maybe this one will draw attention to an important cause instead of the Manti Te’o type buzz.

If it is real, we got a name out of it

At least these tweets highlight the cause of awareness to corruption

The realest tweet we could find on the issue also came from Bianca Jagger who noted the terrible irony of Manning’s case

This probable Twitter hoax comes as online interest in the case has begun to spike with the flurry of activity around the case. The soldier is on trial for allegedly leaking hundreds of thousands of sensitive US documents to WikiLeaks back in 2010 and currently has been detained for almost 3 years (968 days and counting) in military confinement. Just recently, it was ruled that any sentence he receives should be reduced by 112 days because of the cruel conditions of his confinement.
Last week, Judge Colonel Denise Lind (US Army) ruled in a pre-trial hearing that Manning will be largely prevented from presenting evidence about his motives in leaking the documents, which is a critical part of a “whistleblower” defense.
London’s Guardian noted the legal theory and how it affects the case going forward.

In an earlier hearing, Manning’s lead defence lawyer, David Coombs, had argued that his motive was key to proving that he had no intention to harm US interests or to pass information to the enemy.

The judge, Colonel Denise Lind, ruled that general issues of motive were not relevant to the trial stage of the court martial, and must be held back until Manning either entered a plea or was found guilty, at which point it could be used in mitigation to lessen the sentence. The ruling is a blow to the defence as it will make it harder for the soldier’s legal team to argue he was acting as a whistleblower and not as someone who knowingly damaged US interests at a time of war.

“This is another effort to attack the whistleblower defence,” said Nathan Fuller, a spokesman for the Bradley Manning support network, after the hearing.

The judge also blocked the defence from presenting evidence designed to show that WikiLeaks caused little or no damage to US national security. Coombs has devoted considerable time and energy trying to extract from US government agencies their official assessments of the impact of WikiLeaks around the world, only to find that he is now prevented from using any of the information he has obtained.

There is some hope for the defense that the whistleblower defense can be established as Judge DeLind’s ruling outlined the specifics of what would be allowed at trial.

In a limited victory for the defence, Coombs and the defence team will be allowed to talk about the soldier’s motives on two narrow counts: where it can be used to show that he did not know that his leaks would be seen by al-Qaida; and as evidence that he consciously selected certain documents or types of documents in order to ensure they would not harm the US or benefit any foreign nation.

The Guardian also discussed the prosecution’s strategy behind trying to lock up one of the greatest whistleblowers in history, for life.

The 25-year-old intelligence analyst faces 22 charges relating to the leaking of hundreds of thousands of classified diplomatic cables, war logs from the Afghan and Iraq wars, and videos of US military actions. The most serious charge, “aiding the enemy”, which carries the life sentence, accuses him of arranging for state secrets to be published via WikiLeaks on the internet knowing that al-Qaida would have access to it.

The US government is expected at trial to present evidence that allegedly shows that Osama bin Laden personally requested to see some of the WikiLeaks publications attributed to Manning and that documents were found on his computer following the US navy Seals raid that killed him.

The Guardian article goes on to mention Manning’s passion which has compelled a legion of people to follow and support the awareness cause.

Lind’s ruling means that some of the most impassioned statements by Manning about why he embarked on the massive transfer of information to WikiLeaks will now not be heard at trial. In the course of a now famous web chat he had with the hacker-turned-informer Adrian Lamo, Manning wrote : “information should be free / it belongs in the public domain / because Another state would just take advantage of the information … try and get some edge / if its out in the open … it should be a public good.”

As described by Wikileaks from the Revolution News interview with WACA’s Samantha Castro (Wikileaks Australian Citizens Alliance), PFC Manning has been at the center of a firestorm highlighting controversial U.S. foreign policy.

Bradley Edward Manning (born December 17, 1987) is a United States Army soldier who was arrested in May 2010 in Iraq on suspicion of having passed classified material to the whistleblower website WikiLeaks. He was charged with a number of offenses, including communicating national defense information to an unauthorized source and aiding the enemy, a capital offense, though prosecutors said they would not seek the death penalty. He was arraigned in February 2012 at Fort Meade, Maryland, where he declined to enter a plea. The trial is expected to begin in February 2013.

Assigned to an army unit based near Baghdad, Manning had access to databases used by the United States government to transmit classified information. He was arrested after Adrian Lamo, a computer hacker, co-operated with the Department of Defense, stating Manning had confided during online chats that he had downloaded material from these databases and passed it to WikiLeaks. The material included videos of the July 12, 2007 Baghdad airstrike and the 2009 Granai airstrike in Afghanistan; 250,000 United States diplomatic cables; and 500,000 army reports that came to be known as the Iraq War logs and Afghan War logs. It was the largest set of restricted documents ever leaked to the public. Much of it was published by WikiLeaks or its media partners between April and November 2010.

Manning was held from July 2010 in the Marine Corps Brig, Quantico, Virginia, under Prevention of Injury status, which entailed de facto solitary confinement and other restrictions that caused international concern. In April 2011, 295 academics – many of them prominent American legal scholars – signed a letter arguing that the detention conditions violated the United States Constitution. Later that month the Pentagon transferred him to Fort Leavenworth, allowing him to interact with other detainees.

The interview went on to cover more about what activists are doing to help and is a worthy read.

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