The sentencing phase of the Bradley Manning case continued last week, with the court issuing a “special findings” report.
The Defense has requested the Court to issue special findings regarding the offenses for which the Court found PFC Manning guilty. The Court considered all legal and competent evidence, and the reasonable inferences to be drawn from the evidence, and resolved all issues of credibility. The Court will not make special findings for any specification where the finding was not guilty or guilty by exceptions and substitutions in accordance with PFC Manning’s guilty plea. (from BradleyManning.org)
Pfc. Manning’s sister testified regarding the neglect he suffered in childhood from alcoholic parents. Mental health experts testified that Manning’s mental health had deteriorated and that he should not have been sent to a war zone to handle classified information. Navy Capt. David Moulton told the court that Manning has symptoms of fetal alcohol syndrome and Asperger syndrome.
Manning apologized for his actions, saying, “I am sorry. I am sorry that my actions hurt people. I am sorry that it hurt the United States.”
But just what Manning was apologizing for was unclear, since hours of the prosecution’s classified testimony that Manning’s leaks caused actual harm or damage have been delivered behind closed doors.Judge’s decision is expected to be delivered on Tuesday. (Huffington Post)
Alexa O’Brien, who has faithfully documented the trial’s proceedings for the public, provided an analysis in The Guardian.
Deficient press coverage and the lack of public access, until lately, to some of the 35,000 pages of court documents from his trial have only exacerbated Manning’s legal predicament. Manning’s history with gender identity issues, the lack of public court documents, and the prejudicial and reactive statements by US government official for the last three years have left Manning prey to a feeding frenzy of salacious and hyperbolic coverage and a famine of serious media consideration. (O’Brien)
Through it all, Manning displayed “incredible earnestness” and “self-effacing charm,” writes O’Brien.
A remarkable aspect of this historic trial is how Manning’s conduct, his candor to the court, and his reserved relationship with the press have shown in stark relief how bombastic and prejudicial the US government’s approach to his trial has been.
The judge, Col. Denise Lind, could sentence Manning as early as Tuesday.