If you’re a big-P Patriot, you might not like Manning — neither Eli nor Peyton. But if you’re a small-p patriot, the Manning that gets up your nose is ickle Bradley, the toy-poodle-sized traitor with the rottweiler-sized ego. PFC Bradley Manning released hundreds of thousands of classified documents in an ill-advised attempt to conduct his own foreign policy.
The latest revelation is that the documents not only might have been of interest to US enemies, they definitely were — as evidenced by the fact that Osama bin Laden had them in his Abbotabad hangout. The information was teased out by the UK’s Telegraph.
Today, prosecutors argued they should be allowed to call a military “operator” – a common term for a US commando – as a witness, saying he could offer testimony about evidence collected from the 2011 raid in Pakistan.
The potential witness was named only as “John Doe” and referred to him as “the operator who actually collected the evidence in Abbottabad and handed it to an FBI agent in Afghanistan”.
Major Ashden Fein, the lead prosecutor, said Doe would describe “how he went into a room, how he picked up the three pieces of information and what he did with them”.
Military authorities have consistently refused to release documents associated with Private First Class Mannings court martial, making it impossible to confirm Does exact role or his relation to the case.
Prosecutors also requested that Doe be allowed to give his testimony in an “offsite location”, away from the military courtroom where the case is being heard.
The secrecy surrounding his testimony makes it seem likely that he was among the members of Seal Team 6 who killed the al-Qaeda leader two years ago.
The government is also seeking to call eight other “chain of custody witnesses” who would describe how the files were transported from bin Ladens compound back to the US for analysis.
Among the requested witnesses is a translator who examined “letters to and from bin Laden”.
Naturally, Manning’s al-Qaeda lawyer is arguing vociferously against this evidence being presented in his charge’s trial. It’s not that it might have some relevance to the accusation that Manning released classified information that aided an enemy; oh no! The lawyer says, in that uniquely mealy-mouthed way in which a paid, amoral mouthpiece can utter the most baldly counterfactual rubbish, that Osama winding up with the files “has no bearing” on the case. See, he’s simply concerned that presenting evidence against his client will cause “undue delay.” He’s just trying to save the taxpayers money! It just looks like he’s a slimeball for the ages.
Manning does want to read a 24-page statement more-or-less confessing, while bashing the Army and whining about how he’s being picked on.