Can Pfc. Bradley Manning get a fair trial?

As someone who has frequently stood outside the main gate at Fort Meade in support of Pfc. Bradley Manning, I was extremely disappointed by Army judge Col. Denise Lind's ruling that Mr. Manning will get only a 112-day reduction in sentence if convicted, even though she recognized that he was tortured while being held at the Quantico Marine base.

The reduction is insignificant, considering that Mr. Manning could be imprisoned for life on the charge of "aiding the enemy."

The Wikileaks documents revealed that the U.S. government consorts with dictators and U.S. military personnel have committed war crimes. If the release of these documents is indeed criminal, why hasn't the government gone after the many media outlets that published them?

And there are other important legal matters to resolved as well. It is obvious to me that in bringing 22 separate criminal counts the government has overcharged Mr. Manning. There's also the matter of classified information, which has resulted in the media and observers being denied basic information during the hearings. And it can credibly be argued that there was over-classification regarding of the documents released.

It is my understanding that charging Mr. Manning with aiding the enemy is unprecedented, since that charge should only apply to soldiers who actually give documents to an "enemy."

Will the released documents prove to be actual "intelligence" during the court martial? Can the defense raise the issue of motive during the proceedings? And what is the relationship between motive and intent?

I will continue standing my vigil during future hearings and the court martial because I still doubt that Mr. Manning can get a fair trial.

Max Obuszewski, Baltimore

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