A former military analyst has questioned whether or not the Pentagon can provide Pfc. Bradley Manning with a fair trial.
Manning stands accused of leaking thousands of classified and sensitive documents that ultimately ended up on WikiLeaks.
“I don’t think anyone disagrees that the government has enough evidence to start a court martial proceeding. The question is whether they should be proceeding,” Dan Ellsberg, who leaked the Pentagon Papers in 1971, told The Guardian.
“It’s outrageous for two reasons. How can there be a fair court martial when the commander in chief, president Obama himself, pronounced that he is guilty [of breaking the law]? Secondly he has been subjected to 10 and a half months of clearly abusive treatment that in my opinion was immoral and illegal.”
Indeed, Obama’s controversial comments were cited by Manning defense attorney in court filings in which he accused the president of uttering “improper comments” about the case that could prejudice any decision made during the military process.
Meanwhile, day 6 of the pre-trial hearing at Fort Meade, Maryland, wrapped up for the day after Manning’s lawyer was barred from calling professional witnesses to discuss various psychological issues the soldier may have suffered from – including gender dysphoria – before his arrest.
The prosecution insisted such testimony was irrelevant to the hearing and would “only serve to distract from [real] issues.”
The prosecution is expected to request closing statements on Thursday morning.