December 21, 2011

Could Bradley Manning beat the rap?

Today, he got to face his "accuser." No, not the Army, but Adrian Lamo. And, based on Lamo having an "ordination" from the Universal Life Church, Manning's attorney aimed at the "confidentiality of the confessional" angle. He also went with Lamo's claims to be a reporter, and the "confidential source" angle.

Here's the "confessional" angle:

Coombs asked Lamo if he was acting as a minister, and then repeatedly asked, “Don’t you think he was contacting you for moral support?” At that point, Manning looked off into the short distance, perhaps recalling the state of confusion and despair that prompted him at the time to reach out to Lamo.

Coombs and Lamo went back and forth over whether Lamo violated his responsibility as a “minister” to keep Manning’s confessions private. Coombs asked Lamo whether it wasn’t clear that bradass87 (Manning's alleged chat ID) intended their chat to be confidential.

“A reasonable person would conclude that,” Lamo conceded.
Interesting, and smart.

In a civilian court, I don't doubt it would play well. Not sure if it will go as well in the military. But, it's possible.

At the least, it sets things up for full court-marshal.

If it works at all, besides Lamo's own testimony getting tossed, how much else of the Army's case would become inadmissible? THAT's the biggie.

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