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Kevin Gozstola Recaps Manning Court Martial, as Judge Declines to Drop “Aiding Enemy” Charge

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Reporter Kevin Gozstola, who is live-blogging the Bradley Manning trial at Fort Meade for FireDogLake, returns to recap an important ruling and some fifth-quarter maneuvers by the prosecution.Gozstola Skypes in from his car, during a rainstorm, from the parking lot of NSA headquarters at Fort Meade, Maryland.  While we credit the NSA for the WiFi connection, we apologize for the garbled portions and hope they will improve the service soon.

In the first portion, we talk about the motions by the defense for direct “not guilty” verdicts on some serious counts, including “aiding the enemy”, which carries a life sentence.  While the judge did not rule in favor of the defense, she appeared to set some standards that were not met by the prosecution–so she could still rule “not guilty”.  We discuss the lack of a standard for “intent” and the emphasis by defense lawyer David Coombs that Manning did not intend to aid an enemy.

In the second part, Gozstola describes the testimony of Jihrlea Showman, who was Manning’s superior at the base in Iraq.  She clearly doesn’t like Manning, who once hit her in the face, and offers testimony that she suspected he was disloyal.  While she is nominally rebutting another witness, it appears the prosecution made an end-run to include her so late in the trial.

At 57 minutes in, Will Durst takes us to Texas, where the ole boys know what’s best for their wimmen.