Saturday, April 23, 2011

President Obama: Manning Broke the Law

NIMJ President Eugene Fidell weighed in on President Obama's assertion that Private Bradley Manning "broke the law" after protesters confronted Obama about Manning's pretrial confinement conditions at a high-dollar fundraiser earlier this week. 

The comments raised the specter of unlawful command influence in the case by having the individual (the President) who would be required to approve a death sentence if Manning is convicted and capitally sentenced prejudge Manning's guilt before the case is even referred to court-martial.  While the UCI argument might not win in this case, it's certain to be closely examined by Manning's defense counsel as the case moves forward.