Adding to the embarrassing problems with the discovery phase of Pfc. Bradley Manning’s trial, government prosecutors today claimed to have “proof” that Manning knew he was directly aiding the enemy by releasing State Department documents to WikiLeaks.
The biggest problem with this claim is that, like so many others, they haven’t presented a shred of evidence to this effect, and Manning’s lawyer, David E. Coombs, once again complained that no such evidence was ever presented during discovery.
Judge Denise Lind has repeatedly criticized the prosecution for its mishandling of discovery, and has ordered them to provide more evidence and stop using “national security” as an excuse to keep putative proof secret.
The prosecutions charges in the past have mentioned al-Qaeda, but today’s claim did not. If actual proof does exist it could serious harm Manning’s case, but of course would also raise yet more concerns that the damning evidence is being kept from the defense.