I just have one comment about the verdict today. The defense moved to throw out the count of aiding the enemy recently, and the judge disallowed the motion. The reason the defense thought the motion was reasonable is striking.
The judge heard a request from the defense on Monday to drop the charge. David E. Coombs, the lead defense lawyer, argued that Private Manning did not have “actual knowledge” that by leaking the documents to WikiLeaks he was aiding the enemy.
In the past, the government had argued that through his extensive training, Private Manning should have known that the information could end up with groups that wanted to harm American military personnel. But the government acknowledged Monday that “should have known” was not enough to define “actual knowledge.”
A hundred thousand OPSEC briefings later, only an absolute moron would not realize that publishing classified documents on the Internet would mean that the enemy would have access to them.
The judge refused to drop the charge, but apparently was convinced by the argument. Being a moron is apparently a positive defense here, justifying an actual acquittal of the charge of aiding the enemy. No doubt this precedent will improve the standards of good order and discipline in the US Army.