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Sat Jan 21, 2012, 09:34 AM

Salon: How Bradley Manning’s fate will be decided

Saturday, Jan 21, 2012 2:00 PM UTC

The soldier accused of giving files to WikiLeaks will likely face a court-martial -- we explain how it works
By Justin Elliott

This week, Bradley Manning came one step closer to being tried for allegedly leaking a trove of secret American cables to WikiLeaks when a military officer made the formal recommendation that Manning should face a court-martial on 22 criminal charges.

One of the counts, aiding the enemy, carries the possibility of the death penalty, but prosecutors have already said they will not seek it in Manning’s case.

The recommendation this week was made to Maj. Gen. Michael Linnington, commander of the Military District of Washington, who is what is known as the convening authority in the case. The military justice system has important differences from the civilian system, so I spoke to Eugene R. Fidell, who teaches military justice at Yale Law School, to explain the basics.

We’ve now had the investigating officer as well as another officer this week recommend a court-martial to the Military District of Washington commander. What’s the next step?

Read the entire piece at Salon.com

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