US Military Judge Refuses to Dismiss WikiLeaks Charges

Posted June 8th, 2012 at 2:15 pm (UTC-5)
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A U.S. military judge has refused to dismiss any of the 22 charges against the U.S. soldier accused of leaking government secrets to the WikiLeaks website.

Colonel Denise Lind denied defense motions to drop 10 of the charges against Private First Class Bradley Manning during a pretrial hearing Friday at the Fort Meade military base in Maryland.

The judge rejected defense arguments that eight counts of unauthorized possession and disclosure of classified information were “unconstitutionally vague.” She also refused to dismiss two charges alleging Manning exceeded his authority to access a Defense Department computer system.

Lind said Manning's court-martial, which had been scheduled to start September 21, will be pushed back to November or January.

The Army intelligence analyst is accused of leaking thousands of diplomatic cables and military documents related to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. The most serious of the counts against him is a charge of “aiding the enemy.” If found guilty, he could spend the rest of his life in prison.

U.S. officials contend Manning's actions threatened U.S. national security and put lives at risk. Manning has said he wanted people to see what he called the truth about U.S. military operations.