In a conversation about alleged WikiLeaks leaker US President Barack Obama commented on Pfc. Bradley Manning saying, “He broke the law.”
The words from Obama’s mouth come as Manning is held in prison awaiting further charges and a military trial. Manning has entered no official plea and no court proceedings have begun. Yet, the US president dubbed him guilty of breaking the law.
Many argue no truly fair or impartial trial is even possible at this point. Some hold there would never be a fair trial since the media had already convicted manning in the court of public opinion. Now that the Military’s commander-in-chief has spoke on the matter is even more unlikely the military trial will be fair and impartial.
Military officers on a potential jury now know that their commander and chief believes Manning to be guilty. To find otherwise would amount to undermining his view.
Kevin Zeese, an attorney, the director of Come Home America and an advisor to the Bradley Manning Support Network explained this directly obstructs the notion of innocent until proven guilty.
“That was a very clear error by President Obama,” he remarked. “This makes it very hard for Private Manning to have a fair trial in the military.”
Many people the world over are actively supporting Manning and protesting his detention and mistreatment at the hands of the US Department of Defense.
It is highly unlikely, Zeese argued, that a military officer or enlistee would site on a jury and pas a verdict that is in opposition to the words of the President. It could possibly be bad for their future careers. This eliminates any possibility of a fair trial.
Manning, if guilty, merely released low-level secrets to the American public who had a right to know what their government was doing, he said. He did not sell or trade dangerous secretes to foreign governments.
“That’s not a traitor to me, that’s a patriot,” said Zeese.