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Military legal expert: Obama's comments on Bradley Manning represent "unlawful command influence"!

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Better Believe It Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Apr-26-11 10:51 PM
Original message
Military legal expert: Obama's comments on Bradley Manning represent "unlawful command influence"!
Did Obama taint WikiLeaks suspect's right to fair trial?
Expert: President may have crossed legal line when he said Pfc. Manning 'broke the law'
By Jim Miklaszewski
Chief Pentagon correspondent
NBC News
April 26, 2011

The Uniform Code of Military Justice prohibits "Command Influence," in which a superior officer up the chain of command says or does something that could influence any decisions by a military judge or jury in a criminal case. As commander in chief, there's no one higher up that chain than the president.

The tangle started last week after a political fundraiser in San Francisco. Logan Price, a supporter of Manning, got close enough to the president to shake his hand and then plead Manning's case. In an exchange that was caught on a cell phone video, Price claimed that Manning, charged with leaking hundreds of thousands of military and State Department documents to WikiLeaks, is a whistle-blower not a criminal. Price asked, "Why is he being prosecuted?"

Obama responded that what Manning allegedly did was "irresponsible, risked the lives of service members and did a lot of damage." But when Price persisted Obama shot back, "He broke the law."

A military legal expert says the president himself crossed a legal line with that statement. Eugene Fidell, president of the National Institute of Military Justice, a nonprofit group that promotes the fair administration of justice in the military system, told NBC News that the president's remark "is unlawful command influence," which includes an assumption of guilt.

Read the full article at:

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/42770631/ns/us_news-securit...
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EFerrari Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Apr-26-11 11:09 PM
Response to Original message
1. Surprise, surprise.
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William769 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Apr-26-11 11:20 PM
Response to Original message
2. The President caanot be charged under the UCMJ.
Why are people so fucking stupid.
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FLAprogressive Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Apr-26-11 11:22 PM
Response to Reply #2
4. So that doesn't make him commander-in-chief of the US Armed Forces?
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William769 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Apr-26-11 11:28 PM
Response to Reply #4
6. Oy vey.
Of course he is commander-in-chief of the US Armed Forces, but he is not in the Armed forces. Show me where he went to boot camp (he must have went he's the commander-in-chief of the US Armed Forces!)

Better yet show me in the UCMJ that gives it jurisdiction of the President.

I stand by my original post.
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FLAprogressive Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Apr-26-11 11:31 PM
Response to Reply #6
9. So why does "Command Influence" not apply to the commander of the U.S. Armed Forces?
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William769 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Apr-26-11 11:34 PM
Response to Reply #9
10. As I said show me in the UCMJ where it has jurisdiction of the President.
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FLAprogressive Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Apr-26-11 11:35 PM
Response to Reply #10
12. You're missing the entire point here. Obama didn't commit a crime, he tainted the judge/jury pool.
Edited on Tue Apr-26-11 11:35 PM by FLAprogressive
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phleshdef Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-27-11 07:42 AM
Response to Reply #12
20. Bullshit. You can't taint people with information they already knew beforehand.
Thoroughly debunkable nonsense. Since the day Manning was charged with 20+ charges, it was well known that the Obama administration believes Manning broke the law. Thats undebatable and indisputable.
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EFerrari Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Apr-26-11 11:25 PM
Response to Reply #2
5. Are you saying, rules are for the little people and not for the leader
of our armed forces? Really?

This is why we can't have nice things.
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William769 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Apr-26-11 11:30 PM
Response to Reply #5
7. I am stating fact.
Do I think President Obama was wrong? Yes. But that and a $1.50 will buy me a cup of coffee.
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EFerrari Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Apr-26-11 11:34 PM
Response to Reply #7
11. Obama doesn't need to be charged
to have exerted undue command influence in this case. Obama being charged or not charged has zero to do with this.

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FLAprogressive Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Apr-26-11 11:35 PM
Response to Reply #11
13. Don't bother, it's way over his head.
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William769 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Apr-26-11 11:38 PM
Response to Reply #13
14. It well may be over my head
But the person who wrote the article is stupid and infused the UCMJ into the article and this article will be forgotten which is a shame for manning.

Yes I get it, to bad you don't.
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robinlynne Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-27-11 12:43 PM
Response to Reply #5
37. You rock!
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Ghost in the Machine Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Apr-26-11 11:31 PM
Response to Reply #2
8. Please point out in the article where anyone said anything about prosecuting Obama
I must have missed it, and I've read over it 3 times...

Thanks..

Ghost
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Bluebear Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-27-11 05:49 AM
Response to Reply #2
16. "Why are people so fucking stupid." - Physician, heal thyself.
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Better Believe It Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-27-11 08:15 AM
Response to Reply #2
28. That's not the point of the article! If you read the article you'll understand it!

And it's always a good idea to read an article before commenting on it.
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ThomCat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-27-11 08:31 PM
Response to Reply #2
42. They're not saying that he can be. They're saying that he's
prejudicing the outcome of the court martial.

Why are people so fucking stupid. :eyes:
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leftstreet Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Apr-26-11 11:20 PM
Response to Original message
3. K&R
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Scuba Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-27-11 05:46 AM
Response to Original message
15. Inexcusable for a constitutional scholar, serving as President, to make this error. n/t
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FiveGoodMen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-27-11 04:06 PM
Response to Reply #15
41. Add it to the list.
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crickets Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-27-11 06:20 AM
Response to Original message
17. K&R
Edited on Wed Apr-27-11 06:22 AM by crickets
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Rusticus Too Donating Member (19 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-27-11 07:05 AM
Response to Original message
18. As a former Army JAG . . .
that was my first impression, too.
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struggle4progress Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-27-11 07:40 AM
Response to Original message
19. The relevant portion of UCMJ is Article 37: "Unlawfully influencing action of court"
... No authority convening a general, special, or summary court-martial, nor any other commanding officer, may censure, reprimand, or admonish the court or any member, military judge, or counsel thereof, with respect to the findings or sentence adjudged by the court, or with respect to any other exercise of its or his functions in the conduct of the proceeding. No person subject to this chapter may attempt to coerce or, by any unauthorized means, influence the action of a court-martial or any other military tribunal or any member thereof, in reaching the findings or sentence in any case, or the action of any convening, approving, or reviewing authority with respect to his judicial acts ...
http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/usc_sec_10_00000837--...

The relevant portion of the Courts Martial Manual is Rule 104: "Unlawful command influence"
http://www.army.mil/usapa/epubs/pdf/mcm.pdf

Rule 104 largely clarifies UCMJ Article 37. The intent of both 37 and 104 is to shield those involved in courts martial from inappropriate influence, by threat of unfavorable subsequent assignments or evaluations. It is difficult for me to see how a comment from the President, at a private fundraiser, to several supporters of Manning, could be construed as likely to suggest to participants in a court martial, that they would be likely to face reprisal for failing to produce a pre-specified verdict: one presumes that none of Mannings supporters at the fundraiser are likely to serve in any capacity at his court martial, and since all publicity about this comes from Mannings supporters, it is difficult to think that the President's comments reflect any threat, direct or indirect, against anyone who will be involved in the court martial
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melm00se Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-27-11 08:12 AM
Response to Reply #19
26. BINGO!
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Azathoth Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-27-11 07:44 AM
Response to Original message
21. So a comment made during a personal conversation with a civilian is now undue command influence?
Give me a break.
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EFerrari Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-27-11 08:06 AM
Response to Reply #21
25.  He said it in public at a reception. Oh, and on camera.
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Azathoth Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-27-11 08:13 AM
Response to Reply #25
27. Wrong. He said it at a private fundraiser, and it was captured on a *cell phone*.
Try again.
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Better Believe It Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-27-11 08:30 AM
Response to Reply #27
30. A "private" event attended by the public media and people who are not campaign contributors!
Why did the organizers invite the media and other non-contributors to a "private" event?

Obama said it.

It's been recorded.

It was not "off the record".

CASE CLOSED.
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Azathoth Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-27-11 08:50 AM
Response to Reply #30
33. Yes, a private, $5000 a ticket event
The remarks were made in a personal conversation, not to the media, and were recorded using a cell phone by someone who was not a reporter. In summary: not undue command influence.

CASE CLOSED.
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Better Believe It Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-27-11 01:14 PM
Response to Reply #33
39. So did that person break into that "private" event?

He said it, it was recorded and it was not an off the record statement given to an campaign donor.

President Obama can "clarify" and change his comment if he wishes.

He won't.

End of Story.
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EFerrari Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-27-11 08:31 AM
Response to Reply #27
31. LOL, yes in public at a reception and on camera. n/t
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Ignis Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-27-11 01:09 PM
Response to Reply #31
38. Apparently, it was a 1990s mobile phone w/o a camera.
Who knew? :shrug:
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EFerrari Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-27-11 02:12 PM
Response to Reply #38
40. People who are involved in active cases don't talk about them.
There are multiple risks associated with shooting off your mouth about an open case even to your spouse even in your own bedroom even in the dead of night. lol

You'd think the President of the United States would know that.
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Better Believe It Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-27-11 08:25 AM
Response to Reply #21
29. Yes. It was a public statement by the Commander in Chief of the armed forces at his public event.

and publicised by the mass news media.

Unless you think that President Obama and his comments as Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces are irrelevant.
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phleshdef Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-27-11 07:45 AM
Response to Original message
22. Right because no judge knew this admininstration believed Manning broke the law, beforehand.
Edited on Wed Apr-27-11 07:45 AM by phleshdef
Bullshit argument thats easily ripped apart.

You can't taint judgement with information that everyone already knew beforehand, period.
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Cid_B Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-27-11 08:01 AM
Response to Reply #22
24. New plan...
All POTUS will be cloned and will head various departments of the government, to include military and justice, IOT ensure no undue influence on himself.
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EFerrari Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-27-11 12:05 PM
Response to Reply #22
36. So, when did you serve as a JAG?
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Angry Dragon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-27-11 07:53 AM
Response to Original message
23. Perhaps he is trying to give the defense grounds
to get the trial thrown out
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Better Believe It Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-27-11 08:33 AM
Response to Reply #23
32. Right. He's real big on civil liberties.
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spanone Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-27-11 08:51 AM
Response to Original message
34. maybe Obama did it on purpose....
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Karmadillo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-27-11 09:02 AM
Response to Original message
35. Don't make Obama mad. He might declare you a terrorist & have the CIA murder you w no due process.
http://www.salon.com/news/opinion/glenn_greenwald/2010/...

Confirmed: Obama authorizes assassination of U.S. citizen
By Glenn Greenwald
Wednesday, Apr 7, 2010 07:08 ET

In late January, I wrote about the Obama administration's "presidential assassination program," whereby American citizens are targeted for killings far away from any battlefield, based exclusively on unchecked accusations by the Executive Branch that they're involved in Terrorism. At the time, The Washington Post's Dana Priest had noted deep in a long article that Obama had continued Bush's policy (which Bush never actually implemented) of having the Joint Chiefs of Staff compile "hit lists" of Americans, and Priest suggested that the American-born Islamic cleric Anwar al-Awlaki was on that list. The following week, Obama's Director of National Intelligence, Adm. Dennis Blair, acknowledged in Congressional testimony that the administration reserves the "right" to carry out such assassinations.

Today, both The New York Times and The Washington Post confirm that the Obama White House has now expressly authorized the CIA to kill al-Alwaki no matter where he is found, no matter his distance from a battlefield. I wrote at length about the extreme dangers and lawlessness of allowing the Executive Branch the power to murder U.S. citizens far away from a battlefield (i.e., while they're sleeping, at home, with their children, etc.) and with no due process of any kind. I won't repeat those arguments -- they're here and here -- but I do want to highlight how unbelievably Orwellian and tyrannical this is in light of these new articles today.

more...
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Bluebear Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-29-11 05:25 AM
Response to Reply #35
43. !
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