Bradley Manning Will Face a Court Martial

The Army has approved a court martial for PFC Bradley Manning the soldier accused of having leaked hundreds of thousands of classified documents to Wikileaks.

A statement from the Military District of Washington said that Maj. Gen. Michael Linnington has referred all the charges against Manning to a court martial.

Linnington approved the recommendation  for a court martial that had been made by the investigating officer who presided over a week-long pre-trial hearing in December.  

The recommendation had to be approved by the  two superior officers with convening authority for the case.  With the other officer having approved the recommendation in mid-January, Linnington's approval was the last obstacle for Manning to face a general court martial.

 A trial date will be determined after a military judge is detailed to the case.   According to the statement, "that military judge will set the date for Manning's arraignment, motion hearings and trial."  

Serving as an Army intelligence analyst serving in Baghdad in late 2009 to early 2010, Manning had access to classified  military and State Department files.

He is accused of having provided Wikileaks with hundreds of thousands of classified military action reports from Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as 260,000 classified State Department cables.

Manning faces 22 charges, including aiding the enemy, wrongfully causing intelligence to be published on the Internet knowing that it is accessible to the enemy, theft of public property or records, and transmitting defense information.

Aiding the enemy is a capital offense that could bring the death penalty, but Army prosecutors have said they will instead pursue life in prison if the 24-year old Manning is convicted.

Manning could also face a reduction in rank to the lowest enlisted pay grade, total forfeiture of all pay and allowances and a dishonorable discharge.