UK Telegraph imageImagine that. Today’s announcement that the Army has leveled 22 new charges against leaker Pfc. Bradley Manning is full of oddities, semantic and otherwise.

This New York Times piece is a good example.

The new charges included “aiding the enemy”; wrongfully causing intelligence to be published on the Internet, knowing that it was accessible to the enemy; multiple counts of theft of public records, transmitting defense information and computer fraud…

The charges provide new details about when prosecutors believe that Private Manning downloaded copies of particular files from a classified computer system in Iraq. For example, the charges say he copied a database of more than 250,000 diplomatic cables between March 28 and May 4, 2010.

The charges also accuse Private Manning of twice “adding unauthorized software” to the secret computer system — once between February and early April 2010, and again on May 4. A press release accompanying the charges said the software was used “to extract classified information” from the system.

Eugene Fidell, who teaches military law at Yale Law School, noted that several of the charges seemed to be describing the same basic act, but in different ways. He said that it was “typical for military prosecutors to draft charges in as many ways as possible,” and he predicted that the defense would challenge the redundancies later in the process.

“We’re potentially entering a new chapter with this set of charges,” Mr. Fidell said.

Mild understatement. Courts are finicky. Make it stick. Require accountability.

Btw…notice how much of this story focuses on technology and social networking? Which segue’s into the role social communications networks are playing in global revolutions. But that’s for another post….

Sheila Liaugminas

Sheila Liaugminas is an Emmy award-winning Chicago-based journalist in print and broadcast media. Her writing and broadcasting covers matters of faith, culture, politics and the media....