David Coombs, Bradley Manning’s attorney, released a statement regarding the government’s new charges against Manning:

Over the past few weeks, the defense has been preparing for the possibility of additional charges in this case.  The decision to prefer charges is an individual one by PFC Manning’s commander.  The nature of the charges and the number of specifications under each reflects his determination, in consultation with his Staff Judge Advocate’s office, of the possible offenses in this case.  Ultimately, the Article 32 Investigating Officer will determine which, if any, of these additional charges and specifications should be referred to a court-martial.

Manning is being charged with “aiding the enemy,” which is an Article 4 offense:

AIDING THE ENEMY—GIVING INTELLIGENCE TO THE ENEMY (ARTICLE 104)

ELEMENTS:

(1) That (state the time and place alleged), the accused, without proper authority, knowingly gave intelligence information to (a) certain person(s), namely: (state the name or description of the enemy alleged to have received the intelligence information);

(2) That the accused did so by (state the manner alleged);

(3) That (state the name or description of the enemy alleged to have received the intelligence information) was an enemy; and

(4) That this intelligence information was true, at least in part.

d. DEFINITIONS AND OTHER INSTRUCTIONS:

“Intelligence” means any helpful information, given to and received by the enemy, which is true, at least in part.

“Enemy” includes (not only) organized opposing forces in time of war, (but also any other hostile body that our forces may be opposing) (such as a rebellious mob or a band of renegades) (and includes civilians as well as members of military organizations). (“Enemy” is not restricted to the enemy government or its armed forces. All the citizens of one belligerent are enemies of the government and the citizens of the other.)

Eight months after Bradley Manning was originally charged, the government suddenly claims that he “knowingly gave intelligence information” to “the enemy alleged to have received the intelligence information.”

The government is alleging Manning “knowingly gave intelligence information”  and that WikiLeaks “received” it.  Does that make”WikiLeaks”  the “enemy” in question?

Update: From Manning’s new charge sheet (PDF):

10. ADDITIONAL CHARGE I: VIOLATION OF THE UCMJ, ARTICLE 104.
THE SPECIFICATION:
In that Private First Class Bradley E. Manning, U.S. Army, did, at or near Contingency Operating Station Hammer, Iraq, between on or about 1 November 2009 and on or about 27 May 2010, without proper authority, knowingly give intelligence to the enemy, through indirect means.

ADDITIONAL CHARGE II:

SPECIFICATION 1:
In that Private First Class Bradley E. Manning, U.S. Army, did, at or near Contingency Operating Station Hammer, Iraq, between on or about 1 November 2009 and on or about 27 May 2010, wrongfully and wantonly cause to be published on the internet intelligence belonging to the United States government, having knowledge that intelligence published on the internet is accessible to the enemy, such conduct being prejudicial to good order and discipline in the armed forces and being of a nature to bring discredit upon the armed forces.

So let me get this straight. The Vice President of the United States, Joe Biden, says that the “leaked cables created no substantive damage — only embarrassment.”  So they’re going to charge Manning with “aiding the enemy”  because they claim he knew WikiLeaks would publish them on the internet, the “enemy” can see the internet,  and the cables “bring discredit upon the armed forces.”

They want to lock a 23 year-old up for the rest of his life, using a charge designed for terrorists and spies, because he embarrassed them in front of the bad guys?

Seriously?