UCMJ calls for trial within 120 days of restraint and arraignment. When a service member is placed in pre-trial confinement, "immediate steps shall be taken" to inform the accused of all charges, proceed with trial, or dismiss the case entirely.
The Rule for Court Martial (RCM) 707 also calls for trial within 120 days from arrest to arraignment to assure speedy trial proceedings. By the time Manning's trial begins on February 4, he'll have been incarcerated for nearly 1,000 days.
Willful delay prevented him from being tried earlier. Doing so was unjustified, unconscionable, and illegal. Coombs said:
"The Convening Authority, therefore, is just as much at fault for the lack of a speedy trial as is the prosecution."
"The Convening Authority abandoned any attempt to make an independent determination of the reasonableness of any Government delay request."
"Instead, the Convening Authority operated as a mere rubber stamp by granting all delay requests."
The Pentagon ordered Manning's trial delayed. Generals wanted time to punish him ruthlessly. He was isolated in solitary confinement for nine months and imprisoned in pre-trial detention for around 900 days.
In confinement he was subjected to brutal, inhumane treatment. Despite being a model prisoner, he was declared a "Maximum Custody Detainee." Doing so subjected him to the harshest possible treatment.
BradleyManning.org said "Evidence shows (a) three-star general ordered (his) unlawful, brutal treatment." Brig commanders followed Pentagon orders.
Constitutional and US statute laws were violated. So was UCMJ's Article 13. It prohibits pre-trial confinement conditions "any more rigorous" than what's minimally needed to ensure the accused appears for court hearings.
Coombs uncovered emails that "reveal everyone at Quantico was complicit in the unlawful pretrial treatment, from senior officers to enlisted soldiers."
Military officials lied. They claimed Manning was placed on special "prevention of injury" watch for his own protection. Brig psychiatrists called his treatment unjustified.
Bradley Manning Support Network attorney Kevin Zeese said emails made public "now make all previous assertions by Quantico and Pentagon officials that they were simply following procedures to keep Bradley Manning safe patently ridiculous."
Retired Army Col. Ann Wright added:
"The revelation that a Lieutenant General would order the mistreatment of a fellow soldier in violation of the UCMJ leaves me aghast."