Yesterday's [2/23/12] arraignment for Bradley Manning lasted a little under an hour, as expected. Replacing the Investigating Officer from the Article 32 hearing is military judge Denise Lind. After members of the prosecution and defense declared their certifications and qualifications, the judge addressed Pfc. Manning directly, asking if he understood that a military counsel is available to him at no cost, or a civilian counsel is available at no cost to the government. "Yes, your honor," Manning replied. She then asked who he wished to represent him, and he replied that he wanted to keep Mr. Coombs and the rest of the defense team with him.
Then the prosecution and defense were allowed to question the judge. The prosecution declined, but Coombs stood for the defense. He asked her what prior knowledge she had of Manning's case. She responded, "I knew there was a case, that it involved classified information. I knew the case involved someone named Pfc. Manning." First, the judge mentioned the defense's proposal to compel discovery and deposition. What came after that was revealing. There had been a series of email communications between the court, the prosecution and the defense team as part of the RCM-802 process.