A New Edition of the Manual for Courts-Martial

Last week, the Department of Defense published the 2012 edition of the Manual for Courts-Martial (MCM).

The Manual contains the Rules for Courts-Martial (RCM), the Military Rules of Evidence (MRE), and the Uniform Code of Military Justice.  The latest edition incorporates legislative amendments and other changes introduced since the previous edition was published in 2008.

The Manual details the elements of various crimes such as “Aiding the Enemy” (Article 104), which is among the charges pending against Bradley Manning, who is suspected of having provided classified and other restricted records to WikiLeaks without authorization.

“No unauthorized communication, correspondence, or intercourse with the enemy is permissible,” according to the Manual’s explanation of Article 104 (which has not been amended recently).

“The intent, content, and method of the communication, correspondence, or intercourse are immaterial. No response or receipt by the enemy is required. The offense is complete the moment the communication, correspondence, or intercourse issues from the accused. The communication, correspondence, or intercourse may be conveyed directly or indirectly.”

“Giving intelligence to the enemy is a particular case of corresponding with the enemy made more serious by the fact that the communication contains intelligence that may be useful to the enemy for any of the many reasons that make information valuable to belligerents. This intelligence may be conveyed by direct or indirect means.”

See, more generally, Military Justice: Courts-Martial, An Overview from the Congressional Research Service, March 14, 2012.

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