The Investigating Officer at Manning's Article 32 pretrial hearing has been a career prosecutor for the U.S. Department of Justice since 2002, the year he received his license; and the U.S. Department of Justice has an ongoing criminal investigation into WikiLeaks and Julian Assange.
As late as April 2012, Eric Holder, the Attorney General for the Justice Department - and the U.S. official who authorized the grand jury currently empaneled in Alexandria, Virginia, investigating WikiLeaks, Julian Assange and others for espionage (18 U.S.C. 793); conspiracy (18 U.S.C. 371); and embezzling, stealing, purloining, or knowingly converting U.S. Government property - (U.S.C. 641), called the Investigating Officer at Manning's Article 32 Pretrial hearing, Lt. Col. Paul Almanza, his "colleague":
And I want to recognize my colleagues across the Justice Department...the National Coordinator for Child Exploitation Prevention and Interdiction Strategy, Paul Almanza.
At Manning's Article 32 pretrial hearing, David Coombs, Manning's lead defense counsel asked Almanza, "Are you aware the Department of Justice has a case against my client?" Lt. Col. Paul Almanza replied nonchalantly, "Yes."
Almanza certainly was.
Almanza is the National Coordinator for Child Exploitation Prevention and Interdiction Strategy at the Justice Department. In fact, he even admitted to Coombs that he advises trial attorneys in the Criminal Division's Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section (CEOS), where he has worked his entire life, and where, Tracy Doherty-McCormick, a WikiLeaks Grand Jury Prosecutor also works.
After becoming the Investigating Officer in U.S. v Pfc. Manning, Almaza even sent email to Manning's defense counsel using his doj.gov email address.
On the first day of Manning's Article 32 pretrial hearing, Coombs, moved the Investigating Officer to recuse himself because of his obvious bias, arguing that the Department of Justice is attempting to get a plea from his client, Manning, in order to go after Julian Assange.
On the right side of the Court gallery, someone from the Justice Department grimace. Almanza refused adding, "I don't believe I am biased."