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Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Manning 'Not Guilty' of Aiding Enemy But Guilty of 19 Others

See my piece at The Nation.  I was on Democracy Now! with Jeremy Scahill in the aftermath.  Just-released transcript of judge's full rulings--again,  hat-tip to Press Freedom foundation.   My book on case with Kevin Gosztola, one of very few to cover hearings and trial for over a year, now updated.   NYT collects reactions.    UPDATE:  Gosztola just said on Democracy Now that sentencing arguments may take two to three weeks.  Will be very "contentious" with no "stipulation" of testimony.  As I've noted, more than a dozen witnessed lined up by both sides.   Defense calling more witnesses than in trial. 

Here's statement from Manning family, from an aunt, sent to The Guardian:
While we are obviously disappointed in today’s verdicts, we are happy that Judge Lind agreed with us that Brad never intended to help America’s enemies in any way. Brad loves his country and was proud to wear its uniform.
We want to express our deep thanks to David Coombs, who has dedicated three years of his life to serving as lead counsel in Brad’s case. We also want to thank Brad’s Army defense team, Major Thomas Hurley and Captain Joshua Tooman, for their tireless efforts on Brad’s behalf, and Brad’s first defense counsel, Captain Paul Bouchard, who was so helpful to all of us in those early confusing days and first suggested David Coombs as Brad’s counsel.
Most of all, we would like to thank the thousands of people who rallied to Brad’s cause, providing financial and emotional support throughout this long and difficult time, especially Jeff Paterson and Courage to Resist and the Bradley Manning Support Network. Their support has allowed a young Army private to defend himself against the full might of not only the US Army but also the US Government.
ACLU statement:
A military court-martial today found Pfc. Bradley Manning guilty of multiple charges under the Espionage Act for giving classified material to WikiLeaks, but not guilty of aiding the enemy.
"While we're relieved that Mr. Manning was acquitted of the most dangerous charge, the ACLU has long held the view that leaks to the press in the public interest should not be prosecuted under the Espionage Act," said Ben Wizner, director of the ACLU's Speech, Privacy and Technology Project. "Since Manning already pleaded guilty to charges of leaking information – which carry significant punishment – it seems clear that the government was seeking to intimidate anyone who might consider revealing valuable information in the future."
Amnesty International’s Senior Director of International Law and Policy Widney Brown said:
“The government’s priorities are upside down. The US government has refused to investigate credible allegations of torture and other crimes under international law despite overwhelming evidence.
“Yet they decided to prosecute Manning who it seems was trying to do the right thing - reveal credible evidence of unlawful behaviour by the government. You investigate and prosecute those who destroy the credibility of the government by engaging in acts such as torture which are prohibited under the US Constitution and in international law.
“The government’s pursuit of the ‘aiding the enemy’ charge was a serious overreach of the law, not least because there was no credible evidence of Manning’s intent to harm the USA by releasing classified information to WikiLeaks.
“Since the attacks of September 11, we have seen the US government use the issue of national security to defend a whole range of actions that are unlawful under international and domestic law.
“It’s hard not to draw the conclusion that Manning's trial was about sending a message: the US government will come after you, no holds barred, if you're thinking of revealing evidence of its unlawful behaviour.”

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

It is so predicable of a the tyanical beast the USG .