Bradley Manning needs no introduction. If you read this blog you will have seen various items about Bradley Manning from the time he became known until now when he has been found guilty of various crimes under United States military law.
Bradley Manning is a whistle-blower, but as with most politics around the world, it depends on which side of the fence you are sitting or, if indeed, you are sitting on one side or the other or just somewhere in between as to what you are prepared to call him.
This 25-year-old soldier who has been held imprisoned for the last 3 years, some of that time in the most appalling conditions which have been likened to torture of the most extreme kind and under circumstances not accepted in so-called democratic societies and in violation of most human rights imaginable human rights abuses at best!
The following report is from the Bradley Manning Support Network on 30 July 2013:
NOT GUILTY of 'Aiding the Enemy'
"Do the right thing!" Maj. Gen. Buchanan can reduce any sentence Bradley receives after having been convicted today on 19 charges.
Month-long sentencing phase now determines fate.
"We won the battle, now we need to go win the war," shared defense attorney David Coombs following today's verdict. "Today is a good day, but Bradley is by no means out of the fire," he said to dozens of emotional supporters outside of the Fort Meade, Maryland military courtroom. Coombs expressed subdued optimism going into the expected month-long sentencing phase of the court martial that will determine how long Bradley Manning will remain in confinement.
Bradley Manning had previously accepted responsibility for providing classified information to WikiLeaks, actions covered by ten of the 21 charges. Military judge Colonel Denise Lind found him guilty of 19 of those 21 charges, so PFC Manning still faces the possibility of over 100 years behind bars.
Five of the more serious charges PFC Manning was convicted of today are ripe for appeal as Judge Lind altered the charges only a week ago in order to match up with Government's evidence presented, long after the defense closed its case.
Following sentencing, supporters will appeal to Major General Jeffery Buchanan to use his ability as Convening Authority of these proceedings to reduce any sentence handed down by Judge Lind. Additionally, a campaign to urge President Barack Obama to pardon Bradley Manning.
Amnesty International criticized the verdict, and the government's refusal to investigate exposed crimes:
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.
Last week, a full page ad in The New York Times, noted, "Bradley Manning believed you, Mr. President, when you came into office promising the most transparent administration in history, and that you would protect whistle-blowers. Now would be a good time to start upholding that pledged transparency, beginning with PFC Manning."
Bradley Manning's family released the following reaction this afternoon:
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.
See also: "Julian Assange on Verdict", and the EFF statement "The Bradley Manning Verdict and the Dangerous “Hacker Madness” Prosecution Strategy."Read more...
European Parliamentarians call on President Obama to free Bradley Manning
As Members of the European Parliament, who were elected to represent our constituents throughout Europe, we are writing to express our concerns about the ongoing persecution of Bradley Manning, the young U.S. soldier who released classified information revealing evidence of human rights abuses and apparent war crimes in Iraq and Afghanistan.
The U.S. Army has charged Private First Class Manning with 21 different crimes, including ‘Aiding the Enemy’; a capital charge. To convict a person who leaked information to the media of “Aiding the Enemy” would set a terrible precedent. Although we understand the US government is not seeking the death penalty for Bradley Manning, there would be nothing to stop this from happening in future cases. As it is, PFC Manning faces the possibility of life in prison without parole, recently rejected as “inhuman and degrading treatment” by the European Court of Human Rights.