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Old 07-30-2013, 11:41 AM  
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Military judge finds Bradley Manning not guilty of aiding the enemy

A US military judge has found Army private first class Bradley Manning “not guilty” of aiding the enemy – a landmark ruling that could predict how the US government responds to whistleblowers exposing classified information.

Sitting in the military courtroom at Fort Meade, Md., Colonel
Denise Lind delivered her verdict after 1 p.m. EDT on
Tuesday. Manning had chosen to put all his faith in the
judge, rather than a panel of his peers – a risky gamble that
paid off for the 25-year-old Army intelligence analyst.

The judge delivered the verdict that truth-advocates, protesters
and members of the Bradley Manning Support Network had eagerly
awaited: that the Army private first class was not guilty of
aiding the enemy – a charge that could have carried a life
sentence without parole.

Protesters rallying in support of the whistleblower gathered
outside the Military Recruiting Office on Tuesday,
holding signs and posters that described Manning as a hero.
Chanting “Free Bradley Manning” and “Three Years is
Enough,” the activists stood outside the Fort Meade courtroom
in the hours leading up to the verdict.

“Exposing war crimes is not a crime,” and “Bradley Manning: hero
not criminal,” were some of the bold statements displayed on the
signs. Wearing “truth” t-shirts and waving signs, the group of
loyal “truth-activists” proclaimed their respect for the young
Army intelligence analyst, and celebrated Col. Lind’s decision.

In the days leading up to the verdict, celebrities, public
thinkers and European Parliamentarians all voiced support for
Manning and urged the president to free him. Over the weekend,
protesters in 40 cities throughout the world took part in an “International Day of Action” to
call for Manning’s liberation.



During the eight-week trial, government prosecutors argued that
Manning indirectly aided al-Qaeda by sharing thousands of
classified documents with the anti-secrecy website WikiLeaks in
late 2009 and early 2010. The terrorist organization downloaded
the information, and Maj. Ashden Fein told the judge that Manning
expected the material would be seen by al-Qaeda. The prosecution
depicted Manning as an ill-intentioned traitor who sought fame
and notoriety.

The defense portrayed Manning as a naïve, but well-intentioned
young man who simply wanted to generate a debate about the costs
of warfare. Attorney David Combs called his client a humanist and
a whistleblower, describing him as “somebody that wants to
inform the American public.”



“I believe that if the general public… had access to the
information… this could spark a domestic debate as to the role of
the military and foreign policy in general,” Manning said in
March, speaking from a 35-page prepared statement for the court.



In closing arguments, Coombs asked the judge to consider whether
Manning was truly a traitor, or whether he was “a young,
naïve, good-intentioned soldier who had human life, in his
humanist believes, center to his decisions – whose sole focus
was, ‘maybe I just can make a difference, maybe make a
change?’”



Although Col. Lind found Manning not guilty of aiding the enemy,
the 25-year-old native of Crescent, Okla., faces 21 counts,
including espionage, computer fraud and theft charges. He could
still receive time in military jail. In March, Manning admitted
to sending classified material to WikiLeaks, including 470,000
Iraq and Afghanistan battlefield reports and 250,000 State
Department diplomatic cables and material. He pled guilty to 10
lesser charges, which could still lead to a maximum sentence of
20 years imprisonment.



The verdict was a landmark decision that could predict how US
authorities handle individuals disclosing state secrets.
WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange on Friday expressed his fear
that if Manning were convicted of aiding the enemy, it would be
“the end of national security journalism in the United States.”
The progression of the high-profile case may still instil fear
into potential whistleblowers, especially in combination with the
United States’ handling of former NSA contractor, Edward Snowden.



But for now, Col. Lind’s “not guilty” verdict of aiding the enemy
has served as a cause for hope and celebration among
truth-advocates and supporters of Bradley Manning’s efforts to
expose the war crimes and wrongdoings of the US government.

http://rt.com/usa/manning-not-guilty-aiding-enemy-805/
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Old 07-30-2013, 02:29 PM   #31
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Quote:
Originally Posted by patteeu View Post
I'm disappointed that he dodged the most serious charge but I'm comforted by the fact that he's going to spend a long time in jail anyway due to his many convictions on lesser charges.
I'm hoping for concurrent sentences including time served and he gets out as soon as possible.
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Old 07-30-2013, 02:50 PM   #32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by patteeu View Post
I'm disappointed that he dodged the most serious charge but I'm comforted by the fact that he's going to spend a long time in jail anyway due to his many convictions on lesser charges.
Now if only we could charge Bush/Cheney for war crimes
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Old 07-30-2013, 02:53 PM   #33
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Originally Posted by Bo's Pelini View Post
Now if only we could charge Bush/Cheney for war crimes
That's a terrible idea. It's the kind of idea that can only come from America's enemies and nutcases.
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Old 07-30-2013, 02:59 PM   #34
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Originally Posted by patteeu View Post
That's a terrible idea. It's the kind of idea that can only come from America's enemies and nutcases.
who shot their friend in the face again?
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Old 07-30-2013, 03:04 PM   #35
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Originally Posted by Bo's Pelini View Post
who shot their friend in the face again?
Dick Cheney, Aaron Hernandez, and Khaldoun Abbas, among others. Why?
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Old 07-30-2013, 03:53 PM   #36
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Very telling that the mainstream media went out of their way to ignore the trial.
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Old 07-30-2013, 06:50 PM   #37
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He is still facing 128 years

19 out of 21 charges guilty

Just not the aiding the enemy charges (2 charges not guilty)
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