July 30, 2013

Bradley Manning Not Guilty Espionage But Guilty of 19 Other Charges

Bradley Manning was naive, good-intentioned, defense says in closing

FT. MEADE, Md. -- Army Pfc. Bradley Manning was acquitted Tuesday of the most serious charge in the largest breach of classified U.S. secrets in the nation’s history, possibly escaping a life sentence after being vilified for more than three years as a traitor to his country but championed by others as a hero whistle-blower who released proof of government misconduct in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
{{Given that, the leaking of any classified information regarding any topic near to national security could have led to painfully oppressive prison terms if Manning had been found guilty of the specific charge. This would discourage others from stepping forward when it was appropriate to do so. It is perhaps time to update the Espionage Act, under which Manning was found repeatedly guilty.}} 

Army Col. Denise Lind found Manning not guilty of giving intelligence to the enemy, but convicted him of espionage and other charges after deliberating the case on Friday evening, Sunday and Monday. Her decision brings to a close a nearly two-month military court-martial that raised a national debate over the nature of journalism and whistle-blowing versus the prospect of someone betraying his country
L A Times

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