Bradley Manning: Guilty of Doing the Right Thing

Stephen Lendman

Final arguments were presented last week. Judge Col. Denise Lind adjourned for the weekend. Tuesday 1PM EDT was verdict day and time. It didn't surprise. Earlier she refused to dismiss aiding the enemy charges. She let multiple Espionage Act violations stand. She did so disgracefully.

Manning faces possible life in prison. We'll know once sentence is imposed. We'll know more if it holds on appeal. We know plenty now. Lind threw the book at Manning except entirely. She exonerated him of aiding the enemy. She convicted him of 20 of 22 charges. They include five Espionage Act counts. Expect sentencing to be harsh. Manning faces longterm imprisonment. He may never be free again.

According to Brennan Center for Justice Liberty and National Security Program co-director Elizabeth Goitein:

"Manning is one of very few people ever charged under the Espionage Act (prosecuted) for leaks to the media. The only other person who was convicted after trial was pardoned. Despite the lack of any evidence that he intended any harm to the United States, Manning faces decades in prison. That's a very scary precedent."

The conviction of Bradley Manning: A travesty of justice

Barry Grey

The trial itself was a legal farce. It was a show trial aimed at intimidating popular opposition to the wars and further subordinating an already cowed press.

The guilty verdict handed down Tuesday in the court-martial of whistle-blower Bradley Manning is a travesty of justice. The judge, Col. Denise Lind, found the 25-year-old Army private guilty of 19 of the 21 counts lodged against him, including five counts under the 1917 Espionage Act.

Manning faces a prison term of up to 136 years in the sentencing phase of the trial that begins today at Fort Meade, Maryland.

Manning‘s acquittal on the charge of “aiding the enemy,” which carries a potential death sentence, reflects the awareness of the military and the Obama administration of the broad popular opposition to the proceedings against the young soldier. At the same time, it underscores the fraudulent character of the entire trial.

The prosecution denounced Manning as a “traitor” and charged him with aiding Al Qaeda and carrying out espionage even though there were no allegations that he handed over information to any foreign government or terrorist organization.

Instead, in a sinister and unprecedented attempt to make the revealing of government secrets potentially a capital crime and undermine First Amendment guarantees of speech and press freedom, the government argued that any leaking of classified information constituted espionage because the information could be accessed by those deemed to be enemies. As the government well knows, the “enemy” for whose benefit Manning courageously exposed proof of US war crimes in Iraq and Afghanistan, was the American people.

The American Surveillance State Is Here. Can It Be Evaded?

John W. Whitehead

“If, as it seems, we are in the process of becoming a totalitarian society in which the state apparatus is all-powerful, the ethics most important for the survival of the true, free, human individual would be: cheat, lie, evade, fake it, be elsewhere, forge documents, build improved electronic gadgets in your garage that’ll outwit the gadgets used by the authorities.” – Philip K. Dick, author of Minority Report

On any given day, the average American going about his daily business will be monitored, surveilled, spied on and tracked in more than 20 different ways, by both government and corporate eyes and ears.

A byproduct of this new age in which we live, whether you’re walking through a store, driving your car, checking email, or talking to friends and family on the phone, you can be sure that some government agency, whether the NSA or some other entity, is listening in and tracking your behavior. As I point out in my new book, A Government of Wolves: The Emerging American Police State, this doesn’t even begin to touch on the corporate trackers that monitor your purchases, web browsing, Facebook posts and other activities taking place in the cyber sphere.

The revelations by Edward Snowden only scrape the surface in revealing the lengths to which government agencies and their corporate allies will go to conduct mass surveillance on all communications and transactions within the United States. Erected in secret, without any public input, these surveillance programs amount to an electronic concentration camp which houses every single person in the United States today.

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