WHISTLEBLOWERS BEWARE: Bradley Manning Guilty on 19 Counts, Faces up to 100 Years

31 Jul
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Manning faces up to 100 years in federal prison for his role in the Wikileaks incident.

Bradley Manning escaped the death penalty but faces up to 100 years in prison.  In a case that has set the blogosphere abuzz, the admitted Wikileaks source, was found guilty on 19 counts including multiple counts of espionage, computer fraud and abuse act charges.  Manning, a private first class in the United States Army,  became a libertarian icon after releasing hundreds of thousands of documents to Wikileaks.  Filmmaker Oliver Stone; actors Russell Brand, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Wallace Shawn, Peter Sarsgaard; musicians Moby, Tom Morello, and Pink Floyd’s Roger Waters; writers Matt Taibbi, Alice Walker, Chris Hedges; and activists Lt. Dan Choi and Angela Davis, and others released a video entitled “I am Bradley Manning.”

The Freedom of the Press Foundation called the Manning trial “In the most important trial affecting whistleblower rights in years,”  The group described the conviction as: 

. . .  the most high profile conviction under President Obama’s crackdown on leakers. As has been well documented, his administration has prosecuted more leakers under the Espionage Act that all other administration’s combined, and has cast a distinct chill over investigative journalism.

The United States Army contends that Manning’s leaks compromised important investigations and put troops in harms way.   During a very contentious trial, media groups fought every step of the way for the right to coverage and documents.  The ACLU, The Center for Constitutional Rights and The Reporters Committee for freedom of the Press are among the groups that formally filed to obtain documents. Ultimately, few documents were released.  Several groups paid to have court reporters present during the proceedings because the trial was not open to the public.

 

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