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    Bradley Manning Found Guilty Of 19 Counts, Not Guilty Of Aiding The Enemy


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    Bradley Manning Found Guilty Of 19 Counts, Not Guilty Of Aiding The Enemy  Empty Bradley Manning Found Guilty Of 19 Counts, Not Guilty Of Aiding The Enemy

    Post  Arik on Tue Jul 30, 2013 1:50 pm

    FORT MEADE, Md. -- Bradley Manning, the Army intelligence analyst who laid bare America's wars in Iraq and Afghanistan by covertly transmitting a massive trove of sensitive government documents to WikiLeaks, has been convicted on 19 of 21 charges, including 5 counts of espionage. He was found not guilty of aiding the enemy, the most serious and controversial charge laid against him.

    After warning a courtroom packed with 30 spectators, almost all of them Manning supporters, that she would accept no disruptions, the judge overseeing his military court martial, Col. Denise Lind, rapidly delivered her verdict in a crisp voice.

    For journalists watching the proceedings from a remote media room, there was no time to gauge Manning's reaction before the military cut off a live feed from the courtroom.

    The prosecution's novel legal theory that Manning knew his disclosures to WikiLeaks, once published on the internet, would wind up in al Qaeda's possession could have had implications that extended beyond the fate of the 25-year-old Crescent, Okla., native.

    Although he had admitted the underlying fact of his disclosures to WikiLeaks, and to many of the lesser charges against him, the prosecution nonetheless went ahead with trying to prove Manning was guilty of aiding al Qaeda. Press freedom advocates had warned that if he was convicted on that count, the verdict would threaten to criminalize both journalists and their sources.

    “This is a historic verdict,” said Elizabeth Goitein, co-director of the Liberty and National Security Program at the Brennan Center for Justice. “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.”

    "We're obviously relieved that he wasn't sentenced on the most serious charges when there was no evidence to convict him," said Widney Brown, senior director of international law and policy at Amnesty International. Pointing to the Espionage Act convictions, however, she said Manning's lawyer should have been allowed to raise a defense that his leaks were in the larger interest of justice. Lind's orders prevented him from making such a case.

    The verdict brings to a close the three-year period since Manning's arrest in May 2011 that saw the private first class living in a state of limbo, subjected to conditions in solitary confinement that a UN investigator compared to torture. He does not face a life sentence, but combined together his charges could mean he spends the rest of his life in prison. Sentencing will occur Wednesday at 9:30 a.m. ..........................

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