Bradley Manning acquitted of “Aiding the Enemy” charge, month-long sentencing phase now determines fate

Bradley Manning

Bradley Manning being escorted out of the courthouse.

By the Bradley Manning Support Network. July 30, 2013

“We won the battle, now we need to go win the war,” shared defense attorney David Coombs following today’s verdict. “Today is a good day, but Bradley is by no means out of the fire,” he said to dozens of emotional supporters outside of the Fort Meade, Maryland military courtroom. Coombs expressed subdued optimism going into the expected month-long sentencing phase of the court martial that will determine how long Bradley Manning will remain in confinement.

Bradley Manning had previously accepted responsibility for providing classified information to WikiLeaks, actions covered by ten of the 22 charges. Military judge Colonel Denise Lind found him guilty of 20 of those 22 charges, so PFC Manning still faces the possibility of over 100 years behind bars.

Five of the more serious charges PFC Manning was convicted of today are ripe for appeal as Judge Lind altered the charges only a week ago in order to match up with Government’s evidence presented, long after the defense closed its case.

Amnesty International criticized the verdict, and the government’s refusal to investigate exposed crimes: 

The government’s priorities are upside down. The US government has refused to investigate credible allegations of torture and other crimes under international law despite overwhelming evidence. Yet they decided to prosecute Manning who it seems was trying to do the right thing – reveal credible evidence of unlawful behaviour by the government.

Following sentencing, supporters will appeal to Major General Jeffery Buchanan to use his ability as Convening Authority of these proceedings to reduce any sentence handed down by Judge Lind.

Additionally, a campaign to urge President Barack Obama to pardon Bradley Manning will follow. Last week, a full page ad in The New York Times, noted, “Bradley Manning believed you, Mr. President, when you came into office promising the most transparent administration in history, and that you would protect whistle-blowers.  Now would be a good time to start upholding that pledged transparency, beginning with PFC Manning.”

Bradley Manning’s family released the following reaction this afternoon:

While we are obviously disappointed in today’s verdicts, we are happy that Judge Lind agreed with us that Brad never intended to help America’s enemies in any way. Brad loves his country and was proud to wear its uniform.

We want to express our deep thanks to David Coombs, who has dedicated three years of his life to serving as lead counsel in Brad’s case. We also want to thank Brad’s Army defense team, Major Thomas Hurley and Captain Joshua Tooman, for their tireless efforts on Brad’s behalf, and Brad’s first defense counsel, Captain Paul Bouchard, who was so helpful to all of us in those early confusing days and first suggested David Coombs as Brad’s counsel.

Most of all, we would like to thank the thousands of people who rallied to Brad’s cause, providing financial and emotional support throughout this long and difficult time, especially Jeff Paterson and Courage to Resist and the Bradley Manning Support Network. Their support has allowed a young army private to defend himself against the full might of not only the US army but also the US government.

See also: “JULIAN ASSANGE ON VERDICT”, and the EFF statement “The Bradley Manning Verdict and the Dangerous “Hacker Madness” Prosecution Strategy.”

33 thoughts on “Bradley Manning acquitted of “Aiding the Enemy” charge, month-long sentencing phase now determines fate

  1. Bradley Manning is not a criminal! He is a hero! Free Bradley Manning and honour his service to his people!

  2. He did Aid the American people to know what was and is going on in their name tho. I am glad to hear that he was found not guilty of this charge, not so happy about the other counts found guilty on.

    • You say the he DID aid “He did Aid the American people to know what was and is going on in their name tho. I am glad to hear that he was found not guilty of this charge”. He was found not guilty of aiding the ENEMY. Are you saying the American people are the enemy? No, of course not, so that’s why he’s not guilty of that charge. Personally, like many others, I believe the guy is a hero.

    • He’s already served three years, much of that in solitary confinement and in conditions tantamount to torture. He’s done enough already. Let him free now.

  3. If patriots ran the government, there wouldn’t be a need for one to expose the cover-ups. Bradley Manning is a true American “patriot” in every sense of the word. We won’t forget his sacrifices, nor should they have been in vain!

  4. Change.gov, the website created by the Obama transition team in 2008, has effectively disappeared sometime over the last month.

    While the front splash page for Change.gov has linked to the main White House website for years, until recently, you could still continue on to see the materials and agenda laid out by the administration. This was a particularly helpful resource for those looking to compare Obama’s performance in office against his vision for reform, laid out in detail on Change.gov.

    According to the Internet Archive, the last time that content (beyond the splash page) was available was June 8th — last month.

    Why the change?

    Here’s one possibility, from the administration’s ethics agenda:

    Protect Whistleblowers: Often the best source of information about waste, fraud, and abuse in government is an existing government employee committed to public integrity and willing to speak out. Such acts of courage and patriotism, which can sometimes save lives and often save taxpayer dollars, should be encouraged rather than stifled. We need to empower federal employees as watchdogs of wrongdoing and partners in performance. Barack Obama will strengthen whistleblower laws to protect federal workers who expose waste, fraud, and abuse of authority in government. Obama will ensure that federal agencies expedite the process for reviewing whistleblower claims and whistleblowers have full access to courts and due process.

    It may be that Obama’s description of the importance of whistleblowers went from being an artifact of his campaign to a political liability. It wouldn’t be the first time administration positions disappear from the internet when they become inconvenient descriptions of their assurances.

    Obama’s vision for lobbying transparency has similarly been discarded along the way, but the timing here suggests that the heat on Obama’s whistleblower prosecutions has led the administration to unceremoniously remove their previous positions.

  5. With this hurdle of governmental over reach crested what chance that Manning will be sentenced to time already served? Especially considering the abusive treatment he has endured, hasn’t he suffered enough?

    • It is a possibility, although unlikely, that Judge Lind could sentence Bradley to time-served. Gen. Buchanan will have the power to reduce Bradley’s sentence to time-served as well.

  6. War crimes are not secret! victim torture, victims of rape, family of victims killed unjustifiably by US army are not secret! the bombing of school, hospitals, destruccion of water supply, destruction of all elements necesary for sustainable live all of these are crimes not secret. Anti war protester and other have been denouncing such wars crimes and violatons of human rights in Iraq and elsewhere invaded country by US. Bush- Cheney lie to the USA Military forces, and order them to go at war and dies under misleading and lies.

  7. Bradley Manning, like Edward Snowden and several other brave and honest Establishment insiders, has sacrified the rest of his to prison in order that the world can learn of so many crimes of US governments and its military-intelligence agencies. With this knowledge, Manning has aided us to become indignant and demanding. We must rise up!

  8. I have so much respect and admiration for men like Mr Snowden and Mr Manning. They give me hope for America and the ideals that made this country great. I voted for and supported President Obama but have been so disappointed with his administration and the Democratic Party. Going Green!!

  9. This process is a “farce”. We are the strongest enemies of “islamists” and we have much more power, to fight them, look Egypt and whole Afrika. Now the fact is, everybody knows that, the US Armee is in conspiracy with Al Kaida, they have built up Al Kaida in Afghanistan, spended 3 billions of dollars for arming them, whats at last made the attack to the world trade center possible. The Bush administration was friend of the family “Bin Laden”. The US gouvernement supports the “wahabites” in saudi arabia, which are the most urgent sponsors of nearly all islamist terrorists in the world. In Saudi Arabia, there is no democracy, its a fascist totalitarian (wrong interpretation of muslim) regime, which steels the whole oil from the people and live like a “kingdomship” and let the people go hunger and death. So its a “joke” from CIA with his “CIA” sponsored liar feminism, to support, there the total pressure of women, which is so hard, that its unbelieveable. OK, US got the media might, to sell theese total lies over the planet, but we all go on to tell the truth international about theese dirty things. US is conspiracy with the support of “Saudi Arabia”. This is the fact, and people like Bradley Manning and others, where the ones, which brought at last, democracy into theese third world countries, allways beeing involved in bringing the hidden facts of their regimes to public. So the case is, why can theese liars sell the “lie” for truth, is this “Murdock” ? So let Bradley, the best figher against Al Kaida go free, and fear a process, against the court of Bradley, which is the “supporter” of Al Kaida and so much islamistic terrorists in Afrika, directly sponsored from Saudi Arabia. At last the US gouvernement is responsible for the overwhelming front of the “islamists” and one day, Den Haag will get you and bring out the facts. We dont stop, we go one with reporting the truth about the unbelieveable conspiracy of the US gouvernement and the export of Leopard Tanks and so on. You, the court, you’re standing as the “bloodiest liars” directly after Adolf and Josef, and what theese court is telling, this is “absolutely not proofed” lie and illusion. Everybody can say, you, you wants go to bed with Arnold Schwarzenegger, everybody can tell, this is your dream, but theese for an normal thinking citizien, is illsuion, and to punish Bradley with “illusions”, this is coming back to you one day. The citiziens of the United States, know as well, that the US gouvernement “shits” on the health of the US citiziens, and for money, cancer the people and sell “poisson” to them, i think there are not many US people, which havent realized, that the US gouvernement is the fatest “people abuser” directly after Adolf, and the poor US people must eat that shit every day. But Bradley Manning is one of the people, helping the US people to get into a “normal” future, and the moment, when the public turns will come, and then you, the yourt will be sent to prison, where you belong to.

  10. *actually read it) turns from a book of peace into a book of war! The second half of it tells muslims to conquer the world in the name of islam and that it’s ok to lie to “Infadels” (aka non- muslims) to gain their trust so you can get close enough to KILL them! WAKE UP AMERICA! The President is a terrorist and always will be!

  11. Not surprised about that. At the time the judge allowed the prosecutors to change the charge, the result was clear then.

    Decades in the jail for telling the truth, revealing war crimes, doing no harm to the troops and actually saving lives. This is the justice of US military, Ridiculous and laughable.

  12. “…This is the justice of US military, Ridiculous and laughable…” oh no, not ridiculous, rather dangerous. If not so, rely on Major General Jeffery Buchanan and his Authority to reduce any sentence handed down by Judge Lind. Obama and US military are ‘practicing’ across the Globe – to send the poorest citizens from other countries worldwide to Afgan from 2014… instead of Americans. To come in so called ‘peace mission’. This is not funny at all. So, as an example for life-long jail sentence should be George Bush, D. Chaeney, D.Rumsfeld. NOT Bradley Manning.
    ———-
    Let us see what Major General Jeffery Buchanan shall do. Maybe he can be BRAVE like Bradley WAS and still IS!!! Bradley you life light.

  13. So many emotions today. First I cried when I saw the verdict, I’ve been following the case on public radio and so I understand that the ‘leaks’ were intentional and measured. Next I was pissed that a whistleblower who showed us the full extent of what our government tries to cover up faces so many years in prison (privatized?). Then I was angry that there wasn’t mainstream media coverage of this event. Then I was unsure of whether to post on this space, as I am aware that the NSA is monitoring all of our online actions…..You are not alone Bradley.

  14. Obomber is building a civilian ‘army’ as powerful as the US military (as he promised) and chilling free speech in all quarters. People of the USA, I am sorry your great Constitution is being trampled.
    LONG LIVE MANNING & OPEN GOVERNMENT.
    I’M GOING TO WRITE TO BRADLEY TODAY TO THANK HIM FOR HIS SACRIFICE. HE WANTED TO MAKE A BETTER WORLD FOR TINY ME IN SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA!
    Ben.

  15. Freedom to Bradley Manning. Shame American military justice, a slap in the face of democracy. Lack dignity over injustice.

  16. I disagree with this prosecution in the strongest terms. The law is a cruel instrument. I don’t feel like I live in a moral or free country. Very sad.

  17. French people are very concerned by Bradley Manning.

    For us he is a heroe.

    Thanks to tell him, he is not alone

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