Bradley Manning sentenced to 35 years, defense moves for Presidential Pardon

Vigil at Fort Meade prior to sentence announcement. August 21, 2013.

Vigil at Fort Meade prior to sentence announcement. August 21, 2013.

By the Bradley Manning Support Network, August 21, 2013. 

Bradley Manning sentenced to 35 years, defense moves for Presidential Pardon

WikiLeaks whistle-blower Pfc. Bradley Manning was sentenced to 35 years in prison today, an outrage that flies in the face of America’s essential ideals of accountability in government, and which seeks to instill a chilling effect on those who’d dare to expose the United States’ illegality. A heroic soldier of conscience, Manning witnessed war crimes, rampant corruption, and covert abuse while stationed in Baghdad in 2009-10, and exposed what he saw by releasing hundreds of thousands of classified military and diplomatic files to the transparency website WikiLeaks. He has been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize three years in a row. Earlier this month, more than 100,000 signatures in support of his 2013 nomination were delivered to the Nobel committee in Norway. Military judge Col. Denise Lind’s sentence is an outright injustice that we cannot accept.

“The only person prosecuted for the crimes and abuses uncovered in the WikiLeaks’ releases is the person who exposed them,” said Pentagon Papers whistle-blower Daniel Ellsberg. “That alone proves the injustice of one more day in prison for Bradley Manning.”

Manning can subtract more than three and a half years off of that sentence, for the time he has already served and the mere 112 days he was credited for enduring torture while detained at the Quantico Marine Brig. He will be eligible to reduce his sentence by 10% for good behavior.

The fight for Manning’s freedom is far from over. Supporters and attorney David Coombs will demand Maj. Gen. Jeffrey Buchanan, Military of the District of Washington commander and Convening Authority of Manning’s court martial, to reduce the sentence, which he has the legal authority to do. The Bradley Manning Support Network will collect and deliver thousands of letters in support of Manning’s clemency to Maj. Gen. Buchanan. 

“By successfully funding Bradley’s legal efforts, and by mobilizing worldwide support, we won an acquittal on “aiding the enemy,”” says Jeff Paterson, the Support Network’s director. “We move forward today on every available front to win his freedom.”

Mr. Coombs is applying for a Presidential Pardon, and the case will be brought to the Army Court of Criminal Appeals, to address several deprivations of Manning’s due process rights. He was detained without trial for more than three years, in violation of his Constitutional right to a speedy trial. He was only awarded four months off of his sentence for the psychological torture he suffered while in solitary confinement for more than nine months at Quantico, which fails to hold the Marines accountable for that treatment. President Obama declared Manning guilty in April 2011, more than two years before his trial began, which constitutes unlawful command influence, in violation of the Uniform Code of Military Justice. Finally, Military Judge Col. Denise Lind allowed the prosecution to change its charge sheet at the 11th hour, after both the government and defense had questioned their witnesses and rested their cases.

The Bradley Manning Support Network is responsible for 100% of Manning’s legal fees, as well as international education efforts. Funded by 21,000 individuals, the Support Network has mustered $1.4 million in Manning’s defense. 


84 thoughts on “Bradley Manning sentenced to 35 years, defense moves for Presidential Pardon

  1. Outrage! The fight must continue not only to free Bradley, but to right the wrongs of this country which are known the world over.

  2. There are no words to convey the magnitude or hypocrisy of this injustice. A brave young man sentenced to 35 years because he had the courage to expose the criminals who run the planet from Washington D.C. — the cowards who hide behind a perverse “justice” system.

    This fight isn’t over. The people will not be trodden on like this. And our champions, such as Bradley Manning, will always have our full support and the strength or our considerable numbers.


    • Well said..”justice” like this WILL eventually come to us all if action is not taken. The truth is not a crime. If the truth can destroy something, it probably should be destroyed.

  3. Shocking. I am so sorry for Bradley, his family and all his supporters. There is no justice just a corrupt system. He is a hero. Strength and solidarity.

  4. Thank you so much for what you are doing for our country!!!!! He must be free, and those really caused the suffering must be punished!

    • Why do you hold EU leaders in such high regard? One reason they haven’t weighed in on evesdropping/wiretapping in any real way is because they are completely complicit.

    • Believe me, here in the EU Amerika got the middle finger of the most people. NOT Obama, he’s good, but I believe even he doesn’t know everything.

  5. I wonder what will come next. It is a shame that the brave people of this country have to face the consequences of their righteous actions or flee forever.

  6. This is not the end of this fight! We demand NOT ONE MORE DAY should Bradley be in jail for exposing war crimes! I call on all those of good conscience to publicly re-issue their letters of support for Bradley and their condemnation of this unjust trial and that includes people in high offices: European parliamentarians, human rights organizations, Amnesty International, UN Rapporteur on Torture, Dennis Kucinich…

    And we need to continue to post the many injustices done to this young man for his courageous efforts to stop the insanity of the war crimes he witnessed.

    Call Whitehouse & ask POTUS to pardon him (202) 456-1111

    To the Streets!

    • This was not a civilian who found the information on his porch. He was a soldier. He took an oath. He subjugated himself to the needs and wishes of the United States government. He took an oath to keep the secrets regardless. That’s something people who have never served sometimes have a hard time getting their head around.

      • You’re just a brainwashed piece of shit. Oath? Obama took a oat to protect us and our country. And he’s spying on us. You are a republican piece of shit

        • do you honestly believe that Obama started spying on US citizens, I believe it started with Hoover and escalated throughout the years. Big brother is everywhere. They know what you are doing, shit anytime you swipe a card that gives you discounts at stores,your library card,debit card, anything you signed and received a card for with a magnetic strip is being monitored by someone. Don’t be an idiot. BTW after 9/11 didn’t we give that busj=h guy the authority to snoop on be. Now you want to complain. What are you hiding. Maybe the feds should give you a closer look.

        • Ad hominem, really nice George, your a real asset to the individuals trying to defend Mr Manning’s actions. Keep up the good work. I usually vote democrat by the way. The thing that never ceases to amaze me is the hypocrisy of those that enjoy our freedoms and standard of living the most. Those that demonstrate and damn the methods used to maintain our security and standard of living are always the first ones to complain when either fall short. I’m guessing you’ve never served you country in any way. You tell your youngsters that military service and government service in general is not a wise career choice. Some of us love or country, our freedoms, our way of life so much we are willing to fight and die for it. Cliche maybe, a joke to a lot of folks, but its a way of life for many. We can take all the crap from uninformed half wits, but when someone from our own ranks betrays us, what we are sworn to defend, it is the worst kind of betrayal. Now you sleep tight George,and you think of some more nasty things to say. That’s your right, your freedom and someone else is protecting them for you.

          • I wonder where the idea of Americans “defending their freedom came from? defending freedom from who? what country has ever invaded America? Your leaders create enemies out there by declaring unnecessary wars to put more $$$ in their war machines and when those they attack want to fight back, they are called terrorists. Wake up, you don’t need to leave the country to defend your freedoms, your so called liberty is curtailed right here in the U.S.. The pride of a soldier is to defend his country from within but not to go out there killing innocent people with the innocent propaganda your leaders instill into you because you are too ignorant to question why? If you spend more time in libraries than in sports stadiums you might know better than swallowing whatever your Cheneys, Limbaugs and Bushes say that you are defending your country when you go to other countries and kill for nothing. Get a grip that there is another world out there, not just the mighty U.S.

      • The oath a soldier takes is to the People, the Country, and the Constitution. Not to the government of the day, or the commanding officers. Manning did his duty.

        (Also, under the Geneva convention, soldiers are required to report war crimes; following orders is not a defense).

      • But he is not a machine – he is a human being who, bravely and without thought for himself, saw an injustice that overrode the oath he took and took action. Something that should ALWAYS be commended, rot punished.

      • There’s no difference. A crime is a crime. If you keep silent on the crimes, you are covering it and this itself is a crime. Obviously the government and the military are covering them.
        I think US soldier should expose crimes rather than hiding them, if they take their oath serious enough. Secrecy is not the reason for avoiding examination and responsibility.

        Or if you think leaking secret covering the crime is something worth punishing, then you should put 100000 times harder to hold those war criminals accounting for their crimes.

        Who helped ending Vietnam war , whistleblower. Who helped bring the regular troop in Iraq home preventing them from meaningless sacrificing , whistleblower. What are these two whistleblowers, soldiers.

        That’s something for some people who have served have a hard time getting their head around– the machine you served is the biggest traitor.

      • Lieutenant William Calley followed orders when he ordered the massacre of 22 unarmed civilians in Nam. Guess he subjugated himself to the wishes (so he thought at the time) of the US and had hoped he could have kept a secret.

      • A soldier take an oath, as do lying and deceitful presidents. Commander-in-Chief Obama took an oath to uphold the Constitution, but has done terrible things to undermine it. Also members of Congress, Generals, Cabinet secretaries and many others betray the Constitution and the American people. They took the same oath as Bradley Manning. But none of THESE are going to jail.

        A soldier does not forfeit his humanity, his duty to the Constitution or his duty to his country when he takes an oath. He is obligated to expose war crimes. That’s what the Nuremberg Nazi war crimes trials were all about. Bradley Manning, in his position in military intelligence, was privy to thousands of cases of war crimes, malfeasance, debauchery and duplicity.

        So, by releasing 700,000 documents, he may have gone overboard, but he erred on the side of Truth and honesty, whereas our government and military errs egregiously on he side of secrecy and untruth.

        This makes Bradley Manning a Hero of the American People.

  7. Calley got 3.5 years house arrest for mass rape and murder.

    For revealing the inconvenient truths about his government’s own war crimes, Bradley Manning gets 3.5 *decades* in the brig.


    Hey, Obama! Australia just called. They want to know if they can have their kangaroo back yet.

    • Calley originally got life before Nixon intervened on his behalf and helped get the sentence reduced. I don;t think it was right, but Calley’s case did have extenuating circumstances including severe leadership issues in the platoon. Regardless, I don’t think Manning should expect the same thing from Barry who has shown tremendous tenacity in going after leakers.

  8. Unlike Snowden, manning was trying to come up with every excuse to get out of his dilemma. I have no respect for Manning because of what he tried to use for a defense. Oh, “I’m transgendered and confused and cant talk to anyone so lets steal things from the government and try to say i’m innocent” isn’t a good enough defense in the real world. He did not steal anything that exposed anything other than our diplomats views on other diplomats. He deserves to rot in jail.

    • What you said were the games played by his defense and you also distorted the game by a lot. Manning’s motivation was stated in his personal statement on February.

      If you have some time, I would suggest you read the reports made by Nathan Fuller. The game played by defense was much more sophisticated than what you thought.

      The court also initially refused any discussion on the motivations except for the “aiding the enemy” charge. You saw the result, the prosecution failed to convict him on that. I would imagine if the judge allowed discussion in motivation on other charges, pretty much same thing would happen. Therefore the judge actually did a huge favor to the prosecution, guaranteed government will have some victory.

      The war crimes were in the video and the Iraq/Afghan war logs. I am surprised you ignore them. Daniel Ellsberg said when he saw the War Logs, he immediately know Manning is doing the same thing as he did decades ago, exposing the lies from the government. It also revealed most of people in the Guantanamo were innocent.

      The diplomatic cables also showed several things. First, US is using diplomatic channel for intelligence purpose. Second, those things should not be classified. Third, US was cooperated with a central America country(I forgot the name) in screwing the refugees. Four, diplomatic cables (not restricted to those Manning leaked) also showed the government lied about what they know– that’s is, what they said is usually not true. If you dig deep enough in those diplomatic cables, you would find lots of awful things. Of course you will only see those medias pick out those gossip type part on the cables, while they ignore those serious one.

    • What the hell do you mean he didn’t expose anything. He exposed the number of civilians that our armed forces are killing with no repercussions to those doing the killing. The people of this country have a right to know the sort of horrid things our military is doing in the rest of the world. Our military exists to protect the citizens of this country. Instead it is killing civilians and bullying the rest of the world. That does not protect us or our freedom. It does just the opposite since those actions reflect badly on us as a nation and just help to create more enemies that will one day wish to attack us in retaliation.

    • IDGAF: You display a very twisted and bitter reaction. What is the source of you seeming rather abnormal reaction?

      A fear of transgender and questioning people sometimes provokes such reactions as yours. Counseling can help one deal with such fear.

  9. Mr. Obama, you had promised transparency in government. You had promised change. You were to be the agent of good.

    We believed.

    Will you give us reason to believe in you again?

  10. This is a terrible injustice! The fact that he received a 35 year sentence is beyond me. This sentence gives this young man a chance to walk the free world once more. That cannot and should not happen. I will now be placing my faith in the inmates to put an end to this miserable story we know as Manning as the justice system could not. May the good lord come and take you away by any means necessary, this world could benefit from your loss.

    • HAMILL: You have the common misconception that a soldier takes an oath of loyalty to the Commander-in-Chief. A soldier’s oath is one of loyalty to the Constitution, not to the president. Not to Congress or the Supreme Court. Not even to god. It is to the Constitution. Bradley Manning has been faith to his oath and to the American People.

      the oath of office for President of the United States has a clause in it similar to the first clause of the soldier’s oath: “preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States.” So what is one to do when the President violates his oath? The third part of the oath of enlistment specifically mentions obedience to the President, the Commander in Chief. What a predicament this places on the honor-bound soldier — his oath in conflict with itself! What is a soldier to do when he is confronted by thousands of cases of war crimes, malfeasance, debauchery and duplicity, as was Bradley Manning?

      The law is very clear on that: Such conduct must be reported, and if local commanders do not respond, the witness must go over their heads to members of Congress, or even to the press.

      This is not a “Blood and Crips oath”. It is not an Mafia oath of secrecy. It is an oath of honor and transparency, but for the honor of the Constitution and the American People.

      • Well a cogent argument. No name calling, no spitting, how refreshing. A little background. I was a 98C and 97B for twenty years. That’s electronic warfare, and counterintelligence. I saw and heard things that disturbed me, and I reported up the chain of command. I did not empower myself with the authority to simple disclose information as I saw fit. I sorry boys and girls we live in a tough brutal world of diminishing resources. The are whole groups of people that would like to see our way of life utterly destroyed. Manning didn’t disclose the information out of some rush of moral indignation. He was a narcissistic little man with delusions of grandeur who felt under appreciated. And to think this very troubled individual is lifted up as a martyr. It’s laughable.

  11. It’s important that we are humble and able to admit erroneous actions taken by for or in the name of the american people. A single Nobel Peace Prize nomination should bar a person from being persecuted, prosecuted or otherwise shamed for doing what is essentially a good thing to do.

  12. Any judgement against justice and against people is High Treason as it is against God’s laws, common laws, against love compassion forgiveness gratitude Ancient laws of hoo’oponopono. Punitive imprisonment as deterrant never work. They make people’s blood boil and make people exercise their rights as Citizens to arrest judges for the High Treason.
    And it makes people take control of Governments which are conspiring with judges to commit crimes against humanity like the Iraq war and the collateral murder.
    This conviction is perverting the course of justice in the criminal charges brought against George W Bush by Vincent Bugliosi in the book “The Prosecution of GW Bush for murder” that is murder of a million civilians and almost 5,000 soldiers.
    Manning must be compensated like $1000,000 million dollars a day for miscarriage of justice. Lets talk how much money Manning will get for what he has already gone through to wake us up. Lets say, the daily rate goes up by 2 million every day. Lets see how long it takes for him to come out?

    • Wow – you even worked in a “blame Bush” thread into your response. How about Blame Barry while we are at it? Y’know the drone thing where he kills American citizens overseas…? But I digress.

      • Well, OK. Blame GW “Dubya” Bush, Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, Paul Wolfowitz … and blame “Barry” (Obama) … but do NOT blame Private Bradley Manning. He was doing his duty to report War Crimes.

        But start at the top with the instigators responsible for these illegal and immoral wars. Don’t start at the bottom with the enlisted man.

      • The third world poverty was exactly the result of the US foreign policies. For example, US had long term domination in the south America, and see what US brought to them. Military juntas, killing squads, interventions, demolishing of their own democracies, poverty, and extreme unequal society.

        By the way, those who has anger to the injustice do love US. If fact the freedom and right you enjoy now were from the dissent movement before.

        • TO Wei-Ting: A very valid point you make.

          One of the few benefits of the U.S. being tied down with its unnecessary wars of choice in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen, Libya and others foreign lands has been that we have been so busy fighting Muslims that we had to neglect Central and South America. What a boon for our southern neighbors, now free from the interference in their internal affairs, so that they could work toward building their economies and democracies. Miracles seem to happen when we stay out of foreign entanglements and interference.

      • Maybe you should leave since you clearly never paid attention in a history or civics class and have no understanding of the principles of freedom on which the country was founded. It is the right and responsibility of every American to question our government.

  13. It’s not over we must call on his behalf to all administrative offices, and write on his behalf to have him pardoned the criminals are those who enable crimes to be perpetuated in the names of America and it’s citizens. Crimes is not of American values.

  14. While a lot of posters in this forum are clearly pro-BM, they really need to look at the facts. He leaked secret info – that is not in dispute. His leaks were illegal – that should be clear to all. Those facts combined means he is a criminal and should be subject to jail time. But what is worse, his posting of unredacted info put lives of completely innocent people at risk. His move was not one of bravery but rather that of pure cowardice. I hope he repents, reforms, and can help others make better decisions in the future. He (and you) may believe that his goals were noble but he broke laws in the process and could have leaked info that got innocent people killed. If you do the crime, expect to do the time.

    • His info put lives of completely innocent people at risk? And what about the innocent people already killed by the military?

    • So Bradley Manning released 700,000 low-level documents. Perhaps a bit overboard, but he erred on the side of TRUTH and transparency, whereas the military and the administration erred egregiously on the side of secrecy and autocracy.

      Some of the arguments for enforcing secrecy seem convincing until one looks at the documents and discovers the crimes, incompetence, duplicity and deceit. Then one realizes these documents need to be released to the American people, so that we can know what evils are being done in our name.

      Bradley Manning has served his country well. We owe him deep gratitude.

  15. BM DESERVES to be in prison – he is not a “hero”, he is a traitor! He makes a mockery of the good military soldiers he put in harms way! 50 years ago he would have been given a death sentence !

    • I think things are completely in the opposite. The military itself is a traitor. What kind of good soldier are you talking about? Those who killed innocent people but still waling freely or slightly punished? If you looked at those wars conducted by US, all of them were invading rather than defending. Do you join the military for invading other countries or killing innocent people? Shouldn’t a soldier report the crimes committed by the military?

      Not to mention, the prosecution put lots of efforts to show Manning harmed US but they can only prove he “embarrass” US.

      Long time ago, Daniel Ellsberg leak the Pentagon paper and now Bradley Manning just do the same thing. The Pentagon paper showed the soldiers were not fighting for “justice” or “defending US” at all. They were just people working for lairs wasting people’s tax money. Information provided by Bradley Manning showed the same thing.

      This is now a more civilized and less violent society now, why bother mention 50 years ago?

    • to Valerie: Bradley Manning has served his fellow comrades in arms well. He saved the lives of many troops, by expediting the end of the Iraq War. We would still be in Iraq if it were not for release of these documents.

      Valerie, there are too many Americans rooting for these unnecessary wars and the resulting mayhem and suffering they cause. War is HELL. War is a RACKET. War crimes are not noble acts of patriotism

      This alone makes Bradley Manning a HERO.

      • Don’t tell me about war. I’ve been there with men who are now in heaven. Don’t you dare lecture me. BM didn’t end the war or come even close to winding it down. Stop deluding yourself. By failing to redact names and key info from his leaks, he endangered countless others. He wouldn’t last a day in my platoon.

  16. Vrais catastrophe pour l”image de l’Amérique,Dans le monde.Espérant que le prix Nobel président Obama seras clément envers de le Très Honorable Citoyen Américain.

  17. There are way too many secret members of the globalist organized crime syndicate in congress and in the president’s entire administration. These people secretly call themselves “Us” and “Satan worshippers”. They are highly educated, very wealthy, very stealthy and cunning. They have mind boggling technology (stolen). They have absolutely NO morals whatsoever and their only rules seem to be “Don’t get caught or arouse any suspicion and don’t betray your fellow Satanists”. They use any criminal method to get what they want (murder, war-mongering, extortion, bribes, spying, abortion, election rigging, lies, threats, assassinations, propaganda, war crimes, UNconstitutional “laws”, etc. They have evil, deceit and treachery honed to an art and a science. They have taken over MANY (MOST) positions of power, authority, leadership, ownership and governmental positions at every level in every branch in every nation of the world.

    They are much worse and more dangerous than jungle savages, but pretend to be upright citizens.

    Jesus warned about “wolves in sheep’s clothing; he knew what he was talking about. Pray to recognize these people and pray for all their evils and destructive creations to be returned back to themselves for their own destruction.

  18. Sooner or later,each one of us will have to realise that if we have not found somethng worthy dying for,then we haven’t started living. kudoz to Bradley.

  19. I really don’t understand the punishment. Ge gets 35 years, in the same time the American government still supports Israel???? A real shame!!! I support the question for amnesty, the truth should be able to come out whitout fear for punishment. Or does the American gouvernement prefer lying and corrupt people more?

  20. I’m waiting to see if the ones who committed the crimes will be punished?
    And who cares what they said about other people, they better look at themselves. How can they call other paranoia when they are the ones who are. I’m glad people like Manning exist, at least they show the world the true face of the American government. If they would not have don those things, what couldManning have done then? Nothing, because there would not be anything to come out!!!!

  21. Bradley Manning should be pardoned and awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, not given a prison sentence. He is a young man of great courage and has done his country and the world a great service.

  22. Emergency Bradley Manning Stand-Out –Park Street Station-Boston –August 21, 2013 –Report

    President Obama Pardon Bradley Manning

    (This report was written prior to the announcement that Bradley Manning, as of August 22, 2013, wants to be called Chelsea and referred to by use of the feminine pronoun. In the interest of historical accuracy this report will use the old forms.)

    Approximately 100 supporters of Private Bradley Manning responded to the call of the Boston Bradley Manning Support Committee, Veterans for Peace, and other activist organizations to an emergency stand-out at Park Street Station in Boston after his outrageous 35 year sentence was imposed by a military judge at his court-martial down in Fort Meade, Maryland. A number of speakers emphasized that the sentence imposed on Private Manning for telling the truth was harsher than many sentenced imposed on those who committed war crimes in Afghanistan and Iraq. Others mentioned the importance of continuing the fight to free Bradley by every political and legal means possible including immediately contacting the convening officer of the court martial, General Buchanan, to reduce the sentence and President Obama to grand a pardon. All speakers agreed that although it was a tough day for whistle-blowers and truth-tellers and their supporters that it was necessary to continue the fight to free Bradley. One speaker evoking the spirit of the old radical labor Joe Hill said-“Don’t Mourn, Organize! And we will.

    Over one hundred dollars was raised by passing the hat to aid in providing funds for Bradley’s future legal expenses as he, and his lawyer David Coombs, pursue the reduction of sentence by General Buchanan, presidential pardon, and any military or civilian court appeals. People were also urged to contribute on-line at the Bradley Manning Support Network

    August 21, 2013 almost mark a new focus on the campaign to free Private Manning. The central theme of the day and of the new campaign is –“President Obama Pardon Bradley Manning.” An immediate task is to begin organizing around the call by Amnesty International and the Bradley Manning Support Network to sign an on-line petition directed to the President. The goal is to get 100,000 on-line signatures by September 20, 2013 to make our case loud and clear. All pardon petition efforts should focus on the on-line petition to send that message as one voice.

    Below is a link to the Amnesty International/Bradley Manning Support Network to sign the on-line petition. The process is a little more cumbersome than other such petitions, including having to set up an account with an e-mail but since they (and you know who the they are (first letter N) have all our e-mail addresses anyway push on. This is for Bradley.’-human-rights-record-and-grant-clemency-pvt-bradley-manning/L7zHZv4r

  23. Truly shocked at the direction America has taken. You cannot win a war without winning the hearts and minds of people. You cannot win the hearts and minds of people when you look upon some as “the enemy” and your own life as sacred to defend while the lives of innocents
    are expendable. You win hearts and minds when you embrace all of humanity as your family, when you grieve at the thought of any human being suffering, and when you prefer your own suffering to that of others. This is not the way of the US army today. And until they wake up and realize that they need to turn their worldview on its head, we will have strife and contention coming from this system. I pray for the day that the armies of the world uphold truthfulness, and the sacred responsibility to the entire human family. There would be no shame in admitting that something is very wrong, and in taking steps to undo the wrong. Such as promoting people like manning and snowden through the ranks, and living a culture of service to humankind.

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