“This Was Never A Fair Trial”

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manning-wikileaks-3

 

“Today Bradley Manning, a whistleblower, was convicted by a military court at Fort Meade of 19 offences for supplying the press with information, including five counts of ’espionage’. He now faces a maximum sentence of 136 years.

The ’aiding the enemy’ charge has fallen away. It was only included, it seems, to make calling journalism ’espionage’ seem reasonable. It is not.

Bradley Manning’s alleged disclosures have exposed war crimes, sparked revolutions, and induced democratic reform. He is the quintessential whistleblower.

This is the first ever espionage conviction against a whistleblower. It is a dangerous precedent and an example of national security extremism. It is a short sighted judgment that can not be tolerated and must be reversed. It can never be that conveying true information to the public is ’espionage’.

President Obama has initiated more espionage proceedings against whistleblowers and publishers than all previous presidents combined.

In 2008 presidential candidate Barack Obama ran on a platform that praised whistleblowing as an act of courage and patriotism. That platform has been comprehensively betrayed. His campaign document described whistleblowers as watchdogs when government abuses its authority. It was removed from the internet last week.

Throughout the proceedings there has been a conspicuous absence: the absence of any victim. The prosecution did not present evidence that – or even claim that – a single person came to harm as a result of Bradley Manning’s disclosures. The government never claimed Mr. Manning was working for a foreign power.

The only ’victim’ was the US government’s wounded pride, but the abuse of this fine young man was never the way to restore it. Rather, the abuse of Bradley Manning has left the world with a sense of disgust at how low the Obama administration has fallen. It is not a sign of strength, but of weakness.

The judge has allowed the prosecution to substantially alter the charges after both the defense and the prosecution had rested their cases, permitted the prosecution 141 witnesses and extensive secret testimony. The government kept Bradley Manning in a cage, stripped him naked and isolated him in order to crack him, an act formally condemned by the United Nations Special Rapporteur for torture. This was never a fair trial.

The Obama administration has been chipping away democratic freedoms in the United States. With today’s verdict, Obama has hacked off much more. The administration is intent on deterring and silencing whistleblowers, intent on weakening freedom of the press.

The US first amendment states that ‘Congress shall make no law… abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press’. What part of ’no’ does Barack Obama fail to comprehend?

Julian Assange

Statement by Julian Assange on Verdict in Bradley Manning Court-Martial (Wikileaks.org)

Bradley Manning cleared of ‘aiding the enemy’ but guilty of most other charges (The Guardian)

Pic: Storiesfromthefed

24 thoughts on ““This Was Never A Fair Trial”

  1. Joe

    Why don’t the whistle blowers just go to a safe country BEFORE exposing the dirty secrets

    Whistle Blowing 1.01 …

  2. Well

    well

    if ur going to betray confidentiality agreements of ur employer then u will face disciplinary measures

    1. Sidewinder

      Yeah, if your employer is breaking the law you should keep your mouth shut.

      I’m sure you’ve never once complained about people who worked for Anglo not saying anything before the bailout.

  3. The Northern Ireland-Pat Spillane Reconciliation Initiative.

    That “what part of no…?” at the end has to be a joke about the (allegedly trumped up) rape charges Assange faces. Shows a certain style to include it.

  4. D

    Can someone tell me what exactly Manning released that blew the whistle on anything. Mostly he just released diplomatic cables that were mildly embarrassing given they gave the unguarded opinions of officials on foreign heads of government but there was nothing we needed to know about that. The only thing remotely interesting is the video of the shooting of the Reuters camera men but even that wasn’t new, it was detailed in David Finkel’s “Good Soldiers” book. So what exactly was the big reveal that I’m supposed to feel Manning was right to leak all these documents for. There’s just no comparison between what Snowden leaked and what Manning leaked.

    1. Jimmythehead

      think their main defense point was about some embassies that were overrun and people killed as a result of his truths being leaked… im not defending them, just letting u know!

    2. f_lawless

      are you for real? Here’s a summary:
      http://www.bradleymanning.org/news/what-did-wikileaks-reveal
      It contains evidence that could be used in a criminal prosecution – ok I’m not going to hold my breath – but the main point is it’s documented evidence of extremely serious wrong doing by the US govt. and armed forces that can’t be simply be dismissed away like some novel could be.
      Remember before all that the US public were being sold the propoganda that their soldiers were out there winning the “Hearts and Minds” of the locals with their exemplary conduct.
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hearts_and_minds_%28Iraq%29

  5. VictorRomeo

    Like Obama is the brains behind this. Sure. He’s the bagman. The getaway driver if you will. Like our clowns here, they provide the public face for those with real power to ruin the planet for their own ends.

  6. Jack Ascinine

    Just because you steal thousands upon thousands of pages of information and release it doesn’t make you a whistleblower. It just makes you an information thief.

  7. f_lawless

    when are US citizens going to rise up in the realization that their current electoral system no longer allows a President who is truly for the People to gain office? Their political setup has gotten so dire that only those vetted for their sociopathic tendencies – who lack empathy and therefore have the ability to tell henious lies “convincingly” – are allowed to take office.
    Funnily enough I believe Obama is a far greater sociopath than G W Bush ever was and hence far more insidious. Bush often got visibly flustered when directly confronted about his lies

  8. James Russell

    I cant believe this blatant criticism of President Obama, I didn’t think racism was tolerated here.

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