Thanks to The Freedom of the Press Foundation the public can read Judge Lind’s decision in full below.
Lind found Manning guilty of 20 out of 22 charges. Thankfully, Lind did not find Manning guilty of “aiding and abetting the enemy” which many in the news gathering business most feared due to the fact that such a charge would have annihilated what we know as the “press.” Knowing that the O’Bush administration even leveled such a charge should send a chill down every “critical thinking” American.
Judge Lind will reconvene the court tomorrow morning to begin the sentencing phase of the court martial. Manning faces up to 136 years based on today’s ruling plus 20 more for the charges he has already plead guilty too.
Our favorite headline today comes from the emptywheel dot net blog – “Manning Faces Up to 136 Years in Prison for Alerting You to What Your Government Does in Your Name”
And the best statement from an organization comes from the Center for Constitutional Rights –
“While the ‘aiding the enemy’ charges (on which Manning was rightly acquitted) received the most attention from the mainstream media, the Espionage Act itself is a discredited relic of the WWI era, created as a tool to suppress political dissent and antiwar activism, and it is outrageous that the government chose to invoke it in the first place against Manning. Government employees who blow the whistle on war crimes, other abuses and government incompetence should be protected under the First Amendment.
We now live in a country where someone who exposes war crimes can be sentenced to life even if not found guilty of aiding the enemy, while those responsible for the war crimes remain free. If the government equates being a whistleblower with espionage or aiding the enemy, what is the future of journalism in this country? What is the future of the First Amendment?
Manning’s treatment, prosecution, and sentencing have one purpose: to silence potential whistleblowers and the media as well. One of the main targets has been our clients, WikiLeaks and Julian Assange, for publishing the leaks. Given the U.S. government’s treatment of Manning, Assange should be granted asylum in his home country of Australia and given the protections all journalists and publishers deserve.
We stand in solidarity with Bradley Manning and call for the government to take heed and end its assault on the First Amendment.”
To read the transcripts from the entirety of the Manning’s court martial please go to https://pressfreedomfoundation.org/bradley-manning-transcripts
(updated to add The Center for Constitutional Rights statement.)