Bradley Manning acquitted of aiding the enemy, convicted on 19 other charges

By on July 31, 2013, 4:30 PM
army, wikileaks, leak, leaks, bradley manning, manning

U.S. Army Pfc. Bradley Manning, the soldier accused of leaking thousands of classified documents to WikiLeaks, was acquitted of the most serious charge held against him - aiding the enemy. Manning was convicted on 19 of 21 charges, including espionage, theft, and computer-fraud charges.

Judge Army Col. Denise Lind deliberated for 16 hours over three days to reach a decision in a case that the whole world has been watching. Manning’s supporters applauded his actions as a whistleblower, but the U.S. government called him an “anarchist computer hacker and attention-seeking traitor,” according to the Washington Times.

Although Manning faces up to 136 years in prison for the 19 convictions, his lawyer, David Coombs, was visibly pleased after the not guilty verdict for aiding the enemy, which carried a potential life sentence without parole.

Coombs exited the courthouse to applauding supporters shouting “thank you.” Coombs responded, “We won the battle, now we need to go win the war,” in reference to sentencing. “Today is a good day, but Bradley is by no means out of the fire.”

Manning leaked 700,000 battlefield reports to WikiLeaks in February of 2010, but was found not guilty of one count of espionage that alleged he began giving material to the site in late 2009. In a pre-trial hearing in February, Manning stated that he leaked the documents to expose the U.S. military’s “bloodlust and disregard for human life” and what he considered American diplomatic deceit.

The sentencing phase of the trial began today.




User Comments: 26

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2 people like this | BlueDrake said:

It's at least a small victory, in the battle against the US itself. He's clearly wanting to shed light on issues, just as others do but a response is usually branding them terrorists. Better to hide the dirty little secrets, sweeping them under a rug than admit the truth publicly. It'd be possibly another 50+ years, before they even consider revealing that info to the world. Of course heavily censored for their protection.

1 person liked this | Darth Shiv Darth Shiv said:

Good result. Highly hypocritical of the US Govt to preach democracy and freedom of speech then make up a reason for war and commit unchecked human rights violations and slaughtering thousands of civilians. Even if it is "accidental", they are covering up the true cost of the war.

TomSEA TomSEA, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

Good result. Highly hypocritical of the US Govt to preach democracy and freedom of speech then make up a reason for war and commit unchecked human rights violations and slaughtering thousands of civilians. Even if it is "accidental", they are covering up the true cost of the war.

"Make up a reason for war?" I guess you forgot about 9/11. Most people have already.

LNCPapa LNCPapa said:

I still remember how I felt when I saw that second plane hit - and I hate that almost everyone I talk to has forgotten.

Railman said:

I have not forgotten 9/11 but two wrongs do not make a right. America is guilty of quite a few violations of human rights and has been responsible for a large number of civilian deaths around the globe. Manning's actions are those of a brave whistle blower.

MilwaukeeMike said:

I am constantly amazed at how arrogant people are to think they deserve to know everything that our govt does to protect us.

2 people like this | cliffordcooley cliffordcooley, TechSpot Paladin, said:

I am constantly amazed at how ignorant people choose to be in how our government pretends to protect us.

Darth Shiv Darth Shiv said:

"Make up a reason for war?" I guess you forgot about 9/11. Most people have already.

That was the Taliban. Not the hundreds of thousands of Iraqi civilians that have been killed because of US military action. But you don't care about them hey?

4 people like this | Burty117 Burty117, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

I am constantly amazed at how amazed everyone is...

4 people like this | St1ckM4n St1ckM4n said:

I am constantly amazed and how constantly amazed everyone is at being constantly amazed. It is quite amazing, constantly.

Colour me amazed.

TomSEA TomSEA, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

"Make up a reason for war?" I guess you forgot about 9/11. Most people have already.

That was the Taliban. Not the hundreds of thousands of Iraqi civilians that have been killed because of US military action. But you don't care about them hey?

Hundreds of thousands killed? Wow...I didn't know the U.S. was conducting their own version of the Nazi "Final Solution." Care to share where you get these phenomenal figures from? And oh yeah, while you're at it, toss in the number of suicide bombing deaths that have killed innocent Iraqi civilians caused by Shite and Sunni extremists. The country is there for them to govern on their own. But they seem way more interested in killing each other. And I'm sure according to you the U.S. will be at fault for that too.

MilwaukeeMike said:

I am constantly amazed at how ignorant people choose to be in how our government pretends to protect us.

You're right about the ignorant part anyway.

Not the hundreds of thousands of Iraqi civilians that have been killed because of Saddam Hussein. But you don't care about them hey?

Fixed for accuracy.

You have the internet, try it out.

1 person liked this | Darth Shiv Darth Shiv said:

You're right about the ignorant part anyway.

Fixed for accuracy.

You have the internet, try it out.

Saddam has been dead for how many years? How many civilians have died SINCE he has been dead? You can't blame him for those. Over a hundred thousand since the US invaded. Maybe *you* should use the internet.

Darth Shiv Darth Shiv said:

Hundreds of thousands killed? Wow...I didn't know the U.S. was conducting their own version of the Nazi "Final Solution." Care to share where you get these phenomenal figures from? And oh yeah, while you're at it, toss in the number of suicide bombing deaths that have killed innocent Iraqi civilians caused by Shite and Sunni extremists. The country is there for them to govern on their own. But they seem way more interested in killing each other. And I'm sure according to you the U.S. will be at fault for that too.

The US invaded the country with no real plan on stabilising it. I think they are at least partially responsible.

And from wikipedia apparently around 134,000 civilians have died since the conflict began

[link]

Hope you're not just growing a conscience now. That is mothers, fathers, children murdered because of the conflict. I'm not saying the US put a gun to their heads but by wrecking the country, they are part to blame.

Truth is the US was never really interested in protecting the innocent Iraqis in the conflict. 134,000 dead is a fact and it is proof of that.

1 person liked this | cliffordcooley cliffordcooley, TechSpot Paladin, said:

And from wikipedia apparently around 134,000 civilians have died since the conflict began

[link]

And according to MilwaukeeMike; we are to continue ignorantly follow orders, because we should not be so arrogant in thinking we have rights to know why we are doing so.

1 person liked this | TomSEA TomSEA, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

My conscience is just fine. Now how about the figures of all the people Saddam Hussein killed during his reign of terror? Here, let me help you with that. Over 100,000 civilians killed during the Iraq-Iran war (started by Hussein). 180,000 civilians killed and 4,500 villages destroyed killed during his Kurdish Al-Anfal Campaign. 5,000 Kuwait and Iraqi civilians killed during the invasion of Kuwait. And the untold number of political assassinations - clearly numbered in the tens of thousands - conducted on his own people by Hussein and his psychopathic sons to remain in power. And of course he was trying to build nuclear warheads, the Babylon Super Gun and using SCUD missiles on innocent civilian populations. Great guy, huh?

And you think the western nations were bad guys for removing this megalomaniac and his sons who routinely destabilized the entire Middle East.

Listen, it's unfortunate that there were civilian casualties - I know first hand we did everything we could to prevent them. But a lot of that had to do with Hussein and his Republican Guard deliberately putting their own civilians in harms way by putting soldiers and equipment in civilian areas and deliberately engaging western troops in firefights in civilian area for the very reason you are talking about. To make the western armies "look bad" because civilians were killed.

Do some homework pal and quit talking about "hundreds of thousands of deaths" unless you want to include what Hussein did.

MilwaukeeMike said:

Saddam has been dead for how many years? How many civilians have died SINCE he has been dead? You can't blame him for those. Over a hundred thousand since the US invaded. Maybe *you* should use the internet.

Do you know how many civilians haven't died because Saddam is gone? If you Google 'how many people did Saddam kill' you'll get numbers anywhere from 750,000 to a million, with around 600,000 being civilian executions. According to Standford.edu he was averaging about 70 - 125 dead each day. That means in the 10 years since the US invaded in 2003 he'd have killed around 365,000. All of these are rough estimates, but all of the numbers indicate that the number of people dying in Iraq has gone down by about half since the US invaded.

That doesn't make it OK that 134,000 have died, not at all. But when it's compared to the alternative, it is the lesser of two evils.

And what about the next ten or twenty years? What would have happened if Saddam were still in power. There's no evidence that he'd stop his his quest for a nuke or never again use chemical weapons on his own people. And after he was gone his sons would have taken over, and the civilian deaths would have continued for another who knows how many years.

I'm not trying to convince you that invading Iraq was some brilliant idea. War isn't a good solution. It's like chemotherapy... it really really sucks and doesn't always work, but sometimes you have no choice.

cliffordcooley cliffordcooley, TechSpot Paladin, said:

My conscience is just fine.
My conscience is not because I'm an American, and can be stereotyped for the atrocities committed by other Americans. Other Americans that were only following orders, that would be considered treason if they were to tell me about it. In our attempt to retaliate (against those who were retaliating), we became (once more) the very thing we were fighting to prevent. I have no choice but to feel guilt (which leads to a bad conscience) over history that must have been so immoral, it is being withheld from the history books.

Darth Shiv Darth Shiv said:

I'm not trying to convince you that invading Iraq was some brilliant idea. War isn't a good solution. It's like chemotherapy... it really really sucks and doesn't always work, but sometimes you have no choice.

Chemotherapy is at least relatively targeted. There was no real strategy to stabilising the country. It was reckless and irresponsible the way it was done. Considering the outrage caused by the Boston Maraton bombings where, what? 3 people died? Iraq is in the situation where 40,000 times that carnage has been experienced. You are saying it is the lesser of 2 evils. I don't think 134,000 casualties is acceptable.

They may as well have carpet bombed Baghdad and gone "whoops there were a few unintended casualties".

Hasbean said:

I am constantly amazed at how ignorant people choose to be in how our government pretends to protect us.

You're right about the ignorant part anyway.

Not the hundreds of thousands of Iraqi civilians that have been killed because of Saddam Hussein. But you don't care about them hey?

Fixed for accuracy.

You have the internet, try it out.

Thanks MilwaukeeMike or should that be TelAvivTaneli?

Guest said:

Tom

Does that justified USA for what they done to IRAQ.

How does make distinction from Husein vs George W. ?

Guest said:

Many of these self-styled patriots are nothing more than ignoramuses. Ever ready to be herded by the government and the media propaganda machine. A true patriot and citizen will always do the right thing by exposing transgressions.

3 people like this | Skidmarksdeluxe Skidmarksdeluxe said:

I am constantly amazed and how constantly amazed everyone is at being constantly amazed. It is quite amazing, constantly.

Colour me amazed.

I'm not amazed that people are constantly amazed but I am amazed that I'm not amazed at the amazement

1 person liked this | Skidmarksdeluxe Skidmarksdeluxe said:

Manning & Snowden must've been twins joined at the hip at birth. I love these whistleblowers. They embarrass the govt no end.

MilwaukeeMike said:

Chemotherapy is at least relatively targeted. There was no real strategy to stabilising the country. It was reckless and irresponsible the way it was done. Considering the outrage caused by the Boston Maraton bombings where, what? 3 people died? Iraq is in the situation where 40,000 times that carnage has been experienced. You are saying it is the lesser of 2 evils. I don't think 134,000 casualties is acceptable.

They may as well have carpet bombed Baghdad and gone "whoops there were a few unintended casualties".

Here's some cold, ugly truth....American's don't mind as much when foreigners kill each other. Of course 134,000 isn't acceptable, but most of those are the result of terrorists bombing civilians as a response to American occupation. Just this week terrorists set off 70 bombs in Iraq... and it's just a passing headline.

Look at Syria, there have been 100,000 civilian deaths in that country from their civil war, but no one in America is too worried about it.

So how many deaths are acceptable? Would 34,000 dead be ok? That's how many Americans died just last year (or 383,835 since 2003 when the Iraq war started) on US highways and cars are still legal.

I'm not saying you should have answers to these questions, because I sure don't. But that's the point, there aren't answers to these questions. But unless you have a crystal ball that can show the outcome years later of every possible political decision, don't pick and choose one event and draw a conclusion from it. If we did that, then peanut butter would be illegal.

1 person liked this | MilwaukeeMike said:

Manning & Snowden must've been twins joined at the hip at birth. I love these whistleblowers. They embarrass the govt no end.

No they don't. In order to be embarrassed you must have accountability, and those in govt are professionals at pointing the finger, playing dumb, and otherwise diverting attention away themselves. Considering this program spanned more than one administration, any member of one can blame the other... "Not our fault, they started it!" "Not our fault, they kept it going!"

Speaking of Snowden, he was just granted asylum in Russia. I doubt he'd be able to beat the 'Aiding the Enemy' charge like Manning did after that.

captaincranky captaincranky, TechSpot Addict, said:

Good result. Highly hypocritical of the US Govt to preach democracy and freedom of speech then make up a reason for war and commit unchecked human rights violations and slaughtering thousands of civilians. Even if it is "accidental", they are covering up the true cost of the war.
You're just saying that because you don't have a lucrative defense contract.

And BTW, the Taliban problem was in Afghanistan.

And since all a Talib had to do was to take off his signature turban to become a "civilian", then if you kill 2 dozen "innocent civilians", you'll probably nail a 1/2 dozen Taliban fighters while you're at it.

I think your internet should be censored by Iranian rules, not surveilled by the US.

Because then, we simply wouldn't have to listen to your s***, and you wouldn't have to try and guess who's recording it.

I'll try to tidy this up in a way you might be able to understand it:

George W. Bush was in essence, a war time president, and was elected accidentally by virtue of the american public being under duress due to the events of 911.

The Kennedy family kept more intelligent individuals than Wubba in attics, while they actively campaigned for contributions toward finding the cause and cure for the birth defect of mental retardation.

**** Cheney, being a closet war monger and sociopath, wanted to blow up Iraq. So, he coerced his meat puppet George W. Bush to sic the American armed forces on Saddam Hussein....the end.

The rest of us have moved on. So should you.

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