Expose the truth like Bradley Manning did and we’ll lock you up for life: The aim in seeking to convict Bradley Manning of a crime that carries the death penalty is to deter any future whistlebower from revealing wrongdoing by the US government or the military.

Expose the truth like Bradley Manning did and we’ll lock you up for life

21 July 2012
Ed Pilkington
USA and the War on Terror

The aim in seeking to convict Bradley Manning of a crime that carries the death penalty is to deter any future whistlebower from revealing wrongdoing by the US government or the military.

By Ed Pilkington
The Guardian
16 July 2012

Must-watch video: Bradley Manning – Hero or traitor?

THE US GOVERNMENT claims to have proof that Bradley Manning, the WikiLeaks suspect, knowingly passed state secrets to a location where it was bound to be obtained by enemy groups, a military court in Maryland has heard.

Captain Joe Morrow, a member of the five-strong prosecution team assigned to the case, said that the government would show at court martial that Manning had knowingly “aided the enemy” – the most serious of the 22 charges facing the soldier that carries the death penalty. Morrow said the evidence would show that Manning sent the information to a “very definite place” that he knew was used by the enemy.

He did not mention al-Qaida, though the terrorist network has been explicity named by the prosecution in previous hearings.

The insistence by the US government that it can prove Manning had actual knowledge that the WikiLeaks dump would be used by enemy groups was instantly disputed by the lead defence lawyer, David Coombs. He demanded that the government produce the evidence to which it was alluding.

“We haven’t seen any evidence that the government has provided by discovery that supports any knowledge that the information would be obtained by the enemy,” he said.

Manning has been in military jail for more than two years after he was arrested at the Forward Operating Base Hammer outside Baghdad.

He is accused of being the source of the massive trove of secrets passed to WikiLeaks, and in turn published by the Guardian and other international newspapers, including Iraq and Afghanistan war logs and thousands of embassy cables.

The argument that is currently raging between the two legal sides is of supreme significance – both to Manning personally and potentially to many other parties. For Manning, 24, the legal standard that will be set in his case on the charge of “aiding the enemy” could seal his fate.

The Article 104 count carries the death penalty, though the prosecution has indicated that it will not pursue a capital sentence against Manning. That still leaves the possibility, should he be found guilty of the charge, that he will be sentenced to life in military custody with no chance of parole.

Beyond his individual future, the outcome of the debate on “aiding the enemy” has huge potential ramifications for future prosecutions involving the publication of leaks on the internet. As the American Civil Liberties Union recently pointed out, the US government is attempting to hold the soldier accountable for helping al-Qaida even though he allegedly passed information to a third party, in this case WikiLeaks.

If that standard applies, the ACLU warned, it could set a precedent in which “the threat of criminal prosecution hangs over any service member who gives an interview to a reporter, writes a letter to the editor, or posts a blog on the internet. In its zeal to throw the book at Manning, the government has so overreached that its ‘success’ would turn thousands of loyal soldiers into criminals.”

Manning’s defence lawyer, Coombs, made a similar point at the hearing. He invited the military judge, Colonel Denise Lind, to replace WikiLeaks in her mind with the New York Times.

“If I’m a government official and I’m concerned by some aspect of government practice, and I go to the New York Times with information, and the newspaper publishes it, have I now aided the enemy?” Coombs said.




About ottwf

The capitalistic and imperialistic system and its systematic aims: profit and power over others, still dominates our world and not the aims of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, as 1948 agreed! After the world-economic-crisis after 1929 and the following World-War the world hat decided with agreeing the Universal Declaration of Human rights, to create a new world order; conflicts should be solved with peaceful means, not nations and their power, but the dignity of human beings around the world should be the aim of the policies and the economy, of every state and the community of states. But soon after the end of the war, when the victims and destruction were forgotten, all continued as before, with all risks, we had seen before. The split in rich an poor is getting bigger and bigger. We also overuse our global environment already, even if the big majority of mankind still lives in poverty! We are not victims, this world is men-made and be changed from men and women! It will be possible, if those, who do not want or serve (because of system-pressure) profits first, but want for themselves and everybody a life in human dignity unite and develop in a global base-democratic movement a common vision for our world, and learn, how to make this vision real. We need for it a big empowerment of many, many common men and women and their activities. Our chances are because of new communication technologies, of common languages, of the level of education and the mixture of people from different backgrounds better then ever. The occupy-movement is a good start for such a global movement. We support it and try to contribute to its success! We choose news and make comments and so try to unite people for an Occupy-Think-Tank: Its tasks: creating a news-network, self-education, working on global-reform programs and learning to organize projects for those, who are suffering. Join us, so that we can build teams for these aims for all subjects and countries as a base for the unification. We have Wan(n)Fried(en) in our name, because it means When peace and it is a modification of the name of the town our base is, in Wanfried, a small town in the middle of Germany, where we can use a former factory for our activities. Our telefon: 0049-5655-924981, mobil: 0171-9132149, email: occupy-think-tank@gmx.de
This entry was posted in occupy America, occupy democracy for the 99 percent, occupy equal rights for everybody, no discrimination anymore, occupy freedom, occupy human rights for all worldwide, occupy media, Occupy Middle east and North Africa, occupy peace, Occupy the world, occupy the worldorder, occupy-think-tank WannFrieden. Bookmark the permalink.

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