A US military judge has found Army private Bradley Manning “not guilty” of aiding the enemy. However, he was found guilty of 19 remaining charges, meaning that he still faces the possibility of up to 136 years behind bars. Sentencing begins tomorrow.
Sitting in the military courtroom at Fort Meade, Md., Colonel Denise Lind delivered her verdict shortly after 1 p.m. EDT on Tuesday. Manning had chosen to put all his faith in the judge, rather than a panel of his peers – a risky gamble that initially seemed to pay off for the 25-year-old Army intelligence analyst – the charge could have carried a life sentence without parole.
However, Manning still faces the possibility of up to 136 years behind bars, having been found guilty of at least five charges of espionage, five counts of theft, and four counts of embezzlement of government property. In total, Judge Lind found him guilty of 19 of the 21 offenses he could have been charged with. Manning was found not guilty of espionage for the release of the infamous “Collateral Murder” video.
Manning’s family issued a statement saying that while they are “obviously disappointed in today’s verdicts, we are happy that Judge Lind agreed with us that Brad never intended to help America’s enemies in any way.”
Sentencing begins on Wednesday at 9:30am. Some 40 witnesses will be called for this stage of the process, meaning it could potentially take the whole of August to finalize his penalty.
“The US government has refused to investigate credible allegations of torture and other crimes under international law despite overwhelming evidence…yet they decided to prosecute Manning who it seems was trying to do the right thing – reveal credible evidence of unlawful behaviour by the government,” said Amnesty International’s Senior Director of International Law and Policy, Widney Brown, in a statement shortly after the verdict was read.
Protesters rallying in support of the whistleblower gathered outside the Military Recruiting Office on Tuesday, holding signs and posters that described Manning as a hero. Chanting “Free Bradley Manning” and “Three Years is Enough,”the activists stood outside the Fort Meade courtroom in the hours leading up to the verdict.
Supporters of U.S. Army Pfc. Bradley E. Manning hold signs to show support during a demonstration outside the main gate of Ft. Meade July 30, 2013 in Maryland. (Alex Wong/Getty Images/AFP)
In the days leading up to the verdict, celebrities, public thinkers and European Parliamentarians all voiced support for Manning and urged the president to free him. Over the weekend, protesters in 40 cities throughout the world took partin an “International Day of Action” to call for Manning’s liberation. “Exposing war crimes is not a crime,” and “Bradley Manning: hero not criminal,” were some of the bold statements displayed on the signs. Wearing “truth” t-shirts and waving signs, the group of loyal “truth-activists” proclaimed their respect for the young Army intelligence analyst, and celebrated Col. Lind’s decision.
US Blogosphere Buzzing with wild stories tha could be true
Did Snowden narrrowly escape a US death squad in Hong Kong?
- Manning faces up to 136 years in prison after espionage convictions (thedailyrecord.com)
- Manning verdict: to the world’s media – THIS is the moment when Bradley needs your help
- We Are Bradley Manning! .. Support goes Warp Speed
”Snowden a patriot. Obama biggest terrorist ever”
The Manning trial grapples with the question of whether WikiLeaks is a media entity (gigaom.com)
Bradley Manning defence rests after calling just 10 witnesses (guardian.co.uk)
Bradley Manning Defense Says U.S. Wants To Put ‘A Hammer Down On Any Whistlebower’ (huffingtonpost.com)
Support for Bradley Manning in Wrexham this week – Support Bradley Manning everywhere! (wiseupaction.info)
Bradley told the Truth.. ‘Let him go. Let him go now!’
Manning was tortured..Dismiss the charges NOW
Freedom Flight: save hero Snowden from Obama, stop 1984
Aaron Swartz Laid to Rest with an Action Plan For Us
Save Jeremy #Hammond the Hacktivist Hero: faces life from Bent Judge
Julian Assange’s Artful Dodge