News Release

Bradley Manning Trial Ending: “Criminalizing Leaks to the Press”

Closing arguments are scheduled in the Bradley Manning trial for Thursday. He is being prosecuted for leaking information, including the “Collateral Murder” video, to WikiLeaks.

KEVIN GOSZTOLA, kevin.gosztola at firedoglake.com, @kgosztola
Gosztola is a civil liberties blogger at Firedoglake who is one of only a handful of journalists covering the Manning trial on a daily basis.

Gosztola recently wrote the piece “Significance of Military Judge’s Decision to Not Acquit Bradley Manning of ‘Aiding the Enemy’,” which states: “During oral argument on July 15, Manning’s defense attorney, David Coombs, declared the only way this offense makes sense is if there is an ‘intent requirement.’ It has to be there to ‘avoid the very slippery slope of basically punishing people for getting information out to the press, to basically put, I guess, a hammer down on any whistleblower or anybody who wants to put information out.’

“That the charge was not dismissed by the judge and is part of this trial should continue to be the focus of any attention given to proceedings. As the prosecutors are arguing it, a successful conviction would go a long way toward aiding the government in their efforts to control the flow of information and criminalize leaks to the press.”

Manning was recently awarded the 2013 Sean MacBride Peace Award by the International Peace Bureau, itself a former recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize, for which Manning is a nominee this year — see: ManningNobel.org.

The Bradley Manning Support Network issued a press release this morning: “Activists in more than 30 cities across the United States and the world will demonstrate their support for U.S. Army whistleblower Pfc. Bradley Manning on July 27, 2013, calling on Convening Authority Major General Jeffrey Buchanan to exercise his authority to reduce Manning’s sentence if convicted. Events will be held in major U.S. cities, across the U.K. and as far as Australia. Actions include theater, banner drops, flash mobs and demonstrations in front of U.S. embassies. The international action … will come a day after a July 26 demonstration from 3 to 5:30 PM at Ft. McNair … where Maj. Gen. Buchanan himself is based.”

NATHAN FULLER, nathanlfuller at gmail.com, @nathanLfuller, @SaveBradley
Also via Emma Cape, emma at bradleymanning.org
Fuller is with the Bradley Manning Support Network and has been blogging every day of the trial. He said: “Tomorrow, Judge Lind will hear from government prosecutors who have drastically overcharged their case and failed to back it up with hard evidence, and who will resort to maligning Manning’s character in an attempt to make their greater charges stick. She’ll hear from a defense that has been consistent from this case’s inception, with clear proof that Bradley Manning released documents he was authorized to access because he witnessed wrongdoing he believed the American people should know about. If, after tomorrow’s arguments, Judge Lind doesn’t acquit Manning of the major charges he faces, she’ll send a hero to jail for life and set a precedent American journalism and democracy cannot afford.”